News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, April 19, 2018
Haystack celebrates Mentor Program’s 20th anniversary

Ariel Larrabee

Ariel Larrabee, from Deer Isle-Stonington High School, participated in the glass workshop led by Linda Perrin during Haystack’s 2018 Mentor Program.

Photo courtesy of Haystack

by Tevlin Schuetz

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Mentor Program this year. The Mentor Program matches high school students with area artists—to work for an intensive 24 hours in small structured environments—in the artists’ studios, according to a news release from Haystack.

The lineup for this year’s Mentor Program was a combination of new, as well as tried and true, artist/mentors teaching the students. The 30 students who participated were from Blue Hill Harbor School, Bucksport High School, Deer Isle-Stonington High School, Ellsworth High School, George Stevens Academy, and MDI High School. The workshops taught ranged from creative garment making to throwing porcelain pots on the wheel, from expressive drawing to Habotai silk dyeing and glass blowing. Haystack was pleased to once again include blacksmithing. This year there were two jewelry workshops—bronze metal clay (BMC) and setting stones, as well as blacksmithing. 2018 mentors included Kyra Alex, Mark Bell, MaJo Keleshian, Michele Levesque, Linda Perrin, Nisa Smiley, Ellen Wieske, and Eric Ziner.

On her evaluation of the program, Ariel Larrabee from Deer Isle-Stonington High School, who participated in the glassblowing workshop with Linda Perrin at Atlantic Glass in Ellsworth, wrote, “It has been a whole new hands-on experience for me. I’ve never done anything with glass before, and it’s kind of mind blowing. There are so many steps to it as well—I loved the experience.”

Arthur Jodrey from Ellsworth, took the blacksmithing workshop with Eric Ziner on Deer Isle. On his evaluation he wrote that the most interesting part of the workshop was “using all the equipment and forge, because I’ve never had the opportunity to use these tools before.”

Images of students and mentors during their workshops, and work created during the 2018 Mentor Program, are accessible through the Haystack website on the High School Programs page under Maine Programs.

April is Student Art Month at the Blue Hill Public Library—the show will include work from some of the students who participated in this year’s Haystack Mentor Program. To view the exhibition, visit the Blue Hill Public Library during library hours throughout April.

Support for the 2018 Mentor Program was provided by the following funds of Haystack’s Program Endowment: the Ann and Chuck Holland, Belvedere, and Betsy Rowland. Haystack’s 2018 general operating fund is supported in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international, nonprofit, research and studio program in the arts. The school’s campus is located in Sunshine on Deer Isle and the school’s Center for Community Programs is located at 22 Church Street in Deer Isle village. For information, call Haystack at 348-2306 or visit haystack-mtn.org.

Thomas Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson, from Deer Isle-Stonington High School, participated in the ceramics workshop led by Mark Bell during Haystack’s 2018 Mentor Program.

Photo courtesy of Haystack
Ariel Larrabee

Ariel Larrabee, from Deer Isle-Stonington High School, participated in the glass workshop led by Linda Perrin during Haystack’s 2018 Mentor Program.

Photo courtesy of Haystack