Ghent, New York
Art School of Columbia County Executive Director


Reading, art, and writing all came together these past two weeks at the Ichabod Crane Primary School (Valatie) and Mary E. Dardess Elementary School (Chatham) as ASCC faculty member Nancy Kohler taught word-and-image based art programs to nearly 300 students from grades K-5 based on two poems by Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Students up to second grade worked with Dickinson’s poem “I’ll tell you how the sun rose.” Together, the students imagined hills taking off their bonnets, and amethyst ribbons crossing the sky. The students then developed location-based poems, and created postcards to share.

Students in grades 3-5 in Chatham worked with Robert Frost’s poem “The Pasture” and created poem-and-image based accordion books, one side with a journey with Robert Frost, the other with a journey of their own.

Students from both programs were given copies of the poems to take home to share with family, and encouraged to check out books from their school libraries related to the programs’ themes. ASCC’s free Art in the Library Programs, taught by a team of ASCC faculty who are practicing artists who explore similar themes in their own art, are also offered this summer for students grades K-12 in libraries throughout Columbia County. Please see ASCC’s website for locations, dates, and times.

ASCC thanks the administration, teachers and librarian at Ichabod Crane Primary School for hosting this program, and the Kinderhook Arts & Humanities Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. For Chatham, ASCC thanks the administration and librarian, and the Chatham Education Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. In addition, ASCC thanks the many community donors who have helped make these programs possible.

Entering its fourth year of offering high-quality art classes to the community, ASCC, a non-profit organization with a vision of “imagining art for everyone,” offers free art programs in the community, affordable fine art classes for older teens and adults in its 1842 schoolhouse, and hosts art lectures and exhibits. A scholarship program is also available. ASCC is located in Old Schoolhouse, 1198 Route 21c in Harlemville, at the intersection of Harlemville Road and Route 21C. Next to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, the building is centrally located within Columbia County. For more information, email info@artschoolofcolumbiacounty.org or call 518-672-7140.

Captions: ASCC faculty member Nancy Kohler displaying an example of student work at MED Elementary School (Chatham). ASCC faculty member Nancy Kohler teaching Kindergarteners with a collage inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem (Ichabod Crane Primary School).

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