• Two girls work on details of their handmade wooden boxes during Art Camp
  • A girl sands down the edges of her handmade wooden box
  • A girl concentrates as she's drawing a self-portrait from a photo
  • Two girls smile as they wait for instruction on how to fill in holes in their wooden boxes
  • Two girls grin while building their wooden boxes
  • Several students sit at an art table as they create their boxes
  • A boy uses a sanding machine to smooth the edges of his wooden box
  • An art teacher demonstrates how to build a wooden box during Art Camp
  • Two girls concentrate as they fill in the holes of their handmade wooden boxes
  • An art teacher shows her students how to fill in the holes of a wooden box
  • Two girls smile while sanding and spackling their handmade wooden boxes
  • Two girls take a break from Art Camp and smile happily
  • Two boys smile while standing with their handmade wooden boxes

The fourth annual Brentwood High Art Camp is more than just drawing and painting.

Along with two-dimensional art, campers also get the chance to use power tools and build sculptures or wooden boxes.

“The wooden boxes are fun because they’ve learned how to use all the power tools, and they feel really confident and empowered using them,” said BHS Art Camp Director Heather McHugh. “It’s such a cool life skill. It’s something they can use throughout the rest of their lives.”

The camp lets students do something different during the summer and express their creativity. For the boxes, they had to cut their own wood and sand it down so they could nail it together. Then they had to fill in any gaps before they finally got to decorate it.

“What they don’t realize is as they’re hammering, sawing, measuring, it’s really helping them develop their thought processes and creative problem-solving,” McHugh said. “It’s really a two-fold purpose. By the time the end of summer comes around, they’re so bored anyway. I think it’s a good way for them to get away from the TV and make some cool stuff.” 

McHugh’s goal for art camp is to break the mold of traditional art education the students experience in school by allowing them to do these projects that they normally wouldn’t get to do during the year.

“You’ve got a smaller group of kids, an intensified study time,” McHugh said. “They’re here every day for three hours, so they’re able to accomplish projects they wouldn’t be able to tackle in a classroom full of 30 kids.”