At the Oxbow Summer Art Institute, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in creative study where they will socialize and connect with other fellow artists and develop their art portfolio.
Oxbow Summer Art Camp
Located in Napa, California, The Oxbow School offers a unique arts immersion camp for rising 9th-12th graders. Each summer we bring together an inspiring group of artists who are passionate teachers, learners, and creators. We build an open-minded community in which teens can deeply engage in studios and activities. Participants discover and develop their art practice and sense of self. We believe there is no limit to what teens can create given an environment of high-level instruction and support. No portfolios or previous art training are required—just the desire to dive in and see what happens!
Our teen artist residency program emphasizes the exploration of participant’s talents, inside and outside the studio. There are many different ways to ignite creativity, which is why we offer our campers exposure to many different mediums, techniques, and approaches to making art. Teens return home with concrete evidence of their personal growth.
Based on Oxbow’s semester model, the summer program is focused on creating project-based art. The first week, campers learn a variety of techniques and explore their conceptual ideas. The second week, studio time is devoted to a personal project. Participants select a topic, their medium of choice, and work closely with staff to bring the idea to fruition. They engage all steps of the artistic process, from idea to creation, critique, and exhibition.
We value a balance of commitment to studio practice and play in our program. Each day, campers mix studio time with participation in co-curricular activities such as inspiration evenings, campfires, yoga, hiking, film screenings, and visits to local art exhibitions. Teens enjoy exploring their independence and making new connections among their peers and mentors.
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Oxbow, for my daughter Diana, was like opening a massive window in her mind and heart. To seeing the world in new ways, to seeing herself with a new language. For years, I’ve watched her draw, without instruction, and make leaps on her own, which reflected the life she was braving. But at Oxbow, she got to share that, to connect to a frequency that kids get so little of in their overwhelming pressure cooker lives. Oxbow was about community. And that sense of community awakened a sense of purpose and joy in my daughter’s work and life, that couldn’t carry a price tag. The instruction and exchange of ideas and opportunities were the catalyst for paradigm shifts I see in Diana’s art and life. I’ve always told my daughter that she should fill her space. The newfound respect she’s developed for her own voice was a spark that ignited at Oxbow. I’m grateful for it, and excited as I watch it grow and turn it into arrows she follows for the rest of her life.
Last summer I attended the Oxbow Summer Art Camp in 2018 for the first time. I loved it, to start it off, they have a beautiful campus that's right next to the Napa River. Their studios are very spacious and are full of many supplies to choose from. I shared a room with two other girls who I quickly became close and comfortable with. I was able to feel connected to all of the other campers while I learned about who they are and where they came from. The staff was very friendly and approachable and I came out of this camp learning a lot more about art and its mediums than I did going into it. Oh, and I can't forget about how absolutely tasty all of the meals were throughout camp. This summer camp experience has motivated me to want to attend the fall semester in 2019 and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering the semester program or the camp.
My summer camp experience at Oxbow in 2018 was transformative. The unique environment the school provides in a bucolic setting away from routine allowed me to discover myself both as an individual and as an artist. I was inspired daily by the diverse, welcoming and creative group of peers and faculty members surrounding me. The incredible process of creating a final project was the culmination of an amazing 2 weeks. Formulating an idea and then seeing it though each step of the process to completion was rewarding and enriching in a way that I could not have foreseen. I loved my time at Oxbow and the many friendships I made there. I would highly recommend it as a remarkable experience.
My 16-year-old, AnneMarie, attended last summer and found her tribe! She loved it so much, we have signed her up for next summer, and she is planning to apply for the fall 2018 semester. Oxbow staff are knowledgeable, inclusive, and so supportive. AnneMarie was able to delve deep within herself, and came away with a new vision and persepctive for her future endeavors. I think her first Oxbow experience continues to effect growth, despite having ended months ago.
Being able to go to Oxbow's Summer Art Camp was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. Oxbow's faculty really makes you feel welcome and at home. Oxbow helped me find my style as an artist as well as enhance my skills in painting, printmaking, sculpture and digital media. I also made so many amazing friends at oxbow, which made the experience so much better. We were able to become such a close knit community in the span of 2 weeks, which was amazing to me. being at Oxbow was so amazing because of the positive environment, great food, and the camp itself. I definitely recommend applying to Oxbow's summer camp!
My daughter attended Oxbow Summer Art Camp for two years. I had heard about the camp from someone who worked at the NEA but there were very few online reviews when we were doing research. It's a relatively small, specialty camp for 14-16 year-olds who are interested in the arts and it was incredible to see the diversity of art that these kids produced for the final show. Besides the creative aspects, the Oxbow counselors created an environment of trust, collaboration and fun for the teens -- a unique, memorable experience. The campus is beautiful and I heard rave reviews about the quality of the food. I'd highly recommend consideration of Oxbow Summer Art Camp!
My daughter attended the first session in June 2013. Since she loves art but was still too young for a semester program, attending a session during the Summer was a big deal for her and her expectations were so high that worried me. I'm glad to say that Oxbow Summer Camp exceeded our expectations. My daughter found a great nourishing environment where she met kids that talk, think, breath, feel art as she does. She has lots of good things to say about the staff, food, roommates, friends, activities. All seemed to be so great that she definitely is coming back this Summer. As a parent I couldn't asked for more when we arrived the last day to see the campers art work and found that my daughter not only enjoyed art and had fun but also looked more secure of herself and interacted with her peers and staff as if she had lived there forever. Oxbow had a very positive impact in her personality and self-esteem
Both of my teenage daughters attended Oxbow Summer Art Camp (different years) and despite being very different personalities they each loved their experience. Their exposure to professional artists and teachers in a relaxed and supportive environment helped them develop their own artistic styles and experiment with different mediums. Their instructors encouraged them to think "outside the box" and explore their creativity. What a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment each felt after finishing their very own art project! The counselors were very friendly and engaging and kept the kids busy outside the studio with field trips, sports, camp fires, drama productions, and games to name a few of the camp activities. They connected with like-minded kids and still keep in contact with friends from their summer at Oxbow. In fact, my youngest daughter fell in love with Oxbow so much she is currently attending the semester program. I can't say enough good things about the program.
My 13-year old son attended Oxbow for the first time in July, 2013. He left somewhat nervous about being one of the younger kids there and among few boys. He returned joyful and determined to return the next summer. From my perspective, this came from three things: 1) The thrill of creativity. For a long time, he has thought of himself as an aspiring artist. Oxbow started him thinking as a real one. He had lots of exposure to lots of art forms. The staff encouraged ambitious projects and he took advantage of that, going far further than ever before. And the kids all inspired each other. 2) Camraderie. All of the other campers appeared interested in each others' projects. While they all did different work, they fed off of each others' ideas and supported one another's work. There appeared to me to be a lot of joy and friendship among them. 3) Values. A lot of camps talk values and tolerate offenses. Oxbow lives up to its values of respect, fairness, and support. When kids test the limits, the camp made clear where they stood. This made artistic expression and personal risk taking much easier. So, I heartily recommend Oxbow for any young person interested in visual art.
I participated in the Oxbow summer program about two summers ago and it was one of the best opportunities that I got to be apart of. Oxbow helped me redefined my art skills and also developed my mind and perspective as an artist. I got to experiment with mediums that I've never really used before, which was great and a lot of fun. The people that I've also met there were all well-rounded, very diverse, and super friendly. It's definitely a fun and happy atmosphere. And by being a small camp, it's very beneficial for everyone because it gave/gives the staff and students a better opportunity to work together to create amazing art and form a strong bound. We were like a family. It's a fantastic camp and overall an wonderful experience!