The Beaverbrook Art Gallery has announced the return of its Artistica March Break Art Camp with fewer COVID-19 restrictions than in previous years.
The camp has taken place every year since the 1980s and contains various hands-on activities, including painting and sculpting with clay.
Adda Mihailescu, Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s manager of public programs, is excited to have the camp back in action. But, the camp will operate differently than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We offered art camp last summer in a pandemic format with small groups, but we are back now with a larger group for camp, so 20 children every day,” said Mihailescu.
The gallery itself will remain closed due to renovations, but camp attendees will have the opportunity to explore in the two areas closest to the art studio and gain inspiration from the original art pieces on display.
Despite the gallery’s long closure since the beginning of the pandemic, the response to the March Break camp is positive.
“We are full and we have a waiting list, which is amazing.” said Mihailescu. “We were a little concerned because the gallery has been closed for almost two years to this day.”
Mihailescu said she is hoping that people will be happy to get children involved in hands-on experiences with other children again as the pandemic restrictions decrease.
Emilie Grace Lavoie, the program coordinator for this year’s March Break camp believes that teaching children about different types of art is important.
“I think it’s important since [there are] not a lot of art classes at school,“ said Lavoie. “So I think it’s beyond [wanting to become] an artist. It’s more about developing their creativity, opening their minds and seeing other possibilities in the process.”
According to Lavoie, not only is the act of creating important for these kids’ creativity, but also in how it helps the kids express themselves.
“[We hope] that they discover things about themselves,” said Lavoie. “Things they like to do and … also how to be creative on their own without necessarily following others.”
Lavoie said she sees the reopening not only as a way to start business back up and to hold the camp, but also as a way of bringing people in the community together.