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Merrymeeting Community & Adult Education

Arts & Crafts

Artist-in-Residence Program


with Merrymeeting Staff

Calendar Current session started Mar 1, 2024 at 8 am

For the Fall 2024 season, Merrymeeting will be hosting our second annual artist-in-residence program for Maine artists. In fact, we will be supporting two residencies this Fall; one based out of Topsham/Bowdoinham and the other based out of the Bath/Wiscasset region. As our arts community has expanded over the last few years, we have recognized the need to support Maine artists in a more direct way. Maine artists and the local arts communities we serve are the backbone of our cultural footprint. The more we promote them, by developing opportunities to showcase their work, the stronger our communities will be for it.

Eligibility: Any visual artist living and working in Maine may apply. All types of studio practices are welcome. Current students in accredited post-secondary fine art programs are ineligible to apply.

NOTE: AIR application will be emailed directly to you after registration.

Quick Details:

  • Partnering Art Gallery: Merrymeeting Arts Center (Topsham/Bowdoinham residency)
  • Partnering Art Gallery: Chocolate Church Arts Center (Bath/Wiscasset residency)
  • Type of Residency: Day program for working Maine artists (no living space provided, only studio space)
  • Length of Residency: 4 weeks (Sept 2024 for Topsham/Bowdoinham residency, Oct 2024 for Bath/Wiscasset residency)
  • Studio space for Topsham residency will be at 35 Republic Ave, 04086; Studio space for Bath residency will be at 34 Wing Farm Pkwy, 04530.
  • Artist Stipend: $1,000.00
  • Materials Stipend: Up to $250.00 (via reimbursement)
  • Marketing Budget: Up to $150.00 (used by Merrymeeting)

AIR Artist Commitments:

  • Artist Talk (one night) in the 1st week of residency.
  • Public Engagement Activity (one night) in the 2nd week of residency.
  • Culminating Project (solo show) in the 4th week of residency.
  • One-time donation of one piece from solo show to Merrymeeting.

FMI: Contact Jose Rodriguez Jr. at

Application period: 2/1-6/1

Creating Luminescent Dramatic Skies in Watercolor


with Deena Ball

Calendar Next available session starts Apr 20, 2024 at 10 am, runs for 1 week

If you're fascinated with the sky, you're not alone! Whether it's puffy cumulus clouds, dark ominous thunderheads or dazzling sunsets, the sky offers endless inspiration for artists. This workshop will explore how to create luminescent dramatic skies in watercolor with ease - by letting the paint do the work. Our goal will be to use the unique properties of watercolor paint to our advantage. Remember, the key to painting luminescent skies in watercolor is to let the paint do the work. Embrace the fluidity and unpredictability of watercolor paint, and allow it to create beautiful, natural-looking effects on your paper. With a little practice and experimentation, you'll soon be creating stunning watercolor skies that capture the beauty and drama of the natural world. So join us today and get painting - the sky's the limit! Please note: This is a one day 6 hour watercolor workshop for adv beginner and above. Students should be using professional tube watercolors, good quality brushes and surfaces. Bring your own lunch/snacks.

Intro to Narrative Arts: Level 3


with Vance Bessey

Calendar Next available session starts Apr 22, 2024 at 6 pm, runs for 12 weeks

This 12 week course continues where Narrative Arts 2 left off - working with the drawing techniques used to create your own: Comic Book or Graphic Novel Series, Single Panel Gag Cartoons, Comic Strips, 3D Animation, Children’s Books, Storyboards for Movies or Video Game Design. This Class is open only to students that have already completed both Narrative Arts 1&2, OR students with enough artistic ability to work at this level. Consultation by phone with Instructor Vance Bessey will be necessary before signing up for students who haven’t yet had Level 1 & 2 training. Contact me through Merrymeeting Adult Education. Taught by Vance Bessey, a graduate of The Joe Kubert School of Comic Book Illustration and local Illustrator, Cartoonist, Novelist and Art Teacher. ***NO CLASS: 4/15, 5/27.

Image Transfer Workshop


with Catherine Scanlon

Calendar Next session starts Apr 24, 2024 at 5 pm, runs for 2 weeks

Join Catherine to create a unique and beautiful image transfer panel, the perfect gift for a favorite person -- or yourself. On the first night of class we will create a collage background using a variety of vintage and patterned papers to create an interesting background for the design. Once the background has been finished, an image will be chosen to transfer to a wood panel. On the second night of class, and once our transfer completely dries, we'll finish up and we add color using a variety of mixed mediums. Before you leave for the night, your panel will be sealed with a matte varnish to protect it, other options for sealing will be discussed. Workshop is 2 Days: 4/16 + 4/23. All materials included in the $25 materials fee, payable to the instructor.

Full Course

Invasive Bittersweet: Bird Feeder


with Zack Rouda

Calendar Next available session starts Apr 27, 2024 at 9 am, runs for 1 week

***Please note that the date for this workshop has changed. The new date is Satutday April 27th.

Frustrating to gardeners and arborists, and not readily favored by birds, Asiatic bittersweet is a largely useless bane on wild land. We can use traditional harvesting techniques to tend Asian bittersweet in the wild: harvesting material for baskets while controlling and suppressing future damaging growth. Learn to make a beautiful woven window feeder for birds! We'll cover identification, responsible collection, materials processing and storage, and creation, including the basics of stake-and-strand waling and randing weaves. The bird feeder that we will make is designed to be attached to a window. Suction cups for the bird feeder, along with all required tools and materials, will be provided.

Beginning Watercolor


with Jennifer Linskey

Calendar Next session starts Apr 29, 2024 at 5:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks
2 additional sessions through Jun 24, 2024

Learn which papers, materials, and brushes work best for you as we go over the basics of traditional and contemporary watercolor ideas and techniques. Class work will be a combination of watercolor exercises, whereby we learn the behavior of and particularities of watercolor through exercises. We will then apply this knowledge to small set ups so that we can gain some practical application. I will spend some time going over basic drawing ideas, color theory, color mixing, and brush care. A willingness to draw, and/or improve upon drawing skills will enhance your experience in this class. Absolute beginners in both drawing and watercolor need to recognize that they are attempting two new skills: drawing and watercolor. Don't let this dissuade you from signing up, but recognize where you are coming in and give yourself some grace in the moments where drawing is involved. I will do my best to help you where you are at! Always wanted some watercolor instruction from the ground up? This class will get you started!

Origami Mobiles - Theory and Practice


with Chris Toy

Calendar Next available session starts Apr 29, 2024 at 5:30 pm, runs for 1 week

Join Chris for a workshop combining the art of Japanese paper folding and constructing kinetic sculpture, origami and mobiles. You'll use recycled paper and wire to create original art that moves in the slightest air currents. All materials will be provided. Please bring a pair of needle nose pliers if you have them.

Paint Night: The Great Horned Owl


with Shirley Anderson

Calendar Next available session starts Apr 30, 2024 at 5 pm, runs for 1 week

Paint Night w/ Shirley! Come join us and paint this majestic hunter and capture its wise expression with those large yellow eyes. Layering, dry brushing, and shading are a few of the techniques used to capture its beauty and wise expression. Canvas and paints are supplied.

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