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Youth Education

Launch a creative life

Our Young Artist Programs help kids and teens develop creatively as they cultivate artistic skills. Led by outstanding artists, designers and educators, these programs explore the artistic process with emphasis on problem solving, designing, communicating and creating. Young artists will have the opportunity to work with high-quality materials, in college-level studios, so we encourage dressing for a mess to fully enjoy the creative process. All Young Artist Programs offer a full week of artistic inspiration. After the fun-filled week of creating, all youth will display their work alongside their peers in an art show open to all our artists' families and friends. 

Our Young Artist Programs:

R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. Camps (ages 6-8 and 9-11)

These weeklong, multi-arts camps for ages 6-8 and 9-11 give young artists the opportunity to explore a variety of mediums and techniques under the guidance of talented, expert educators. Devoting half the day to creating 2D- and the other half to 3D-art, campers will spend their whole week fully immersed in age-appropriate projects inspired by weekly themes. From drawing and painting to clay and sculpture, this camp creates a dynamic experience for the budding and enthusiastic artist alike. 

Week 1: Under the Sea (May 31 - June 4)

Ages 6-8 Registration

Ages 9-11 Registration

Week 2: Play with Your Food (June 7 - June 11)

Ages 6-8 Registration

Ages 9-11 Registration

Week 3: Around the World (June 14 - June 18)

Ages 6-8 Registration

Ages 9-11 Registration

Week 4: Mysteries of Space (June 21 - June 21)

Ages 6-8 Registration

Ages 9-11 Registration


Studio Series (ages 12-14)

For more experienced artists, ages 12-14, our Studio Series camps delve into a specific medium, project or theme each week, introducing basic principles and elements while exploring advanced techniques for further practice. Themes include:

Week 1: Sculpting with Science (May 31 - June 4)

Over the course of this week, students will use fun (and safe!) science to create one-of-a-kind sculptures, prints, paintings, and moving works. We will explore the basic science behind experiments that result in fantastic colors, shapes, and forms. From growing ice sculptures to making slime to waterproof sand. We'll get our hands dirty and learn some fun tricks along the way!

Week 2: Comic Illustration (June 7 - June 11)

Learn the basics of comic illustration. In this MARVELous camp, the budding comic will learn how to develop characters, create storyboards, and find humor in everyday observations. Students will create splash pages and single-, double- and multi-panel comics to put a whimsical spin on their art.

Week 3: Digital Illustration (June 14 - June 18)

Learn the basics of digital illustration using Procreate on the iPad Pro. Students will learn about all the hidden tools, gestures, and brushes within the program to create digital artwork. All participants will create and print a series of illustrated postcards by the end of the week!

Week 4: Photography Old and New (June 21 - June 21)

From historical processes to modern digital techniques, students will learn how to capture and construct intriguing photography. This camp will expose students to camera handling skills, composition theory, lighting and basic editing through a variety of creative shooting assignments. Students should bring their own digital camera (any type welcome, though smartphone cameras are discouraged).

Launch- Ages 15-18 

The Belmont University Launch summer art program helps high school students create portfolio ready work for college applications and scholarship consideration. Participants will engage in college-level instruction during 1- week sessions, reflecting the rigor and atmosphere of our university programs. Participants have the choice to mix and match classes in Painting, Drawing, Digital Illustration, Photography, and Mixed Media. All instructors are working professional artists and designers who are active in the field of study they instruct. Courses include:

Art in Action

Students will learn how to collect, assemble and conceptualize materials while utilizing painting, photography, screen printing, mixed media and installations. This course will expose students to contemporary artists, social practice art, collaboration, and a variety of assignments that will guide students with their final piece(s) for an art exhibition. We will focus on different ways to ACTIVATE people, spaces, and materials through mixed media art practices!

Art of the Senses

In this unique course, students will learn how our interactions with the five senses shift how we experience the world around us. Students will explore how tweaking our sensory input changes our reality, what it means to do so as an artist, and how these concepts are being put into practice today in order to create a desired experience. Each day will be dedicated to one of the five senses, split between history and a workshop highlighting its potential as an artistic medium. 

Contemporary Painting

Have you ever wondered how some of the 20th century's most celebrated artists created their work? This course offers an in-depth, hands-on look at the materials, techniques, and thinking of some of contemporary art's most innovative painters. A combination of art history lecture and studio demonstrations will be used to introduce students to new ideas, and students will create a series of paintings inspired by studio exercises. The goal of this course is to aid students in an exploration of painting while providing a broader cultural, intellectual and historical context. 

Digital Illustration: Mix It Up

Whether you are looking to incorporate a more hand-crafted style into your digital illustrations or want to elevate your traditional artwork using digital tools, this course is for you! Students will learn how to combine analog and digital media by sampling physical marks and textures using a scanner, Photoshop, and Procreate. 

Go Big or Go Home

Have you been drawing for ages in your tiny sketchbook and are ready to explore how a change of scale could change your artwork? In this week-long course, we discuss how scale, big and small, affects the expressive potential of an artwork. How does a change os scale effect materials and technique? Working hands-on, we will learn and apply multiple methods of working large whether from direct observation, imagination, or up-scaling a small sketch to a large finished piece. Students will work on both collaborative and individual projects over the week. 

Impressionist and Modern Painting

Have you ever wondered how impressionist and modern artists created their work? This course offers an in-depth, hands-on look at the materials, techniques, and thinking of artists like Monet, Seurat, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso. A combination of art history lecture and studio demonstrations will be used to introduce students to new ideas, and students will create a series of paintings inspired by studio exercises. The goal of this course is to aid students in an exploration of painting while providing a broader cultural, intellectual and historical context. 

Serious Play

This course is for anyone who has been stumped at how to embody their own ideas in an artwork, feels like it has all been done before, or wants to better understand their own creative process. Each day students will face a new creative challenge generating insights into the root sources and processes of inspiration and decision making that develops our initial inspiration into finished artworks. Course discussions will include the stages of the creative process, use of formal procedures, experimentation and accidental discovery. Students will learn to observe, reflect, brainstorm, and self-critique while engaging in visual expression. This course will be fast-paced, surprising and playful, yet all to reveal the serious process going on in the mind of the artist.

Still Life Strategies in Painting

Still life painting is a time-honored practice artists throughout history have used to hone their drawing and painting skills. In this course, students explore the history of the still life from the classical academic style up to contemporary abstracted interpretations. Students will complete multiple paintings of the still life through the lens of varying artistic styles throughout history while learning about compositional tools, lighting and color. 

Storytelling and Self-expression in Photography

Don't just take a picture, learn to make photographs that both captivate and intrigue through the art of storytelling. In this course, students will examine how to weave together characters, events, locations and events to produce images that create a visual narrative. Special attention will be given to the portrait as a subject with attention to composition and lighting. Students will work to create stories within a single image as well as multi-photo narrative. 

Tactile Landscapes

Landscapes have been used throughout time to represent the natural world as well as create fantastical new ones. In this course, students will use that history, as a launching point to imagine, design, and build their own 3D worlds. Students will use an array of materials, textures, and techniques to bring their environment to life.


Scholarships are available for all Young Artist Programs. Scholarship amounts vary based on available funds and participant need. All scholarships are due by April 15, 2021. To apply for a scholarship submit the form below. Then mail a recommendation from a teacher, and a copy of the latest tax return of the participant's primary guardian to our offices at the address below.

Scholarship Application

Mail addendum materials to:

Watkins Community Education

Leu Center for Visual Arts

Belmont University

1900 Belmont Blvd.

Nashville, TN 37212