Oklahoma Contemporary
Camp Contemporary
A child with blonde air and a pink, long sleeved shirt is working on an art project, using a glue stick on a colorfully drawn paper.

New Light

Jan. 31, 2023

Camp Contemporary’s Spring Adventures

Zines, sculptures, fruitful forms and more

Calling all monsters, unicorns, aliens and other life forms! Camp Contemporary: Spring Break is next month, March 13-17, and the lineup is — *chef’s kiss* — magnificent.

An ice-cream cone felted stamp is in focus. It is pink and has been stamped in a dark red ink. In the background are crafts, paper, yarn, markers and kids making.

Instructor Jenny Elton is taking cues from The Art of Food in Make & CreATE! Campers ages 5-6 will celebrate the upcoming exhibition by creating artworks made of food, from printmaking with veggies to sculpting with fruit.

“We’ll be doing a wide variety of art projects, including some that actually use food to make art!” Elton says. “My goal with camp is always to give kids a fun and new art experience that they couldn’t have at home. Little kids are capable of making some amazingly creative things when they have the guidance and freedom to express themselves, and seeing what they make is my favorite part.”

A ceramic sculpture is in frame. In Pop Art style with bright colors, we see a mug with coffee in it, a jar with what looks like mustard coming out of the top, and a deconstructed sandwich with a patty, onion, lettuce, cheese, tomato and olives on a plate
David Gilhooly's Lite/Late Lunch (1983)

Elton isn’t the only instructor pulling exhibition inspiration. Ceramicist Liv Egan will combine the dynamic worlds of contemporary ceramics and food in Clay Cravings. Kiddos ages 7-9 will practice throwing on the wheel and hand building, as well as learning glazing processes.

"I love the process of taking a 2-D image, like a favorite snack (a sliced apple or a cookie), and challenging the kids to sculpt that in 3-D," says Egan. "After we do this process, and the pot comes out of the kiln, I have the campers draw their sculpture or pot, again. It's this really fun, creative challenge to show kiddos how this process evolves and how their brains and hands work differently to create something."

This camp is all about expressing personal creativity through surface design, texture and color; by week’s end, campers will take home several finished (and delicious-looking) ceramic pieces.

A person in a tie-dyed shirt and purple skirt holds up a circle lantern with purple feathers and a sparkly cape. A little kid in a purple shirt and floral skirt stands in front.
Instructor BC Summers

But what’s a Camp Contemporary session without BC Summers?!

"Kids are still learning who they are, and I want our students to understand they have the power to be anything they dream up!" Summers says.

Our favorite space-kitty instructor will take 5- to 6-year-olds on a Creative Creatures adventure, inspired by contemporary artists and mythical beasts. This camp encourages collaboration to collectively and individually craft 2- and 3-D silly creatures with paints, paper, fabrics and more.

"By inspiring them to envision imaginary creatures, and then realize their artistic vision, they get to play and explore what it can mean to be anything they put their creative minds to."

3-D sculpting doesn’t end there — Upcycled Sculptures with instructor Jessica Petrus is perfect for 10- to 12-year-olds who are curious about public art! Petrus will teach campers about the innovative contemporary artist Thomas Dambo as they transform debris into artistic treasure. Through their creative process, kids will practice light carpentry, learn how to safely handle tools and explore contemporary recycled art practices as they give unwanted items new life.

A large, wooden, troll-like sculpture stands on two feet, with a thick torso, long arms and large hands, a big nose and wild straw-like hair. The sculpture is outdoors, and one hand is over its right eye as it holds a staff in the other hand, looking out.
Thomas Dambo's Joe the Guardian (2018)

And last, but certainly not least, instructor Lumen Miramontes will teach 7- to 9-year-olds storyboarding techniques to tell visual tales, using binding, folding, cutting and pop-out methods to make their creations come to life! Ama-ZINE Book Making offers an introduction to a variety of specialty papers, fabric paints and found materials, perfect for styling any book, from sketchbooks to comic-style graphic novels.

"I learned some basic bookmaking skills when I was 8 years old," Miramontes says. "I’ve really carried those lessons with me through my whole creative life. Something felt so special about being able to make my own little time capsule, filled with whatever I wanted. There's something so magical about being able to curate a collection of your very own in the pages of a book you’ve bound yourself, whatever age you may be."

Whatever your spring break needs, send those budding makers and creators our way! A week at Camp Contemporary is a guaranteed exploration of artistic practices, community and the joy of art-making. Member registration is open now, and registration opens to the public Monday, Feb. 6. Want early access and 10 percent off tuition? Become a member! Need a little help? Camp Contemporary scholarships are always available.


Camper works on a project. Photo: Stephanie Montelongo.

Art supplies during Camp Contemporary: Summer Break 2022.

Installation view of David Gilhooly's Lite/Late Lunch (1983) in The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

Instructor BC Summers working with a camper in summer 2022 camp Puppets on Parade.

Thomas Dambo's Joe the Guardian (2018). Photo courtesy the artist.

Tags tags
camp Camp Contemporary The Art of Food sculpture ceramics zines 3-D 2-D fiber art art-making

Return to New Light.


Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

see additional holidays


Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

Newsletter Signup

Join our mailing list to learn about our events, exhibitions, education and more.