BRATTLEBORO >> River Gallery School is offering a line-up of art making opportunities for tots to teens to retirees. At RGS, instruction is individualized and progressive and our classes and workshops are suitable for students at all levels — from absolute beginner to experienced artists alike.

For children ages 6 to 12, RGS offers seven weeks of Summer Art Camp ($175 per week or $38 per day). This program is an individualized approach to creativity where each child's exercises his or her free imagination. Campers will experience different art making stations throughout the morning, will break for a healthy snack, and then finish-up with more creative time. The weeks run from June 27 through Aug. 8. For the youngest artists, RGS offers Collaborative Learning for Tots and Parents ($15 per session), for ages 3 to 5 on Wednesday mornings, June 15 and 29. This is a family-oriented class providing the opportunity to get messy and explore the process of creation through painting, printmaking, collage, and sculpture.


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Students will drip, dye, smudge, collage, and stick things together with the support and encouragement of both instructor and parent.

The Adult Studio ($145 for 4 classes; $265 for eight classes) is offered three times per week in afternoon and evening sessions and focuses on individual process, creativity, expression while employing a variety of media and techniques, including oils, acrylics, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, and sequencing. Projects are developed individually and instruction is one-on-one, so veteran artists work side-by-side with absolute beginners in a supportive and fun atmosphere. The course begins July 5 to 28.

This term, Jason Alden will offer Life Drawing ($175), July 5 to 26. In this class, students will work from the live model and learn various ways to understand and draw the human figure, as well as how to translate the three-dimensional world of light, form, space and proportion to the two-dimensional surface of the paper. This class is for beginners as well as those who wish to revisit the fundamentals.

RGS will offer Watercolors: Finding Beauty in the Ordinary ($185), July 9 to 30 with Lynn Zimmerman. This course is a playful exploration of simple beauty through watercolor and will include experimentation with the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi — the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

Mixed Media Printmaking will take place July 6 to 27 led by Kim Colligan. Students will learn how to create monotypes using various non-toxic media, building layers using texture, plant material, and multiple plates and have the opportunity to experiment with letterpress to incorporate type into prints.

Plein Air Landscape ($170) with Helen Schmidt will take students outside to the Hilltop Montessori campus in the hills of Brattleboro in the month of June. In the midst of inspiring possibilities for paintings, including a pond, rolling hills, buildings, and fields, artists can choose to work in either pastels or oils, with one-on-one with indoor spaces to work in case of rain.

For exploring two processes at once, RGS offers Build a Rustic Mosaic Patio Table ($240) July 7 to Aug. 11 with Ross Smart and Jen Wiechers. Design and create a rustic wood table base with a mosaic tabletop. The skills will acquired in this class will include how make mosaics with the direct method and how to build with local wood using hand tools. Your table will be a beautiful addition to any outdoor patio or indoor room. No prior experience needed.

There is a lot to tempt you in our great line-up of Summer workshops. These workshops offer an opportunity to delve deeply into a specific technique or subject without the commitment to a semester-long class.

On June 11, Ross Smart hosts Scratchboard ($120), in which students will explore this illustrative technique using sharp tools to etch into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with black India ink. Scratchboard can be used to yield highly detailed, precise and evenly textured artwork.

On July 30 and 31, Julia Jensen hosts Encaustics ($205) and on Oct. 1 and 2, she and Kim Colligan host Encaustic and Printmaking Fusion. Students will learn the basics of encaustics with hands-on instruction on how to build up surfaces, manipulate the wax, and finish paintings. In the fusion workshop, participants can choose to move between the two mediums and work in printmaking as a base to the Encaustic techniques. And, a weekend just for Mixed Media Printmaking ($185) will take place Aug. 6 and 7 with Kim Colligan.

This term, Lydia Thomson will offer Sequencing ($65), an original creative process created by RSG Founder Ric Campman, on June 26. This is a three-hour class and a way for both novice and experienced art-makers to enter the process of painting and creativity using our hands to make the magic happen. Thomson will also offer Seminar on the Philosophy of Sequencing: Sequencing Teacher Training ($360), Septe. 8 to 11. Students will immerse deeply into the Sequencing approach and learn to deal with the nuts and bolts of presenting a workshop. This is for those interested in deepening their understanding of the RGS approach to teaching art and/or those wishing to share Sequencing with others.

Jen Wiechers launches us into the world of mosaic in Mosaic Treasures ($165), Sept. 24 and 25. Students will create mosaic art using found "treasures" and materials that perhaps would otherwise be discarded and use the "direct method" of designing and creating mosaics to finish a small project. No prior experience needed.

Charcoal Landscape ($120) with Ailyn Hoey, July 17, is a hands-on workshop and demonstration of her unique method of drawing with charcoal. Hoey will demonstrate the types of charcoal and techniques used in her drawings, and students will have the opportunity to do a drawing using the materials discussed.

Lauren Watrous is introducing Making Paint From Scratch ($75), June 12 and July 10. Students will make simple versions of oil, acrylic, watercolor, tempera, gouache, and distemper paints from pigments and paint mediums. Using basic recipes, students will learn to customize paint consistencies and create pigment from plant, metal and stone. This workshop is open to all levels of adult student; it can be an introduction into painting or addition to a lifelong practice.

Cameron Schmitz is back this summer and will lead four workshops this term.

The first is Collage ($180) Aug. 2 and 9. Students will re-purpose detritus, photos and found materials, and explore the possibilities of collage. Projects will be worked both representationally and with possible invented narratives, as well as entirely abstract and close consideration to color, edges, symbols, materials and different relationships and associations will be examined.

The second is Painting Techniques for both Representational and Abstract Painters ($120), Aug. 4 and 5. Using a combination of brushes, palette knives, rags, oil sticks, and a host of materials, students will experiment with both traditional and less conventional oil painting techniques to achieve a variety of effects. This is an excellent course for both representational and abstract painters who want to experiment with different techniques in a supportive and non-judgmental environment, to attain exciting results in their painting.

The third is Exploring Abstraction: Lyrical Brushwork and Creative Mark Making ($120), Aug. 22 and 23. Learn how to create expressive, dynamic paintings while developing an individual voice and strong foundation for continued investigation. Using the basic elements of painting, students will explore the use of line, color, mark making, surface quality, and composition, resulting in an individual painting language.

Students will also look at 20th and 21st century work and discuss theories and ideas related to abstract art and translating expression into abstract images. Individual expression is encouraged while using a combination of direct observation, sketches and reference photographs as potential inspiration.

And finally, Painterly Abstraction: Part 2 ($120), Sept. 12 and 13. This class provides a supportive environment for painters who have some or a lot of painting experience or who wish to push their abstract paintings to the next level; it is for students who have already taken Exploring Abstraction: Lyrical Brushwork and Creative Mark Making or who are well on their way painting abstractly on their own.

Ability Arts with Robyn Weisel takes place on Mondays and is an art program that specializing in serving and supporting individuals with a variety of abilities thereby more fully participating, expressing, and fulfilling passions as artists within our community. This visual arts program for individuals with a developmental disability provides opportunities to learn, create, and exhibit artwork in a supportive community at RGS.

The Outreach Program, coordinated by Marilyn Allen and Helen Schmidt, has regularly scheduled classes at the Gibson Aiken Senior Center, Holton Home, Hilltop House, and Pine Heights, as well as other venues.

For more information, call 802-257-1577, email rivergalleryschool@gmail.com, stop in at 32 Main St. or visit www.rivergalleryschool.org. Scholarships are available through generous grants from the Thomas Thompson Trust, the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason foundation, the Turrell Fund, the Doune Fund, generous donors, and RGS fundraising.