Art group

About the Summer Art Program

This program gives students the freedom to explore their creative interests and work outside the box 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 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 take all their work home in their own portfolio provided by the program.

About the Instructor


Michelle Nietupski 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 as the Administrative Assistant for the WSU Art, Theatre, and Music Department. It 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 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.

The MFA Summer Program does not offer transportation BUT we do recommend a wonderful, local transportation service provided by Rozki Rides. Please contact Rozki Rides directly at: (413) 314-3154, or Facebook

Yes, 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, which can be found on the registration form, before they can participate in the program.

Yes and no. Parents are always welcome 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. The program is designed to give students an independence to think and grow outside of their comfort zone. In my experience children work differently when they are on their own among their peers. I find giving them freedom to express themselves in a group setting really benefits their artwork and development as an artist.

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 around 1:30PM and pick-ups begin promptly at 2:00PM.

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, bathing suit or a change of clothes on sunny days.

Students should pack a cold lunch with ice packs. Students can also bring snacks and a drink. Water will be available for students and bringing a reusable water bottle is encouraged. We will also have snacks available and Friday 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.

Yes, contact Michelle to discuss further.