A Review of 2023 AWE Summer Camps!

Art Windsor-Essex
3 min readAug 22, 2023

By: Fei Qin (they/them)

This past week, I had the pleasure of helping Sophie (our AWEsome Education & Public Programs Coordinator) run the summer camps along with our other interns! At first, I was hesitant to help since I felt out-of-touch with the younger crowd, but soon I realized that I just needed to tap into my goody, silly side to connect with them. For this week, it was packed with different activities involving a variety of mediums every day. Campers from ages 7–12 spent time discussing the exhibitions that we had at the gallery, and making art inspired by them.

With open minds and enthusiasm, all the kids were excited to create art! For the first day, we started off strong, using Windsor as an inspiration to become urban planners. The campers constructed their own city using found materials. When we asked the summer camp participants what they thought they had so much to share! Rayyan expressed that,

“Making cities was the best part. I like working in partners and working with different materials!” -Summer Camp Participant

“I like how it’s art-centered and I can do whatever I want with the city.” -Summer Camp Participant

A Barbie Dreamhouse was constructed this week, complete with a pair of DIY cardboard Taylor Swift and Ice Spice figurines! Participants also explored AWE’s Biocurious exhibition and used algae to paint a piece. Wildflower seed bombs were also made!

The following day, campers explored the Windsor Sculpture Garden to gather inspiration for their very own abstract sculpture.

“All the different activities are all fun…Especially the sculpture making! I made one of a little mushroom!” -Summer Camp Participant

“Sculptures were the best part. I came to camp with my cousin, and we did watercolors — It is fun and calm.” -Summer Camp Participant

The sculpture making was certainly a favourite!

Water protectors was the exhibition of the day, where campers learned and inquired about Indigenous Water Protectors.

On the third day of camp, the young artists learned to compose the perfect image and experiment to find their own, unique style. Moonshine and Jon Sasaki: Aura were the main source of inspiration.

The next day, Tina Rouhandeh’s exhibition of Inquiry about Forgotten Birds was a main source of inspiration for the campers. We painted our own looms and proceeded to weave yarn work over the loom! This afternoon, we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 and I ended up drawing the dragon from the film.

On the last day, we had campers create their own mural with found materials. For this activity, we helped campers create paintbrushes out of a stick, with leaves and flowers as the bristles, complete with a yarn to attach it all together. In the afternoon, we explored natural spaces from Rick Leong’s Hard Look, Soft Gaze. I ended up water coloring and using the Rick’s piece as inspiration.

As the week ended, it felt bittersweet to wave goodbye to the campers. At the beginning of the week there were so many of them that were shy and stuck to themselves. But by the end, all of them were playing with each other and promising to add each other on Roblox.

“All the drawing and art stuff! It is my favourite camp in the whole world. My favourite parts were probably the loom, and the sculptures!” -Summer Camp Participant

And that is a wrap for the 2023 AWE Summer camps! AWE offers Summer Camps and March Break camps every year. Stay tuned for all of our events and programming at artwindsoressex.ca!

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Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.