Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Enamelist Society 2014 Grant Recipient — The Art School at Old Church

Grant Report/Evaluation by Jennifer Jordan Park

As a 2014 Enamelist Society Grant Recipient, the Art School at Old Church has been able to expand its offerings by starting an enameling program at the school. The mission of the art school is to enrich the quality of life in the community through visual arts education and cultural events.

The Art School at Old Church was established in 1974 as a non-profit, non-sectarian 501(c)(3) organization located in Bergen county in New Jersey. Housed in an old church, with four studios, it offers over 80 courses in each of its four quarters. The many offerings include fine art and craft classes for adults, teens, children, and families, as well as workshops and outreach programs. The educational programming serves over 700 students per quarter. The school also houses two galleries that are free and open to the public. The Art School at Old Church received the Paragon SC2-BD kiln via donation and was able to purchase, with grant funding, other enameling essentials, such as firing fork, IR glasses, heat resistant gloves, kiln furniture, sifters, grinding tools, and holding agent. With this new equipment, the art school is now able to offer enameling classes in its updated jewelry studio. Since receiving the grant, the art school enameling classes have been enrolling five to six students per class each quarter. In addition to enameling classes, the art school is able to promote enameling in other classes, such as Classical Jewelry (focus on ancient techniques of enameling, granulation, and chain making), and Jewelry Outside the Box (focus on using alternative materials such as enameling, resin, acrylic, and found objects). The art school has also run an Enamel Rings one-day workshop that enrolled nine students.

In these classes and workshops, students have been learning the art of enameling on small-scale items appropriate for jewelry making, sculpture, and two-dimensional art. Students have been using opaque, opalescent, and transparent enamels on copper, silver, precious metal clay, and steel. They have learned a variety of application methods including sifting, wet-packing, and painting. They have learned the techniques of stenciling, sgraffito, basse taille, champlevé, cloisonné, and plique-à-jour. Students have experimented with underglazes, overglazes, foils, leaf, separation enamels, liquid enamel, glass lump, and threads. They have been finishing pieces by stoning, etching, and/or or flash firing. They have learned how to use the flex shaft and appropriate tools for finishing enamels. Students have been using several methods for setting enamels, including bezel, prong, and tab setting. Additionally, they have been introduced to using solder with enamels.

The Art School at Old Church has achieved its objective of starting an enameling program with the ability to serve 20 students or more each quarter in enameling and related classes. Many thanks to the Enamelist Society for helping the Art School at Old Church to provide enhanced educational opportunities to the surrounding visual arts community.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

26th Annual New Jersey Small Works Show

Susan Fidlon, City Life
The Mikhail Zakin Gallery at the Art School at Old Church is celebrating the 26th Annual New Jersey Small Works Show with 47 works by 39 artists whose lives are connected in some way to the state of New Jersey.  The exhibition runs through July 31, 2015. An opening reception with the artists will be Wednesday, July 8 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. The show and opening reception are wheelchair accessible and free to the public. All are encouraged to attend for conversation and light refreshments to celebrate the arts.

Patricia Malarcher, She
This year's juror is Meredith Lippman, a curator and arts professional in Hudson County who taught at the Art School for 17 years. Lippman’s expertise includes contemporary fine art and public arts programming. With deep roots in the arts and the Art School in Demarest specifically, Lippman’s curatorial cameo with the 26th Annual Small Works Show is not to be missed. 

Artists from all over NJ are invited to submit their work and take part in the open competition. Meredith Lippman juried the show based on the individual merits of each work of art. The artist’s identity is not known at the time the selections are made. The single criteria for submitting work to this juried show is to have an autobiographical connection of some kind to the state of New Jersey. Submissions are received from Jersey ex-pats in places as far afield as Texas and California as well as from North, South and Central Jersey. The show becomes an artistic portrait of New Jersey by some of the many creative individuals who have called it home.
Win Zibeon, Beach Sleeper

The only limitation for the artists is that the work cannot exceed eighteen inches in any direction.  With size as the only restriction, the diversity and range of artwork becomes an exciting feature of the show. Works include photography, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, painting, papermaking and collage. Functional and decorative works in clay, fiber and mixed media represent a range of treatments of familiar materials.  Sculptural pieces achieve a kind of moodiness and grace that brings ceramics to a new level. Works in the show from the vast field of photography are printed in traditional black, white and color, digitally manipulated and printed using alternative processes. Paintings and drawings depict scenes from backyards, world travels and great imaginations. The juror selected works that shared an edgy quality, while taking care to present a range of styles and techniques. The selections make for a well-rounded exhibition of works representing a range of artists living and working in NJ.

For more information about the exhibit or classes at the Art School, please visit our website at or call 201-767-7160. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Register for Blast! Summer Art Program for Kids

There is still time to register for Blast of Art!, a week-long summer art experience for children ages 6-11. Classes are offered in two sessions (Monday – Friday) from August 10-14 and August 17-21. Children can be registered for one week or two and the schedule is structured to offer each registrant up to three classes daily, per week. 

Each class is staffed with an instructor and two aides, which lowers the child to adult ratio and provides individual attention to each child. Classes are all 90 minutes and a 45-minute midday break is scheduled for those students taking more than one class per day. 

Blast! Week 1 offers classes in color, pottery, printmaking and cartooning:
Adventures in Color! uses painting, collage and a variety of mixed media to explore new ways to see and use color. 

Clay & Pottery will offer experiments in hand-building and sculpting techniques as well as wheel-throwing to create functional and sculptural artworks. 

Stamp It Out will focus on various forms of printmaking on fabric and paper, including stamp making with found objects, tie-dye and making marbled papers. 

Drawing & Cartooning: Comic Con presents the basic drawing and storytelling skills needed to create comic art with an emphasis on gesture and expression.

Blast! Week 2 highlights a completely different curriculum with workshops in sculpture, clay, architecture, and painting:
Dynamite Sculpture uses works by Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso and Louise Nevelson to survey sculptural mediums such as paper maché relief sculpture, wood assemblage, wire mobiles, plaster and cardboard construction. 

Handmade in Clay explores hand-building techniques in clay to create projects such as pots, wind chimes and puppets. 

Architectural Design uses hands-on model building and drawing to instruct students to build sophisticated structures, as well as draw plans and elevation, and create projects to scale. 

Playing with Paint & Pastels will teach painting and drawing through the exploration of color, texture and pattern using wet and dry mediums.

Tuition fees are $150 per class and all materials are provided. A Young Artist membership ($20) is also required for participation. Registration is open by phone, fax or in-person. Most classes are wheelchair accessible. Call 201.767.7160 or visit for further information. 

A complete schedule is available online at 
and in the Summer Catalog on pages 21-22.