Pianist Christina Spurling leads an online music class featuring singing and rhythm games, Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. through Summer Festival of the Arts. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTINA SPURLING

Fun things to do

With so many folks and families confined to their homes, many artists and musicians have stepped up and offered free lessons and material. Here’s some we’ve come across. Know of others? Send to [email protected]  


The fold of art  

Origami cranes and dogs were on tap as part of Cherryfield artist Audra Christie’s first two live online classes on March 19 and 26 from her off-the-grid home. She teaches pre-K through eighth grade at Cherryfield Elementary School and is an assistant professor at the University of Maine at Machias.  

Live at 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Audra showed how to decorate and make a square out of a rectangle of paper. Printer, newsprint and scrapbooking paper will do fine. Folks have logged in from Milbridge to Anchorage, Alaska, to take the free class that’s easy to grasp. To learn more, go to Aud Art on Facebook.  


Inside the lines 

Mount Desert Island artist Jennifer Judd-McGee, who runs the shop Swallowfield in Northeast Harbor, has created a free, intricate design for children and adults to color in and those themselves as an interlude during the coronavirus pandemic. McGee is best known for her elaborate paper-cuts depicting fanciful scenes brimming with trees, flowers, cottages and other elements from the coastal Maine landscape.  


Just draw! 

“Hey, Kiddo” author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka, a two-time winner of the National Book Foundation’s Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, is offering free drawing lessons for all ages each day at 2 p.m. from his studio in western Massachusetts. Nicknamed JJK by his grandfather, Krosoczka starts by showing a comic strip he created in fifth grade. He shows how he goes about drawing the Lunch Lady and his other characters. “There’s just something magical about something out of nothing,” he says. “Putting marks on a paper has always made me happy.” You get to meet his pet pug Ralphie too. Check it out “Draw Every Day with JJK” on YouTube. 


Power of song 

“Black Socks,” “How Far I’ll Go” and “A Thief Came and Stole Two Sheep” are among the fun, upbeat tunes you can sing from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Wednesdays with pianist Christina Spurling live online for free through Summer Festival of the Arts. Geared for elementary school-aged children, participants sing songs, rounds and rhythm games. Non-pitched percussion instruments — like spoons and pots and pans — are welcome too. 

Spurling teaches piano, accompanies Pemetic School’s show choir and directs music at the Somesville Union Meetinghouse. Registration is not required. To join in, go to sfoamaine.org, click on Virtual Art Classes and scroll down to “Song and Rhythm with Christina Spurling.” 

Letitia Baldwin

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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