Art group

About the Summer Art Program

This program strives to give students the freedom to explore their creative interests and work outside the box being less concerned with process v. product and more in touch with finding that happy medium where they can have fun, learn new things and create work they really love. Students are encouraged to come with their own ideas of work they would like to do while being ready to try new things they may not have done before.

Throughout the week we discuss what it means to critique art and what words are most beneficial when discussing artwork. This helps to prepare them for the mini art show at the end of every week. On the last day, students hang all their work in the gallery space and present it to the group which includes, other artists from the building, family, and friends. This is a great way for them to practice public speaking and talking about their art. They are asked to discuss their process, what materials they used, what worked and didn’t work for them. They show us what their favorite pieces are and then take any questions from the audience. At the end of the week, they get to take all their work home in their own portfolio provided by the program.

In the fall proceeding the summer program, there is an opportunity for students to exhibit some of their best works from the summer at the Indian Orchard Mills Open Studios in November.

About the Instructor


Michelle Pescetta is an artist at the Indian Orchard Mills (IOM), a mother to a teenage daughter and an alumnus of Westfield State University’s (WSU) Art Department. Currently, she works full-time, for 10 months, as the Administrative Assistant for the WSU Art & Theatre Department. Having the summers off and being a resident artist at IOM, has given her the opportunity to start an art summer program, which has always been her dream, to work with young people, inspire their creativity and be inspired.

During college, Michelle spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo di Medici Art School and has also taught art and graphic design to high school kids that attended the M.E.O.P. program, which was a math, science, and art enrichment program held on Saturdays at WSU. She has also taught, Photoshop at STCC’s College for Kids Summer Program for approximately 4 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, the program is weekly sign ups only.

Yes, we offer discounts for, siblings, returning students, and multiple week sign up. Contact Michelle for more information.

The first week of the program, which is not date specific, each participant gets an apron, portfolio and sketchpad that is there’s to keep after the program ends. So any additional weeks your child attends they will have these materials to use and the cost is less per week.

Yes, we offer refunds, excluding the $50 deposit, for any cancellations on balances paid in full. Depending on when you cancel will determine the amount of your refund. Please contact Michelle for more information or view the form below.
  2020 Cancellation & Refund Policy

The MFA Summer Program does not offer transportation BUT we do recommend a wonderful, local transportation service provided by Rozki Rides who will offer MFASP participants a special rate for choosing them. Please contact Rozki Rides directly at: (413) 314-3154, or Facebook

Yes, because the program runs weekly for only 4 days, there is a zero tolerance behavior policy to ensure that all participants get the most from the program. Every student and parent must read, discuss and sign the policy before they can participate in the program. Please see our Zero Tolerance behavior contract for more information.
  Zero Tolerance Behavior Contract

Yes and no. Parents are always welcome to drop by and visit their child but we encourage parents to hold off until the final day of the program when we will invite family and friends to attend the students mini art show which takes place at 1pm every Thursday. The program is designed to give students an independence to think and grow outside of their comfort zone and that along with the distraction of a family member there is the only reason for this policy.

Yes they can bring their phones, which will be turned to silent and only to be used at designated times during the day. If you ever need to get in touch with your child you can always call Michelle at (413) 563-7405.

Drop offs start at 9am and at 9:15 we start the day with our morning meeting where we have icebreakers and team building activities and discuss the plan for the day. Next we will have an introduction to the new project we will be working on and then art time. Around 11:15 we will break and have clean up to get ready for lunch which will be from 11:45-12:30. Lunch is usually taken outside in a picnic area at the mill or at Myrtle Street park across from the mill. Students are able to have free time and get wet in the spray park at Myrtle Street Park weather permitting. After lunch we will have more art time, working on a new project or one we’ve already started. There will be days where we will tour the space of another resident artist at the mill and get a demonstration of what they do. Clean up is at 2 and pick-ups begin promptly at 2:30.

No, unfortunately we cannot offer any after program activities for students. Parents need to make arrangements to have their child picked up at 2:30. There will be a charge for late pick-ups.

Students should always wear clothes that are ok to get stained and messy. We cannot be held responsible for students clothing or footwear getting ruined. Even though aprons are provided it does not guarantee their clothes will be kept clean. Other than that students can wear whatever they want. If they will want to get wet at the spray park they can bring a towel and bathing suit on sunny days.

Students should pack a cold lunch with ice packs since there is not a guaranteed refrigerator. Student can also bring any snacks they may want and a drink. Water will be available for students and bringing a reusable water bottle is encouraged. We will also have snacks available and Thursday is Pizza day provided by the program so no cold lunch is needed on that day, unless your child does not eat pizza. Please notify Michelle ahead of time if your child has any food allergies. If you have any other questions please contact Michelle directly at (413) 563-7405 or