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Happy Artists Enjoy Crafting Memorable Summer Projects
Those attending the final summer art camp of the season at Happy Artists proudly display their unicorn multi media collages, which they finished up during the week, one of several projects built around the unicorn theme. Marg Jackson/The Times

Hosting a series of art camps for the summer, the Happy Artists Children’s Creative Studio was humming with activity over the last several weeks.

Owner Alicia Johnson welcomed dozens of area youngsters to her McHenry Avenue location, wrapping up the hectic summer schedule this past week with a unicorn-themed art camp.

The camps ran Tuesday through Friday, with both a morning and afternoon session offered. Boho Rainbow, Puppy and Kitty Camp and the Unicorn Camp were among those scheduled and well-attended during the summer months.

“We have had about 30 to 35 kids each week so close to 200 kids for the summer,” Johnson explained. “The camps were Tuesday through Friday for three hours each day.”

That meant one group of artists at the studio for three hours in the morning, another group coming in for the three-hour camp in the afternoon.

Ages eligible to attend the summer camps were those from five-and-a-half to 12 years old.

Closing out the busy schedule with the unicorn theme, Johnson said they made sure to have plenty of options for the young artists to enjoy doing while gaining valuable artistic experience.

“We had a circular weaving project, a fiber rainbow, clay wall painting, a unicorn canvas painting, and a multi-media collage,” explained Johnson. “All that this week … we do a lot.”

The young artists were busy finishing up all the projects on Friday, July 22, putting some final touches on the pieces they would be taking home at the end of the session.

“I like art a lot and I like rainbows so this was just perfect for me,” said Madilynn Miller, 8, of working on the various unicorn and rainbow projects. “I got a unicorn for Christmas and my room is themed unicorns.”

Many in attendance did like the rainbows that were part of the last summer camp.

“I liked the fiber rainbow best,” pointed out Lucia Garguile, 10, who said she likes those better than unicorns. She also enjoyed the variety. “Technically, we did different parts of the projects on different days.”

For nine-year-old Ellie Miranda, the best part about summer camp was “having fun” and a bonus was making several new friends along the way.

“I like meeting new people and doing art,” Miranda said, who added she has been attending events at Happy Artists studio for the past few years.

Chase Rollins, 10, was among those who prefers rainbows to unicorns but enjoyed the projects and admitted she learned some valuable lessons.

“You have to go slower,” she said of not rushing your art work. “And no matter what, it’s unique.”

Johnson also works with homeschool education programs in the area through her studio, offering art programs specifically for homeschool students.

This fall, she said, the focus will be on Vincent Van Gogh. The first fall class starts Aug. 29 and is open to first through fifth graders with sessions on Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

A session starting on Sept. 6 will be offered Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., again for first through fifth grade students. Kindergarten students can attend class on Wednesdays starting Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to noon; first through fifth graders can attend the Wednesday session stating Sept. 7 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday classes start Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for grades one through five. A couple of field trips are additional options to round out the class instruction.

Happy Artists also has events ranging from workshops to Paint Nights, Open Studio time, is available for art-themed birthday parties and features a wide array of party and craft supplies. The August Kids Painting Night is set for Saturday, Aug. 20 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., open to ages 6 through 12.

The Happy Artists Studio is at 1900 McHenry Ave., Escalon, in the Vineyard Square Shopping Center, Suite 203. For additional information, call 209-691-6022 or visit

“Our mission is to cultivate a lifelong love of art,” the Happy Artists website notes. “We are committed to nurturing your child’s imagination and tapping into their creativity.”

Focused on their work, Harper Grossi, 6, left and Tatum Bower, 7, put the finishing touches on their collages during the Happy Artists summer camp session in Escalon. Marg Jackson/The Times
A quartet of young artists display the wide variety of projects that they did during a summer camp session hosted at Happy Artists studio in Escalon, July 19 through 22. Shown, from left, Madilynn Miller, Lucia Garguile, Ellie Miranda, and Chase Rollins. Marg Jackson/The Times