As August came to a close, twenty-two art ninjas during a week-long camp created a covert exhibition in a classified location. We worked throughout the week to fabricate art masterpieces to display in the exhibition, while also working on mindful awareness of our feelings and actions.
The week commenced with brainstorming our own Samurai code that we would follow for the remainder of the week. It can be encapsulated in the rules: “Be respectful and have fun,” “Avoid mutant tomatoes,” and “Be sneaky and spread art.”
We began each day with yoga, meditation, and reflection, developing our ninja self-control skills. The art ninjas learned the yoga essentials: downward dog, warrior pose, cobra, and more, often incorporating animal noises to accentuate the pose. We even attempted headstands and a downward dog crawling train!
Each day consisted of periods for both specific art projects and free time:
- The art ninjas’ clay sculptures ranged from animals to smurfs to nature scenes.
- Have you ever had your art shrink? Our art ninjas made colorful drawings that we shrank in the oven (using shrinky-dinks)!
- For the mandala project, the young artists used the traditional circular form composed of repeated shapes to create thoughtful patterns.
- Receive anything mysterious in the mail recently? It could be our guerilla mail! Although we can’t tell you what we did, here’s a hint: shaving cream, food coloring, and kind words will do the trick!
- For the Thangka project, the ninjas made a fabric drawing with glue, dyed the fabric, and then rinsed off the glue. This completed cloth was mounted on dowels so it can hang on the wall. You can do this project at our ArtBar in Kidspace, so be sure to stop by and make some art.
- Left to their own devices, the budding artists seemed to enjoy duct tape art, jewelry-making, and lego constructions the most. Did you know you can make wallets, headbands, flowers, and even flip flops out of duct tape?!
We went on a (slightly crazy) day-long adventure in the woods. Providing the art ninjas an opportunity to participate in (supervised) imaginative play, we hiked, painted our faces (and bodies), plumaged through the brisk river, made some art, built a fort, engaged in mindful activities, and, of course, constructed our stealthy exhibition. All the ninjas (and adult art educators)
went home soaking wet, covered in mud and paint, and content by a successful day. Explore some North Adams woods until you find our secret exhibition displaying clay sculptures, shrinky-dinks, painted glass jars, fairy houses, and more. We even left some materials for future visitors to add to our creations, so be sure to go check it out!
To conclude the week, we had an ice cream extravaganza: twenty seconds to make a sundae followed by a feast of ice cream eating without utensils. To say the least, it was one of the ninjas’ messier projects.
The art ninjas left the week-long camp with various accessorizing, decorative, and practical artworks as well as the tools for a mindful way of living… We’ll see you next year, art ninjas!
“Like” us on Facebook to check out more photos from Art Ninja Camp as well as to stay up-to-date on Kidspace programming.