Adult Program + Children/Family Program + Educator Workshop

Led by author Kathleen Ellis, this workshop will explore the connections between poetry and art, using the museum's exhibits, Rockland waterfront and historic Olson House as sources for writing. This year's focus will be on Robert Indiana’s outdoor sculpture. Experimentation with various types of collaboration and visual media will be used to jumpstart new poems. Participants will expand their range of possibilities using writing exercises, word games, found objects and group critiques.
Join Scottish artist Paul Bartlett for an artistic exploration of coastal bird life. Participants will enjoy sketching Puffins and rare Terns in plein-air on a boat excursion from Port Clyde to Eastern Egg Rock, followed by creating collage/mixed media paintings from the source material back at the Farnsworth. Bartlett will demonstrate his technique of using ripped magazines and paper in conjunction with paints to construct intriguing collages, as well as offering tips on composition and technique. Bartlett is a self-taught artist with a PhD in animal behavior; he is the guest artist of National Audubon Society.
Drawing is the backbone of all forms of visual arts. Led by artist John Whalley, this traditional course will offer a practical introduction to drawing skills including proportion, composition and the use of line and value to describe form, space and texture. Hands-on demonstrations will introduce these skills as well as media including graphite, charcoal, conte and ink. Whalley earned a BFA from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1976.

The Olson House in Cushing, Maine is classic vernacular architecture: an American farmhouse expanded and changed over its many years. This photography workshop, organized by Maine Media Workshops and taught by Tillman Crane, is a rare opportunity for students to use the Olson House as the subject, as a studio and as the backdrop. Drawing inspiration from artists who have worked in this location, each participant will explore his/her own creativity through diverse assignments. Please contact or 1-877-577-7700 for more information and to register.


Historic Sites Curator Janice Kasper will lead students in an afternoon Victorian-life experience. Come learn how children spent their leisure time during the Victorian era. Participants will tour the Farnsworth Homestead, make and eat homemade ice cream, and learn the rules to and play croquet as well as other Victorian games!

Level: ages 8-12 years
Group size: limited to 6 participants
Cost: $10 members, $15 non-members

This art camp is designed with all young artists in mind with a belief that art is for everyone and everyone can make great art. Students will build a strong foundation of basic art skills including color understanding, line variety and interesting compositions through 2D and 3D projects, as well as plein-air art activities if the weather permits. The class will visit the Farnsworth galleries, as well as other local art galleries if time allows. Each session will end with a positive critique of the day’s work. Kristine Biegel is the owner of The Creative Child, a studio based art education business that works with artists of all ages and abilities. 

Historic Sites Curator Janice Kasper will lead a 45-minute walk back in time once a week in July. While the group strolls through the downtown Rockland neighborhood, Kasper will describe what it was like when the Farnsworth family lived here during the 19th Century “Great Age of Sail.”

Tour size: limited to 10 people
Cost: free with admission
Reservations: advance reservations are not required


Join Lee Schneller Sligh for an illustrated talk about her revolutionary perennial garden design system that is the subject of her newly released book, The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous Color. Using gorgeous slides of some of the 150 gardens she has designed since 1995, Schneller Sligh will introduce the “Blueprint,” a one-page form that allows garden owners to assess balanced blooming potential at a glance. The public is invited to purchase the book from the museum store at the event or bring personal copies for signing.

In this illustrated talk, Professor Elizabeth Johns will examine what early American paintings, family portraits and caricatures tell us about American life from the 1790’s to the Civil War. Johns, Professor Emerita of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2005. Co-sponsored by Montpelier, The General Henry Knox