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Summer Art Studio

Online Camp 2020: Scroll down to About the Camp to view online camp information.

For over 72 years Cranbrook has offered the community the opportunity to share in the Booth family's vision to develop and nurture the creative and performing arts. Founded upon the principle that all young people can benefit and enrich their lives from exposure to art, Summer Art Studio has long been a treasured part of the Schools' programming and community outreach. The unparalleled legacy of exploration of the arts on Cranbrook’s campus is celebrated and expanded in Summer Art Studio.

About the Camp

(coed, entering grades 2-9 in Fall 2020)
COVID-19 & Online Camp 2020 Update
Summer Art Studio is canceled for Summer 2020 - both in-person and online. Please consider our online camps at the Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Institute of Science.


*Subject to Change

General Information

Campers receive instruction in classic art forms such as drawing, composition, painting and sculpture, and expand their horizons into contemporary media such as building, illustration, and photography. Computer-based projects use Adobe® Photoshop® Elements. Explorations that blend unique media combinations are highly encouraged. The beautiful and unique Cranbrook campus provides ample, diverse aesthetic inspiration for prodigious volumes of work.

Subjects that are offered in multiple weeks create different projects, building on the fundamentals of the subject. Prior weeks are not required for subsequent offerings of the same subject.

Fast drying and ever-versatile, acrylic paint is one of the most widely used mediums by artists around the world. By looking through the scope of technicality, we learn varying processes of application and finesse.

Let’s get our hands messy and covered with clay as we learn the different techniques, such as hand building, slabs, and coils, involved in making projects from clay. Using our in-house kiln, the clay projects are fired twice each week—once to bisque and again once glazed.

No matter where you look, design is integral to life. At Summer Art Studio, we’ve explored design through the Cubist eyes of Pablo Picasso and the Pop Art printmaking of Andy Warhol, just to name a few.

At the forefront of the future of art is digital illustration. With the use of the Adobe Creative Suite, we click our way into the 21st century, learning about layering, kerning, vectors, and rendering. Past projects have included vintage travel posters to imaginary lands and designing your own meme.

We’re stepping into the third dimension and making use of our hands to build and create in a tactile way. Moving away from two-dimensional art such as drawing and painting, in dimensional classes, we become builders using supplies such as polymer clay, cardboard, wood, and found objects. Past projects have included everything from marble mazes and fairy gardens to collaborative installations of underwater creatures, dimensional covers it all.

Everybody’s artistic journey begins with a pencil to paper. Here, we cultivate and expand it. Drawing can include a variety of techniques, such as perspective, figure drawing, and portraiture, using multiple mediums, including charcoal, drawing pencils, ink, pastels, and crayons, providing something new and exciting each week.

While focusing on color, texture, and patterns, fabric and fibers provide us a unique medium for creation. From puppets and yarn landscapes to natural dyes and weaving, we explore the many avenues provided by fabric art.

An umbrella term, illustration includes multiple areas of artistic study making use of many different mediums. Illustration differs from the drawing and painting subjects offered because it is not technique-focused and instead use these mediums as a way to explore the creative mind. From character design and cartooning to pop-up books and comic panels, Illustrators have their fingers in all the paint on the palette in the art world.

Derived from the Latin word “jocale,” meaning plaything, jewelry can mean any form of personal adornment. We like to focus on the intention behind each artist’s vision, while creating pendants, rings, necklaces, and more. Previous projects have included millefiori beads, shrinky-dink pendants, and polymer clay pins with the Junior Division and more advanced techniques including resin-pouring, copper smithing and the use of powdered glass with the Senior Division.

Beginning with color theory, our exploration includes different forms of paint, including mediums such as acrylic, watercolor, tempera, and ink. We cover techniques and look to the masters for inspired projects.

Seeing the world through a lens is a way of creative storytelling that transcends time. Through learning about framing, composition, and perspective, we develop the mind’s eye. Previous projects have included capturing your masked animalistic side, found object photography, light photography, sun prints, and stop-motion story telling.

A three-dimensional work of art made from additive or subtractive techniques. Previous projects include an abstract-shaped form, Giacometti-inspired figures, Chihuli-inspired underwater creatures, and dioramas.

Fluid and loose, watercolor painting captures movement and life. Through the process of layering, watercolor has the ability to be both transparent and opaque. We explore technical application through the use of still life and landscape. In the past, we’ve even used mud as nature’s medium.

Wheel Throwing*
Take a hands on approach to learning how to throw pottery on a potter’s wheel and explore the many potential shapes that clay can form. Using our in-house kiln, the clay projects are fired twice each week—once to bisque and again once glazed.

*exclusive to the Senior Division


This exciting hands-on experience allows campers to develop a combination of artistic talents and explore new media. Each day campers attend three different classes. A unique, week-long project is created in each of the three classes, taught by exuberant instructors. The Junior Division provides a fun, diverse, and exciting experience for young artists. We encourage campers to use their imaginations to create fun and interesting projects each week.
  • Week 1: Painting, Ceramics, Fibers
  • Week 2: Drawing, Dimensional, Jewelry
  • Week 3: Painting, Ceramics, Design
  • Week 4: Dimensional, Photo, Illustration
  • Week 5: Painting, Jewelry, Sculpture
  • Week 6: Illustration, Ceramics, Fibers
  • Week 7: Drawing, Dimensional, Photo
  • Week 8: Design, Ceramics, Illustration
As our campers progress from the junior division to the senior division, they learn more advance techniques while using a more elite tier of materials.


The Senior Division is a more focused group, designed for the young artist who is working to cultivate and refine their artistic talents. Classes consist of dedicated weekly projects designed to develop and fine tune specific skills under the supervision of experienced staff in a small, hands-on classroom environment. Smaller class sizes allow each camper to have ample one-on-one instruction and encourage useful critique time with instructors. Each week, campers focus on two separate subjects — one in the morning and another in the afternoon. By exploring various techniques in each of the subject areas presented, campers gain a deeper understanding of the specific media and learn different approaches to using it.
  • Week 1: Dimensional, Illustration
  • Week 2: Wheel Throwing, Digital
  • Week 3: Drawing, Fibers
  • Week 4: Ceramics, Acrylic
  • Week 5: Wheel Throwing, Digital
  • Week 6: Watercolor, Photography
  • Week 7: Ceramics, Jewelry
  • Week 8: Illustration, Sculpture


Not Just Art
While the art is why we are here, there are little variations throughout the camp day that are important to us. We offer multiple opportunities to explore and grow creatively. Every week, we have a theme day where participation is always encouraged. Past theme days have included: Pirates of the Polynesian Islands, Decade Day, and Outer Space! Additionally, we believe in cultivating team-building and friendships by providing games and activities after lunch either outside or in the gymnasium. By having multiple activities happening at once, each day can be a different adventure. We also take advantage of the social aspect at one of our favorite moments: snack. Snack time allows campers to play inclusive table games where socializing is strongly encouraged. Games like these allow the campers to think differently and solve problems creatively which is a skill they’ll take with them long after the summer ends.

Gallery Shows
Gallery Shows held on Friday afternoons in the fourth week and eighth week invite relatives to view campers' creations, allow them to meet instructors, and learn more about the projects. At the end of each week, projects can be taken home or may be held in the office for display at that session’s Gallery Show, to which all are invited.

Open Swim
Campers swim twice a week at Cranbrook's Williams Natatorium. Swim tests are conducted on the first day. Campers who fail or prefer not to take the test are supplied with life jackets and remain in the shallow end of the pool. Campers are allowed to retake the test at any time. The Natatorium staff include a full-time and certified pool manager, certified lifeguards, and our trained camp staff who serve as lookouts.

Lunch, Snacks, and Allergies
Lunches and snacks are included in tuition and are provided by Chartwells Dining Services. They are a nut-free organization who cater Cranbrook Schools’ meals during the academic year. Special arrangements can be made for campers with food allergies. Lunches are served in the Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls – Kingswood Dining Hall.

Extended Care, Transportation Service, and After Camp Activities
  • Extended Care offers activities, games, and open time outside and in the gym as early as 7AM and as late as 6PM. Afternoon care includes a snack. Extended Care is located at Cranbrook Lower School Brookside. Campers are bused to/from camp each day. Extended Care is also a nice option for families with multiple children attending more than one of our camps to reduce the number of pick up points; parents/guardians simply pick up and drop off all children attending Extended Care at Brookside.
  • Transportation Service is available to shuttle campers to and from specific stops in Birmingham (8:10 AM / 3:45 PM), Rochester Hills (7:45 AM / 3:45 PM), Royal Oak (7:50 AM / 4:05 PM), Troy (8:10 AM / 4:10 PM), and West Bloomfield (7:45 AM / 3:45 PM). Campers not picked up in time will be transported to Extended Care.
  • After Camp Activities are available, such as group Swim Lessons, Chess, and Coding.
  • These options can be combined to meet your needs. For example, you can choose morning Transportation Service and afternoon Extended Care.
  • Logistical information for these additional options will be provided in the Parent Welcome Packet closer to the start of camp.
Communication & Photos
Parents/guardians are emailed a newsletter each week that includes a recap from the prior week, highlights for the following week, field trip information, updated group lists, lunch and snack menus, and merchandise available for sale. Daily camp photos are taken and posted in the Photo Gallery to view, post, and purchase.

Why Cranbrook Schools Summer Camps?
Each camp includes a dedicated Director, one or more Assistant Directors, an Office Administrator, Instructors, and Counselors. Each age-aligned group has one or two counselors who remain with the campers throughout the day and take them to each of the instructional areas.

The camps are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) and licensed through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

About Cranbrook Educational Community
Cranbrook is one of the world’s leading centers of education, science, and art. Comprising a graduate Academy of Art, contemporary Art Museum, House and Gardens, Institute of Science, and Pre-K through 12 independent college preparatory Schools, Cranbrook welcomes thousands of visitors, students, and campers to its campus each year.

Founded by Detroit philanthropists George and Ellen Booth in 1904, Cranbrook’s 319-acre campus features the work of world-renowned architects such as Eliel Saarinen, Albert Kahn, Steven Holl, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Rafael Moneo, Peter Rose and sculptors Carl Milles, Marshall Fredericks and others. Critics have called Cranbrook "the most enchanted and enchanting setting in America" and in 1989, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Tuition and Fees
  • Tuition: Full $2590; Half $1420; Partial $395
  • Fees: Seniors $20/week Materials Fee; Rush Enrollment within 21 days of session start date $35
  • Discounts: Early Enrollment until April 1 for Full/Half sessions $100/$50 (use code WEB20); Additional sessions $40 (automatic)
  • Includes: Lunch, AM & PM Snacks, Camp T-shirt
  • Options per Week: Extended Care (AM $75; PM $95); Transportation Service ($45/way); After Camp Activities ($75-$110); Monthly Payment Plan
Questions? Contact Special and Summer Programs at summer@cranbrook.edu, (248) 645-3674, or use our Contact Us form.

Adobe® and Photoshop® Elements are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Dates, Times & Locations

Dates, Times & Locations

Full Session
FS: June 15 - August 7, 2020

Half Sessions
H1: June 15 - July 10, 2020
H2: July 13 - August 7, 2020

Partial Sessions
W1: June 15 - June 19, 2020
W2: June 22 - June 26, 2020
W3: June 29 - July 3, 2020
W4: July 6 - July 10, 2020
W5: July 13 - July 17, 2020
W6: July 20 - July 24, 2020
W7: July 27 - July 31, 2020
W8: August 3 - August 7, 2020

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls – Kingswood


Gallery Shows
Friday, July 10, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
2:00 PM; Free Admittance