Art First is Closing

As January gets underway and camp registration time rolls around, I have made the very hard decision to not reopen Art First.  It is not a decision that I have made lightly but one I have agonized over for months.  It is heartbreaking.  I am sad.

So, in the midst of all those emotions, I choose to let the wonderful memories of Art First lead me forward.  What we, as a creative team, accomplished at Art First was amazing!  We now have young artists everywhere that are turned onto art.  They are confident in themselves.  They love creating.  They love experimenting.  They love learning new techniques.  They love creating with others just for fun and some find great joy creating alone and know that it’s okay. We have young artists that just love art!  What a legacy we leave behind! 

Every young artist that created at Art First will always hold a special place in my heart, as will their parents and grandparents, and all of the amazing staff who shared their expertise, their love of children, and their love of creating.  I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this creative experience.  It is my hope that Art First has sparked a love of creating that will keep burning throughout our young artists lives.  That will truly be amazing.

With much gratitude,


dianehumphrys AT yahoo DOT com

Covid Update 2020

Updated June 7, 2020

Art First Closed for 2020

I made the decision to cancel all camps for 2020. It was a difficult decision, made with a lot of tears. However, I know it is the right decision that best protects the safety of your child and our staff. Below is the email I sent to our parents with a child registered in the last 6 weeks of camp.

Hello Everyone,

I’ve made the heartbreaking decision not to open Art First Inc. this summer and cancel the remaining six weeks of camps. 

For the last week after the camp guidelines came out, I have worked hard to create a camp experience that would be within the guidelines and restrictions given to us by the state and also creative, full of exploration, experimentation and just fun.  To meet the state requirements, I could have opened camp with a very small number of students who would be assigned an eight foot table with art supplies designated for each table. They would be required to create at their table except for social distancing breaks and we would not be able to have before care or after care.   As I continued to explore the options, I could not find a way to develop a camp experience that protected children and staff and also provided the fun and creative experience you expect from Art First.

We will begin the process of refunding tuition in full on Monday.

I hope with all my heart that we will be back in 2021 doing what we love.  I am sad and heartbroken for our families, for our young artists who love spending the summer with us and for all of us at Art First. We will truly miss all of you!

Stay safe and well.


Weeks 1-4 are cancelled

Posted May 17, 2020

On Friday, I made the decision to cancel the first four weeks of camp (through July 2). I am still hoping to open the program for the last six weeks based on government guidance and our ability to keep your child and our staff safe. Below is the email I sent to parents with a child registered in the affected camps:

Hello, Everyone,

Your child is registered for a camp at Art First in the weeks of June 8 to July 2. In light of the current health crisis and out of caution and concern for our students and for the staff, I have decided to cancel the first four weeks of summer camps (June 8-July 2).

I am still hoping to open the camp in July for the final six weeks of the summer. I will review the situation at the end of May and decide whether to open or remain closed for those weeks. I hope by then we will have guidelines from the governor and the CDC as to what is required and what camps must do in order to run…i.e. social distancing, smaller classes, etc.

The following camps are canceled:

Week 1: June 8-12

It’s a Snowy Day
Masterpieces Without Brushes
Look No Brushes
Hurray! It’s a Snow Day
Funky, Chunky Cityscapes

Week 2: June 15-19

Beachballs, Sand & Sun
Walking on Sunshine
Sunshine and Lollipops
Beach Blanket Bingo
Watercolors and Alcohol Inks Magic

Week 3: June 22-26

Piggy Party
High up in the Trees
Up in the Trees
Those Crazy Pigs
The Incredible Tree:  A Mixed Media Adventure

Week 4: June 29-July 2

Christmas in July
The Ornament Extravaganza
Deck the Halls
Christmas in July Celebration
Harry Potter Yule Ball

We will begin sending out refunds for the cancelled camps this week. If the tuition was paid by credit card, it will be refunded back to your card and may take a week to show up in your statement. Please let me know if it does not. If you paid by cash or check, we will send you a check.

I understand how disappointing this is to everyone and how much we all look forward to our creative summers together. However, my overwhelming concern is to make sure that your child is safe at Art First and at this time I don’t think that I can do that. I know in my heart that this is the responsible and right thing to do. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns. You can reach me on my cell which is listed below or by email.

I look forward to a time when we can safely create together. Take care of yourselves and stay safe and well.

Best wishes,


Splendiferous Birds

The splendiferous birds have returned! Colorful, sophisticated, sassy, regal and just plain adorable. Come join the fun while transforming a gooseneck gourd into a work of art. Dig into mounds of feathers, jars of buttons, luscious paint colors, jewels and beads, flowers, feathery plumes and much, much more. Then watch the magic happen! Personality pops out, attitude appears and a star is born. What could be more fun?

Details: Week 5 (July 6-10), Ages 9-14. View Class Description Register soon!! This camp is filling up quickly.

Summer Camp 2020

It’s that time! Our 2020 summer program is online and ready for registration. We are so proud of the artistic and creative opportunities we have for your young artists this summer. We can’t wait!

This year, you will see some changes in our program. Due to a Delaware regulation, summer camps cannot offer camps to four year old children. In order to comply with the regulation, we have raised our minimum age to 5 and adjusted our age groups to 5-6 year old, 7-8 year old and 9-14 year old.

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DEWe know there will be four year old artists that will be upset because they cannot create with us. We also know there will be disappointed eight year old artists who were looking forward to more challenging projects this summer. Because of this, we’ve taken the opportunity to revise the camp content in each class and make sure that the 7-8 year old camps will be age-appropriate, creative, and fun. These camps will contain more challenging projects than we are teaching the younger artists and provide creative learning opportunities as well a fun!

Please know that we understand this is new and different for you as it is for us. We are working through this with you. Our goal is still the same – Art First is committed to offering high quality programs where our young artists will have a creative experience like no other.

We are so excited about the upcoming camps. Glow in the dark paint, hammers, marshmallows, clay, collage, woodworking, forest hideaways, needle felting, mixed media, watercolors, alcohol inks and lots, lots more! It’s going to be an amazing summer! Don’t miss the fun!

See you soon!

Alcohol Ink Birdhouse Gourd

Kids shouldn’t have all the fun in the summer. Our adult workshops on Alcohol Ink and Cannonball Gourd Lanterns were so much fun, we had to squeeze in one more workshop.

Alcohol Ink Birdhouse Gourd

Art First Inc - Summer Art Camp for Kids - Hockessin DE
  • Workshop Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Time: 6:30-8:30
  • Registration Deadline: Friday, July 12, 2019
  • Cost: $40

Transform a dried gourd into a stunning garden birdhouse through the magic of alcohol inks. Learn new techniques, experiment with favorite color palettes and watch the stunning colors transform a plain gourd into a work of art. Watch the inks drip and slide across the surface to create a stone like appearance and add luminous highlights with metallic inks for pizazz. Take home* an exquisite birdhouse for the birds to enjoy.

*Due to time restraints, please leave the bird house overnight to be sealed then pick up the following day.

Reminder: There is still time to register for the Harry Potter adult workshop on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

General information: All workshops will be held at Art First, Inc. (728 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, DE 19707, 1-302-239-3544) All supplies will be provided. Wear old clothes that will be improved by paint smears and blobs. Harry Potter costumes will “disappear” when the paint “flies”. Come prepared for a creative adventure.

This is a nut free facility. Nut free snacks and beverages are welcomed. In order to keep our young artists safe during the week, please do not bring any snacks or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts or are processed in a facility with peanuts or tree nuts.

Sweet Dreams Café

Spend the week having fun at the Art First “Sweet Dreams Café”. Grab a chef’s hat and an apron and join this “culinary” adventure!

Fill the café with…
A kitchen for preparing delicious “confections” and tables decorated with hand painted tableware and illustrated menus

Create and “bake” …
Giant “cookies, fruits of all shapes and sizes, and mini cupcakes with spectacular icing…all from clay

Expand the menu…
Design edible art bouquets and fashion decorative garnishes…for another special celebration at the café. Shh…it’s a secret!

Don’t forget the monstrous classroom “cake” …
Decorate it with brilliant colors. Add pom poms, glitter and “sprinkles” of all colors and sizes. Stand back and admire the skilled handiwork!

Celebrate on Friday…
Bring a favorite stuffed bear or animal to dine at the café. Serve these favorite customers the custom-made “delicacies”. Then join in the fun for a delicious spread in the café. Who knows what the specialty of the day will be?????

Continue the adventure…
Gather up the clay creations and props for more fun and creative play at home. What will the name of that café be?

Register now for Sweet Dreams Café, Ages 4-5 and 6-7, Week 7, July 22-26

Adventures in 3-D

Boxes and boxes to stack. How high can they go?
Mounds and mounds of wood…piled high, overlapped, glued.
Handfuls of pom poms of all colors and sizes…glittery ones too.
Jars of buttons in every shape, color and size
Glittering jewels sparkling
Yards of yarn in the colors of the rainbow…

What can be created with all these goodies????

Imaginary playgrounds sporting vivid watercolor and oil pastel finishes
Warm and cool canvases adorned with squiggles of yarn, glitter glue, buttons galore, translucent glitter, pom poms and more!
Wire sculptures twisting and turning
And – 3-D collages fun of color and fun!

Join the fun during “Adventures in 3-D”, Week 1, June 10-14, Ages 4-5 and 6-7.

Amazing Landscapes and Vibrant Villages


Cabinet doors transformed with the vibrant colors of Unicorn SPiT – blue, teal, purple and a tinge of white.


Bowls of sea glass, rocks, buttons, glass cabochons, marbles, pearls, seed beads, shells, colored wooden matchsticks, mirror tiles, pearls, old jewelry …bowls and bowls of ephemera just waiting to become part of a masterpiece.


Creating a cliffside village with collected driftwood anchoring whimsical cottages – all made from cut wooden spools.

Imagine the fun…

Creating swirls of beads, bridges of stones, path of pearls, moons hanging from rhinestones, and suns sparkling with gleaming beads and shiny buttons.

Imagine…just imagine…

Creating the perfect place to dwell…

Our young artists did just that in 2018 and they were spectacular…just spectacular!! 

Photos: “A Perfect Place to Dwell” Camp, July, 2018

Don’t miss the fun this summer….

The Unicorn SPiT, cabinet doors, and bowls of ephemera will be back again in 2019.  This summer our artists will be creating horizontal assemblages of villages nestled in the rolling hills of the countryside as well as painting acrylic landscapes.

Amazing Landscapes and Vibrant Villages, Week 5, July 8-12, Ages 8-10 and 11-14

Painting Self Portraits

Are we creative?
Do our artists create amazing masterpieces?
Do our artists have fun!
Perfect example: Self-portraits using a glue technique.
Our artists created masterpieces of themselves…colorful, large, abstract!
They used simple supplies… photographs, transparencies, an overhead projector, large stretched canvases, pencils, glue, acrylic paints…and… vivid imaginations thinking in brilliant color.
Voila! Striking works of art!

Photos: “The Great Pour” Camp, Ages 8-14, June, 2018