On an Island with a lot of great things going, one of the best things may be Free Teen After School Program. Funded by a grant from the Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Charitable Foundation, this program has been in the works for over five years.
“They walk through the woods after school and others come up the hill,” said Ann Smith, Executive Director of Featherstone, “and we just love having them here.”
Currently there are three classes offered to Island teens. Holga Heaven on Mondays, Ceramics on Tuesdays and Mixed Media on Thursdays.
In Holga Heaven, teacher and photographer Sam Hiser teaches kids how to shoot film with their own personal plastic Holga camera and make gelatin silver prints in Featherstone's darkroom. Students learn how to work with medium format film, develop negatives and make traditional black and white proof prints on a high-end enlarger.
Nancy Blank and Carl Mueller teach Ceramics where students learn hand building and wheel throwing as well as how to glaze and fire their work.
Mixed Media is a new addition to the roster this year and is taught by Elyse Clark. Students are working towards an understanding of composition and abstraction in a mixed media piece.
The class schedule was expanded this year to accommodate students who get out of school later than those at the l.
“Some kids just drop in for an hour and some stay for the whole time,” said Smith. There is no registration required and students are allowed to come to as many or as few classes as they choose.
“This is part of our commitment to the Island kids and many of them – especially those who don’t do sports or who aren’t interested in any clubs, see this as a great afternoon alternative.”
The Babson Foundation grant funds not only the money to pay for the teachers, it also covers all the supplies as well.
“We give the kids the cameras, the film, we matt their for them. They’re learning great skills and they’re having a great time,” said Smith.
Students of Hiser will be exhibiting their work at the Student Photography show that opens on March 11th and runs through March 16th.
Holga Heaven: Tuesdays from 2:30 pm – 5 pm in the Barn Studio
Ceramics: Wednesdays from 2:30 pm – 5 pm in the pottery studio
Mixed Media: Thursdays from 2:30 pm – 5 pm in the studio.
For more information about the Free Teen After School, visit Featherstone’s website.