Spotlight shines a light on the people who are part of the Sanford Community Adult Education community. Once a month we’ll introduce you to an instructor, staff member or student.
Our first Spotlight interview is with Kristin Fitzpatrick, the new Studio Coordinator for SCAE’s Arts Afire Studio. Kristin, a Kennebunk native, is a 2013 graduate of Maine College of Art in Portland, where she had a concentration in printmaking and a minor in public engagement.
Kristin brings extraordinary energy to this position, as she works to broaden the studio’s scope and its visibility. “I would like Arts Afire to be a hub,” she says. Kristin worked tirelessly through the summer to enhance the studio’s facilities, and to let more folks know the studio exists and is available for a variety of purposes.
Additions to the studio, which is in the SCAE suite on Bradeen Street, include a new drafting table, new silk-screening equipment and two pottery wheels. The equipment was either donated or sold at a reduced rate to SCAE, Kristin notes. She also received “donations” of time from others as she worked on making changes in the studio.
Kristin has been reaching out into local communities and connecting with people and organizations to let them know what the studio offers. As a result, Arts Afire is now going to be home to the Sanford-Springvale Art Association. She also connected with Greater Bay Services in Sanford, which will bring its clients to the studio. Most recently she has been discussing a collaborative project with the Sanford Trails group; she says the studio could be used to make signage to help the organization increase access and visibility.
Kristin is also letting people know that the studio is not solely a place where SCAE classes are held; it is also available to artists who need studio space. At just $8 an hour, it is an affordable option for local artists. Other offerings include individual or semi-private classes; an artist mentorship program and private art parties.
As for the classes being offered, Kristin says there is a wide variety of courses, with more focus on fine arts. Kristin will be teaching several classes; they include a general art class designed for young students ages eight through 13. She also came up with the idea of offering professional development classes for artists. “Professional Practices for Artists,” taught by Abby Dagget, is a five-week class that starts October 2.
Kristin believes that art-making can be accessible to all. “My personal take is that anyone and everyone is an artist,” she says. “There’s a lot of different ways to participate in the arts.”
Kristin also continues to nurture her own art career. She creates commissioned pieces, and she also exhibits her work. Most recently she was part of a show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland. Kristin’s main focus at the moment, however, is Arts Afire. Here, Kristin is artfully using her creative energies to infuse the studio with new possibilities. To learn more about the classes and/or the facilities, visit www.SanfordLearns.org. You can also connect to Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org.