UMPI students Emma and Izzy Theriault create at Wintergreen

Emma and Izzy Theriault display acrylic on canvas paintings to be displayed at Wintergreen.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine—Emma and Izzy Theriault are first-year students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI). During the 2023 – 2024 academic year, they have been working on art-related projects at Wintergreen through the Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) program facilitated by UMPI’s ELO coordinator, Sarah Bushey, Ph.D.

Their final spring project involved recreating scenes in acrylic on canvas of children participating in Wintergreen’s arts programming. The stunning portraits will hang at the arts center.

“We wanted to show the kids playing and what the atmosphere was like at Wintergreen,” said Izzy. “My goal is to be a pediatric occupational therapist, so I wanted to get more comfortable working with kids. Especially how they play with art and use art.”

Izzy added, “The best part of the ELO was the connections it gave us with the community. Starting off as freshmen who just moved up here and didn’t know anyone, it was great to work with people in the community who love art just as much as we do.”

Emma said,” The best part of doing an ELO for me was honestly getting paid to do something I enjoyed. The ELO opened my eyes to the possibility that work can be something I enjoy.”

“Other projects Emma and Izzy completed for Wintergreen included creating and painting backdrops and sets for two of our holiday events, the Family Gingerbread Festival and popular Wintergreen Express,” said Gretchen Violette, Wintergreen’s events director. “They also taught a Tween Art Night and a lesson for our After School Arts students. In February, Emma and Izzy were Wintergreen’s featured artists with an art show held during the First Friday Art Walk. Their incredible talent is obvious, but what we enjoyed best was their personalities and work ethic. Amazing.”

Natives of southern Maine, Emma and Izzy grew up with a deep love for art and the world around them.

“I found out about Emma and Izzy from a colleague down in Windham who sets up students with extended learning opportunities,” said Sarah Bushey, Ph.D., ELO coordinator at UMPI. “They reached out to me the spring before Emma and Izzy arrived, which really impressed me. I connected with Gretchen and Dottie at Wintergreen, so a beautiful relationship evolved when the girls got on campus last fall.”

About Wintergreen Arts Center:  The Wintergreen Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2006, and located in Presque Isle, Maine. Wintergreen is an organization based on the idea that creativity, advocacy, and community can produce great things. Our mission is to provide meaningful experiences that encourage an appreciation of the arts, stimulate creativity and innovation, and offer an artistic community space where all are welcome.