Building Skills for Life Through the Arts

The Cummer Museum has been providing summer camp opportunities to the Jacksonville community for more than twenty years. In addition to developing artistic skills, learning about art and art history, and creating original works of art, summer art camps help children develop their problem solving skills, gain confidence, appreciate different perspectives, and communicate effectively – all while having fun. The Cummer Museum offers the only summer camp in Jacksonville where children can interact with objects from across art history, explore historic gardens, and create original artwork under the guidance of museum professionals trained in the fields of art history, fine arts, education, and science.
Art camps provide an accepting and creative environment for children to take risks, develop, explore, and share their imaginations. Children are able to interact with fellow campers who are interested in art but may have different ideas and experiences. Though all are given similar materials and guidance, each student creates works of art that reflect their own perspectives. Experiencing these variations together demonstrates to children how differences can have value and how each person’s perspective can shape their view of the world, encouraging children to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with more than just their words in their own creative way.
The museum’s education staff creates fun and engaging art projects and experiences inspired by the Cummer’s permanent collection, gardens, and special exhibitions that spark creativity and imagination. Campers, inspired by artistic objects from ancient Greek pottery to contemporary paintings, historic gardens, and interactive play, create a variety of artwork using different media, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics. Lessons give children the opportunity to deeply explore art genres, concepts, and materials that are engaging and entertaining.
Engaging with the arts has many impactful developmental benefits that stay with children throughout their lives. Making choices while creating art, such as what color to use or where to place a shape, activates a child’s creative side while also advancing their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Empowering children to think through the outcomes of each choice they make during the process of creation equips them with problem-solving skills they can apply to life’s challenges. Art also involves descriptive language, which translates to everyday life for a child through the ability to better communicate with others and effectively describe how they feel. Engagement in the arts has been shown to relieve stress, encourage creative thinking, boost self-esteem, encourage brain activity, and improve overall quality of life.
Beyond teaching children developmental skills, art has the ability to further a child’s educational opportunities.

Read MoreBy Amber Sesnick and Emily Waters

Author: Arbus

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