In mid-March, peoples’ worlds were thrown asunder because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has continued to cause cancellations of family vacations and many teenagers and younger children were forced to reconfigure their summer plans. Although a few day camps are open, nearly all sleepaway camps were canceled, leaving children without many alternatives. Most children are staying home, but without much to do.
Mia Gwitrzman, who graduated Hewlett High School this year, decided to take advantage of this unique opportunity, and start her own art camp. Missing out on a normal graduation, Gwirtzman can relate to being denied an incredible experience. Her art camp could return a little normalcy to children who are missing out on what they had planned for the summer.
After her art program abroad was canceled, Gwirztman decided to make the best of her summer, and provide relief for parents and children that are confined to their homes. She said she has “always been interested in art, ever since I was a little girl, painting and drawing have always interested me.” She homed in on this talent throughout high school, becoming part of the art club, taking Advanced Placement art. Her work earned her an induction into the Art Honor Society.
To conduct the camp safely, Gwitrzman requires everyone attending to keep their masks on at all times, and she tries to distance herself from the children as much as possible. The camp is for children ages 3 to 10. She alters the projects for age appropriateness and ability. She typically goes to the client’s house and create projects in the backyard. Some parents prefer to drop their children off at her house, which she is also open to. “I am completely fine with both options as long as we are outside and socially distant,” she said.
Her favorite experience from working with these children, she said, was warming up to them and being able to build solid relationships. “By seeing their style, I am able to catch a deeper look into who they really are,” she said, which she thinks is a great way to bond with the children. Because Gwirtzman individually runs this camp, she is able to have a personal experience with each child.
With the help of her mother, who is a teacher and studied art history, she is able to gather supplies, as well as brainstorm future creative project ideas. When asked about her concerns with Mia running this camp, Rachel Gwirtzman said that her “only concerns stem from the present Covid situation. Mia is very responsible and she and I agree that social distancing and wearing a mask is key.”
She said that she likes to experiment with paint, because she finds it interesting how differently particular age groups respond to the medium. However, she does many different types of crafts, depending on the age group. Some previous projects she has done with the campers involve painting flowers or sunsets.
Gwitrzman said that she would love to continue this, even after the pandemic ends. Having worked as a babysitter previously, she said that “I love working with children — especially while doing something I enjoy immensely.”
Her price fluctuates depending on whether she provides the supplies or the clients. If interested, contact Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view her personal work, go to https://mgwirtz123.wixsite.com/madebymiaart.