Who We Are
Summer Art in Marion's Barn, now in its 29th year, is a full day art program for students in grades two to eight. Our emphasis is on nurturing creativity and experiencing the joy of creating art. Each one or two-week program focuses on a particular theme exploring a cultural and historical aspect of the visual arts. Students can expect to do about a dozen different projects each week, and work with a variety of media in each session.
Summer Art's founder and director is Marion Abrams, B.F.A. in Art Education. Marion has taught art in numerous private and public schools throughout the valley for over forty years, including both Amherst and Northampton Public Schools. She worked for a number of years at the Smith College Museum of Art, has taught and been a consultant for many art workshops for adults and children, and has consulted on art projects and been the subject of an article for FamilyFun magazine (click here to view PDF). The atmosphere in our studios is gentle and non-competitive, and our many returning students know this is what to expect.
The high ratio of adults to students and generous supply of art materials enables the students to make great progress in their creative work. The daily staff includes other certified art teachers and artists, including Hilary Emerson Lay, who has taught here for six years and has been the Assistant Director for two years. Our wonderful helpers are high school and college students who are former campers. Click here to meet the staff in this short film.
In 2018, Marion was approached by Storey Publishing to write a how-to book about the art projects we do here. Hilary and Marion have co-authored a book (still untitled) which will be out in stores in September 2019. It features photographs of work done by our students here at art camp last summer.
We are located at 191 Pantry Road in North Hatfield, right on the Whately line, just six miles from Northampton. (Note: some GPS devices think we're in West Hatfield.)
There is a main studio for crafts and drawing, a large barn housing the painting studio and a meeting area, and a ceramic studio with potters' wheels. All of the studios are open to fresh air and there is lots of green outdoor space for games at recess and breaks. We provide a snack and drink mid-morning; lunch is brought from home and eaten outside, picnic style. We can also accommodate for rainy days, so all our programs are rain or shine.