An Artist With A Mission: Make Art, Teach Art, Create Good
Giving back and supporting teaching the arts is at the heart of what Newtown artist Meagan Ferriter has been doing through her studio, Limekiln Studio.
“My mission as an artist is simple: Make art, teach art, and create good,” Ferriter’s website, meaganferriter.com, explains.
But there is much more to the lessons Ferriter has been offering to both children and adults beyond pigment and water: A portion of her art studio’s sales supports her humanitarian projects in Russia and Dominica. Those projects support teaching art to students in both countries, and two students from Dominica have been taking Ferriter’s art classes virtually through EverWonder Children’s Museum in Newtown.
“It is truly an exciting collaboration between the EverWonder Children’s Museum and my business, Limekiln Studio,” Ferriter said in a recent e-mail.
Roughly two years ago, Ferriter was teaching English as a second language classes virtually to students in Russia from Newtown, while her children were younger. Unbeknownst to her at the time, teaching virtually set her up for the pandemic. Around the same time, EverWonder Children’s Museum was looking for an artist to paint a mural. Ferriter completed the project, and residents began asking her to do more murals.
“It just took off,” Ferriter remembers.
She had never thought about charging for her art before, but soon she was running an art camp for the museum; then teaching a summer art camp for elementary school students — virtually, due to the pandemic; then booking other classes for both children and adults online — and she had a business, which she named after a brook near her home.
Now Ferriter offers online art classes for both children and adults, which can include wine and painting options for friends. Residents may also know Ferriter from the classes she teaches for children at C.H. Booth Library on Saturday mornings.
From the start, Ferriter said she always wanted to give back a portion of her earnings to children in Russia and Dominca, both places she has lived.
She explains on her website, “As a Fulbright Scholar in 2005 to 2006, I had the unique opportunity to live and teach in three different orphanages in Bashkortostan, Russia. Because of the close relationships I have maintained there, I am able to safely collaborate with Studio 47, a Russian art studio for kids, to pay for orphans to study drawing and painting.” And, “From 2009 to 2011, I lived on the island of Dominica in the West Indies while my husband attended medical school at Ross University. Using my connection to a local Catholic School, St John’s Academy, I am able to effectively channel money for art supplies and art classes to underprivileged youth.”
Ferriter began painting when she was between 5 and 6 years old, and she says that the virtual teaching she oversaw before the pandemic helped her learn how to teach virtually. She primarily uses watercolors with school-aged students because they are an economical painting option. As an artist, she works with both watercolor and acrylic paints.
While Ferriter does not accept donations for her humanitarian projects, people can commission paintings from her or take a class. A portion from those earnings will support her humanitarian efforts.