BRATTLEBORO -- The River Gallery School of Art announces a new semester with classes and workshops to nurture the creative spirit and enrich skills and techniques. Enrollment is open to students of all ages and abilities. Most classes begin mid-September and allow for late and mid-term enrollment as long as there is room.
Studio Art Classes support children, teens and adults in self-directed projects based on individualized interest through weekly sessions. Materials provided include oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastels and drawing media. The Sequencing approach to oil painting developed at the school is often used.
The Children’s Studio, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, fosters young artists’ imaginations, senses of adventure and self confidence as they are guided in individual art projects that originate in their imaginations and are supported with techniques and encouragement in this safe, exciting, and nurturing environment. Instructors include Helen Schmidt, Ezra Stafford and Jason Alden.
New to the children’s schedule is a Sculpture Intensive with Stafford, an eight-week class that will concentrate on thinking and making in three dimensions, manipulating wood, metal and found objects.
Schmidt’s Teen Portfolio and Teen Studio on Thursdays will focus on observational drawing and painting as well as abstract work and printmaking.
Exploration in Art for Preschoolers with Collin Leech will meet on Monday afternoons and Saturday mornings. This is an opportunity for the young artist, scientist and explorer (ages 21Ž2 to 5) to get messy and experiment in a process-oriented class that uses all sorts of unexpected approaches and materials. Underwriting by the Turrell Fund helps provide scholarships for this class, and for Free Art Enrichment sessions for day-care providers, also with Leech, the first at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10.
There are four sessions of Adult Studio each week, with choices of days or evenings, taught by Lydia Thomson, Schmidt and Alden. The studios focus on individual process, creativity and expression, using a variety of media and techniques, and are open to all levels of experience.
Lynn Hoeft offers two six-week sessions of Amazing Watercolor on Thursday afternoons, which will start with the fundamentals and set students firmly on the path to enjoyment of the medium. "Flowers" begins Sept. 19; "Self Portrait" begins Nov. 7.
Matt Peake’s Pastel/Mixed Media Exploration on Thursday evenings couples techniques in pastel painting with studio time to focus on individual work.
Three printmaking classes are offered: Helen Schmidt’s new Methods in Printmaking: Lithography, Etching and Aquatint class meets on Thursday evenings. Kim Hartman Colligan will teach two Non-Toxic Printmaking classes, Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings, exploring mixed-media techniques based on monotype.
Appropriate for "terrified beginners" or those wishing to revisit the fundamentals is Alden’s Observational Drawing on Tuesday mornings (eight weeks beginning Sept. 19), introducing students to various ways of drawing using still life, landscape and the human figure as subjects. With various models as subjects, artists in Alden’s Portraiture class (eight weeks beginning in November) will be offered tools for simplifying this complex subject.
Alden also teaches two sessions of Life Drawing on Tuesday afternoons and evenings.
Kris McDermet offers something new as RGS steps into fiber arts with The Art of Rug Hooking, on four Thursday evenings in October and November. Learn basic techniques making a chair pad, then use your new skills on bigger projectsr.
Julia Jensen will continue to help people explore the ancient intriguing form of wax painting, Encaustics, for six sessions Thursday mornings beginning in November. Dan Sherry returns with his delve into The Elements of Painting. The drop-in group will look at Western art from all eras and learn to recognize and distill essential elements.
RGS also offers workshops on Saturdays and Sundays. A collaboration with Write Action for the Literary Festival starts things off, with an Oct. 5 Haiku Workshop in the morning, with poet Jacqueline Gens guiding you in exploring modern forms of the ancient form. Then RGS faculty and friends will set up free stations in the afternoon so people can drop in and explore transforming words into images in various ways.
There are two workshops on Sunday, Oct. 6. Robert Carsten will help students achieve expressive surfaces and beautiful color, with evening landscape or townscapes lit by moonlight or streetlight as subject matter in Painting the Night. Jensen will teach plein air Landscape Painting with participants painting and sketching, learning to capture ideas for a long winter of indoor studio work.
On Oct. 12, Bruce Iverson will return with another in his popular series of Chinese Brush Painting workshops, this time focusing on the Bearded Iris. No previous art experience is necessary.
Lydia Thomson will present a Sequencing workshop on Sunday, Oct. 13. This approach to oil painting, which Ric Campman developed, is a way for both absolute novices and experienced painters enter the process at a deep and direct level.
Jodi Paloni and Schmidt will team up to offer an introduction to the concept of combining Word and Image in a two-day workshop, Nov. 2-3, moving between writing prompts and art making. Poems, lyrics, and prose will meet collage, paint, prints and more in new ways.
Join faculty, guests, and models in the Life Drawing Marathon on Nov. 9, a day-long deep-dive into life drawing.
Colligan and Jensen will join forces for a new collaborative workshop called Printmaking and Encaustic Fusion Intensive. On Saturday, Nov. 16, the focus will be on creating and layering prints with various techniques. On Sunday, Nov. 17, the prints will be the basis of encaustics, as you learn and experiment with ancient and versatile techniques.
The Angels, Shepherds, Kings and Beasts workshop for the holidays, with RGS faculty and friends, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 24, offering all ages a time to drop in and immerse in joyful creature making.
Something big and exciting coming up: Ellen Tumavicus and Junie Pereira will be guiding a trip to their current abode on the island of Trinidad from April 13-19. Art, photography, writing, birds, beaches, Port of Spain, hikes, beach lolling -- all in a beautiful, colorful, lush environment with lots of options. Call and ask about it.
River Gallery School is a non-profit educational organization that offers an in-depth visual arts program for young people and adults. RGS tries to make classes available to all with a sincere interest, and is glad to talk about scholarship and trade possibilities and payment plans. Stop by the RGS studios at 32 Main St., second floor, visit www.rivergalleryschool.org or on Facebook, or call the office at 802-257-1577 for information.