Summer Art Camp



Summer Art Camp sessions takes place in PAFA’s historic Cast Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for one week each. The daily schedule includes a morning session, including a light snack, followed by lunch on Lenfest Plaza (brought by each camper), and an afternoon session. Pre-camp is from 8:30-9 a.m. each day prior to camp.  After-camp sessions are available from 3-5:30 p.m. for your convenience.  Please call 215-972-2054 for more information.

WEEK 1: June 30 - July 3  

(Please note: No camp on July 4)

Camp 1: Ages 5-7

GAME TIME: This play-based camp will explore art-making through the use of different materials and tools. Working collaboratively and independently, campers will design and create sculptures, drawings and paintings through play.

Camp 2: Ages 8-10

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID DRAWING: Learn to draw characters like Diary of a Wimpy Kid creator Jeff Kinney.  Create large-scale painted characters and develop and illustrate your own story.  Instructors encourage creativity and imaginative approaches to projects through gallery activities, class discussions and looking at the work of a variety of artists and illustrators.

Camp 3: Ages 11-13

GRAPHIC NOVELS: From cave paintings to illuminated manuscripts to contemporary narratives, artists have told stories through pictures throughout history. Learn how placing images next to each other allows a viewer to understand their meaning. Develop, draw and describe your own creative story with sequential images.

Camp 4: July 12-15

COPY CLASS: As the first School and Museum in the country, PAFA has been the place to learn from other existing works of art since 1805. Explore the PAFA galleries, Cast Hall and more, as you try your hand at copying paintings and drawing from sculpture while learning about perspective, scale, color and more.

WEEK 2: July 7-11

Camp 5: Ages 5-7

EXPLORING COLOR: Discover the magic and meaning of color. Campers will create a rainbow of artworks while exploring color’s powerful ability to express feelings, memories, and dreams. Campers will learn basic color theory and investigate the important roles that light and transparency play. Projects will include painting, drawing, sculpture and natural dye-making

Camp 6: Ages 8-10

MUPPETS, PUPPETS & BEASTS: Make funny versions of your favorite characters and friends out of fabric, foam, felt, buttons, old clothing and more!  Campers will explore techniques to make finger puppets, sock puppets, muppet-style puppets and marionettes. A puppet performance will be held at the end of the week for friends and family.

Camp 7: Ages 11-13

COMICS: Develop your drawing, coloring, inking techniques and learn how to create characters, write dialogue and develop a basic storyline. Participate in guided activities and fun drawing games designed to advance your technical skills.

Camp 8: Ages 12-15

PAINTING & PRINTMAKING: Experiment with ways that painting and printmaking can be used together in this advanced level camp.   Mono-prints, block printing, watercolors, acrylics and tempera are some of the techniques that will be covered. Bring your ideas and learn new skills.

WEEK 3: July 14-18

Camp 9: Ages 5-7

IMAGINATION CELEBRATION: Put on your thinking cap and prepare for a trip to the land of make-believe.  Create fantastical landscapes and invented creatures and characters while experimenting with drawing, painting and sculpting techniques!

Camp 10: Ages 8-10

TIME TRAVELERS: If you could visit any time in history, when and where would you go?  Hear stories about time travel and then write and illustrate your own. Work together on a collaborative sculpture project, building—you guessed it—a time machine!

Camp 11: Ages 11-13

PAINTING & PRINTMAKING: Experiment with ways that painting and printmaking can be used together in this introductory level camp.   Mono-prints, block printing, watercolors, acrylics and tempera are some of the techniques that will be covered.  Bring your ideas and learn new skills.

Camp 12: Ages 12-15

URBAN PLANNING: Apply architecture, perspective drawing and basic engineering skills to create a model of your dream city. Take a look at some nearby architectural examples such as City Hall, the Masonic Temple and PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building for inspiration.

WEEK 4: July 21-25

Camp 13: Ages 5-7

PRINT IT: Stamp, carve and print the day away in the art studio! Explore the many ways to make a print including block printing, stencils, monoprint and other easy processes. Instructors encourage imaginative approaches and nurture creativity through class discussions, reading books and activities in PAFA’s galleries.

Camp 14: Ages 8-10

GLOBAL ARTS: Explore the techniques and materials of different cultures in this multimedia art-making experience. Campers will find inspiration in nearby Chinatown and view images and objects from all around the globe. Projects may include mask-making, painting, sculpture and mosaic.

Camp 15: Ages 11-13

MOCKING JAY WORKSHOP: Research and design your own personal symbol of protection and make jewelry, armor and more with your special images on them. Draw inspiration from the story of the Hunger Games and other sources to inspire imagery that you will use to create metal relief impressions, create wire body adornments, paint banners and more.

Camp 16: Ages 12-15

SCI-FI & FANTASY DRAWING: Sharpen your skills and learn new techniques for drawing your favorite characters. Then use these newfound skills to create your own cast of characters and the land where they reside. Materials will include pencil, pen and ink, marker, charcoal and watercolor.

WEEK 5: July 28-August 1

Camp 17: Ages 5-7

EXPLORING CHARACTERS: Read and discuss some of your favorite characters from books, movies and songs. Learn how artists and authors make up characters and then create your own complete with story, drawings and models. Campers will use crayons, markers, pastels, paint and model magic to illustrate their character.

Camp 18: Ages 8-10

DESIGN & ADORN: Architecture, costuming, jewelry and artwork often use small decorative parts to make the pieces more special. Check out the work of PAFA artists Nick Cave and Mickalene Thomas, as well as local examples like the Mummers and Chinatown’s New Year dragon and how they use design, decoration and adornment. Campers will create paintings, sculptures, building models or costumes that consider pattern and texture.

Camp 19: Ages 11-13

VILLAINS & BAD GUYS: Explore the world of the wicked witch, Malificent, Smaug and others. Truly evil or just misunderstood? Take a look at their stories and how artists depict these characters, then create your own using drawing, painting and sculpting techniques.

Camp 20: Ages 12-15

ANIMATION: Learn how to add motion to your drawings or other found images to create an animated short movie to share with your friends and family.  Activities may include planning a story, creating characters, shooting your animation and hosting a movie screening at the end of the week.

WEEK 6: August 4-8

Camp 21: Ages 5-7

DINOSAUR DAYS: Learn to draw, paint and sculpt these amazing animals by breaking them down into basic shapes. Take a trip over to the Academy of Natural Science to view their fabulous dinosaur hall for inspiration.

Camp 22: Ages 8-10

FACTORY FOR ART: PAFA was designed to be a “Factory for Art” by Frank Furness in 1876. Come breathe the creative air and view artworks in the museum, discover new techniques and use your imagination to create your own masterpieces in PAFA’s historic studios. Activities may include drawing, painting, sculpting and a variety of other fun and creative projects.

Camp 23: Ages 11-13

GREEN SCREEN MOVIE MAKING: Learn the magic behind green screen technology so you can dive to the bottom of the sea, explore ancient Egypt or play on a stage with your favorite band. Activities may include sketching out storyboards, looking at the work of other artists and making fun videos!

Camp 24: Ages 12-15

PORTFOLIO EXPLORATION: Draw from observation using still lifes, portraiture and PAFA’s amazing Cast Hall collection and explore imaginative abstraction, drawing and painting techniques.  Use pencil, charcoal, watercolor and acrylics to deepen foundation skills.

WEEK 7 August 11-15

Camp 25: Ages 5-7

ARTISTS IN WONDERLAND: Venture down the rabbit hole to discover an art studio busy with painting, sculpting and drawing. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, campers will participate in gallery activities, art making, storytelling and art making in this fun filled week.

Camp 26: Ages 8-10

SILENT FILM MAKING: Perform, film and edit your own silent era short based on the greats like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. Activities may include set design, script writing, making promotional posters and hosting a movie screening for family and friends.

Camp 27: Ages 11-13

FABRIC & FIBER:  Discover the world of fibers and fabric, and combine new skills with your own personal expression. Experiment with stitching, dying, painting and collage on fabric to create colorful and textured pieces.

Camp 28: Ages 12-15

SCULPTURE: Learn about sculpture and installation artists throughout history, as well as materials and techniques that will help you to create your own masterpiece. Activities may include working with clay, wire, paper pulp and found objects.