Confluence brings creativity to Eco-Art day camps


This summer, Eco-Art opportunities return to Confluence. This second year of programming promises more outdoor fun and artistic adventure. Two outdoor day camp sessions are offered by the Confluence Creative Arts Center which will combine arts and crafts with outdoor education. Participants will experience the environment by digging and shaping clay, painting, and incorporating nature into a variety of projects.

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“These camps build on the foundation of other community activities we’ve done in the past, such as public art projects like the Underpass Murals,” said Jody Best, owner of Confluence Creative Arts Center. , in an email. “We love that children – especially local children – recognize that their artwork and involvement can shape the community. These camps are designed to be physically and financially accessible to children in the Confluence area, and we strive to have programming that provides exposure to fun new experiences.”

During Clay Week 2021, campers dug and processed local clay in a kiddie pool.  Campers used the clay to make fairy houses and clay animals.

The Eco-Art Camp will engage youth with outdoor activities that incorporate lessons in plant identification, river and forest ecology, and wilderness observation skills. Led by a team of experienced art educators and Pittsburgh-based environmental artists Ashley Kyber, camp sessions include a wide variety of environmental art activities suitable for rain or shine. Kyber’s experience in community gardening and citizen-engaged outdoor art promise to make classes both meaningful and engaging for young participants. “The kids were completely engaged and excited about camp activities last summer,” Best said. “Their days were filled with crafting, river play, outdoor art, games and music. This year we will have new projects and activities, and there will always be all the favorites such as “watermelon in water”. The camps are intended for students aged 7 to 14. Students can participate in all or part of the camps from Monday to Friday. Camps are funded by grants, making attendance fees family-friendly. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, camp fees are $50/week/family. Entry forms and additional information are available at [email protected] and at local Confluence stores.

8-year-old Nola Reilly-Best makes her mark on the painted mural at Confluence Cyclery during the painting-focused eco-art camp.

“Registrations for camp will be accepted until all openings are full. Last year we had a waiting list and all three weeks of camp were filled to capacity,” Best said. “We encourage families to register early. Because the camp fee is only $50 per family, this camp is ideal for families with multiple children. In order to make camp accessible to everyone, we will be offering scholarships families if camp fees are an issue.” The first session will be June 27-July 1 and will focus on painting and ‘things with wings’. Campers will learn about birds and insects by building, painting and installing birdhouses, sculpting giant insects and participating in a public art painting project that the town will enjoy for years to come. The second session of the Eco-Art camp is scheduled to start on July 5th to July 8th. Participants will learn to dig clay to hand-build a variety of projects from wind chimes to vases. Both camp sessions will include time for river play, hiking, outdoor games and music. At the end of the camp sessions, the Confluence Creative Arts Center will host its annual Art in the Park event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 9. This Saturday event is a favorite in Confluence and is open to children and adults of all ages and abilities who live in or visit Confluence.”Art in the Park is a separate event from the Eco-Art Camp although we promote it as another family activity available to families this summer,” Best said. “Art in the Park is a community favorite because it offers individuals of all ages the opportunity to move freely from art station to art station. each other and spend as much time as they want on a wide variety of projects. We have a dedicated group of volunteers to help with art projects, and the day is full of unstructured creative fun. “Everyone is welcome to drop by to create and create at several art stations set up around the bandstand. Art in the Park is open to everyone and no pre-registration is required.”

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