Rockport Center for the Arts | "20th Anniversary Edition of Artspace Summer Art Camp..."



The 20th ANNIVERSARY edition of ArtSpace Summer Art Camp concluded Friday, July 28 with a total enrollment of 451 students, a 12% increase over last year’s attendance of 403. The free program provided 5,700 of free art education contact hours and employed 15 staff members and interns which pumped over $20,000 into the local economy through artistic contract services.

ArtSpace is free for students who attend school in Aransas County, and $75 for those who attend school outside Aransas County. Eight camp sessions lasted one week each and were open to children who will enter grades 1st through 8th in the fall semester. This year’s theme was a celebration of the 20th anniversary through a variety of art activities that engaged children in different mediums.

New this year, was a collaboration with the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio. Karen Ernst, Director of Education states, “Melissa Maschke and Juan Zavala-Castro, from the Southwest School of Art’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program augmented our own talented camp staff.” The BFA program was formed by the Southwest School of Art in 2012. While Juan is a member of the legacy class that began the fall of 2014, Melissa joined the program the following year. “They worked very hard to infuse their own artistic expertise into the camp curriculum, designing engaging projects for the participants,” says Ernst. 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. “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. He 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.” Plans to continue this collaboration next year are already underway.

Research shows that students who engage in arts education perform better in the classroom, on standardized tests, and are less likely to drop-out or experience truancy. Early arts education helps students develop self-discipline, confidence, cooperation, and self-motivation needed for high achievement in school.

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. The needs and rewards of ArtSpace and its long-term contributions cannot be overstated. The camp provides local children with free access to high quality instruction in art history, art theory, culture, and the visual arts; all of which helps students improve overall emotional wellbeing and performance in school.

“This year the response towards ArtSpace from the community has been incredible, extremely positive and un-matched” says Ernst.

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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