Film/Television Editor, Copy Editor Devin D. O'Leary served as film/television editor at Weekly Alibi for 28 years. He wrote and produced four feature films here in New Mexico and has been the booker/host of Midnight Movie Madness screenings at Guild Cinema for 13 years.

When they attend a traditional summer camp, the most artistic thing most kids make is a lanyard. Great for holding keys, but hardly the key to a creative future. With schools on the verge of letting out until fall, parents of children with burgeoning artistic talents might want to look toward Albuquerque’s longstanding Harwood Art Center, which is offering a Summer Art Camp for school-age kids. There, kids can spend hot summer days learning to create and using a range of fun techniques from a number of professional artists.

“At Harwood Summer Art Camp, we offer a variety of visual and performing arts classes,” says Jordyn Bernicke, associate director of engagement at Harwood. “Some classes are Photography (digital and darkroom), Poetry, Hip-Hop Dance, Ceramics, Printmaking, Recycled Arts, Painting/Drawing and more.” Just one example of a class on offer this summer is “Wacky Woven World,” taught by mixed media artist and instructor Harley Kirschner. According to the class description, “Students will create a wacky woven installation by wrapping cardboard cubes (boxes) with string, twine, cloth and embellishments. We will then create soft sculptural creatures to inhabit it. While cardboard will be a major structural component to our masterpiece, students are encouraged to think outside the box!”

Harwood is offering four different sessions this summer: June 6 through 17; June 20 through July 1; July 5 through 15; and July 18 through 29. Students are broken up into as many as five groups. “Campers are grouped with children who are around their same age/grade and stay with that same group for the duration of the session,” explains Bernicke. “Our groups are split into grades first through second, second through third, third through fourth, fourth through fifth, sixth through ninth. Our youngest campers can be 5 years old to our oldest who are 14.”

Each of the camp sessions runs Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. The two younger groups have six 50-minute classes each day while the older groups have four 85-minute classes. Campers are offered snack breaks/recess between each class and all come together for lunch just after noon. According to Bernicke, “Families can choose to enroll their children in a full-day session of camp or half days (am or pm). Our camp runs from June 6 to July 29 for a total of eight weeks, but we enroll per session. We have four different sessions that run two weeks each, with each session having unique class offerings and different camper configurations.”

As far as the people teaching the classes, they run the gamut from dancers to printmakers to photographers to improv actors. “All of our Teaching Artists are practicing artists, with many of them also working in education-focused environments during the school year.” says Bernicke. “We put out an open call to our community at the beginning of the year, and teaching artists in our community applied to work with us at camp. We also have a plethora of artists who have taught with or worked with us in the past that we invite to teach at Summer Art Camp.”

The Harwood Art Center is located at 1114 Seventh St. NW near Downtown. If you’re interested in seeing what classes are available for your first though ninth graders, go to harwoodartcenter.org/summer-art-camp/. Each two-week session is $485 for a full-day class load or $285 for a half-day class load. Register soon, as classes are filling up quickly.