Art presentation wraps up first Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program session

  • Warwick Selectboard member and Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program volunteer Brian Snell leads participating students on a hike to the lily pond. Contributed Photo

  • Janice Starmer leads a lesson under a tent on the former Warwick Community School grounds as part of the Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program. From left to right are Liam Smith, Elaina Holloway, Hannah Mankowsky, Janice Starmer, Silas Smith, Evan Holloway and Dylan Padden. Contributed Photo

  • Participating students in the Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program head out for a hike. Contributed Photo

  • Elaina Holloway and Hannah Mankowsky write and sketch nature observations during the Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 7/7/2021 3:49:29 PM
Modified: 7/7/2021 3:49:35 PM

WARWICK — As the first session of the Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program wraps up this week, children will have a chance Thursday to showcase art projects they built during the three-week program.

The first summer program session will conclude this week, with a second session starting on July 12. Children in the first session will participate in a presentation Thursday at 6 p.m. at the former Warwick Community School to share their art projects, creations and expressions of local animal and plant life.

“All programs are centered around the Warwick Community School’s campus and adjacent conservation lands, including Mount Grace State Park,” said Brian Snell, a Selectboard member volunteering with the summer program.

This place-based and nature-based curriculum, developed with Antioch University of Keene, N.H., includes explorations of the local environment and resources to develop a better understanding of one’s place in their community and their community’s place in the world. Creative expression, through many art projects related to nature themes, are a central part of the summer program, Snell said.

Carlee Mills, an intern with Antioch University, has been helping run this summer’s program. Snell said Mills is an experienced child-care worker and educator finishing up her master’s degree in Antioch’s environmental education program and is employed at The Village School in Royalston.

The Warwick Arts and Science Program is funded through a grant from the Warwick Cultural Council. Other support comes from the Selectboard, Recreation Committee, the Warwick Free Public Library and its trustees, and private donations.

“The first session focused on water life as well as the local fields and forest edges. The second session will more deeply explore the local forest and forest life,” Snell said.

Activities enjoyed in the first session included: nature hikes and exploration of local ponds, streams and wooded trails; visits to Clare Green’s “magical forest” and pond to observe amphibians; forest walks with local environmentalist Bob O’Keefe to discuss local plants and invasive species; nature sketching and drawing; creating gnome and fairy homes; building dioramas of local animal homes; leaf and bark rubbings; animal (and other) origami; folding art; bubble science; and more.

Special art projects with Mills and Janice Starmer included clay modeling of animals, natural cloth dyeing and animal banner making, leaf rubbings and acrylic paint projects. These projects will be included in Thursday’s showcase.

The Warwick Arts and Science Summer Program’s second session will start July 12 and run through July 29, Monday to Thursday each week. The morning session is from 9 a.m. to noon and the afternoon session is from 1 to 4 p.m. There is a supervised lunch and social/play break from noon to 1 p.m. Lunch and snacks are not provided.

Morning sessions are intended for younger children (kindergarten through third grade) and afternoon sessions are geared toward children in grades three through eight, Snell said. Some students opt to stay for both sessions.

Snell said there are still openings available for the second session, and there is no fee. The program is open to all students in Warwick and the nearby towns. Participants in the first session are from Warwick, Erving, Northfield, Athol and Orange. For more information or to register, call Carlee Mills at 508-331-3136.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.

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