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. 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.
Every week, campers explore three different subjects throughout the day, giving them the chance to explore a variety of media. 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. We believe in team-building and cultivating friendships by providing games and activities at multiple points throughout the day. By having multiple activities happening at once, campers are empowered to make each day a different adventure. 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. To celebrate the end of each week with the wacky, fun nature of summer camp, we have a theme day where participation is always encouraged, to make memories that last a lifetime. Past theme days have included: Pirates of the Polynesian Islands, Decade Day, and Outer Space!
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.
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.
*NEW IN 2024* After-Camp Artist Workshop
Exclusive to the Senior Division, this After-Camp Activity offers a more in-depth exploration into a variety of mediums and techniques. Limited to 10 campers, this enrichment gives each person the opportunity to discover, play, create, and try new ways of approaching materials they’ve used and some new ones, too. Led by one of our highly skilled instructors, campers will get immediate feedback and help in taking their art to the next level in this class.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most important tools an artist can have in their pocket is the ability to understand what lies beneath the form. Whether you’re drawing a person, an animal, or a made up character, you need to understand the anatomy to make that subject believable. Anatomy teaches artists the bones and musculature to take their pieces to the next level.
In the world of DIY, it's not uncommon for artists to take on the task of creating and making their own books. Used as sketchbooks, comics, storybooks, and even gifts, bookmaking is a fundamental class that allows artists to think, and make, with their hands.
From Bugs Bunny to Mickey Mouse, a cartoon makes a brief, funny comment using drawings. Cartoons can range from a single image to multiple images in television, comics, an animated film, and so much more. In cartooning, projects can span from caricatures and storyboards to infinity and beyond.
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.
From paper to painting and found objects in between, collage focuses on expression through layered elements. Collage explores the versatility of this medium and gives campers the chance to experiment and create their own using a variety of different collage techniques.
From Marvel to DC and so much more in between, comics are one of the best pieces of entertainment. In recent years, comics and graphic novels have become a prominent part of the creative culture. Comics allows campers to explore, plan, create, and tell a story with dynamic characters and scenes in an interesting way.
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.
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.
Exploring Still Life*
Exploring Still Life offers the unique opportunity to compare multiple media. Using different types of paint from acrylic to watercolor to gouache AND even charcoal, campers receive a brief introduction to multiple media and recreate a still life allowing campers the ability to directly compare and appreciate the subtleties between each.
While focusing on color, texture, and patterns, fabric and fibers provide us with a unique medium for creation. From puppets and yarn landscapes to natural dyes and weaving, we explore the many avenues provided by fabric art.
In foundation drawing, we focus on the fundamentals of art using classical methods. In focusing on the fundamentals, artists gain a better understanding of the basic principles of design. Topics range from perspective, portrait, and figure drawing.
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, coppersmithing and the use of powdered glass with the Senior Division.
Multi-Media is a little bit of everything that we can use to create on paper. From charcoal to pen and ink to ink washes to colored pencils and so much more, we are exploring different kinds of media used to create and tell stories while being more technique driven than project driven in this experimental and exciting new subject.
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 storytelling.
From Warhol to Lichtenstein, printmaking has made a lasting impact in the art world. Campers learn the process and explore the subtle nuances from one print to the next in this class. Projects can range from dry etching to linoleum cuts to creating their own stamps.
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.
Sketchbooks are essential to the artist and in this class, we explore that. Sketchbooks are for experimenting, writing down ideas, trying new things, and sharing stories. This particular subject is less about the final project and more about encouraging campers to create what sparks joy and encourages them to make more.
From Eric Carle to Maurice Sendak, every picture tells a story. Campers will learn to create and piece together images or characters to tell the story at large using visuals instead of words.
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.
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
Gallery Shows held on Friday afternoons in the fourth week and eighth week invite friends, family, and 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.Lunch, Snacks, and Allergies
Lunches and snacks are included in tuition and are provided by Chartwells Dining Services. They are a nut-free organization that caters to Cranbrook Schools 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.
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 includes a full-time and certified pool manager, certified lifeguards, and our trained camp staff who serve as lookouts.
At a minimum, Cranbrook’s COVID-related protocols will comply with applicable State of Michigan mandates and align with Oakland Country Health Division and the American Camp Association.
The following 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 are provided in the Parent Welcome Packet emailed to registrants closer to the start of camp.
Extended Care is available beginning at 7 AM and ending at 6 PM. Afternoon care includes a snack. Campers enjoy activities, games, and open time outside and in the gym.
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), and Troy
(8:10 AM / 4:10 PM). Times and locations are subject to change. Campers who are not picked up in time will be transported to Extended Care.
After Camp Activities
After Camp Activities include Chess and Coding. Space is limited. These activities are located at Cranbrook Lower School Brookside
. Campers are bused from camp each day. Pick-up is at Brookside.
Communication & Photos
Parents/guardians are emailed a newsletter each week that includes a recap from the prior week, highlights for the following week, and updated group lists. Daily camp photos are posted on a secure website for you to see each day. Enhanced options include saving favorite photos, facial recognition with push notifications when a photo of your child is uploaded, posting to social media, emailing a photo to family, customizing photo gifts, and ordering high-resolution digital downloads or prints.
Why Cranbrook Schools Summer Camps?
Cranbrook Educational Community, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, 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 PreK-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.
Cranbrook Schools Summer Camps operate under Cranbrook Schools in a dedicated department named Special and Summer Programs. This year-round department focuses solely on summer camps, after-school programs, school rentals, and the school store. The dedicated full-time staff in the department spend the entire year preparing for camp. During the summer, over 1,800 campers from 20 states and nine countries come to Cranbrook for their summer experience. The campus, its facilities, the highly skilled and committed service departments such as Cranbrook's 24/7 security department, and all of Cranbrook's employees, residential faculty, and guests create a wonderful environment for children to learn and have fun.
Questions? Contact Special and Summer Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org, (248) 645-3674, or use our Contact Us form.
2024 Tuition and Fees
- Full Session (8 weeks): $2,960
- Half Session (4 weeks): $1,610
- Partial Session (1 week): $445
- Cancellation Fee: $50 per week if a cancellation request is received in writing prior to 21 days of session start date. No refund within 21 days.
- Rush Enrollment Fee: $35 per session within 21 days of session start date
- Late Payment Fee: 10% of balance 21 days prior to session start date
- Early Enrollment Discount: $100 off Full Sessions & $50 off Half Sessions. Use code EARLY24 until 4/1/24.
- Multi-Session Discount: $30 off each additional session. Applied automatically.
- Financial Aid
- Aid is available based on calculated need and availability of funds.
- Awards range 0-50% of tuition and 0-100% of Extended Care; Excludes fees and other options.
- Awards are funded by Cranbrook and other camp families.
- To donate, visit our donation page.
- Application Link will be posted here when available.
- Tuition Includes
- Morning and Afternoon Snacks
- Options Available:
- Morning Extended Care: $80 per week
- Afternoon Extended Care: $100 per week
- Transportation Service: $50 per way per week
- After Camp Activities: $130
- Camp Merchandise
- Monthly Payment Plan: $0
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