Curiosity and Creativity through Arts@theIntersection

Arts@theIntersection is the Farnsworth’s year-long program that ignites engagement in the classroom by integrating the arts. Through a dynamic series of workshops in our galleries, studio, and classroom, students delve into critical thinking, storytelling, and relationship building – all fueled by their own curiosity and interests!

Watch how our 2024 cohort of Arts@theIntersection students, educators, and artists engage in creative problem-solving through collaboration and the arts.

Images from this year’s Arts@theIntersection program:

Check out recent Arts@theIntersection student poetry: Bridging Art & Sea Experiences

How It Works

  • Student-Driven Learning: Each classroom explores a project that is meticulously crafted around student interests and questions, fostering a truly personalized learning experience.
  • Hands-On Exploration: Students venture beyond the classroom – they explore our galleries, studios, and engage with community partners to bring their creative visions to life.
  • Dedicated Partners: Our museum staff and talented Maine artists work side-by-side classroom educators and students, providing support and inspiration throughout the program.
  • Building Connections: Over the winter and spring semesters, students embark on collaborative workshops that connect to their classroom learning and personal interests. These workshops prioritize the creative process and the joy of artistic exploration.

Students Make a Statement

Get a glimpse into a selection of projects currently underway with our 2023-2024 partners! Utilizing arts integration, this year’s program explores powerful themes, inspiring students to create thought-provoking pieces. 

What Matters?

Vinalhaven School (Grade 7) tackles the question of art’s relevance by building a unique vending machine made out of paper. Each object inside symbolizes something important to them, sparking conversations about what art can convey.

Facing Monsters

Focusing on social issues, Medomak Alternative Program (Grade 9-10) interviewed community members impacted by environmental concerns, crime, mental health, and employment issues. Their experiences are reflected in a powerful clay monster, whose skeleton represents the struggles of modern day life. 

Connected to Our Seas

Inspired by the urgency of climate change, St. George School (Grade 6) is diving into the environmental impacts on the Gulf of Maine. Their stunning tiled mural depicts the delicate balance between our local ecosystems, human activity, and sustainable practices like oyster farming. 

Teaching Artists

During the second half of our programming year, each classroom works closely with a working artist. They help students transform their ideas, learnings, and curiosities into visual works of art.

2024 Teaching Artists

Daniel Quintanilla

Daniel Quintanilla is a documentary filmmaker and virtual reality storyteller who grew up in a multicultural home in México. He has worked on NSF and NEH-supported projects documenting endangered languages in México and the U.S. Daniel’s animated short documentary, Not A Citizen, was featured in the U.S. national film tour Stories Beyond Borders. He has edited numerous feature films, including the VICE/MOTHERBOARD film, The Most Unknown. Daniel’s most recent virtual reality documentary, Returning to Dadaab, follows co-director Shuab Mahat as he returns to Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya to see his mother and siblings for the first time, 15 years after resettlement to the U.S. The 2021 documentary film, The Intersection (Le Carrefour), co-directed by Daniel Quintanilla and Jessamine Irwin, focuses on past and present Maine immigrant communities who share a common bond: The French language. This film won the Audience Award for Best Short at the Camden International Film Festival as well as the Tourmaline Prize for Best Short at the Maine International Film Festival.

Richard Chalmers

Richard Chalmers has been an artist and designer for thirty-five years. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Chalmers began showing, making and selling his own uniquely designed furniture. Chalmers was awarded a Springboard grant from the Maine Arts Commission (FY2024). His work has been published in two Fine Woodworking design books. Chalmers was the winner of a national percent-for-art competition in Portland, OR. Chalmers worked for twenty years as the designer engineer for Weatherend Estate Furniture in Rockland, Maine. In addition to furniture design and building, Chalmers is an artist working with drawing in ink and paint on paper. He has had two solo exhibitions of drawings at Roguette Gallery in Rockland, ME. Chalmers has taught at RISD Summer Arts, Med-O-Lark Arts Camp in Washington, ME and Middlesex Summer Arts in Concord, MA.

Kim Bernard

Kim Bernard creates sculpture that is recycled, kinetic, interactive, public and involves the community. She creates installations upcycled out of trash and is currently focusing on transforming plastic waste into sculpture using her portable recycling machines. She shows her work nationally and has been invited to participate in many exhibits, some of which include the Portland Museum of Art, Currier Museum of Art, Fuller Craft Museum, Harvard University, Art Complex Museum and UNH Museum of Art. Her work has been reviewed in the Boston Globe, Art News and Art New England. Bernard is the recipient of the Artist Advancement Grant, Kindling Fund Grant, NEFA grant, 6 Maine Arts Commission Grants as well as funding from the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation. She was an artist-in-residence in the Physics Department at Harvard University and at the University of New England. She received her BFA from Parsons in 1987 and her MFA from Mass Art in 2010. Bernard teaches at the Maine College of Art, Colby College, Haystack and regionally as a visiting artist.

Lucky Platt

Lucky Platt creates picture books, paintings, crankies, mixed media animations, prints, paper sculptures and more delights in her lakeside studio in Burnham, Maine. Her debut picture book, Imagine a Wolf (Page Street Kids 2021) was a 2022 Ezra Jack Keats Award Finalist in New Writers, a 2022 Maine Literary Awards Finalist in Children’s, and a 2021 New England Book Award Finalist. She’s a regular arts contributor to Maine Home + Design magazine, and has presented narrative art and writing workshops and artist talks for children and adults through the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, Maine Media Workshops & College, Maine Crafts Association, Waterville Creates, Maine Arts Commission, and many libraries, schools and bookstores. Lucky studied art at Vassar College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the City University of Madrid.

Kari Wehrs

Kari Wehrs is a photo based artist and educator. She received her MFA in photography from Arizona State University in the spring of 2018.

As a child, Kari spent hours flipping through her Grandmother’s family photo albums that dated from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. The photographs were compiled neatly, often with handwritten notations, which suggested to her that they were precious objects. Wanting to see the details of each image, Kari often examined the photographs with her Grandmother’s magnifying glass. She found the idea that time could be recorded and “held” in photographs to be truly fascinating.

Kari is currently the Photography Program Chair at the Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine. Prior to this, she had been associated with MMW+C since 2008, and has been a workshops instructor since 2012.

Kari has a deep interest in the techniques, technology, and history of the photographic medium. While embracing multiple methods in her own work, her most recent series is portraiture employing the 1850s wet plate collodion process (tintypes).

Siem van der Ven

Siem van der Ven’s work follows three primary threads from his life: making things, cooking, drawing, sailing, teaching, and being a father. His undergraduate degree is in printmaking with a minor in sculpture. He also worked as a goldsmith and carpenter/builder before becoming an award-winning high school art teacher. Seventeen years in the classroom were interrupted only by a year-long sabbatical in the south of France, where Siem worked in Atelier Buffile and studied painting and critical theory at the Marchutz School. Later, while still teaching, Siem earned an MFA with a concentration in ceramics and drawing.

He has taught as an adjunct professor at University of Maine Augusta, U-Rock, and Unity College and facilitated numerous workshops. He has been a resident artist at Anderson Ranch, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Currently, Siem lives and works in Lincolnville Center, Maine with his wife Kate Braestrup. They share loving six grown children.

Tim Christensen

Tim Christensen’s work is about the ever changing web of relationships that surround us. Individuals make contact to create relationships, relationships collide to create systems.  These systems change over time in response to the other systems around them.  He envisions his world as an infinite collection of active counterparts, individuals symbiotically wriggling and moving and jostling for space and resources.  In this sea of systems, of relationships, he sits and attempts to untangle it, sits and attempts to communicate what he sees changing, being created, or disappearing into the past.  For these reasons he works in our most durable medium, porcelain, and in our longest unbroken historical record, pottery. Tim’s goal is to make work which still speaks clearly in 10,000 years, and more importantly to convey the complexity and richness of the world in which we are most fortunate to live.

Tim lives and workd in Roque Bluffs and Portland, ME, generally splitting his time.  Roque Bluffs is an off-grid home and studio he built with a former partner starting in 2009. In Portland, he works at Running With Scissors Studios, providing him with a rich community of potters, artists, brewers, arts professionals, gallerists, and friends, amongst whom he creates work.  He also fires at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, in Newcastle, Maine, using their wood and salt kilns to add varying amounts of chaos, chance, or natural variation to his controlled etchings.

He has been a potter since 1999, and working in black and white porcelain on sgraffito since 2004.  He has shown his work all over the world, and this year completed a very limited edition book entitled “Reflect, Adapt, and Persevere” with co-author Carri Lange, about his travels and thoughts on environmental philosophy.

Previous Teaching Artists

Kel Differ

Kel Differ has a BFA in Printmaking from the school of Massachusetts College of Art and Design. They specialize in hand engraving and etching but also have vast knowledge in silkscreen and litho. At MassArt, Kel monitored the printshop and also the letterpress studio. They also were a teaching assistant for etching, lithography, and letterpress. Kel is now working Brio Custom and likes to build model boats. Kel lives with their wife Emily and two wonderful cats named Dana Scully and Fox Mulder.

Pam Chévez

Pam Chévez is a motion designer and illustrator born and raised in Mexico City where she got her BFA in Graphic Design. Shortly after graduating, her curiosity and passion for audiovisual experiences got her into Motion Graphics and 3D modeling. While in Mexico City, she worked for a variety of studios where she got the chance to be involved in broadcasting, explainer videos, and video-mapping projects for clients like Nickelodeon, Sam’s Club, Kinder, The National Institute of Archeology in Mexico, and more.

Moving to Portland, Maine, gave her the opportunity to go back to branding, illustration, and web design. Today, she is collaborating as a freelance designer with different businesses and studios in Portland, NYC, and Atlanta. She is also now developing her AR and VR skills as she wants to create a more interactive scene for the community in Portland.

Pam has a call for adventure and will take any opportunity that gets her out exploring the world, whether it’s chasing waves to surf, kayaking in the open ocean, or hiking and camping in remote places. She stands for diversity and wants to make the outdoors more accessible for under-represented immigrants.


Each programming year, we partner with a group of talented and dedicated educators. Check out their bios to discover a key element to our student-centered work: incredible teachers!

2024 Educators

Christine Miller

Christine Jacobson Miller, a middle level English Language Arts teacher at the St. George School in Tenants Harbor, Maine, is in her second year of collaboration with the Arts@theIntersection program. She has worked extensively with the Farnsworth Museum, participating in several week-long institutes with the Lincoln Center for the Arts, as well as creating, and presenting art based literacy curriculum for local educators.  

Christine has over twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher and is a certified Curriculum Coordinator. She earned her BA in History and MA in Education, with a concentration in teaching literacy through the arts, from the University of Southern Maine. She lives in St. George with her husband, David. They share two grown children, Nicholas and Lauren. In her free time, she enjoys boating, cooking, reading, and sewing.

Kaylie Borden O’Brien

Kaylie Borden O’Brien is in her second year of collaboration with the Arts@theInteresctino program and has taught alternative education at Medomak Valley High School’s Medomak Alternative Program (MAP) in Waldoboro for the past four years. MAP serves RSU40’s at-risk students, grades 9-12, and provides experiential, individualized, and community-focused learning opportunities to help students engage in their goals and futures. Previously, Kaylie directed maritime history and science programs with nonprofits such as Grays Harbor Historical Seaport and the Sultana Education Foundation, crewed tall ships on both coasts, and taught mariner credentialing courses with The Seafarer Collective. Kaylie holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Idaho and a Master of Science in Education degree from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. Kaylie also holds a 100-ton captain’s license and commercial driver’s license, and loves getting her students on the water and out into the community as much as possible! Helping students access Maine’s abundant natural beauty, remarkable history, and tradition of craftsmanship is one of her passions. When not teaching or sailing, Kaylie enjoys reading, working on restoring her 1820s schoolhouse home, and gardening with her husband and cats.

Barbara Hendricks

Barbara Hendricks is an educator at Oceanside Middle School’s The Program.

Anna Myers

Anna Myers is the math and science teacher in the alternative program (MAP) at Medomak Valley High School and in her second year of collaboration with the Arts@theIntersection program. She developed a love for science and the environment while exploring the intertidal of midcoast Maine as a child. After a stint of teaching outdoor education in California, she returned to New England for graduate school. Based in Boston, she researched lobsters while continuing to teach in public high schools and at the New England Aquarium. After teaching 5th grade on a Caribbean island and college students on a schooner traveling the eastern seaboard, she returned to Maine.

She loves alternative education because it gives students opportunities to explore life outside the classroom. It also provides more flexibility and choice for students. She enjoys learning about the strengths and interests of each person and what they need to be successful. 

Jared Cowen

Jared Cowan is a sculptor and mixed media artist working and living in Rockland, ME. His sculptural works have often been realized as installed combinations of bronze castings with video/media that focus on relating the biographical capturing of family members. Cowan is currently working on a series of mixed media works that integrate newsprint crossword puzzles that look at language, meaning and the passage of time.

In 2006 Cowan founded Asymmetrick Arts (2006-2017), a contemporary art gallery that existed as a connection point between established and emerging artist who were making work in MidCoast Maine and beyond. While active, Cowan was responsible for facilitating and curating over 100 exhibitions that added to the engagement in the active downtown creative community.

In 2011, Cowan organized a rotating group of roughly a dozen local artists to establish the creative arts project Resisting Entropy. The 24-hour immersion based project included artists of all mediums that were presented a mass of collected and discarded materials so that they could be converted in to sculptural and installation-based works. The first showing took place at Asymmetrick Arts in 2011, with additional projects hosted by the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockport) and the Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland) in 2013.

Since 2017 Cowan has been teaching sculpture and art history at Oceanside High School in Rockland, ME. Having grown up and attended school in Rockland himself, it has presented a unique and valuable opportunity to complete a circle and work as a facilitator for youth artists.

Brandy Walsh

Brandy Walsh is an educator at Oceanside Middle School’s The Program.

Heather White

Heather White, who is in her second year of collaboration with Arts@theIntersection, is an educator by trade and an artist by nature. She has taught at the Vinalhaven School for over twenty years, beginning at the elementary level before moving to the k-12 visual arts position thirteen years ago. She enjoys the unpredictable experience of working with young artists exploring new media and concepts in art. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Keene State College, followed by a Master’s degree in Art Education from the Art of Education University. She is currently pursuing her National Board Teaching Certificate. In addition to teaching, she is a self-taught digital designer creating logos for local businesses/organizations as well as original art prints, stationery, stickers, and more.

Lucas Brower

Lucas Brower is an educator at Oceanside Middle School’s The Program.

Previous Educators

Bruce Gamage

Bruce Gamage was an educator at Oceanside Middle School’s Alternative Education Program.

Anna Goodale

Anna Goodale is an educator at the Riley School.

Leith MacDonald

Leith MacDonald is an educator at the Riley School.

Sarah Michaud

Sarah Michaud is an educator at Lincolnville Central School, teaching middle school English Language Arts.

2022-2023 Inaugural Year Film