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Sweetbriar Nature Center revamps art program with new teacher

Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown has a new

Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown has a new art teacher. Credit: Meagan Flaherty

Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown is revamping its art program with a new teacher, continuing its quest to engage children with the combination of nature, wildlife and art.

Students ages 7 to 17 can opt for classes in multimedia art on Thursday afternoons or Saturdays in the Judith Collester Art Center on Sweetbriar’s second floor.

The Thursday classes teach children to use pencils, charcoal, watercolors, inks and acrylics to draw, paint and sculpt. A recent class, for instance, had students drawing a still life of silk flowers, and fake birds and butterflies, says new instructor Meagan Flaherty of Smithtown.

The Saturday classes are more focused on the center’s animals and, as the class progresses, will include creating outdoors amid the center’s 54 acres of gardens, woodlands, fields and wetlands. “As the weather gets warmer, I plan to bring the kids outside and we’ll be drawing on the trails,” Flaherty says. A recent Saturday class had students sketching the center’s indoor creatures, including birds, turtles and spiders.

Classes are $50 each with a $5 materials fee, and students should register at least 24 hours in advance. There is a discount for enrolling in the full series of classes. Sweetbriar is at 62 Eckernkamp Dr., Smithtown. For more information on cost and registration, call 631-979-6344 or visit

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