FARMINGTON – Franklin Community Health Network is offering three two-week sessions of free accelerated art instruction for teens, ages 13 to 16, this summer.

Students will participate with the understanding that the artwork they produce will become the property of FCHN to be later auctioned to raise funds for a new Mobile Health Unit for the Healthy Community Coalition.

The innovative program will utilize art and literature as mediums to inspire students’ imaginations and give them skills to create pieces of art based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling, a popular writer of children’s books and poems. Students will be taught how to create paintings and collages, as well as papier mache masks and figures based on Kipling’s literary themes.

The first two sessions will take place at the Renaissance School in Wilton starting July 11. The final two weeks, begin Aug. 8 in Rangeley. Each two-week session convenes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. All art supplies will provided at no charge.

In addition to studio classes each day, students will listen to Kipling readings several days a week by a literacy volunteer, and have a weekly health discussion on a healthy lifestyle topic featuring a health educator from the Healthy Community Coalition.

Art instructors include Natasha Hargreaves, a junior at the University of Maine at Augusta majoring in art education; and Catherine Merrow a recent graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington in Art and English.

Professional guest artists will also be incorporated into the program to supplement the art instruction.

Students will be instructed on the use of embossing and fabric paints and acrylics to create a two-dimensional painting and collage during one weekly session with the other week devoted to creating a three-dimensional papier mache animal mask or figure.

“This project relates to national issues that children have a need to have access and exposure to great literature and the opportunity to create art in a supportive and educational environment,” said Maureen Goudreau, development director.

“Teens who participate will be providing a service to the community by raising funds from their artwork toward a vital community outreach program,” added Goudreau. “And, student’s time in the studio during each session can be used to fulfill their high school’s community service graduation requirement.”

Additional information and applications are available online at or by calling the Franklin Community Health Network Development office at 779-2750.

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