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2020 The Hive Summer Camp

The BIG idea: the hive connects campers with deCordova's 30-acre Sculpture Park and Museum to explore real world ideas, unbounded creativity, and inspiring innovation. The five weekly themes are starting points to spark imaginative possibilities that campers make their own with the week’s project. Each week culminates with the campers designing and constructing an ambitious sculpture installation in the Park.

2020 Inspiration: This summer, inspiration comes from 180 years ago. Vibrant, insightful, experimental, cross-disciplinary, and hands-on making philosophies – sounds just like the hive, right? Transcendentalists of the 1840s as well as contemporary artists of the summer exhibition, Visionary New England, will ignite new possibilities for activating both the past and the future. Plus, world-renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy’s new installation in the Park will inspire campers to look at nature and capture its energy and beauty in pioneering ways!  

Schedule: Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 am-4:30 pm (early drop-off available at 8:30 am)

Week 1: Make the Invisible, Visible, July 6-10, 2020 

Week 1 Theme: Millions of invisible connections link ecosystems into a cohesive whole. Infinite and tangled, these threads are impossible to escape. Let’s be detectives who focus on the in-between connections to find origins and end points in our immediate and far off universe.  

Inspired by what’s left when water evaporates in Andy Goldsworthy’s Watershed. We will find the evidence of where water streamed out of the wall, how hard it poured onto the gravel floor, and to where it flowed. Visionary photographer Caleb Charland rested a camera on his chest to create a long exposure photograph tracking the path of the stars in the night sky. 

Week 1 Project: Like a mystery keeping you on the edge of your seat, campers will craft a tale from clues found in nature – from land erosion to a tree growing on a rock to star paths. Sculptures will replicate and maximize miniscule details crucial to solving the case-and reveal the interwoven nature of nature! 

Week 2: We Are New England Visionaries, July 13-17, 2020

Week 2 Theme: Transcendentalists in the 1840s advocated for equality, access to education, finding truths through nature - visionary ideals still ringing true today. This week, hivers are New England visionaries imagining the world as it could and should be. 

Inspired by the moss in Visionary artist Anna Craycroft’s Common Conscience. In her installation, moss is both living organism and social metaphor: a colony of individuals, but does not act alone, it has presence and patience, it observes, it innovates and adapts, and is above all a microscopic microcosm of a utopian imagination. 

Week 2 Project: As if was 180 years in the future, campers will create monuments to memorializing today’s great innovations and accomplishments that together made the world a better place in 2020. 

Week 3: Architecture & Soul, July 20-24, 2020

Week 3 Theme: An energy radiates from all things – living or inanimate. Think of a four-leaf clover or a pair of shoes worn to feel a bit braver. Buildings have that affect too. Architecture creates an atmosphere, an energy emits from the walls, doors, and windows as if there is a personality, even a soul.  

Inspired by both the palpable serene energy of Andy Goldsworthy’s Watershed and the depictions of love, music, and laughter radiating from the Vermont farmhouse where Visionary artist Gayleen Aiken grew up. Both structures have striking personalities. 

Week 3 Project:  Campers will create an outlandish and spirited village with dwellings as unique as the campers themselves. Whether using natural or manufactured building materials, the architectural structures will emanate their individual and communal vitality. 

Week 4: Visionary Animals, July 27-31, 2020 

Week 4 Theme: Have you looked into the eyes of an animal and seen its soul? Do you seem to know what your pet is thinking? Campers will imagine animals as extensions of their own souls and even guides to other realms and moments in time. 

Inspired byVisionary artist Kim Weston’s photographs of Native American powwows and John Raimondi’s wolf sculpture in the Park. Weston’s dynamic photographs illustrate the bridge between the visible world and other worlds beyond what the eye alone can see. While Raimondi’s bronze Lupus is at once grounded in the woods and twists upward as if its spirit is taking flight.   

Week 4 Project: Campers will engineer animal avatars adventures. Other worlds will be designed and constructed mystically transporting those walking through the Park. Life-sized animated puppets will serve as escorts. Extraordinary environments and creatures will prompt us to question whether we’re still at deCordova or have traveled beyond our plane of existence?

Week 5: Trees and Rocks: Live at deCordova, August 3-7, 2020 

Week 5 Theme: “Madness isn’t talking to trees–it’s not hearing them when they nod.”* Trees, rocks, even grass, in the Park are bursting with dynamic life. Campers will tune-in to the elements of nature and notice stories, songs, and even gifts among the seemingly inanimate. Humans and the environment mutually depend on each other. Enhancing the relationship between people and nature through creative communications will benefit all! 

* Richard Hardack, Visionary New England catalogue, p. 44 

Inspired by the glacial rock left behind tens of thousands of years ago forming the elevation of Alice’s Garden, the sculpted granite head of Joseph Wheelwright’s Listening Stone, and Visionary artist Sam Durant’s bronze Fieldstones in the Museum. 

Week 5 Project: Elements of the environment will be in the spotlight as if they were guests on a variety show. Trees will tell tall tales. Rocks will sing in a band. Designed and constructed by campers, family and friends will experience this hive installation as part of the audience, on stage, and behind the scenes! 

Adult Hive: Fridays, July 17 and 24, 1-4 pm

Do you wish you could be a hive camper? This summer you can come to camp, too! 
Adult Hive was designed by request from parents and others wishing that camp weren’t just for kids. 

Join us for one or both afternoons of collaborative art making immersed in nature! 

On July 17, we will create a tribute in the Sculpture Park to a utopic innovation making the world a better place for Week 2's We are New England Visionaries theme. 

On July 24, we will contribute a structure bursting with energy and personality to the campers’ village inspired by Architecture & Soul during Week 3.  

For ages 16+ 
Have no fear—no artistic expertise necessary! 

5-7 Year Olds, WEEK 1, Make the Invisible, Visible - July 06, 2020 to July 10, 2020
8-12 Year Olds, WEEK 1, Make the Invisible, Visible - July 06, 2020 to July 10, 2020
5-7 Year Olds, WEEK 2, We Are New England Visionaries - July 13, 2020 to July 17, 2020
8-12 Year Olds, WEEK 2, We Are New England Visionaries - July 13, 2020 to July 17, 2020
Adult Hive, Week 2: Friday, July 17, 1-4 pm - July 17, 2020 to July 17, 2020
5-7 Year Olds, WEEK 3, Architecture & Soul - July 20, 2020 to July 24, 2020
8-12 Year Olds, WEEK 3, Architecture & Soul - July 20, 2020 to July 24, 2020
Adult Hive, Week 3: Friday, July 24, 1-4 pm - July 24, 2020 to July 24, 2020
5-7 Year Olds, WEEK 4, Visionary Animals - July 27, 2020 to July 31, 2020
8-12 Year Olds, WEEK 4, Visionary Animals - July 27, 2020 to July 31, 2020
5-7 Year Olds, WEEK 5, Trees and Rocks: Live at deCordova - August 03, 2020 to August 07, 2020
8-12 Year Olds, Week 5, Trees and Rocks: Live at deCordova - August 03, 2020 to August 07, 2020
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