Week 3 along the Silk Road

Art Camp started in a whirl  with a surprise magic carpet ride that landed us in Bukhara. Accompanied by the trusty Bactrian camel, Pistachio, we explored stories, melodies, and art found in the multi-layers of history along the ancient trade routes known as The Silk Road. We learned […]

Week 2 wrap-up!

Aldar-Kose and Shigai-Bai The week’s story, exquisitely retold by local storyteller Will Hornyak – who left us full hearted and satisfied and generous – can be read or downloaded with the above link. As Week 2 comes to an end and we are indeed “champs” as the song […]

2018 Camp Openings!

Due to a frustrating time with the registration process this past spring, there are currently a number of openings for campers not already registered for ages 4 -12 in Weeks 3-7 (beginning next week!). Please email the registrar at Mariann@grace-institute.org with the your family’s availability and  how many […]

Salom Week 2

Over the past three days art campers have learned that “salom” is one way to say “hi” (and goodbye) throughout Central Asia as well as many other places in the world!! No matter how this word is spelled or pronounced,  we understand this greeting as a universal acknowledgement […]

Khodäfez Week 1!

It was a great first week of “being happy, laughing, and being grateful for the life” at camp, reconnecting and making new connections with one another! Here are the animations and a few peeks at Friday’s activities. . .as well as a link to our Instagram!     […]

Week 1 – The Journey Begins

Salom! This week campers have learned that “salom” is one way to say “hi” along the many trades routes through out Central Asia. No matter how this word is spelled or the particular language the spelling and sounds are from, everyone understands its meaning – connection! Art Camp […]

Wahoo! for 4 and 5 year old campers!

Grace Art Camp 2018 currently has several spaces available for Pre-K/Kindergarten campers in each of the 7 weeks of camp. Campers attend a single one-week session and must be 4 years of age by January 1, 2018, and already be attending a full-day program. Weekly sessions: June 25 […]

GAC eARThday Jubilee!

JOIN US! Create, Engage, and Celebrate EARTHDAY Sunday, April 22 form 12 – 3pm. 12 – 3pm Art Activities with Grace Art Camp Artists! 1pm Trash Tunes Rock Band with Robert Randall 2pm Back Yard Heroes Puppet Show by KC Puppetree Suggested Donation: $5.00/family or $2/person for camp […]

Springful Joy Recap!

This past Spring Break Camp we embraced The Empty Pot (a Chinese fairy tale), the Spring Equinox, and all its joy from lengthening days of light to seeds sprouting into all kinds of lovely and joyous communities. Animating stories, songs, movement, mindfulness practice, and wishing strips for The Coat of […]


BLOSSOM WITH CREATIVITY, COMMUNITY, & JOY! Celebrate the renewal of the earth this spring with a story about growth and integrity  known in China as “The Empty Pot.” Art projects using up-cycled materials for projects in fibre arts, ceramics, theatre & storytelling, and visual arts will grow and […]


Did you know that “salom” is an informal way of saying “hi” in Uzbekistan? That the word “stan” is a Persian suffix meaning “land of”?  Or that the first trade routes that became part of what we know today as “The Silk Road” originated hundreds of years ago in […]


“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”   – Thich Nhat Hanh SHARING COMPASSION WITH COMMUNITY Universal stories of compassion in action lead the way into welcoming, discovering, and celebrating the many ways we can cultivate peace and loving kindness, individually and together. Alongside […]

week 7 has begun!

    Yesterday returning campers recalled, and shared with new campers, the many things we do at Art Camp together each year — make art, listen to stories, dance together, be “dramatic”, sing — lots of singing, and just being together while doing all these things. We sang […]

week 6 – the week of wishes

Thursday and Friday were chock full of Star Festival activity — miniature shoji screens, glass furin, koi ponds, fishing poles, sumi painted scrolls, hanko (stamps with designed and personalized signature), clay olympics, accessories inspired by Japanese streetwear known as “fruits”, polka dotted collages and giant block printing of […]

week 6 – taiko wednesday

    Sashiko literally means “little stabs” and is a kind of embroidery campers have been learning in the fibre arts studio. Taiko is the word for “drum” and Portland Taiko graced Art Camp today with many kids of Japanese style drums in the Music & Dance Studio […]

tuesday week 6

We started the day with a singing medley of our top morning songs followed by  the beginning of Tanabata, the ancient legend behind the Star Festival celebrated in Sendai (in August according to the lunar calendar). Storyteller Anne introduced us to a set of twins and two stars […]

welcome to the top of festive week 6!

Today, old and new friends came together to sing the cherished Grace Art Camp tune and share the Four R’s of Community.  An old Japanese favorite makura (pillow), Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, set the tone for the week, about a mean old grumpy man who ends up […]

week 5 homestretch

Veiled in a smoky layer of heat, and amidst a unique plethora of studio choices, origami artist Yuki Martin taught campers how to make useful utilitarian objects from paper and this week’s storyteller, Alton Chung, made a guest appearance in the Theatre Studio to play out slow-motion theatre […]

week 5 and keeping cool

Art Camp photographer Sonja Bales’s quote for the day: I’ve noticed kids laugh less as it gets hotter. And yet . .. . her pictures speak for themseleves. Today we heated up Art Camp by just being art camp cool with clay finger puppets, animated floating moon worlds, […]

week 5 – Momotaro!

    Today, we heard the first days of four parts of Momotaro, where otasa (father) and okasa (mother) find an oh so oshi (delicious) peach floating along the river and take it home to eat only to find they now have a small child in their lives […]

top of week 5 – monday

  Old and new friends came together today to sing the cherished Grace Art Camp tune and share the Four R’s of Community.  We were all entertained by  Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, a favorite ancient rakugo, or “joke tale”, about a mean old grumpy man who ends […]

last minute tidbits week 4

Over the past four days, art campers have folded themselves into an incredible origami community that we will share and honor tomorrow. The gate will open tomorrow at 2:45pm for families to join this week’s celebration at 3pm. Unfolding over the last two days  were a guest appearance […]

week 4 hump day

  Wednesday brought Portland Taiko to camp for the  whole day demonstrating that perseverance, respect, and collaboration are essential to creating a cohesive community beautiful sounds, and learning new skills of all kinds!

Three local Japanese-American events, family style!

Vibrant, joyous, colorful! The American obon festival is a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds with Buddhist rituals, hanging lanterns, food booths and games, music, and bon odori, communal dances encircling a central platform. Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center’s museum exhibit, American Obon: Dancing in Joy and Remembrance, explores the roots […]

week 4, midsummer

Konichiwa GAC Kazoku! (Good Afternoon GAC Families) Yesterday old and new friends came together to sing the cherished Grace Art Camp tune and share the Four R’s of Community.  We were all entertained by a very old makura or “pillow story” to set the stage for the week. […]

week 3 animation and then some

Thursday and Friday brimmed with activity culminating in the weekly Friday matsuri (festival) celebrating our week of community that blossomed out of folding, printing, sewing, threading, cutting, painting, dancing, moving, beating, gluing, tying, wrapping, unwrapping, shaping, pulling, dipping, smoothing, clipping, carving, firing, speaking, singing, and smiling. Amazing what […]

Kaguya-hime wrapping up week 3

Today Guest Artist Yuki Martin lead the Origami Studio with folded paper accessories fit for royalty. Everyone else offered a variety of projects involving fish, puppets, or fans, and then some! Tomorrow, Friday, we are all looking forward to finding out just what Kaguya-hime, born from the hollow […]

week 3 – wednesday notes

  Daily blog posts include photos from the day before and details about today. Today, the middle of week 3 at Grace Art Camp, we were serenaded by Portland Taiko who graced the Music & Dance Studio all day and performed after recess demonstrating that perseverance and collaboration […]

terrific tuesday week 3

  Yesterday old and new friends were  entertained by a very old makura or “pillow story” to set the stage for the week. Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, a favorite ancient rakugo, or “joke tale” about a grumpy old man who ends up turning inside out and into […]

week 3 kick off!

Today at camp we had a sampling of many studios and campers got familiar with their color groups and our talented staff! Tomorrow campers will be choosing from 10 different studios and starting our week’s story entitled Kaguya-hime, which begins with a bamboo cutter discovering something unexpected… Ja […]

week 2 wrap up and matsuri!

  Grace Art Camp Kazoku! Over the past three days, art campers have learned how to say their color group in Japanese, Good Morning (Ohiyo Gozaimas), Good Afternoon (konichiwa), and “see you soon” (ja mata). We enjoyed spending a day with Portland Taiko, who performed with a variety […]

week 2 day 2

  Yesterday old and new friends came together to sing the cherished Grace Art Camp tune and share the Four R’s of Community.  Monday we were all entertained by a very old makura or “pillow story” to set the stage for the week. Under the Cherry Blossom Tree […]

mid-week 1 details

  Over the past three days, art campers have learned a variety of Japanese words, my personal favorite being mukashi banashi, very old stories, one of which we will find out how the two brothers reconcile. Based on the story and a variety of Japanese art traditions, campers […]

day 1, week 1, GAC in Japan

  Today was the first day of the first week of Camp! Old and new friends and colleagues came together to brush off the cherished Grace Art Camp tune and be entertained by a very old makura, or “pillow story” to set the stage for the week, entitled […]

Summer Waitlist Questions

To date, we have responded to your individual email waitlist requests. (Emails were answered in the order received.)  Please click HERE for waitlist information. We appreciate your patience as we work with these requests. We love that you love Grace Art Camp!

Open your Heart and Home!

Host a high school exchange student from Central Asia and share you daily family life with a young person while they attend your neighborhood high school and share their country and culture with you. PAX (Program of Academic Exchange) and FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) partner to sponsor about […]