Education Omi


About Education Omi

Education Omi is at the forefront of our effort to bring art to the community.

Education Omi encourages people of all ages to interact with contemporary art and ideas in a community-oriented environment. Through a variety of programs, we aim to build bridges between the local community and professional artists and their artwork.

We offer Winter, Spring and Summer Camps, which you can read about in depth below. A freewheeling exploration of technique and inspiration, the experience instills confidence while stimulating curiosity in the arts. It has become a favorite activity for dozens of local children.

In response to popular demand, we are increasing our offerings for young adults with offerings such as the fiction writing workshop STORY, led by Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl.

During the school year, a Saturday morning program welcomes children from five to twelve years of age at the Charles B. Benenson Center. The drop-in program does not require registration, and costs $12 per session, or $20 for two siblings. Hours are 10 AM - 12 PM.

Sasha also visits local schools to talk about art and Omi programming, and brings groups of students to tour our grounds. For further information you can contact her at, or call (518) 728-9256.

Saturday Workshops


Saturday Childrens Workshops

Currently every Saturday through June 6, 2015, 10 AM - 12 PM

$12 or $20 for two
Ages 4 1/2 - 12

Meet at the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center.
No pre-registration necessary.

These workshops offer studio experiences for children ages 4 1/2 -12. Themes and activities are connected with the artists, artworks and ideas featured in the current exhibition in The Fields Sculpture Park. Workshops begin with an adventure in The Fields focusing on artworks pertinent to a weekly theme.

Projects are announced weekly via email - join our mailing list here! For more information, please email Sasha Sicurella at or call (518) 728-9256.

STORY: A Creative Writing Program

STORY: A Creative Writing Program with Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl
Fiction workshop for Writers ages 13+
Offered in 4-week sessions: January 10 - 31, February 7 - 28, and March 7 - 28
Saturdays, 10 AM - 12 PM

Open to new and continuing students. Students must register for a full 4-week session (make up classes are possible). Cost is $80/session.
A limited number of scholarships are available.

STORY with Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl begins January 10th!
To register, email Sasha Sicurella at

Everyone has a story to tell. No matter who you are, your unique expression is important. Writing gives you the power to find your voice and put your vision into words. Fiction – where dreams and reality merge – has no limits. Together we will discuss what makes a great story, hone your writing skills, explore your characters, wander with your wildest ideas, dream up whole worlds, bring real characters to life, and most importantly – unleash your imagination. Come and step into the dream. See where your story will take you. Open to new and continuing students.

Born in Canada, Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Princeton University, where she studied fiction with writers such as Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Russell Banks. She has been a comic book editor at Marvel and is currently a writer for Bard College.

For more information, please email Sasha Sicurella at or call (518) 728-9256.

Winter, Spring, and Summer Camps


Join us this year for Columbia County’s most popular day camp for young artists!
Draw, Paint, Sculpt, Dance, Play, Perform, Collaborate, Explore, Encounter, and CREATE!

Winter Art Camp
February 17,18, and 19 from 9 AM - 3 PM

Ages 4 1/2 - 12.
Tuition: $180 or $320 for two.
Drop off/Pick up at the Visitors Center.

*Registration Closed*

Join us for three art-filled days at Omi this winter! Shake off that cabin 
fever with 2D and 3D art projects, music and movement workshops, sledding in The Fields, storytelling, and play. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Spring Art Camp

April 7, 8 and 9, from 9 AM - 3 PM.
Ages 4 1/2 - 12.
Tuition: $180 or $320 for two.
Drop off/Pick up at the Visitors Center.

*Registration Closed*

Spring Art Camp is an imaginative and active way to bring in the new season! 
This program features a variety of creative adventures for kids. Activities include art projects, music and movement workshops, exploration of The Fields sculpture park, storytelling, and play. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Summer Camp Omi 2015

Week 1: June 29 - July 3
Week 2: July 6 - 10
Week 3: July 13 - 17
Week 4: July 20 - 24

Week 5: July 27 - 31
Week 6: August 3 - 7

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 AM - 3 PM
Ages: 4 1/2 - 12
Tuition: $325/week, $300/week for 2 or more weeks

// Our new online registration process will be up and running soon! In the meantime, guarantee your space(s) for Camp Omi by sending an email to Sasha Sicurella at Please include your child(ren)'s name(s), age(s), and session(s) you wish to attend. When online registration is available, you will receive an invitation with a link to complete necessary forms and submit payment. //

Camp Omi is a unique, arts-based day program where kids explore contemporary art and ideas through a variety of media and experiences.

Children are grouped by age and participate in workshops that focus on different creative disciplines. Daily activities include swimming, exploration of The Fields sculpture park and Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center & Gallery, “Stage Time”, group meetings, and play. Children also have opportunities to visit and work directly with our international artists-in-residence.


Activities include:


2D Art Studio
Activities include drawing, painting, printmaking, fiber arts, mixed media and collaborative 2D projects.
Children learn about contemporary artists and their work and use art history as a foundation upon which to build new ideas.

Sculpture Shop
Activities include ceramics, woodworking, weaving, stone/foam carving, 3D mixed media, and large scale, collaborative projects. Children use the sculptures in The Fields Sculpture Park as inspiration for their own work.
Music & Movement
Activities include group games, improvisational play, yoga, dance, and music through song and simple instruments. Children create performances, make their own instruments and dress up clothes, build 'sets', and experiment with photography and video art.
Field Studies
Field Studies offers ‘art-meets-nature’ projects and experiences. Children explore The Fields Sculpture Park and Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center Gallery, visit international artists-in-residence, hike through the woods, and learn about the natural science of Omi’s diverse landscape. Children explore Earth Art, environmental conservation, and make their own natural works of art.
In the summer, children have an opportunity to swim in Omi’s in-ground pool each day. Swimming occurs in two groups divided by age at alternating times. Children may take a quick dip to cool off, or play in the water for the entire swim time. Our Aquatics Director is a certified, experienced lifeguard and is present at all times to monitor swimming and to administer safety instruction and testing. Swimming and Aquatics procedures meet the New York State Department of Health Children’s Camp requirements and standards. Accommodations are made for non-swimmers and for our youngest campers.

Arts Lab: Creative Studies for Teens

Announcing Arts Lab: Creative Studies for Teens 2015! To register, email Sasha Sicurella at

** Registration Deadline: June 15, 2015 **

Creating Character
July 27-31, Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 3 PM
Ages 13+
Instructors: Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl & Ibraheem Jara
Tuition: $325

"The writer's characters must stand before us with a wonderful clarity, such continuous clarity that nothing they do strikes us as improbable behavior for just that character, even when the character's action is, as sometimes happens, something that came as a surprise to the writer himself." - John Gardner, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

Character is at the heart of every great story. This one-week writing and visual arts workshop focuses on character creation and development. Through the processes of writing and drawing, we will explore the creation of character—dreaming up characters (wild and tame) with depth, imagination, distinguishing physical traits, distinctive dialogue, opinions, beliefs, and lives of their own. Each new "persona" will be represented through a series of written narratives and visual images. 

Summer Writers' Intensive
August 3-7, Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 3 PM
Ages 13+
Instructors: Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl
Tuition: $325

Whether you want to write a novel, compose a collection of poems, pen your college application essay, create a monologue for stage, ink a journalistic travelogue, or craft a nonfiction narrative based on an ancient civilization, this week-long summer intensive takes your work to the deepest level. Each writer has the opportunity to focus on a single piece of writing—developing process, refining craft, and polishing work. Days are filled with individualized writing instruction, one-on-one editing, structured free writing time, and outdoor summer activities including daily pool time.

The Fields Sculpture Studio
August 17-21, Monday - Friday, 9 AM
Ages 13+
Instructors: Max Spitzer & CJ Hill
Tuition: $350

This five-day camp will explore the age-old relationship between sculpture and our natural environment. Students will explore the landscape of The Fields Sculpture Park, collect objects, and make drawings related to their findings. Back in the studio, students will use a variety of traditional and non-traditional materials to create individual and collaborative artworks. Discussions will c
enter around the relationships between current works on display and the landscape, creating public sculpture, and individual process. The week will culminate with an installation and artist presentation in the Education Pavilions open to friends and family.

Instructor Bios:

Born in Canada, Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Princeton University, where she studied fiction with writers such as Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Russell Banks. She has been a comic book editor at Marvel and is currently a writer for Bard College.

Ibraheem Jara is a painter and illustrator from Clifton Park, NY. He earned his Associate of Science degree as a Fine Arts major at Hudson Valley Community College and will be pursuing studies in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City this fall

Originally from upstate New York, C.J. Hill received his BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. He has since traveled extensively in the U.S. and Asia. He is currently living and working as an artist in New York City.

Max Spitzer is an artist-educator who lives and works in Valatie, NY. He received a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Max was the 3D Studio Instructor at Camp Omi and is an occasional guest teacher for Education Omi's year-round programs. He currently teaches art classes to kindergarten through ninth grade at Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox, MA.

Support & Scholarships

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Education Omi has grown tremendously since our first summer camp in 2005. 

Now, with year-round educational offerings, we are serving more children and adults than ever before. As our program continues to expand and develop, so do our operating costs. In order to continue to offer low-cost, quality art education to families of all income levels we need your help. 

If you are interested in applying for need-based financial assistance, contact Education Director, Sasha Sicurella for more information.


Please consider a tax-deductible, charitable donation to encourage creativity in our community.
One important way you can directly support the program is by giving to our Scholarship Fund; where each gift of $325 sends a local child to Camp Omi for one week. 
Please contact Education Director, Sasha Sicurella to donate today. 

The Pavilions Exhibition Series

Education Omi Pavilions Exhibition Series

The Education Omi Pavilions Exhibition Series gives opportunities to emerging local artists of all ages. Set in the open-air pavilions in The Fields, these public shows encourage experimentation and provide an educational experience throughout the process. Past exhibitions have featured Bard College Fine Art students, K-12 students of Ichabod Crane School, and adults of the Coarc organization.

Photo Gallery, Activities & Updates

We are having a very busy and creative season!

Click HERE for our Education Omi blog, with stories featuring our latest school visit, Saturday workshops in action, and more!

Sasha Sicurella, Director

Sasha Sicurella is a Canadian-born arts education specialist, artist, and consultant. She is the Education Director at Omi International Arts Center. She has been the Director of Camp Omi since its inception in 2005. Educated in visual arts and photography, Sicurella received her MFA from New York University and her BFA from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, she taught art to students ages 3-18 in both public and independent school systems and continues to develop arts enrichment programs at local schools in her community.

Sicurella is also the founding director of the I AM: International Foundation, a non-profit organization that works locally and globally to provide opportunities for children to explore identity through art and self-portrait photography. Since 2010, the I AM: Projects have served more than 1,000 children and youth in fourteen countries including Rwanda, Mongolia, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Brazil, Romania, Israel, Mexico, and Ethiopia. Projects target marginalized populations such as children with disabilities, victims of human trafficking and abuse, orphans, juvenile offenders, and impoverished communities. Sicurella's work has been exhibited in the United States and internationally at museums and art centers in Tel Aviv, Milan, Mumbai, Addis Ababa, Bratislava, Ulan Bator, and New York. Her project, I AM: Mongolia is the subject of the documentary film, Water, Ice, Snow (2013, dir. Karim Raoul).

As an arts-education consultant, Sicurella works with schools, arts organizations, and international NGOs to establish integrated creative learning models, specializing in groups with limited resources. Clients include the Rwanda Education Assistance Project (REAP), Goutte d'Eau (Switzerland/Cambodia), Berkshire Country Day School (Lenox, MA), and the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF) in New York City.