Twelve students in the After School Program at Family & Children's Agency finished the school year with an exclusive showing of their artwork at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan in mid-June.

"The children learned so much about the process of creating art, and they had great pride in the pieces they created," Academic Specialist Amy Jeffereis, who coordinated the experience for the students, said. "So this experience really supported our program goals of enriching their lives while helping them to acquire new skills and confidence."

Students in the program worked with artist Martha Kot, who has been an instructor at Silvermine for 10 years and has participated in the outreach program there for six years. Working with her, they studied different characteristics of lines and drew sketches of objects with ink and brushes. Then they added color to their drawings with oil pastels. Each student developed a title for his or her work before putting it on display. The art show opened with a reception attended by the students and their families, where, Ms. Jeffereis said, "Our students felt like they were celebrities."

In addition to their drawings, the students produced some ceramic pieces, with materials funded by the After School Program. Program funds also were used to purchase frames for the drawings, and to pay for part of the students' time at Silvermine. The Silvermine Arts Center donated the remaining materials as well as time and space for the exhibit. Jeffereis expressed her appreciation for their generosity.

"Silvermine was so wonderful to help us with Martha Kot's time and the use of their facility," she said. "Our students were inspired by being able to see professional artists' works in progress and to think that their artwork was hung in the same creative space."

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