x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Art Camp is an education in inspiration

The Farjam Collection is offering children a hands-on experience engaging with great masters of Western art.

Salvador Dali will be one of the artists studied at Art Camp. Courtesy Amy Walker
Salvador Dali will be one of the artists studied at Art Camp. Courtesy Amy Walker

It's summer and school's out. The streets are searing, forcing children into the air-conditioned sanctuary of the home. But this time of year doesn't have to be a TV-fest nor an exercise in cabin fever. Instead, ship the children off to Art Camp at the Farjam Collection, where they'll get to express themselves and have the opportunity to feast their eyes on work by some of the finest artists from the past 100 years.

What Art Camp is

Art Camp starts on Sunday and draws on the extensive art collection of Dr Farhad Farjam to offer children the opportunity to see and be inspired by original works by some of the key names in modern art. Now in its third innings, and a firm fixture in the Farjam Collection's annual calendar, the programme is lively and seeks to draw out latent creativity in its students as well as providing them with a hands-on introduction to a broad trajectory of the development of art.

The set up for this year

Normally, Art Camp focuses on Farjam's collection of Islamic art, but this time around the team have designed a four-week programme that looks at four of the 20th century's most famous artists: Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.

"The title of this year's programme is Become An Artist," says Marjan Farjam, the collection's exhibition co-ordinator and the person in charge of this year's Art Camp. "We focus on the life of the artist and want children to be inspired by these stories and discover their own capabilities to see if they can be artists as well."

Marjan has enlisted the help of students from Columbia University, Oxford University and the American University in Dubai to assist with keeping the camp running smoothly and the kids engaged.

How it works

The team are rolling out 40 pieces from the collection - everything from advertisements made by Miró through to the childlike drawings that Picasso produced in his final years. Each of the four weeks is dedicated to a different artist, with works presented around the gallery.

Every day students focus on a different activity (drawing, painting, sculpture, design) with very hands-on learning, which is furthered via interactive games. Students are also given some small projects to work on at home.

"I think the children will respond to Andy Warhol a lot," says Marjan. "His work is diverse, everything from drawings to abstraction." At the end of each week, the work produced in-class goes on exhibition in the Farjam Collection.

Why children will enjoy it

It's lively and interactive - making a mess (in a creative manner) is actively encouraged. It's also the perfect respite from the air-conditioned nightmare of summer, and this is a rare opportunity to see big-name Western greats of art without having to get on a plane.

Art Camp is open to children between the ages of seven and 10 and runs five days a week, 8.30am to 2pm, at The Farjam Collection in DIFC, Dubai, from July 1 until July 26. The camp costs Dh500 per week to take part, and is flexible. To sign up, visit www.farjamcollection.org or call 04 323 0303