March 2017
ArtVan Rolling Into Spring
We are excited to share what is happening with our programs, upcoming events, new team members, and ways you can be involved with our programs! Read on! 
Updates from Jamie

Greetings, and welcome to ArtVan, our movi'n and groovin' mobile art therapy organization servicing Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston, Auburn, and Biddeford communities for twelve years.  As we roll through 2017, we are continuing to serve children, youth, and families of all abilities, ages six-months to eighteen, directly in their neighborhoods. We notice the continued sense of trust, gratitude, and, of course, oceans of creativity shared.  Developing these ongoing relationships in these same neighborhoods brings a wealth of learning and understanding of our youths' ability to strive to be heard through their visual expressions and by their commitment to attend week after week tells us the relationships we build are a priority. We know by they’re showing up, enthusiasm to help, make art, share stories, and authentic expression of all range of emotion that our work is important.    

We designed this winter's projects around the theme of non-violent communication- basically supporting ways for youth to feel good about themselves and each other. Through the art making and social interactions we encourage images and conversations that reflect positive qualities of ourselves, and share with other positive and unique qualities as well. One particular youth tends to be picked on by his peers because he seeks their attention by doing annoying behaviors that frustrate and tend to push peers to react aggressively towards him. His focus is easily distracted by others around him and he will easily get into another's space.  At the end of our session during a closing share, he held up a very abstract collage work with drawn shapes and parts that opened and shut.  Youth were so intrigued and they asked all sort of questions. The more he was asked, the more pride he showed, as he was able to interact with a sense of ownership and confidence leading with focus and a smile.  

Our Community Partnership Program (CPP), “Center for Wisdom Woman (CWW)”, a monthly program began eight years ago with a Bates College grant, and now for the first time, is funded independently through CWW. This Lewiston based program is for woman who may have a history of trauma. Now as survivors they need a creative, playful, nurturing, safe space. At ArtVan we support each woman’s individual uniqueness, self-expression, and encourage risk-taking through the art making process and the friendships we create. One woman stated, “ArtVan is such a positive in my life that working with my hands just helped to calm and ground me. ArtVan is a positive influence in my life it brightens me up, my energy, and I see ArtVan helping me to do things and I want to help others as well and I always feel blessed when I leave there, No matter what projects we do. Overall, I feel ArtVan blesses the universe. It helps people to see their worth and to do well for themselves and for others and the community”.  For this past session in February we used the spin art machine to “Spin From The HeART”. We created cards with spin art images, and wrote a love letter to ourselves. I mailed these back to them a few days later with a wonder woman stamp!

What's Happening at ArtVan?
Community Partnership Program

We are enjoying our work with the Center for Women's Wisdom in Lewiston. Our newest partnership is with the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. We do weekly visits to two of their adult day care centers. We have brought on a new member of our team, Stacey Jenkins. This is what she has to say about her work with SMAAA:

"I have said repeatedly that one of the best moments of my work week is when I get to go to one of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s Adult Day Care centers and use art therapy to help members tap into their own creativity.  I have been going to the Falmouth and Biddeford locations approximately twice per month (barring weather of course!) for ninety minutes where I am able to meet with 6-8 members in a group setting to conduct art therapy sessions.  One of the most notable things in working with the members is observing each member’s individuality in terms of ability to use materials.  It has been very rewarding to work with each person to adapt the art experience to their specific ability.  Knowing that some may work longer than others, I have back up projects to provide for each session so that members are always able to create alongside their friends.  To date, we have created name mandalas with beautiful oil pastels, used painters tape to create a scene and paint around it so that when the tape is gone, there are beautifully displayed lines throughout rich and vibrant colors.  Next up is going to be torn paper collages where members will be working on creating trees, symbolizing growth (and hopefully, SPRING!).  At the end of my time with SMAA we will have an art show to share with members, families and friends.  More about that to come!"  

Upcoming Events

Spring Renewal Art Bar, Thursday, March 23, 7-9 PM, Brunswick Inn, Brunswick: Join Art Van for a fun evening of painting in celebration of spring, flowers, and longer days! We will meet at the beautiful Brunswick Inn in downtown Brunswick. No experience necessary- just a willingness to have fun with paints. Light appetizers will be provided. Pre-registration is required so we can make sure to have enough supplies. Fee is $25.00. Please follow this link to purchase tickets: Click  Art Bar  to reserve your space. Contact Chris:  

Altered Couture Fashion Contest, May 25, 6-9 PM, Fort Andross, Brunswick: The 7th Annual Mid-Coast Altered Couture Contest will be held on Thursday, May 25th, from 6-9 PM at Fort Andross in Brunswick. This is a unique creative fashion show event that celebrates local community and its vast and varied talents. Designers create a one-of-a-kind design using recycled/upcycled materials and their models compete on the runway. This event has historically sold out very quickly, with limited seating.

ArtVan is honored to be this year’s nonprofit beneficiary of all proceeds. Several of our youth artisits will be participating in the designs and modeling. Tickets for this event will go on sale on April 1st. We will send along an updated e-mail with the link to purchase tickets at that time.

We are also seeking business sponsorship for this event. Your sponsorship could include an advertisement in the event program, mention of your name on the program and our social media, and a great opportunity to support our programming. If you are interested in learning more about this incredible opportunity, please contact Chris Wolff at, or 207/712-8551.

Meet The ArtVan Team

Chris Wolff, Operations Manager: Chris served on the board of ArtVan for 2 years prior to joining ArtVan as their Operations Manager. Chris has extensive experience in nonprofit management. She directed AmeriCorps programs for almost 20 years with the Student Conservation Association, the Maine Conservation Corps and the Island Institute. She then served as a Program Officer with the Maine Community Foundation. Recently she held the position of Director of Programs and Community Relations with Coastal Humane Society.  She lives in Topsham with her best furry friend, Marlee, and enjoys tearing her house apart and putting it back together in her spare time. 

Kelly Christopher, Teaching Artist: Kelly is ArtVan's teaching artist. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University Of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Kelly has been teaching art and fine craft to people of all ages and abilities for over 10 years. She believes art and the creative process promotes self-awareness, confidence and the ability to problem solve by thinking outside the box.

Stacey Jenkins, Art Therapist: Stacey holds a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and completed an internship running art therapy groups at an Adult Daycare center. She has her own private practice (working primarily with children, adolescents and young adults), She felt she was missing out on working with the aging community and happened to meet with Jamie Silvestri who was looking for an art therapist to begin these groups. She believes in the mission and vision that ArtVan subscribes to and is grateful for the opportunity to help strengthen the partnerships and create more opportunities for others to benefit from ArtVan’s services. 


There are many ways you can be involved in ArtVan's programs and mission. You can volunteer time to work directly with the youth and adults we serve. You can volunteer on our board of directors or advisory board. We'd love your help and expertise to assist with operations. Please contact Chris Wolff for more information:

ArtVan, 7 Park St., Bath, ME 04530 | 207/805-4323 |  ArtVan website