8~12 year olds - New Playground - Contemporary Art Summer School

About the course

All art was once contemporary.

Contemporary art is the art of the present. In this workshop designed for students of 8-12 year old, students will encounter contemporary artists and visionaries in addition to traditional art to learn about the diversity of materials, unconventional approaches, alternative techniques and media to think critically about creative art practice. With this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, students will be encouraged to think critically about artistic intent, to develop their curiosity about art making process, to experiment and play ideas and materials, and to see artistic potential in the world around them. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with installation, collage, performance art, alternative photography, moving image and sound art, in addition to drawing, painting, sculpture, textile, craft, bookmaking and animation, without any existing art making skills required.

Course Outline

Day 1: Chewed Paper

Students will look at how different artists (contemporary and traditional) use paper to make art, that includes but not limited to Papier-mâché, drawing, painting, book, sculpture, installation, animation, and performance. You will have the opportunity to work as a group to make a collective piece of artwork and also to use paper to make your own artwork to take home and tell your parents and friends.

Day 2: Photography

Students will look at how different artists (contemporary and traditional) use photography to make art, which includes but not limited to conventional digital photography, prints, alternative photography, installation, film, photo books, internet art, performance to camera, photojournalism, and architecture. You will have the opportunity to experiment with photography (alternative, traditional and digital) and make your own artwork to take home or upload on our special art exhibition website to show your parents and friends.

Day 3: Role-playing and Fictioning

Students will start the day by learning how the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa uses astral charts (horoscope) to create fictional characters. We will look at how different artists (such as the artists who recently exhibited in UH Art & Design Gallery) use role-playing and “play” as a method to make art, which includes but not limited to puppetry, science fiction, theatre, sculpture, dance, art and activism, sculpture, installation, performance and LARP (live action role play). We will design a participatory artwork together as a group. You will also be able to experiment with the method of role-playing and “play” to create a fictional character, either use writing, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, or any other medium that has been introduced in the workshop.

Day 4: Sounding

Students will look at how different artists (contemporary & traditional) use sound in art making, which include DIY sound instrument, electronic music making, experimental sound composition and soundscape design. We will experiment as a group with MINIMU Gloves, a MAGIC glove that allows your hand gesture to make sound. You will then have the opportunity to play with the ready-made DIY instruments provided by the workshop, and to make your own instrument to bring home.

Day 5: MAPPING: An art picnic

Students will work with the concept of “MAPPING” using cyanotype photographic printing techniques and the artworks you have created in the workshop. As a group, (we will go outdoor, if the weather allows) we will create a large fabric canvas with the photographic printings, drawings, found materials, and artworks you have made during the course. Toward the end of the day, we will have an “art picnic” on the canvas. You will take “leftover” from the “art picnic” home.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, you will leave with two “things”. The first “thing” is the creative toolkit that allow you to practise creative art making with multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and playful approaches. The second “thing” consists of the artworks you have made throughout the workshop.

You will also be able to upload your artworks (documentation of your artworks or digital artworks) on a website that is dedicated to this workshop, and share the website with your friends and family to view after the workshop.

Course dates

Monday 01 August to Friday 05 August 2022, 09:30-15:30

Course cost 


Contact us

If you wish to discuss this or any other creative art short course please contact the short course team on 01707 285327 or ad-shortcourses@herts.ac.uk

Important information


Signing in is from 9.20am and 9.25am each day in the Art Gallery and the summer workshops will start at 9.30. We finish at 15.30pm. You will need to be picked up promptly at 15.30pm, again from the Art Gallery. Parents and carers, if you have any problems and think that you may be late, please let us know by calling 01707 285327.

Where to find us

For directions of the campus site, please follow the link below where you can download a map of the College Lane Campus:


Drop Off/Collection

The drop off point is the Art Gallery, and you can find this by our wayfinding app here. We suggest you park in one the bays around the nearby Lindop Building for drop off. You can drop off anytime between 9.20am and 9.25am. Collection is promptly at 15.30. nb There is a strict 30-minute limit to free parking. If you are over this time, we suggest paying for a 1-hour car park ticket to avoid a fine from our external parking providers.

The Programme

We have an exciting programme of activities planned. You will find out more about art and design courses and you will be meet practising artists and designers.  Each group will have an assistant art tutor with them for the whole time you are here, and you will meet them on your first morning.  They can help you with any concerns you have while you are here.


Parents/Guardians: When registering, please enrol with your own details. There is a field on the enrolment paperwork where you can enter your son or daughter's name and age.

Emergency Contact

We need contact numbers so we can contact parents/carers at any time.  These details need to be confirmed on the form attached to the email. Should you need to contact us please phone the Short Course Office on 01707 285327. It is very important that we know in advance if you cannot for any reason be collected on time at the end of the day.


Wear suitable and comfortable clothes as you may get messy and dirty (that is what art is all about!).  An overall, apron or large shirt would be ideal.

Food & Drink

You will need to bring your own packed lunch. Water will be available during breaks and lunchtime. 

Materials to bring along

All materials needed for all the summer schools will be provided by the University.


If you need to bring any medication with you, please make sure it is clearly labelled with your child’s name and any instructions. These can be administered by us provided the medical permission form enclosed has been signed by a parent or carer and handed in on arrival on your first day.



Start DateEnd DateDay and TimeCostLink
01/08/202205/08/2022Monday to Friday 09:30 - 15:30£200.00Apply online