Lux campers went back in time, forward to the future, and explored unknown planetary landscapes during Time & Space week.

Our third and fourth graders sent Lux campers to far off destinations, including the 1800s, and the distant future via “functioning” time machine!


Inspired by the work of Chinese artist, Tehching Hsieh, Miss Angella’s class marked their time spent in class by stamping their thumbprints on a “time clock” each day.

Our youngest artists created collages of their favorite meal, marking the time of the day they look most forward to: breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, supper, or dinner…and even dessert.

New planets were discovered, models sculpted, and exploratory guides were created for those interested in learning about imagined, far-off places.


DIY week challenged our campers to learn a variety of skills over several different projects. Guest artist Sarah Eli taught our campers how to make beautiful, hand-woven tapestries using yarn, beads, and twigs.


Paper bento boxes blew us away as campers crafted incredibly realistic looking sushi, including handrolls, nigiri, soy sauce and chop sticks. The sculptural sushi tempted our taste buds enough that we had to make the real thing, all on our own, with the instruction of Education Coordinator, Rebekah Yohe. All of our campers indulged on delicious veggie rolls they made themselves!


Our teen studio had the pleasure of sharing personal stories while knitting a collaborative sleeve on a giant loom provided by visiting artist, Michelle Montjoy. Our teens were so delighted by the experience that they competed in some intense bouts of Ro Sham Bo for open seats at the loom. Some wanted to spend the entire day knitting away.



This year, Lux has introduced our campers to the wild world of contemporary art performance and collaboration. For the young artist who is a little more extroverted, performance can be a thrilling outlet for students to explore. This week, we shared videos of early 70’s experimental performance by William Wegman and Marina Abramovic. Our campers were encouraged to play, act silly, and let their guard down in whichever way they chose. Alter egos were created by each of our young campers, and special masks were designed to mimic the look and feel of their subliminal counterpart.


Campers show off their alter ego drawings and sound suit helmets & accessories.

Campers learned about the creation of noise and sound in performance through body movement and costuming via the artist Nick Cave and his sound suits. Tinfoil, bells, plastic bags, and bubble wrap were used to create wearable noise makers for the students to experiment with.


Our third and fourth grade students were visited by two local contemporary artists, Claudia Cano and J. Nolan. Both artists presented documentation of original performances and both helped facilitate performance exercises for our students to work with individually and collaboratively. A wishing tree was decorated with “Instructions” for performance pieces based on the work of Yoko Ono. Deform Yourself, and Eat Lighting, and Honey were some of our favorite instructions created by our young campers.


Energy Piece, 2015 – Dylan Bunyak

We finished up the week with an array of performances, including a Newspaper Fashion Show by our first and second graders and an awesome lip syncing competition judged by the ladies from Sweetbricks, a local gourmet toffee company who generously donated toffee as a prize for our winning team of The Hungry Games! Blue Shoes took home the tasty treats, and were even generous enough to share a few bites with friends.


Fabulous Fashions!

Up Next: DIY WEEK! Stay tuned!!!


Lux Summer Art Camp is off to a great start as our artists explore everything color related. For the first time, Summer Art Camp weeks are themed, allowing for students to experiment with a variety of materials and disciplines. Color Week has been lush, vibrant, bold, and invigorating.

From Josef Albers to Lazy Mom, a broad variety of contemporary artists have inspired our Lux campers to create incredible pieces that rival the work of those twice or even three times their age!

Check out these projects from our youngest campers in grades 1 and 2:

IMG_9012The artists’ hands are bold, bright, and beautiful in these performative photographs loosely inspired by the NYC based duo, Lazy Mom.


Our youngest artists in grades 1 & 2 created these Josef Albers inspired self-portraits. Students experimented with Albers’ concept behind Homage to a Square, and they were able to see for themselves how a color may appear differently according to its placement against other color combinations.

Next week, our artists will explore the ephemerality of performance art, the experimental nature of video art from the 1970s, and the challenges and strengths of working collaboratively.

Summer Art Camp Week 2: Book Art

Week 2 of Summer Art Camp was just as lively as the first week of camp, with inspiring creativity from the kids and energy all around. This week focused on the exciting process of Book Art.

Kindergarten-5th grade focused making their own paper to use in sketchbooks which they compiled themselves. This process was a little messy but a lot of fun!

DSC_0020The kids making their own pulp for paper.


The K-1 class having fun while making art!

After making the pulp, the kids began drawing in their sketchbooks to create some ideas for their final Accordion books. They gathered inspiration from outside the classroom, different books they enjoy and different animal characters they have read about.

DSC_0010Getting inspiration from the heart ornaments* hanging in our garden space!

2nd gradersThe 2nd graders getting creative with Miss Lissa leading the way.

After the kids sketched their ideas, they then created an accordion book, using the same skills they learned from compiling their sketchbooks. These accordion books showed detailed narratives centered around their characters they developed during the first 3 days of camp.

3-4th gradersThe 3-4th graders jumped right in and worked hard to make their books.

5thgradersThe 5th graders completed very unique drawings and sketches to add to their masterpieces.

The 6th-11th graders had very similar projects as the younger students, but dedicated a day to creating Fan Zines.

6-11th grade2The older kids were busy drawing and using water colors to create their books.

The Fan Zines were made the same way as the sketchbooks were, but rather than sticking to drawing and water color to complete the project, the kids added cutouts from magazines and other 3-D inspiration to construct the final piece of the week.

6-11thgradeThe books and Fan Zines looked great!

I liked doing the accordion book in art camp because I like drawing things and making stories“- Maya Mehta, 9

This week was filled with great artists full of enthusiasm! We can’t wait to see what next week brings when we delve into the world of mixed media!

Check us out on Instagram and Facebook  to see more pictures from this week and to see what upcoming events we have on our calendar!

*Our Education Pavilion Campaign has a wide variety of donation opportunities. Please contact dbohan@luxartinstitute.org for more information.

2014 Summer Art Camp Kickoff!

This week Lux celebrated its first Summer Art Camp in the new Education Pavilion! We are off to a great start with many talented young artists expressing their creative spirits through drawing and other art-making activities during this first week at camp.

K1Week1The K-1 class had a fun week acting silly and making art at the same time!

The activities ranged from using line drawings to help create watercolor and Sharpie mobiles, to drawing exquisite corpses (each grade level drew different portions of the same drawing to create a dynamic finished piece), to creating body art on photographs of each other.

2ndGradersThe 2nd graders explored great use of colors and diverse shapes in their classroom.

While each of the classes had the same projects to work on, the outcomes were all very unique and different. The students learned about different cultures and types of art, all while finding inspiration for their own one-of-a-kind pieces.

3rd4thGradeThis 3rd-4th grade class thought outside the box and used a variety of different art-making tools, including their fingers!

Some of our artists even decided to take their drawings outside and used the new garden space as inspiration for their pieces.

5thGradeThe 5th graders soaked up the summer sun while working on their drawings.

6th11thgradeThe 6th-11th graders buckled down and diligently focused on finishing their creative work.

Next week, we will focus on book art, where students will have the opportunity to create their own zines, books, and other unique story-telling mediums. We still have openings for a few upcoming weeks in Summer Art Camp so join us if you haven’t already registered! Check in next week to see what the kids have been up to during Week 2!


Artist-in-residence, Beverly Penn, has filled the Artist Pavilion with extraordinary reproductions of native plants and their invasive cohabitants. The delicate and meticulously crafted bronze sculptures adorn the walls with such elegance and grace, they have inspired the Lux community to take a closer, more appreciative look at our surrounding environment.

The Family Day festivities allowed close to 300 guests to participate in art projects inspired by Penn’s appreciation for nature. Families worked together to construct foliage themed mobiles in either paper or wire to be hung at home or given as gifts. Studio 4 invited guests to contribute to a collaborative mural currently on view in the Education Pavilion. A local balloon artist created nature inspired accessories for children of all ages to wear, providing a playfully absurd translation of nature oversimplified.

All activities were accompanied by the sweet and soulful melodies of Second Cousins, a magnificent trio commanding quite the supportive following in San Diego. We were thoroughly appreciative and excited to have them join us for a fabulous event.


Family Art Night Success at Del Rio Elementary

Throughout the school year, The Valise Project has had the pleasure of visiting elementary and middle schools all over North County San Diego. At every school there are teachers whose enthusiasm for Lux is palpable, and they are always looking for new opportunities to extend the arts to their students. One such teacher is Ms. Karyn Thielen at Del Rio Elementary School in Oceanside. Ms. Thielen teaches 2nd grade, and thanks to her persistence and a grant from the Coastal Communities Foundation, The Valise Project was able to visit the entire second and fourth grade. The students, faculty, and families were hungry for more. Ms. Thielen and Lux’s teaching artist, Lissa Corona, came together to organize both Del Rio and Lux’s very first Family Art Night – a free event for Del Rio families to come and experiment with a variety of mediums across seven different projects.




Participants of all ages, from 2 to 80, challenged themselves and explored their creativity through sculpture, drawing, painting and printmaking. Children and parents, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors enjoyed creating unique projects they were able to take home and share with friends. All in all, nearly 150 people participated and the entire event was a huge success! Lux cannot wait to spread Family Art Night across North County!



Kids-in-Residence with Jarmo Mäkilä

On Wednesday May 7, students ages 8-14 and their families celebrated the masterpieces created during Kids-in-Residence! Inspired by current artist in residence Jarmo Mäkilä, artists sculpted, wrote, painted, collaged, and fabricated their own unique pieces. We’re thrilled to now have the new Education Pavilion complete with professional gallery walls to showcase the work of our talented young artists!

ArtShow Stitch

Monster Stitch
Kids-in-Residence Students Ages 8-10
During Jarmo Mäkilä’s residency, he created a clay boy for every day the studio was open to the public. Although the clay boys were made from the same mold, the student artists noticed differences that gave them each their own unique personalities. In response, the student artists altered the clay monsters they were given to create distinct originals. Next, the artists were commissioned to create a two-dimensional portrait of their sculptures. What changes took place? Can you match the clay monsters to their painted pair?

Magic Forest Stitch
Magical Forests
Kids-in-Residence Students Ages 8-10
Imagine you are camping with your family in a magical forest. In the middle of the night a sound wakes you up so you slowly move to the tent opening and peek outside. What do you see? After discussing the moods of Jarmo Mäkilä’s paintings and how he created them, the student artists experimented with different colors and techniques to create the mood of their magical forest scene.

Repeating Characters
Kids-in-Residence Students Ages 8-10
The student artists were intrigued with Jarmo Mäkilä’s many uses of repetition. They noticed the boys wearing the same clothes and wondered if it could be the same boy. The artists explored different possibilities and then created their own large-scale painting using a repeated character.

Letter Stitch
Love / No Love Letters
Kids-in-Residence Students Ages 11-14
As an introduction to the work of our resident artist Jarmo Mäkilä, the students were asked to think about each piece as if it were a person they’ve known for some time. Each student chose a single work of art to focus on, and a choice was given: write a love letter or a break-up letter to the artwork. Personifying the work and personalizing the critique in the form of sentiment allowed for each student to describe his/her relationship with the piece.

Kids-in-Residence Students Ages 11-14
Jarmo Mäkilä often uses specific memories from childhood as the subject of his work. Students were asked to choose a favorite memory to paint using watercolors, and a photographic element was added as the students were asked to pose in multiple positions to depict several different actors within his or her chosen memory.

Kids-in-Residence Students Ages 11-14
Inspired by Jarmo Mäkilä’s repeated images of boys beating on single snare drums, each student was asked to choose a “favorite place” to paint along the outside of their drum. The place could be real or imagined; a place they have visited or would like to visit. From several different campsites to the personal, solitary bedroom, each student depicted spaces recalled from memory and/or imagination.

To admire the work in person, visit Lux before May 19, 2014 to see the exhibition of work by our student artists in the Education Pavilion. Jarmo Mäkilä’s exhibition in the Artist Pavilion closes on May 24, so don’t miss out!