An interactive learning experience at Camp Pocket U(topia)

ROUSES POINT - Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts is back in the Northern Tier, looking to bring out the creative side of youngsters.

Jason Andrew, founder of Norte Maar - a project which promotes and supports innovative and educational projects in the arts - decided to bring an arts program to the children of the Northern Tier through an educational experience.

Camp Pocket U(topia), which will be held at Rouses Point Elementary School Monday, July 19, through Friday, July 23, is a day camp designed for expression and creativity.

The idea for the camp came about when Andrew was approached by Austin Thomas, owner of Pocket Utopia in Brooklyn - a gallery which also plays host to professional artist residencies.

"Professional art teachers ... will be teaching different subjects and different medias," explained Andrew of the plan for Camp Pocket U(topia). "We have a person who will be teaching drawing, they'll be painting, there will be ceramics. There's also some ethics and social relation class. It's all going to be tied into this."

Other instruction included in the program are sculpting, chess, reading, film, and dance.

What makes the camp different from class, however, is it's based on the Black Mountain College structure.

"Basically, the teachers show up and kids or students learn and they can choose who they decide to learn from," Andrew said. "There's not going to be a set schedule. It becomes a whole interactive, sort of spontaneous learning situation."

What also makes the camp unique is although the children will be focusing on their artistic abilities, there is also a lot of education brought into the mix.

"I think you can't really make a painting or make a drawing without thinking about geometry and math," said Andrew. "To be able to talk about your feelings and express them in writing or in poetry, you can't help but learn English and spelling and verb conjugation."

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