A couple of Kennett Township men who established free art lessons for local students at the township building earlier this spring have extended their efforts into Kennett Square.

Former Supervisor Chairman Tom Nale and community volunteer Gordon Farquhar announced last week that there will be art camps at The Garage youth center on South Union Street during July and August.

Nale said the fruition of their hopes came through the cooperative efforts of several people, just as they had for the Saturday morning lessons in Kennett Township.

He especially credited the work of Kennett Square artist Susan Myers, who tracked down a location in which to give the lessons.

Myers said she was generously rewarded by responses when she asked around town for an appropriate place. "I got an overwhelmingly positive response. The Friends Meeting, the library and the Presbyterian Church all said yes [in addition to The Garage]," she said.

When she weighed the merits of the different locations, she said she came up with The Garage because it offered enough space, and Patty Olenik, who runs The Garage, persuaded her to choose it.

"For us it's a good fit. We want other organizations to come in and support us," Olenik said. "This is an exciting opportunity."

Olenik added that The Garage is large enough to hold as many as 200 kids at one time for an activity.

Nale also praised the Chester County Art Association, which will provide certificated teachers and their background checks as well as insurance. The financial backing is from an anonymous donor.

The lessons in the Kennett Township Building take place on Saturday mornings. The lessons in Kennett Square will be weeklong camps. The first will run from July 10 to 14 from 9:30 to noon for ages 3 to 11. The second camp will run from Aug. 7 to 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. for ages 12 and up. Both camps are free.

Nale said that it would be useful for the organizers to know how many people are coming. To that end, he recommended calling 610-696-5600 ext 13 for to pre-register and get information. But, he added, registering ahead of time is not necessary, and parents may show up with their children the first day without prior notification.

The Garage is on South Union Street between State and Cypress streets. It offers activities for youth after school and on weekends as well as concerts and partnerships with other groups in town.

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