Photography instructor Cait Layton, front row far right, was one of the instructors for the summer camp. (Photo by Randie Trestrail.)
Virginia Peninsula Community College’s visual arts program has a close relationship with the design and video academies in the Hampton City Schools’ system.
Ten students from the city’s high schools were able to take advantage of that relationship when they participated in a five-day graphic design summer academy at the College’s Hampton campus. The camp was possible through a grant from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).
Sherry Hildebrandt, a special education transition specialist for Hampton City Schools, reached out to Cece Wheeler, an art professor and chair of the College’s Visual Arts Department, and encouraged the College to apply for the grant.
“The grant’s goals were to create career exploration and college preparation opportunities for the students in the field of the arts, photography, graphic design and video,” Wheeler said in a camp overview. “They received information, resources and skills needed to prepare and succeed in postsecondary education and training programs.”
The July 18-22 camp was led by photography instructor Cait Layton and graphics lab supervisor Randie Trestrail.
“The learning outcomes were designed to allow students to become aware of creative careers in the design and media field,” Wheeler said.
The camp included guest speakers, job exploration, work-based learning experiences and workplace readiness training. The students also had to complete a Photoshop portrait and a short video project that incorporated Adobe Premiere film editing. Guest artist professor Peter Giscombe met with the students to discuss professional aspects of working as an artist.
“I was amazed at how the students put so much thought, care, and attention into creating their video projects,” Trestrail said. “They took the process very seriously, and working with them was a wonderful experience.”
While the camp was just one week, Layton said it will stay with them much longer.
“I loved seeing the students becoming more at ease with everyone as the camp progressed,” she said. “Students who were very shy and reserved at the beginning left with a new friend or two.”
For a video of the camp, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uuXRCWGpyc.