Art for superfans: Classical skills find new subjects in the modern art class

From Hermione Granger to "Avatar: The Last Airbender," unconventional subjects are making classical portraits for today’s young painters.

Fan art - drawings inspired by popular characters from books, movies and graphic novels - have long languished in the margins of school notebooks. But students paint what they are passionate about in the Art School of SF Bay’s Mountain View classroom. In addition to digital and traditional media, the school offers classes and camps on manga and fan art. Minecraft and Harry Potter share the easel with still lifes and figure drawings.

Arts and humanities camps: Human history fuels brain and soul

Above Photo courtesy of Camp Marco Polo; Below Photo Courtesy of Write Now!
In the midst of the STEM frenzy, the heart of human experience sometimes gets short-changed. Camps like Marco Polo, above, and Write Now!, below, celebrate the power of human experience and expression.

Amid a plethora of

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs and coding and robotics camps, Silicon Valley still sustains a rich offering of camps to engage a slightly different part of kids’ brains. Arts and humanities camps not only help campers grow into effective communicators, but also engage them in the complexities of the culture around them.

Camp leaders: Extending impact beyond the summer

Courtesy of Los Altos REcreation
As campers graduate from shortest archer in the row to leader of the bowmen, they put their learning to work.

Old enough to be responsible adults but young enough to clearly recall their childhood days, camp counselors are often able to connect with campers and teach them a variety of skills.

By girls, for girls: Campers build a sisterhood to tackle obstacles as they chase adventure

Photos Courtesy of GirlVentures; Below Photo Courtesy of Castilleja School; Right Photo Courtesy of Athena Camps All-girls camps offer summer activity with an extra dose of sisterhood. Whether they’re backpacking, launching cardboard ships or analyzing the nuances of friendship, girls and teens get a chance to lead in a new context.

Summer camp may seem to provide two opposing choices: Kids can spend those sunny weeks shut up inside, drilling in academic skills to stay in shape for the school year, or they can kick back entirely, drop pencils for water guns and take a break from learning altogether.

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a poolside gin and tonic.

But summer in December? I’m still not prepared - and I’m not alone.

Teens offer holiday shopping advice

Yolanda Spura/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior Camille Carp, above, browses items at Cook’s Junction in downtown Los Altos. Teens and parents alike often enjoy gifts that are creative and decorative, like the shop’s packaged soaps.

The onset of winter brings cool weather, rain (hopefully), the holiday season and consequently the pressure that comes with gift giving. For teens in particular, buying gifts can be a struggle.

SpecialtyMagazines advertise


The Town Crier publishes six different glossy magazines throughout the year that are inserted into the newspaper.

You can view the latest magazine as a PDF here or explore our archive of past issues. 


Our magazines include:

  • Camps (1/31)
  • Family Spotlight (2/28)
  • Living in Los Altos (3/28 & 9/26)
  • Home & Garden (4/25 & 8/29)
  • Senior Lifestyles (5/23)
  • Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival Magazine (7/11)
  • Home for the Holidays (11/14)

To advertise, contact our sales department by calling (650) 948-9000 or email

To offer submissions to editorial, contact editor Bruce Barton at

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