Monson Arts is extremely pleased to announce the re-engagement of the High School Art & Writing Program, an important project that directly nurtures central Maine students pursuing creative studies. This Extended Learning Opportunity, or ELO, is made possible thanks to an anonymous donor which allows Monson Arts to provide this program at a low cost 24 students. Leading these young minds will be local painter Alan Bray and Portland, ME based poet and writer Dawn Potter. Both having previously taught this program, Alan and Dawn bring to bear their well-developed ideas of craft, carefully linking that to their years of experience teaching multiple age levels.

Students work with Alan Bray in the studio on a collaborative drawing

By being in a studio space and, at large, a part of the Monson Arts community, students will have opportunities to connect with established visual artists and writers which will help in legitimizing their own work to themselves. This association with differently staged Monson Arts Residents extends to within the peer group of high-school participants. Indeed, the strength of this ELO program is based in bringing together 24 hand-picked students from various local highschools and letting them bond over and be inspired by each other’s talents, ideas, and personal motivations. Having uninterrupted 4-hour blocks of time – twice a month during the school year – to focus, with careful guidance, on their creative development is an amazing opportunity, helping to seed a bright, inspired future.

Wonderfully, at the end of this program, a student exhibition will be held, open to the public, showcasing the results of these sessions. To add to this, a catalog will be produced to fully capture this work and remind students of their time of learning and growth. As a program, Monson Arts is truly excited to connect students from all over central Maine, and facilitate the use of the space as well as the powerful expertise being given to this next generation of artists and writers.