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Larkin High School to host new, free visual arts camp in July

Larkin High School will host a new visual arts camp this summer, free of charge for students in sixth through eighth grade.

School District U46 middle students can learn to sculpt, take photos, draw and paint at a new visual arts camp being held in July at Larkin High School in Elgin.

The program is designed for sixth- through eighth-grade students at Larkin, which also offers a dance academy camp for students in grades 4-12. Both free programs are designed to spark an interest in the arts and increase awareness of the high school’s visual and performing arts academy.


“The philosophy behind this is we give the kids a camp to explore the arts,” said Todd Duty, chairman of Larkin’s fine arts division. “You get them in the building, you show them what we have, you show them a school they may not be used to. I think it just eases some of that anxiety (in applying to the U46 high school academies).”

Larkin Academy teachers Sean Murray, Carrie Brannon, and Jamie Miquelon will lead the visual arts camp, scheduled for July 15-18. Each instructor will focus on one specialty area, and the camp will culminate with an open house exhibition, Duty said.


This camp is something Larkin academy educators have long wanted as a way to recruit potential academy students. The school’s summer dance camp was already in place and paved the way for the visual arts summer program.

“These kids make these academy decisions in middle school,” Duty said. “These camps give them a chance to explore and think about something they maybe weren’t thinking about” pursuing in high school.

The new camp will not offer music or drama — the other pillars of Larkin’s academy offerings — but talks are underway to create a similar free camps for those subjects next summer, he said.

The Larkin dance camp runs July 1-25. Each week will be devoted to specific grade levels:

  • July 1-3, students in grades 4-6;
  • July 8-11, students in grades 7-8;
  • July 15-18, current Larkin dance academy students and incoming freshman;
  • July 22-25, non-academy students in grades 9-12;

The dance programs cover multiple techniques and are led by Larkin dance teachers Margaret Palmer and Kelli Myhre-Bahwell. Each typically attracts between 30 and 40 students, Duty said.

Registration deadline for the visual arts camp is July 5. Contact Jamie Miquelon at Dance academy camp registration ends June 29. Contact Margaret Palmer at