BRATTLEBORO -- River Gallery School begins its 38th winter/spring semester of art making on Feb. 3, and is enrolling now. The school offers art classes and workshops for artists of all ages; tots to seniors, absolute beginners to working artists.
Children’s After-School Studio classes run Monday through Friday, with Thursdays dedicated to the Teen Studio/Portfolio. They run 15 weeks and are taught by Helen Schmidt or Ezra Stafford, assisted Ross Smart and/or Jillian Farwell. Students choose one afternoon a week to explore their creativity in a nurturing atmosphere through painting, drawing, printmaking and/or sculpting. Instruction is one-on-one, as in all RGS classes, and a range of materials is available for inspiration. New this year is a Fantasy Role Playing and Art making class offered on Sundays with Jason Alden and Brian Crego, space is limited.
Morning Vacation Art Camps are planned Feb. 17-23 and April 14-18. Lots of activities are planned keep children’s creativity flowing -- drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting. Megan Baehr will teach Story Telling and Cartooning during the afternoon of the vacation weeks.
In Exploration in Art for Preschoolers, Collin Leech leads young artists/explorers as they get messy and experiment with lots of different ways to paint, make prints, collage and sculpt.
Adult Studio Class offers a studio atmosphere with dialogue-based instruction from working artists. Artists develop their own projects with individual process, skill building, creativity and expression as the focus. Teachers Lydia Thomson, Helen Schmidt, Jason Alden, and Kim Colligan employ a variety of media and techniques appropriate to each student. The Sequencing approach to painting, developed at RGS, is often used with new students as an introduction to the class. Adult Studio meets weekly for 12 weeks with morning, afternoon and evening options, and is appropriate for all levels.
Helen Schmidt will teach Alternative Printmaking Processes beginning with monograph, collograph and plexi-etching techniques, then moving into making collage using the prints. Kim Hartman Colligan will offer morning and evening sessions of Mixed Media Printmaking. Students will create monotypes and relief prints using non-toxic inks and R&F pigment sticks and then work back into them using various media. Julia Jensen will teach a morning class on Encaustics painting and collage for a six-week session.
Lynn Hoeft will offer two sessions of watercolor classes. One, Watercolor Landscape, will focus on landscapes and how to simplify them, as well as skies and atmospheric effects. The other will be Watercolor Basics focusing on the core techniques to make successful paintings.
Julia Jensen will offer her Encaustics class in May, presenting this ancient wax-based medium, and exploring how to embed collage elements and build up translucent layers. Thomson’s small Independent Study group meets Friday mornings to discuss work in-process and lend critical eyes in a supportive atmosphere.
New this year is an offering called Word and Image with Jodi Paloni and Helen Schmidt. In this class participants will move between writing prompts and explorations in art.
Life Drawing with Jason Alden is offered on Tuesday evenings and Tuesday afternoons. Working from the live model, students will be shown various ways to understand and draw the human figure and how to create a sense of space, light, form and feeling within a picture. Alden will also teach Color Mixing beginning Feb. 4, where students will explore value structure, how color creates light, space and mood and how to compose with color to achieve integrated, balanced paintings. In April, Alden will teach Figure Painting. Working from the model holding long poses, students will work in oils to capture their impressions of the light, form, space and feeling of the pose.
Weekend workshops, mostly one-day sessions, are planned through the semester. They include Sequencing with Lydia Thomson, Life Drawing Marathon with Matt Peake, Pastels with Robert Carsten, Asian Brush Painting with Bruce Iverson, Printmaking with Kim Colligan, Elements of Painting with Dan Sherry, Language of Color with Julia Zanes and Encaustics/Printmaking Fusion with Julia Jensen and Colligan.
River Gallery School is a non-profit educational organization that offers an in-depth visual arts program for all ages. Founded in 1976, the school is based on the belief that each person has artistic and creative capacities which, when nurtured, will find unique and valuable expression.
The school is also able to provide some need-based scholarship and trade opportunities through grants from the Turrell Fund, The Kahn-Mason Foundation and the Thomas Thompson Trust as well as other grantors and fund-raising activities.
Visit RGS’ studios at 32 Main St., second floor, check www.rivergalleryschool.or or call the office at 802-257-1577, for more details.