“Plein Air Landscape” by Delfina Presa-Guzman, Grade1, Tremont. IMAGES COURTESY OF SCHOOL DISTRICT ART TEACHERS

Kids creating art at home

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND – Art teachers in the local elementary schools can’t work with their students in person these days, but they are still planning lessons, giving assignments and encouraging the kids to draw, paint and express their creativity in other ways. 

Chandra Raymond, the art teacher at Tremont Consolidated School and Swan’s Island School, connects with her Swan’s Island students through virtual meetings, where they show and talk about the art they have made. 

They really love to see their work on my website, so they share a ton of pictures with me,” Raymond said. “They really need time away from screens, so I am trying to figure out ways to check in with them, then send them off to make some art, and reconnect at the end of class. 

“Last week I sent them out to paint. A middle school student said that was the first time she had been outside in two weeks, and she was so glad to get out in the sun.  

“I’ve gotten little glimpses of every student’s home life, and it is great to get to know that side of them.”  

For example, Raymond learned that a kindergarten student, Navi Dy, keeps a pet ant named Red Pinch. 

I told her to draw it, and she sent this amazing ant picture. 

Raymond connects with some of her Tremont students through one-on-one virtual meetings and email. She makes art video tutorials they can follow, and she is finding other resources they can access online. 

Many students have shared art they created from my lessons or just on their own,” she said. “I think creativity helps a lot of the students feel calmer. For those that love art, it helps them through this time of isolation.’ 

Raymond said she has been impressed with how engaged and encouraging the parents of students at both Tremont and Swan’s Island have been and how much support she has gotten from other teachers at both schools. 

Support from art colleagues has been amazing throughout the island and the state, and we are all helping each other by sharing ideas,” she added. 


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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