Summer Camps at The Arts Center

Hilton Head Island is known for its legendary golf, world-class resorts and pristine beaches, but it’s also home to a thriving arts community. At the hub of it all is the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina—which features a year-round, robust calendar of performing and visual arts events. And they don’t just cater to the adult crowd; they also offer an exciting menu of children’s camps and workshops for locals and visitors. So if you have an aspiring Picasso (like I do) or a blossoming Laurence Olivier in your family, you don’t want to miss these two fun-filled camps:

Mixed Up Masterpieces:

During this week-long visual arts camp, your child will be guided by the very capable Margaret Hancock. Hancock holds her M.Ed. from the University of Virginia and her B.A. in Art History from Duke University. She has served as a docent at several art museums, taught undergraduate courses, and leads design-based educational programs and workshops across the country, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Young girl picking out colored pencils

Visual arts camps are held in the sunny Disney Studio in the Arts Center. Photo Courtesy: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

During Mixed Up Masterpieces, Margaret will introduce the campers to the famous works of Henri Matisse, Man Ray, Georgia O’Keefe, Eero Saarinen and Frank Lloyd Wright. Margaret has chosen this set of artists for a very specific reason—she has personal experience with each artist. She interned at the National Gallery of Art where Matisse’s cut-outs are on view, and she curated an exhibit of Eero Saarinen’s furniture at the Virginia Center of Architecture. “I think having viewed and spent time with the works that I share with the students provides a more personal element to my teaching and to their learning, “says Hancock.

The students will explore Matisse’s cut outs, Frank Lloyd Wright’s stained glass windows from the Avery Coonley Playhouse, Man Ray’s photograms, Georgia O’Keefe’s still lifes, and Eero Saarinen’s womb chair.  “This will expose the students to a wide range of art elements and design principles – color, line, shape, form, etc. in everything from paper and paint to photos and furniture.”  After they explore these famous works, then they will create their own creative, unique “masterpiece” with everyday materials.  This includes a mixed media cut-out, stained glass window design, acrylic still life painting, magazine-based photogram, and model chair.

A painting titled "La Gerbe" by Matisse

"La Gerbe" (1953). Students will find inspiration from Matisse's cut outs during Mixed-Up Masterpieces camp. Photo Courtesy:

At the end of the week, the class will host an exhibition so they can display their artwork for friends and family. “I believe that no project is complete without a chance to share and reflect, and so this is the students’ chance!  The exhibition provides an opportunity to talk about their work and to see the value in letting others view their art,” says Hancock.

The Mixed Up Masterpieces Camp runs July 18-22, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for Ages 5-7, and 10:00 am to Noon for Ages 8-12.  The cost is $100. Please call 843-686-3945, ext. 233 to register for the camp.

Theatre Camp:

Your inspiring actor will learn from the best at this week-long theatre camp (typically a sell out at 20 kids). Jay Apking has invested the last 15 years of his life to the development of young people in the performing arts. He is founder and artistic director of the Janus Project, a theatre in Cincinnati, and has worked at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, the Barter Theatre in Virginia as well as touring the Eastern US and Russia with various productions.

During this camp, the students will learn theatre A to Z. Apking will work on teaching the students what he defines as “the three most important skills needed for theatre—a strong voice, a healthy controlled body and a creative imagination.”

Theatre Camp participants posing for a group photo

Theatre Camp is held in the Black Box rehearsal room in The Arts Center. Photo Courtesy: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

The camp runs 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day, and the first half of the day is spent playing improvisation games that help develop those three important skills. After lunch, students will work on a mini-production of their own original one-act play! The play is entirely written and developed by the children in the camp.

Not only will they will write the scripts, play the cast and serve as the production crew, they’ll also get to be part of set design, props, hair and make-up and costume design! “On the last day of the camp, the students present their play to their family and friends. Every year the play is different as it is totally the creation of the kids in that year’s camp,” says Apking.

Theatre Camp Session 1 with Jay Apking is offered to children ages 9-14 and runs July 11-15, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. (Theatre Camp Session 2 with Harry Culpepper runs July 25-29, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.) The cost is $150. Please call 843-686-3945, ext. 233 to register for the camp.

In addition to these two fabulous camps, the Arts Center offers an amazing array of other camps. Please visit, or call the Education office at 843-686-3945, ext. 233 for more information and to register for the camps.

Comments are closed.