Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Susan Bala expands art camp offerings

By: Shelley Widhalm | The Surveyor | June 16, 2022 | Local News

Berthoud art instructor Susan Bala is adding to the catalog of youth art camps she offers in Berthoud and Longmont.

Bala will teach a new mini Artrageous Art! camp for ages 5-7 and a new fiber objects camp focused on sewing for ages 8-13. The regular Artrageous Art! camp, also for ages 8-13, introduces various art mediums to give them a taste of different modes of creativity.

“My first year offering summer camps in both Longmont and Berthoud was last summer, and it was great,” said Bala, owner of Planet Picasso, an art studio she operates out of her home where she also offers private art classes. “This summer I am offering more camps and introducing new ones. I am so excited.”

Bala started teaching the art camps through the city of Longmont six years ago, then last year expanded them to Berthoud by incorporating the same lessons and mediums. She also incorporated the same type of lessons from her experience teaching youth and working for YMCA off and on for 30 years. She directed and developed art programs at YMCA’s youth camps and reunion centers, developing the art programs at YMCA of the Rockies and YMCA Camp Carson. She also volunteered in various classrooms incorporating theme-based art into regular lessons.

This year, Bala will teach four art camps, including Artrageous Art!, Yah Clay! Fiber Objects! and the Mini Camp, in June and July.

The Artrageous Art! Camp, for ages 8-13, is an introduction to a variety of art mediums and will be offered in Berthoud 9 a.m.-noon June 13-17 and July 18-22 and in Longmont 1-4 p.m. June 20-24, July 11-15 and July 25-29. The projects will include pottery, tie-dye, paper-making and printing.

The Yay Clay! camp, also for ages 8-13, will be offered in Berthoud 9 a.m.-noon June 6-10 and June 27-July 1 and in Longmont 9 a.m.-noon June 20-24, July 11-15 and July 25-29. The camp is an introduction to a variety of pottery techniques, and the projects will include making whistles, treasure boxes and wind chimes.

A new camp, Fiber Objects!, covers the basics of machine and hand sewing, and projects will include sewing crazy puppets and monster pillows. The camp, for ages 8-13, will be in Berthoud only, 1-4 p.m. June 27-July 1.

The second new camp, the Mini Camp!, also will be offered in Berthoud and is for ages 5-7 to engage in Monet-like projects with a variety of mediums introduced. The camp will be 9 a.m.-noon July 6-8.

The four camps are held at Planet Picasso in Berthoud or at Willow Farm Barn in Longmont. There is a maximum of 10 participants in the Yay Clay and Artrageous Art camps. The Mini-Camp and Fiber Objects camps have a six-participant maximum.

Planet Picasso’s tagline is “the art of giving” and is practiced in the Berthoud art camps.

“It is all about my desire to teach compassion while also sharing my passion for art,” Bala said. “In Planet Picasso’s art classes, we learn skill sets and use that knowledge to help others in need.”

For example, after learning how to throw a bowl in Yah Clay!, the students make one bowl to keep and a second to give to Empty Bowls, an organization that works with local chefs to voluntarily cook and provide soup in donated pottery bowls. The bowls are for purchase to benefit local food pantries and other food charities during an annual event.

“It’s a pretty amazing movement, and class participants always feel really good being part of it,” Bala said.

In Fiber Objects!, the students sew items to help nonprofits, such as Quillows, which are quilts that fold into pillows, donated to a local women’s shelter.

For more details about the camps, connect with Bala on her Planet Picasso Facebook page or email her at [email protected]


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