Rockport Center for the Arts | "Celebrating 20 Years the Art Center’s Free Summer Art Camp Is Set to Kick Off"



Known as ArtLink to the community until 2016, the prestigious summer art camp has been rebranded to celebrate its 20th year as ArtSpace: Youth Summer Art Explorations. The summer camp starts Monday, June 12 at Rockport Center for the Arts. Camp participation increased 17% last summer, and it served 403 area youth. Education and Camp Director Karen Ernst is aiming for another sizeable increase for the program’s 20th anniversary.

The camp is free for students who attend school in Aransas County, and $75 for those who attend school outside Aransas County. All camp sessions last one week and are open to children who will enter grades 1st through 8th in the upcoming fall semester. Registration is still open and spaces are available for all grades in some sessions.

New this year, is a collaboration with The Southwest School of Art in San Antonio. Ernst states, “We are pleased to be hosting two interns, Melissa Maschke and Juan Zavala-Castro, from The Southwest School of Art’s esteemed Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program to augment our own talented camp staff. While Juan is a member of the legacy class that began the fall of 2014, Melissa joined the program the following year. They have already been hard at work infusing their own artistic expertise into our camp curriculum, designing engaging projects for this summer’s participants.” Dean Dupuy said “Juan and Melissa have an unparalleled opportunity to see behind the scenes workings of putting on a top notch summer art program and to expand their educational experience. We are excited about their opportunity and the opportunity to deepen our relationship with Rockport Center for the Arts.”

Plans for the collaboration with The Southwest School of Art started early in 2016, and the program was put in place in collaboration with the Founding Dean, Edward Dupuy and the Coordinator of Student Affairs Andrea Zieger. Besides assisting as summer interns, Maschke and Zavala-Castro will get a full rounded arts non-profit experience. “We wanted them to understand the fundraising and event angle that has been a part of our organization for 48 years. Both interns will become involved in the Children Activities Tent at the Rockport Art Festival.”

Every year ArtSpace receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Rockport, The Margaret Sue Rust Foundation, the Nystrom Family Foundation, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and individual donors. The long-standing program is also supported by its own endowment. “ArtSpace is a rewarding and necessary program in our community. This camp provides local children with free access to high quality instruction in visual arts, culture, art history and art theory, all of which improves their overall emotional wellbeing and performance in school,” states Ernst. “Juan and Melissa’s internships are paid and their lodging is completely underwritten thanks to the generosity of Art Center Patrons Melba and Tom York and Ruth Davis” states Luis Purón, Executive Director, who adds, “We are very excited about this collaboration- it is a true partnership of institutions with synergies and two communities that are united through their support and appreciation for the visual arts and education.”

About Rockport Center for the Arts …

Currently in its 48th year of operation, the Art Center is located in the blue Victorian house at Rockport Harbor near Rockport Beach Park. Sophisticated gallery spaces and a world-class sculpture garden featuring works by Kent Ullberg and the late Jesus Moroles accentuate the Art Center, making it one of the most prestigious showcases for fine art in South Texas. Its galleries offer a calendar full of inspiring exhibitions, an annual Artist-in-Residence program and traveling exhibits the community and its visitors have come to expect. The many activities of the Art Center draw forty eight-thousand visitors per year. In the spring, the Tour of Homes allows visitors and patrons to see some of the most unique residences on the Texas coast. In the summer, the Rockport Art Festival is the place to be July 4th weekend. More than 10,000 people attend each year to enjoy music, food and artwork from 120 of the best artists from around the country. Early in November, the Rockport Film Festival entertains audiences with the best of independent cinema from Texas and around the world. Aspiring artists can sign-up for workshops and classes and receive mentoring from established local artists. Children can enjoy free, high caliber art instruction year-round, including summer camp-ArtSpace and Free Family Saturdays during the school year. There is something for everyone at the Art Center! Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4 pm and Sundays from 1-4 pm. Admission is always free and open to the public. Visit for more information or call 361-729-5519.

About The Southwest School of Art …

The Southwest School of Art is a nationally recognized leader in visual arts education, offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as well as studio art programs for adults, children, and teens. Classes and workshops in many disciplines are taught by a permanent faculty and leading artists in cutting-edge facilities located in downtown San Antonio. The historic site, nestled along the famed San Antonio River Walk, was originally the site of the Ursuline Convent and Academy, the city’s first school for girls. In addition to its teaching mission, the Southwest School of Art offers world-class contemporary art exhibitions as well as lectures and symposia with visiting artists. In 2015, the Southwest School of Art celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding.

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