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Summer Youth Camps Course Descriptions

Art student with cardboard speaker art

Unleash your imagination at Otis College Summer Youth Camps. We offer a variety of specialized courses designed to inspire creativity. Kids will love creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces, exploring our studios, and so much more—all taught and led by our experienced instructors.

Ages 5-8

  • Folk Art From Around the World

    CRN: 25018

    The world of Folk Art is diverse, beautiful and a reflection and outgrowth of wonderful cultures and their individual expressions. Every culture is surrounded by a diverse array of animals and plants which it incorporates into its artistic expressions. Colors, shapes and designs of flora and animals become integral parts of a culture’s unique folk art and are representative of their human spirit. In this course, students are introduced to Folk Art from several countries around the world. They explore how designs and motifs representative of various cultures are used, and they create original art based on wonderful Folk Art expressions. 

  • Acrylic and Tempera Painting

    CRN: 25028

    In this course, students are introduced to the world of painting using photographs, still life, and their imaginations, while exploring techniques of painting with acrylics. They experiment with a variety of application techniques while learning basic concepts such as composition and color. From thick impasto globs to thin washes of color, students discover the many ways to make a painting.

  • Making Books Through Collage and Mixed Media

    CRN: 25015

    Ever wonder how books are made? Learn the art of storytelling, paper folding, and constructing handmade artist books. Course includes experimenting with various techniques, including collage, stenciling, and relief printmaking; plus the art of paper engineering from simple folded book structures to producing your very own pop-up book. From developing your storytelling ability, to creating your own stories and images, to learning book making skills, you will construct your very own collection of artist books to share with your family and friends!

    Start collecting newspapers, magazines, photographs, and materials for collage to make this an enriching experience for your child!

  • Express Yourself Through Line, Shape, & Color

    CRN: 25011

    What feelings and emotions are found in a line? A color? A shape? How many feelings do you have each day? Happy, sad, mad, shocked, surprised, angry, lost, hungry, nervous, frustrated, stressed, anxious, dizzy, excited, lazy, energetic? Discover the power and fun that lies within lines, shapes, colors, and objects. The final project will be all about you!

  • Puppet Making

    CRN: 25007

    In this lively course, students create paper puppets, learn puppet movement techniques, build a small set with props, and write a short story to perform a puppet show in the final class session for their campmates and families - save the date of the last class!

  • Graphic Design for Kids

    CRN: 25009

    Design is everywhere: on your shoes, on street signs, on the internet. When we learn the techniques and principles of graphic design, we see how design is interwoven with every aspect of our lives. We also gain an understanding about how to apply that knowledge to create our own creative projects! From designing a logo for a favorite sports team, skateboard crew, club, music group, or event to creating posters and more, this hands-on, project-based course will help start you on your way to making some great designs. Through a combination of looking at real-world design challenges and building a foundation of basic techniques, students learn what graphic design is, what it does, why it's so important, and how to make their own graphic design solutions. 

  • Creating New and Unusual Insects

    CRN: 25013

    As the world’s leading Entomologist, you will create insects and crawlies that have never been seen before. Perhaps your creature flies in a weird manner or crawls leaving unusual markings and designs. Maybe it leaps over mountains! The last insect is created from their very own secret design to build or draw their bodies. Are your crawlies fuzzy, shiny, smooth, spotted, hairy? What can they do? What do they look like? Let’s find out!

  • DIY Photography

    CRN: 25032

    Explore low tech & DIY photography techniques such as Pinhole Photography, Cameraless Photography, Cyanotype, Lensless Cameras, and Xerography. Projects include building a low tech camera, printing photos with the sun, printing on clothing or fabric, making analog prints from digital images, making cameraless pictures with found objects, and making a photo zine. In this course, students draw inspiration from early photography, science, contemporary art, as well as Indie and Punk art practices. No camera or photography experience necessary. Creativity and resourcefulness is a must!

  • Artistic Expression with Words, Numbers, and Colors

    CRN: 25035

    Words, phrases, and slogans are an integral part of design. Take for instance, the world of comics and manga where emotions, actions, sounds and feelings are often expressed using powerful words and unique fonts. In this course, you will create designs and expressions using letters, numbers, words, phrases. By exploring the alphabet and the artist's tools of the trade – the elements and principles of art and design – learn how lines, letters and colors can become powerful and expressive mediums of art.

  • Paper Magic

    CRN: 25024

    Using scissors, glue, paper and paper clay, create a pop-out underwater paradise filled with your favorite sea creatures. Each day, you will learn a variety of freehand ocean, fish and creature paper cuts to create your own original three-dimensional creatures and animals. Some stand up, some can be worn. Some can be hung. Some wiggle and move. Every cut paper challenge is an exciting discovery!

  • Japanese Kirigami

    CRN: 25031

    Get ready to learn basic, traditional Japanese Kirigami folds to create Kirigami cuts and shapes for amazing freehand cut-paper artwork. You will make a huge three-dimensional cut-paper carp, and a four-season panel, incorporate actual Japanese kanji (characters) and learn some Japanese words and phrases! This unusual cut-paper experience is designed to increase fine motor and concentration skills, and comprehension for all young artists.

  • Recycled Sculpture

    CRN: 25012

    Ever look at a discarded object and think, “That could be [fill in the blank]”? Let your imagination soar while creating sculpture from recycled materials. Explore combining a variety of papers, packaging materials, found objects, leaves, and branches to transform into three-dimensional sculpture. 

  • Ceramics and Mixed Media

    CRN: 25029

    This class is an exploration of the sculptural properties of a variety of materials including clay, plaster, wire, wood, cardboard and found objects with an emphasis on building skills as well as learning through play. We will take inspiration from modern and contemporary international artists, such as Yayoi Kusama, Magdalene Odundo, Eva Hesse, and Lynda Benglis, to known LA artists such as Alison Saar (Otis alum), and Ann Weber.

  • 3D and Me

    CRN: 25006

    In this course, children explore their self-expression with hands-on experimentation while developing skills in making three-dimensional art works. Beginning with exploring the process of developing ideas and the possibilities of different materials, students are encouraged to play and experiment with various techniques in hand building to create projects using a variety of materials such as clay, papier mâché, found objects, fabric, textiles, cardboard, wire, and clay. Through gaining an understanding of the basic elements of design (line, space, volume, shape, continuity, emphasis, balance, texture, and proportion) and elements of composition (unity, balance, movement, rhythm, emphasis, contrast pattern and proportion) students are encouraged to use their imagination, curiosity, and sense of wonder as they discover their own unique artistic voice. Through instructor demonstrations, discussions, and introduction to different sculptors, as well as having the opportunity to work in cooperation and collaboration with others, students build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

  • Art Making From Nature

    CRN: 25010

    This mixed media class is all about looking at the natural world and artists who are inspired by Nature. Drawing, painting, printing and building all kinds of 2D and 3D artworks, we will look at a wide range of artists from VanGogh to Zemer Peled. You will experiment with making your own organic pigments and experience the intersections between art and science while making your own unique artworks.

  • From Pop Art to Printmaking

    CRN: 25008

    In this course, students use found materials, photographs, recycled materials, and paper to create collagraphs, monoprints, stencils, and other relief methods of printmaking. By exploring the art of Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and other contemporary artists such as Noah Purifoy as inspiration, students will create their own unique collage and assemblage artworks. Using their unlimited creativity, children create drawings on found materials, which become their inspiration for shape, form, color, and texture.


Ages 9-12

  • Cartooning for Kids

    CRN: 25003

    Everyone has a story to tell. When we combine character drawings, environments, and dialogue (and sometimes jokes), these stories become cartoons! This course gets everyone drawing their own cartoon characters on the first day, and then dives into techniques for visual storytelling. Students learn approaches to drawing just about anything along with ways to come up with plots and stories for their cartoons. By the conclusion of this course, each student will have a finished comic strip ready to submit to their school newspaper or website in the fall.

  • From Pop Art to Printmaking

    CRN: 25036

    In this course, students use found materials, photographs, recycled materials, and paper to create collagraphs, monoprints, stencils, and other relief methods of printmaking. By exploring the art of Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and other contemporary artists such as Noah Purifoy as inspiration, students will create their own unique collage and assemblage artworks. Using their unlimited creativity, children create drawings on found materials, which become their inspiration for shape, form, color, and texture.

  • Create Your Own Graphic Novel

    CRN: 25001

    If you like drawing cartoons and writing stories or are curious about how to begin, this fun and fast-paced course is for you. From basic to more advanced projects, we will dive into the principles of storytelling and illustrating graphic novels, and you will use this knowledge to create and illustrate stories of your own.

  • Graphic Design

    CRN: 25002

    Design is everywhere: on your shoes, on street signs, on the internet. When we learn the techniques and principles of graphic design, we see how design is interwoven with every aspect of our lives. We also gain an understanding about how to apply that knowledge to create our own creative projects! From designing a logo for a favorite sports team, skateboard crew, club, music group, or event to creating posters and more, this hands-on, project-based course will help start you on your way to making some great designs. Through a combination of looking at real-world design challenges and building a foundation of basic techniques, students learn what graphic design is, what it does, why it's so important, and how to make their own graphic design solutions. 

  • Photography

    CRN: 25019

    This workshop introduces students to the fundamentals of digital photography. While being challenged to think creatively, students will develop a working knowledge of the functions of a camera, as well as various historical and contemporary techniques within the medium. We will look critically at images to engage in discussion, while building confidence in sharing personal imagery. Students who enroll in this course can expect to come away with an understanding of the technical and conceptual process of making photographs. Digital camera preferred, but not required.

  • 2D Animation

    CRN: 25026

    Are you fascinated by animation that you see on tv, in commercials, and online? Have you ever wondered how those characters are brought to life? Learn the basics of 2D animation in this hands-on course designed for aspiring animators. Examine the Principles of Animation as established by leading animation studios, and apply these principles to short animated pieces of your own. Beginning with blinking characters and progressing quickly to walking, running, and flying, this course teaches the craft of animation and the art of entertaining an audience with moving pictures.

  • Artistic Expression with Words, Numbers, and Colors

    CRN: 25037

    Words, phrases, and slogans are an integral part of design. Take for instance, the world of comics and manga where emotions, actions, sounds and feelings are often expressed using powerful words and unique fonts. In this course, you will create designs and expressions using letters, numbers, words, phrases. By exploring the alphabet and the artist's tools of the trade – the elements and principles of art and design – learn how lines, letters and colors can become powerful and expressive mediums of art.

  • Toy Design

    CRN: 25027

    Imagine if you could design your favorite toy exactly the way you always wanted! In this course, discover what makes toys fun and exciting with an expert toy designer, then have the chance to design your very own toy! Explore how to create an exciting story with characters, then learn to draw and illustrate the characters, and sculpt your favorite! Discover how to make your dreams a reality and learn how to pitch your very own creations – just like a real toy designer!


Ages 13-14

  • Photography

    CRN: 25033

    This workshop introduces students to the fundamentals of digital photography. While being challenged to think creatively, students will develop a working knowledge of the functions of a camera, as well as various historical and contemporary techniques within the medium. We will look critically at images to engage in discussion, while building confidence in sharing personal imagery. Students who enroll in this course can expect to come away with an understanding of the technical and conceptual process of making photographs. Digital camera preferred, but not required.

  • The Art of Cartooning

    CRN: 25034

    Everyone has a story to tell. When we combine character drawings, environments, and dialogue (and sometimes jokes), these stories become cartoons! This course gets everyone drawing their own cartoon characters on the first day, then dives into techniques for visual storytelling. Students learn approaches to drawing just about anything along with ways to come up with plots and stories for their cartoons. By the conclusion of this course, each student will have a finished comic strip ready to submit to his or her school newspaper or website in the fall.

  • Toy Design

    CRN: 25022

    Imagine if you could design your favorite toy exactly the way you always wanted! In this course, discover what makes toys fun and exciting with an expert toy designer, then have the chance to design your very own toy! Explore how to create an exciting story with characters, then learn to draw and illustrate the characters, and sculpt your favorite! Discover how to make your dreams a reality and learn how to pitch your very own creations – just like a real toy designer!

  • Inventive Environments

    CRN: 25014

    Draw imaginary environments using line, form, value (light and dark), positive/negative space, and perspective. Using your imagination, create unique "worlds" while exploring physical setting and mood. Emphasis is placed on use of materials as well as designing all environmental elements from characters, objects, vehicles, and landscapes to architecture.

  • Mix It Up with Mixed Media

    CRN: 25030

    The mixing of media with paints, photography, and found objects has been a phenomenon in contemporary art since the early 20th century and continues to influence artists to this day. Using a variety of techniques and materials including inks, charcoal, watercolor, acrylics, image transfers and sculptural effects, discover how contemporary artists are using this variety of mediums to create works of art from landscapes to portraiture and abstraction. Create imaginative work while exploring the elements of art and design, as well as unique properties and techniques.

  • Abstract in 2D and 3D

    CRN: 25005

    Explore the genre of abstraction as a form of self-expression in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art making. Design and construct art works through understanding basic art elements of design (line, color, shape, form, value, space, and texture), principles of design (emphasis, balance, contrast, repetition, pattern proportion, movement, variety, and harmony), and exploring a wide range of techniques including drawing, painting, collage, and photography. Then transform your concepts into three-dimensional art through construction techniques (both subtractive and additive) using a wide range of materials such as found objects, textiles, fabric, papier mâché, wire and clay. Through class critique, demonstration, and collaboration, build your visual vocabulary in order to understand and interpret abstract imagery. Throughout this course students are introduced to artists who use abstraction in their work, art techniques, styles, and movements. Discover how to express ideas, embrace a sense of curiosity, think critically, and create artwork that is uniquely your own.

  • 2D Animation

    CRN: 25017

    Are you fascinated by animation that you see on tv, in commercials, and online? Have you ever wondered how those characters are brought to life? Learn the basics of 2D animation in this hands-on course designed for aspiring animators. Examine the Principles of Animation as established by leading animation studios, and apply these principles to short animated pieces of your own. Beginning with blinking characters and progressing quickly to walking, running, and flying, this course teaches the craft of animation and the art of entertaining an audience with moving pictures.

  • Graphic Design

    CRN: 25020

    Design is everywhere: on your shoes, on street signs, on the internet. When we learn the techniques and principles of graphic design, we see how design is interwoven with every aspect of our lives. We also gain an understanding about how to apply that knowledge to create our own creative projects! From designing a logo for a favorite sports team, skateboard crew, club, music group, or event to creating posters and more, this hands-on, project-based course will help start you on your way to making some great designs. Through a combination of looking at real-world design challenges and building a foundation of basic techniques, students learn what graphic design is, what it does, why it's so important, and how to make their own graphic design solutions.