in partnership with the
National Optical Astronomy Observatory


Brown lizard

Blue Butterfly

Bright Green Beetle

Colors of Nature

Entering Grades 5-7 in the Fall 2017

June 19-23, 2017

Explore the colors of nature through art and science! Learn about why flowers have the colors they do, how bees see, and make original art using chemistry and optics. This camp is a combination art studio and science lab, where microscopes and paintbrushes work side by side as we investigate and create a colorful world.

Participants will draw, create an animation, observe birds and insects, explore UV light, mess around with pigments, and use scientific tools such as microscopes. They will learn about foundational approaches in art and science, as well as how color is produced in objects such as feathers and butterfly wings. The final day will include a showcase of the students work for family and friends.

Sign Up Online

Questions? Contact Amy Orchard at 520-883-3083 or

Scholarships available for members of the Tohono O'odam Nation. For more information please contact Rob Sparks at 520-318-8313 or

About the Instructors:


Perrin Teal Sullivan is an artist and educator who has been working with the Colors of Nature program for the past five years, sharing her love for the natural world with students and teachers through an integrated art and science approach. Born in the Pacific Northwest, she grew up exploring the lush density of life in the temperate rainforests where the Cascade Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. As a student at the Rhode Island School of Design she fell in love with the schools’ Nature Lab, an extensive collection of plant an animal specimens made available to students for in-depth studies of the forms and functions honed by the natural world. In 2010 she moved to Alaska to work with a large herd of musk ox, one of the few remaining species of megafauna that roamed the grassy steppes of the far north during the last ice age. Fascinated by the scale of the northern wilderness, and curious about the history and rapid changes of the Arctic, she remained in Alaska and began exploring the minerals of the region through a ceramics practice, earning a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has taught art to students of all ages, with a focus on fostering curiosity and facilitating self-directed inquiry. She is thrilled to lead the Colors of Nature summer studio at the Desert Museum, surrounded by the colors, forms and phenomena of life in the Sonoran Desert.


Amy Orchard has been an environmental educator since 1992. She has worked at Arches National Park as an interpretive ranger, at numerous river companies throughout the western US as a river guide and as an Education Specialist at the Desert Museum since 2000. Amy also is a registered yoga instructor (RYT 200) and loves teaching all ages and all levels of yoga. She enjoys her position at the museum working with the Teen programs and its 30 teen volunteers as well as the being the lead coordinator and instructor for the Earth Camp programs since 2005. Amy's own two daughters are now on big adventures of their own, so she looks forward to spending lots of time with other youth. Amy is a certified Wilderness First Responder (many steps above basic first aid certification) and is current in CPR certification. Besides teaching and practicing yoga and working with teens, she enjoys riding her bike over Gates Pass, backpacking with her husband, star gazing and listening to the breeze move through the spines of a saguaro.