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Art Garden after-school program offers chance for kids to explore

First session signup deadline is Monday

Submitted photo
Area teen Amanda Adams shows off a pocketbook she made during a free program at The Art Garden, which is now taking applications for three free six-week after school programs.

Submitted photo Area teen Amanda Adams shows off a pocketbook she made during a free program at The Art Garden, which is now taking applications for three free six-week after school programs.

SHELBURNE FALLS — County teens can explore the world of art in an upcoming six-week after-school program, and it won’t cost them a thing.

The Art Garden is currently taking applications for three sessions, the first two lasting six weeks, and the third going for eight weeks. Applications for the Oct. 22 to Dec. 3 session are due Monday .

Teens don’t need to have finely honed artistic skills or innate talent. There are no grades, just opportunities.

“Our goal is to help the kids explore what it means to be creative,” said Jane Wegscheider. “We’re here to provide materials, resources and our own skill as artists.”

Wegscheider and fellow Art Garden artist Phyllis Labanowski will facilitate the program, each offering their own brand of art. Wegscheider is better versed in drawing, painting and traditional techniques, while Labanowski likes to work with recycled, found or unusual materials.

The program will also bring in other Franklin County artists, who will share their own skills and techniques with students.

As for the curriculum, it’s still taking shape.

That’s because the students’ interests will direct the class.

Applications ask each student to explain their interests. Is there a certain style they’d like to learn, or a particular medium they’d like to work with?

“A lot of the boys have said they’d like to work with welders,” said Labanowski.

Other interests have included fashion, environmental art and good old painting and drawing.

The workshops will culminate with a gallery event, where students’ work will be displayed.

“At the end of the last session, there will be a gala exhibit and a pay-it-forward mini-fundraiser,” said Labanowski. Students from the first two sessions will be invited back for the gala event.

Classes will go from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. Students from Mohawk Trail Regional School can take the bus to Shelburne Falls, and students can also take FRTA buses if convenient. All students will need to find a ride home, though the Art Garden will help coordinate car-pooling.

Middle and high school students may sign up for one, two or all three sessions.

ArtTeens is funded by an endowment from the Eleanor and Philip Singleton Endowment Fund, the James D. Watt Charitable Fund and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

While the program is free to Franklin County teens, those from outside the area may also apply. Teens coming from outside the county will be charged an admission fee on a sliding scale.

Applications can be found online, at goo.gl/bTO36v. They must be printed, filled out, and returned to The Art Garden, 14 Depot St., Shelburne Falls.

For more on the Art Garden’s programs and open studio time for all ages, visit www.theartgarden.org.

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