Visual Arts Camp

July 14-19, 2019
Grades 8-12 (grade completion)

If you're excited about art, we invite you to challenge yourself in a variety of art media at our Visual Arts Camp. You'll experiment with new materials and techniques while producing portfolio-quality work.

You'll also benefit from:

  • Group art and recreation activities.
  • Performance art presentations.
  • Presentations by nationally known artists, art historians and studio artists.

You'll stay in Gilbert Hall during camp. Your experience will end with an art show open to your friends and family.

We'll send you a packet of camp information in early June.

Thank you to Prismacolor, the sponsor of Visual Arts Camp.

You'll attend two studio classes each day. When you register, you'll indicate your choices for classes. The class content changes every year, providing new experiences for both new and returning students. There is limited space in each class, and classes with insufficient enrollment may be cancelled.

In addition to studio classes, you'll enjoy presentations by accomplished guest speakers as they share their career paths in the visual arts.

  • Drawing Realism - Becki Miller
    Using traditional drawing materials, campers create realistic drawings that address both composition and concept. Techniques are explored that allow artists to render images expressively, using mark making, visual texture, and subtle gradations.
  • Mixed Media - Lisa Doll
    Experiment with mixed media in collage form combining found object materials with traditional painting and drawing techniques.
  • Dynamic Color and Composition - Elizabeth Woodyatt
    Using oil pastel and colored pencil, students explore drawing and design issues using color and composition to create dynamic visual effects. Students learn to build visually powerful surfaces using color in a representational or non-traditional way.
  • Acrylic Painting - Tim Roloff
    Learn traditional and expressive acrylic painting techniques to create dynamic and dramatic imagery.
  • Life Drawing - Terrance Gray
    Draw the human figure while being introduced to college-level life drawing concepts and techniques.
  • Sketchbook Explorations - John Zilewicz
    Benefits of a daily sketchbook practice include quick thinking, responsive drawing, sensitivity to visual stimuli and immediacy of response. Students will focus on idea development and experimentation within a sketchbook format. Using collage, drawing, painting and mixed media processes, students will concentrate on producing imagery reflecting their own personal voice.
  • Printmaking - Ana Cortes
    Students explore a variety of printmaking experiences and develop a series of prints in the NIU printmaking studio.
  • Acrylic Painting - Courtney Haugdahl
    Learn traditional and expressive acrylic painting techniques to create dynamic and dramatic imagery.
  • Experimental Drawing Studies- Bjana Lunde
    Using a variety of colored pencil techniques including expressive mark making, students will use observation skills to create drawings that record visual information in new ways.
  • Life Drawing  
    Draw the human figure while being introduced to college-level life drawing concepts and techniques.
  • Portraits in Acrylic - April Macatangay
    Students explore portraiture through observation and experimentation using acrylic paint to create works that reflect personal content.
  • Metalwork/Digital Fabrication - Gretchen Schreiber
    Using 3D printing technology and sand casting, students will design and fabricate a cast bronze ring. Students will learn digital design using 3D modeling software and learn to fabricate metal using the sand casting process and other traditional metalsmithing techniques. (Class size limited to 12)

In the evening, you'll have the opportunity to join fellow young artists in a variety of art-making activities, such as:

  • Portfolio embellishment.
  • Campus art scavenger hunt.
  • Group sculpture building.
  • Performance art.

You can also work on art projects in the evening during open studio sessions.

Registration fee: $650

Early bird registration fee: $600 (postmarked June 1 or earlier)

Art supply fee: $55 (mandatory)

Returning camper and family discount: $25 (for campers who have previously attended Visual Arts Camp, and the children and grandchildren of NIU students, staff and faculty members)

Camp fills quickly, so register early! You can register online or by mail. You'll pay a $100 deposit when you register (unless applying for a summer camp scholarship). The remaining balance is due on June 14.

Online Form

Paper Form

Our Visual Arts Camp staff is composed of talented NIU faculty and students, alumni, guest artists and area teachers. The ratio of campers to staff members is about 12:1. Staff members are assigned to each residence hall floor and accompany campers to all meals and activities.

Camp Director

Lynn Stockton

Mixed Media

Lisa Doll


Ana Cortes


April Macantagay
Timothy Roloff

Acrylic Painting

Courtney Haugdahl

Experimental Drawing Studies

Bjana Lunde

Life Drawing

Terrance Gray

Drawing Realism

Becki Miller

Dynamic Color and Composition

Elizabeth Woodyatt

Metalwork / Digital Fabrication

Gretchen Schreiber

A general overview of the camp schedule is below. You'll receive a more detailed schedule when you check in.

Date and Time Activity Location

Sunday, July 14
1:45-3 p.m.


First, take your luggage to Gilbert Hall. Next, go to the nearby Music Building to pick up camp materials. Free parking is available in front of Gilbert Hall and in the lot south of the Music Building.

Sunday, July 14
3:15 p.m.


Boutell Memorial Concert Hall (Music Building)

Parents are welcome at this orientation session with the camp director and staff.

Sunday, July 14, to Friday, July 19

Camp activities

Jack Arends Hall

Friday, July 19
5:15 p.m.

Closing ceremony/art show

Jack Arends Hall

After the show, pick up your luggage from Gilbert Hall.