2018 art classes at River Gallery School

BRATTLEBORO — Cure the post-holiday blues with creativity. Act on that New Year's resolution — this is the time to flex your creative muscles. The art studios of River Gallery School in downtown Brattleboro will be home to an extensive and exciting line-up of art making opportunities. We welcome people with a sincere interest in making art a part of their lives, and our scholarship policy can help make your dream a reality. Call or email us and we can begin to make it happen. Lots more details are at the web site, rivergalleryschool.org.

January short courses and workshops begin right away in the new year, and offer a chance to give something new a try. Check the web site for lots of options: Studio classes, making paint, silverpoint drawing, mosaics, charcoal drawing, encaustics, printmaking, folk figures, and more. Lisa Mendelsund will bring back art dialogues with Conversations on Art, beginning Jan. 12, and the popular portrait series, Secret Lives of Shopkeepers, will resume with Leigh Niland on Jan. 17.

February ushers in the winter-spring semester, with both short courses and workshops and longer sessions for those ready to make a commitment to a weekly practice of art making.

For ages 6 to 12, Child Studio offers an individualized approach to painting, drawing, and sculpture in an environment where RGS teachers nurture each child's free imagination. There are opportunities to experiment with both traditional and non-traditional forms of working to open young students' perceptions of art, beginning Feb. 5. Teen Studio and Portfolio Class with Helen Schmidt is ideal for students ages 12 to 18 who want to further their artistic journey. It combines open studio time, allowing students to work on art projects developed individually, with guided instruction on how to develop skills necessary to create a portfolio.

For adults of all ages and abilities, Adult Studio, focuses on individual process, creativity, and self-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 with RGS faculty. Veteran artists work side-by-side with absolute beginners in a supportive and fun atmosphere. The course begins Feb. 5 and is offered four times per week in day and evening options.

Jen Wiechers will offer Encaustics beginning March 1. Students will learn the basics of this versatile and ancient hot wax medium with instruction on how to build up surfaces, manipulate the wax, and finish paintings.

Printmakers Niland and Schmidt will offer a variety of printmaking options for devoted printmakers and those who are just interested in exploring, "What is a print and how can I make one?" Linocut, woodcut, and collagraph techniques will be the focus in Relief Printmaking. Printmaking Studio will be an open format class for students of all levels. Ongoing demonstrations throughout the semester will introduce new media and techniques. Niland will also continue to support beginning and intermediate artists wanting to further their drawing and observation skills in Intermediate Drawing, and with a short course, Life Drawing: Hands and Feet.

Watercolor Painting with Lynn Zimmerman will offer students of all levels the opportunity to learn and practice the essentials of creating luminous watercolor paintings, working with color theory and mixing, composition, understanding light, and developing visual perception. Check out Lynn's series of Saturday workshops, beginning with Valentine boxes (with guest chef Laurie Klenkel of Laurielle), and on to Pastepaper, Artful Books, and Watercolor, as well.

New and of interest in March are a Meditation and Art class with Jess Weitz, and a visit from a representative from Golden Paints giving a acrylic demo, free, in the morning and a Mixed Media Madness workshop on the afternoon of March 31.

Winter/spring workshops offer an opportunity to delve into a specific technique or subject without the commitment to a semester-long class. They focus on specific skills and techniques and are often offered on weekends. More information is available at the web site or by calling the school, but just to pique your curiosity, they include: Color Mixing for Encaustic and other Painters with Maggie Cahoon, Sewing with Robyn Weisel, Abstract Painting with Cameron Schmitz, Sequencing with Lydia Thomson, Plein Air with Mary Giammarino, Encaustic Weekends with Julia Jensen, Silverpoint with Niland, Magic Houses with Ross Smart, Pastels with Robert Carsten, Asian Brush paintg with Bruce Iverson, Charcoal Drawing with Ailyn Hoey, and Prinmaking with Kim Colligan, as well as the Zimmerman options listed above.

Upcycling will be on the agenda this year, too; stay tuned for news of workshops planned with Jackie Abrams, Crispina Ffrench, Nancy Detra, and Leigh Niland.

RGS is also offering the community other special offerings:

Workshops for Caregivers, a monthly series of accessible workshops offered free to those who spend much of their time caring for others, willl resume soon through a generous grant from the Kahn-Mason Foundation. RGS invites caregivers to a relaxing and creative outlet in community. Call or email to be included in notifications.

Ability Arts with Robyn Weisel specializes in serving and supporting individuals with a variety of abilities. This visual arts program for individuals with a developmental disability provides opportunities to learn, create, and exhibit artwork in a supportive community at RGS. Art is the common language where physical and intellectual barriers are secondary and where all perspectives are encouraged!

RGS Outreach Program with Marilyn Allen, Ross Smart, and Nancy Detra offers classes at the Gibson Aiken Senior Center, Bradley House, Pine Heights, and other venues.

River Gallery School, 32 Main St., Brattleboro, is a 42-year old non-profit arts organization providing high-quality arts instruction to people of all ages and all levels of experience. Call 802-257-1577 or email rivergalleryschool@gmail.com for more information on classes, workshops, and our inclusive scholarship policy, or visit us at rivergalleryschool.org. Scholarships are available through generous grants, donors, and RGS fundraising events.


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