July 11, 2017
It is a blessing that I get to surround myself with art teachers who are profoundly creative and care about helping others with such passion. It is really special when I can also give back to those people who do the heavy lifting at One River School.
This week we present a new exhibition from Morristown’s very own Catherine Haggarty. Catherine is a rare bird … spend five minutes with her and you can’t help but want to be around her. And, she is one damn good artist who recently pulled the rip cord and threw herself into a new place and studio in Brooklyn, where she is now working full time as an artist after many years of teaching art within the public school system in New Jersey.
Let me tell you more about Catherine Haggerty. Grew up in Morristown, NJ. Acclaimed basketball player. Fabulous artist. Two Master’s Degrees. Committed art teacher. And, now full time artist with a solo show at One River School in Allendale opening this Thursdaynight at 5PM.
Catherine has also been helping to run our Art Effect Program at One River. This is our super advanced studio program for teens that simulates a pro artist experience and culminates in exhibitions in New York and other places. She exemplifies the key characteristics of someone who makes others around them better and I am very grateful to watch her invest in our students and looking forward to having her share her artwork with us this summer.
Support emerging artists people…they make our world a better place.
Catherine Haggarty, Bleu-Jaune Champ
Thursday, July 13th 5-7PM with an Artist Talk @6PM
RSVP Here >
Teen Workshop with Catherine Haggarty
Thursday, July 13th at 3:30PM
Free & Open to All Teens
RSVP Here >
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool @CatherineHaggarty #Bleu-JauneChamp
July 3, 2017
Today I simply want to reflect on America…the amazing country that we live in. I am grateful for having access to so many things and I am deeply aware that being an American comes with great privilege.
My motivation to promote the arts is rooted in the fact that I want people to enjoy life more and I believe that doing creative things promotes happiness and well being. The arts are highly valued and at the same time there are so many pressing issues. One River is adding to the fabric of what is good in America and over the next year we plan to open a bunch of new schools in towns across the country.
I hope that we can all agree that this July 4th we can cherish what we have and respect where we have come from. Happy Birthday America! Just like everything, it is easy to take you for granted too.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #America
June 27, 2017
We just finished our student exhibitions at all of our schools and I found myself walking around with a constant smile on my face. On one level, I am really proud to see the artwork all over our walls that simply demonstrates the time and effort our students and staff are putting in. We really have become a first rate art school.
But, beyond the artwork, I can’t get over the pride on our student’s faces as they look at their work and the hundreds of others around them. One River has grown and has become a real community. And, at our shows, our community is even larger with friends and family enjoying the creative energy in our space.
Art making is like playing music…you do it because it makes you feel good and allows you to express yourself in a different way. Like music, it also needs to be shared with others and our student exhibitions are a concert in their own right with a real audience providing the feedback and the love.
June 19, 2017
I love documentary films on so many levels. The simplicity to the story telling and the “everyman” subject matter often connects with me. I have sat and watched documentaries about artists, athletes, politicians and topics as diverse as our food supply and scaling Everest. Our first summer at One River we rolled out a documentary film class and asked students to bring a personal topic to class.
Here’s a range of subjects that we covered that year: “The Armenian Holocaust”, “The History of the NY Rangers”, ‘Is Cheerleading a Sport?” among others. This camp allowed us to begin to teach filmmaking without the challenges of acting and scenery etc… and the results were amazing.
This fall we will roll out a new ambitious nine month Teen Documentary Filmmaking class that will culminate in short documentary films via small groups of students. We will hold screenings including our first film festival and we will show these worldwide online at our new branded website.
Get more info below.
Documentary Film for Teens…three part course, small groups, screening and online film festival.
One River Film School… has a nice ring to it!
June 12, 2017
It is that simple. Whenever I slow down a bit and reconnect with the outdoors, I am reminded of two things. How much better I feel and how much my brain responds to the visual stimuli of the outdoor.
Given the technology available to us today, it is so easy to create highly credible photography of the environment. Ansel Adams may be rolling in his grave, but the current capabilities of the iPhone and iPhoto have given people so much potential to capture the beauty of the world in front of them.
The picture above is an Ansel Adams photo. Click here to see some simple shots I took last week in Aspen. If you want to get in on this, email me some landscape / outdoors photos that you are proud of and I will share them.
And, you don’t need to go to Colorado to connect with nature so get outside and enjoy the pure art that is all around us.
Ansel Adams, 1942
The Tetons and the Snake River
May 23, 2017
For those of you who have not engaged in the discussion of STEM and STEAM education, let me set this up before I make a few points. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach…STEAM adds ART.
Now that I am of the ripe old age of 56, I can reflect on my observations that reflect on over five decades (ugh…I really sound old now!) Having said that, I have never remembered a time when people raved about arts education…in my lifetime it has always been seemingly underfunded and underdeveloped. Having said that, it appears that we are really making progress in these other areas. But, do people really want STEAM?
When I Google “STEAM” Education”, there are over 75 million results to that Google search query. When I search for “STEM Education” there are only 16 million. How can you explain the fact that so many more people are wondering about how do we integrate ARTS into the mix and promote the connectivity between abstract thinking and practical thinking?
Frankly, abstract thinking is practical thinking. The more we train our brain to “create” the more we will train our brain to resolve problems, develop strategy AND create cool things. Art making is fun. It also builds critical thinking skills. And, in today’s times, critical thinking has never been in greater need to deal with the complexity of modern life.
What do you think???
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #STEAM #TransformingArtEducation
May 15, 2017
Daniel Rios Rodriguez is one of my favorite artists and I want to tell you a bit about him in our latest Artist Spotlight. I stumbled on his work at an art fair in 2012. I bought two small paintings and reached out to him to tell him that I just opened an art school and wanted to show his work. Daniel became the first solo exhibition we ever presented at One River and I am thrilled to tell you about the amazing progress he has made in his art journey.
Daniel has a solo show right now in NYC! And, it is with one of my favorite galleries in the world Nicelle Beauchene. His artwork is so cool…and idiosyncratic. They are these small, interesting and odd mixed-media objects that reflect stories from growing up in San Antonio and the landscape of the surroundings areas. Last year Daniel had a show in Chicago that was reviewed by Art in America and his work is now being consumed by curators and major collectors…and it is still affordable so go check it out!
I am thrilled that One River is playing a real role in creating a narrative for emerging artists. At our core, we care about and celebrate artists and we are thrilled to see people like Daniel cut through the clutter in a deeply challenging space. There has never been a time where more living artists are making work and sharing it in so many places…online and in galleries. Support artists because they make our world a fundamentally more enjoyable place. They also give you a chance to reflect on your life and the times we live in via there outcomes. And, of course, take a cool art class!
Daniel Rios Rodriguez On View at Nicelle Beauchene through May 21, 2017
More Info Here >
Founder & CEO
May 8, 2017
April 24, 2017
10-Year old Chase Balay has a malignant brain tumor. This beautiful 4th grade boy from my town Cresskill, NJ, an accomplished young artist with a special creative spirit, is battling something that is hard to put into words and frankly represents the nightmare we all dread as our worst possible fear. This is what it is …I can’t sugar coat it, but I want to tell you about one of the most emotional and important efforts I have ever seen using art as a tool for healing and creating context.
The Merritt School in Cresskill, NJ approached One River in January to tell us about Chase. They simply said that Chase was dying and they had an idea to celebrate his life through art. We jumped in instantaneously and this past Friday was one of, if not the most moving day I have had in over ten years running creative education businesses.
165 3rd, 4th and 5th graders…each created an individual artwork in honor of Chase. They used his imagery…monsters and robots, to honor Chase and in some ways to preserve his lasting spirit. These objects were presented at One River School in Englewood this past Friday night and our community came out in the hundreds to support Chase, rally around this unbelievably emotional moment, raise money and celebrate life.
Chase’s Dad Erik is extraordinary and I am certain he and Chase’s Mom Julie have more passion and spirit than just about anyone in the world. His brother Ryder is a bundle of energy who is so lucky to have such a supportive system around him. Chase’s grandparents spoke and presented a slideshow of Chase’s art and it was riveting. The staff at Merritt School and the parents and community in Cresskill should be admired. Chase’s friends and peers…this may be the most impressive group of young kids I have ever met.
There is a fundraising component…we auctioned artwork from the event and there is an online tool to support Chase at:
Hug your kids. Think about how precious life is. Celebrate the special beauty that art provides for humanity…it is a language that allows us to connect in times of good and bad.
Matt Ross Founder
April 4, 2017