Thursday January 31, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- River Gallery School begins its 37th winter/spring semester of art-making on Feb. 4, and is enrolling now.

The school operates year-round and offers a full spectrum of 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 by Amy Spleen, Ross Smart or Jillian Farwell. Students choose one afternoon a week to explore their innate creativity in a nurturing atmosphere through painting, drawing, printmaking and/or sculpting. Instruction is one-on-one and a wide range of materials is available for inspiration.

This semester RGS co-founder, Barbara Campman will also offer a Monday afternoon session of Children’s Studio class in her Westminster West home studio.

Vacation Art Camps are planned Feb. 18-22 and April 15-19. Lots of activities are planned keep children’s creativity flowing -- drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting.

In Exploration in Art for Preschoolers, Collin Leech leads young artists/scientists/explorers as they get messy and experiment with lots of different ways to paint, make prints, collage and sculpt. Be prepared to drip, dye, smudge, and stick things together, maybe even make instruments, mosaics and fiber arts too. Leech is also planning a special workshop for Day-Care providers and a class for parents of tots with childcare available.

Adult Studio Class offers a studio atmosphere with dialogue-based instruction from working artists. Student/artists develop their own projects with individual process, skill building, creativity and expression as the focus. Teachers Lydia Thomson, Helen Schmidt, and Jason Alden 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 andevening options, and is appropriate for all levels.

Helen Schmidt will teach Printmaking, Collage + Assemblage beginning with monograph, collograph and plexi-etching techniques, then moving into making collage using the prints, and then 3-D assemblages built on the work.

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.

Matthew Peake is offering a Thursday evening class called Pastel Techniques II for pastel painters of all levels of experience. Students will combine basic skills with new ones to improve specific skills such as depicting snow, cloth, glowing lights, night scenes and more.

Lynn Hoeft will offer two sessions of watercolor classes. The first half of Amazing Watercolor will focus on landscapes and how to simplify them, as well as skies and atmospheric effects. The second half will turn to animals -- fur, scales, and feathers.

Julia Jensen will offer her popular 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.

Meetings of Barbara Campman’s Inquiry Into the Creative Process will begin in late February. Often process and symbols can help artists to see who and where they are, and assist exploration of creativity

Life Drawing with Jason Alden is offered on Thursday 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. 5, 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 impressions of the light, form, space and feeling of the pose.

Weekend workshops, mostly one-day opportunities, are planned through the semester. They include Sequencing with Lydia Thomson; Life Drawing Marathon with Matt Peake; Going Wild in Pastels with Robert Carsten; Suminigashi/Chinese Brush Painting with Bruce Iverson; Paper Cutting with Stuart Copans; Sock Puppets with Jamis Lott; Printmaking with Kim Colligan; Color Mixing with Jason Alden; and Encaustics with Julia Jensen (two days).

River Gallery School is a non-profit educational organization that offers an in-depth visual arts program for young people and adults. 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.

All skill levels are encouraged at RGS. There are 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 various other grantors and fund-raising activities.

Visit the sunny studios at 32 Main St., visit www.rivergalleryschool.org or call 802-257-1577 for more details.