The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley is offering several unique summer camps beginning in July. Preschoolers can develop their visual literacy skills, while aspiring artists aged 6-12 will make friends and hone their creative talents through half-day and full-day camps that are led by museum professionals, with guest appearances by a professional working artist in a setting of museum-quality art.

These campers will also get an unforgettable, behind-the-scenes look at how the Allentown Art Museum brings special exhibitions like its exciting summer show, At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic, to life. There is a charge for all programs, with reduced rates for museum members.

Wonderfully Whimsical, a half-day art camp for ages 6-8, will transport young campers into a world of fantasy where they can exercise their imaginations. Running from July 9-13, this camp will explore centuries of incredible paintings, sculptures, and drawings from lands near and far.

Victor Stabin of Jim Thorpe, the artist featured in the Museum's Art Ways Gallery and creator of the new A-B-C book Daedal Doodle, will work with budding artists to help them create their own whimsical illustrations and stories. The fee includes a nut-free snack.

Far-Out Fantastic is a full-day camp for ages 9-12 that runs from July 16-July 20. This camp encourages older children to savor the unexpected in the wildly diverse works hanging in the museum's special exhibition At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic as well as in the museum's deep permanent collection. An artist demonstration from Stabin will teach campers how to create their own fantastic creations. Campers will be treated to a backstage tour of the galleries and vaults to see what happens in the day-to-day operation of the museum. The fee includes all materials, participants should bring a nut-free lunch and two snacks each day.

The Young at Art Preschool Program is held every Wednesday at the museum, July 25 through Aug. 22, from 10-11:30 a.m. This is an opportunity for parents to look, learn, share, and create with their 3- to 5-year-old child. Each 90-minute session encourages thoughtful interaction with original works of art through meaningful dialogue, stories, games and fun!

The Young at Art program is designed to promote visual literacy, language development, and socialization skills as well as provide the opportunity to make creative choices through artmaking activities that are based on early childhood learning standards.

Each weekly session complements the previous sessions and includes a hands-on art experience in the classroom. The final session includes a Celebration Reception for the young artists and their guests. Registration is required by July 6.

Enrollment is limited for each camp, and advanced registration is required. For more information and registration, contact the Allentown Art Museum's Education Department at (610) 432-4333, ext. 132. Pre-care and post-care are available for an additional fee. A limited number of full and partial scholarships will be offered for each camp session.