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
March 28, 2017
April is National Autism Awareness Month and we are trying to shed some light on the mission of supporting those with Autism in America. Despite all of the efforts that have been made over the last ten years, Autism remains a great mystery with no clarity around the cause and no method to prevent it. The tragic challenge of figuring out the “puzzle”…how to raise and advocate for an Autistic child, falls straight into the hands of people who simply have no preparation for this.
I know because I am one of them. My son Alex was diagnosed at 18 months of age and is now 21. He was diagnosed with severe Autism and despite all of our efforts he remains severely disabled today. Notwithstanding that fact, Alex has single handedly taught me more about life than anything else thrown my way. My wife and I fight everyday to provide the best therapeutic, educational and supportive tools we can uncover and he has stepped up and challenged himself to adapt to a world that is unbearably difficult for him.
As the Founder of One River, I am committed to using visual arts as a tool to drive developmental skills in people of all ages and all levels. We honor Autism Speaks and the great work they are doing with our April art project called “The Puzzle Project”. 60 students in our two schools made a dedicated “puzzle piece” and the work will be shown at the Westfield Garden State Plaza for the month of April.
‘The Puzzle Project’
Opening Reception: Friday, April 7th 6-8PM
Exhibition on View through May 15, 2017
Westfield Garden State Plaza
1 Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ 07652
Near AMC Movie Theater Corridor
@AutismSpeaks #MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #ThePuzzleProject
January 24, 2017
Next Sunday we open a new exhibition at One River School Englewood with artwork from Caroline Larsen. Caroline lives in Brooklyn by way of Toronto, Canada and she is doing some things with paint that you simply have to see.
When you first look at Caroline’s paintings, you think they are woven…perhaps embroidered. But, when you take a look up close something really cool reveals itself. The intricate and somewhat obsessive lines are made with acrylic paint and they are somehow “drawn” in tight lines as if they are squeezed from a tube. The end result is a buildup of paint in so many layers that it creates a rich and incredibly textured surface.
Caroline is going to join us this Sunday from 1-3PM and I urge you to stop in. We are blessed to have some of the greatest emerging artists in the world exhibit their work at One River AND spend time with us in person. You will be amazed by this artwork…I hope to see you this Sunday.
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 29th 1-3PM
Exhibition Dates: January 29 – March 5, 2017
January 10, 2017
No we are not starting a college. But, last Friday I visited Michael Rees and The Center for New Art at William Patterson University and I was so happy to see the innovative approaches to teaching art at the college level that exist right here in our backyard.
Michael Rees is the Associate Professor and Director of the program and I couldn’t be more impressed with his vision for his program and the innovative / comprehensive approach that is built into his curriculum. Mike is also a world-class artist…his work has appeared in two Whitney Biennial’s and he holds an MFA from Yale University. (Check out his work here.)
As I delve further into growing One River School nationally, I remain deeply committed to finding like-minded people to collaborate with. I also am hopeful that more of these people exist right here in our community. It takes a vision to build something special but even more important is finding people who can challenge my assumptions and add new ideas.
Take a look at the work Mike and William Patterson are doing. I believe they are on the front end of the curve…developing more creative young adults. And more creative people will simply make us a better society.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverUniversity #WilliamPatersonUniversity
December 13, 2016
When we started One River School four years ago I was trying to figure out how to create a cool place in suburbia that made learning digital art fun. DONE…we have taught thousands of students and I believe we are becoming the first choice for innovative art classes in Bergen County.
I also wanted to explore new ways to teach Digital Art and our Digital Art Shuffle class is quickly becoming the coolest place for Kids, Teens and Adults to explore an entirely new experience in art making. Click here and check out some of the work we have done. It is really inspiring because we mesh traditional drawing skills with technology that allows students to intuitively make artworks that are influenced by digital manipulation.
Our plan is to develop more classes on top of our core programs in digital art, animation and photography. Digital Art Rocks and we are pioneering a new way to make it fun and compelling at One River!
#MondayThoughts #DigitalArtRocks #DigitalArtShuffle
December 5, 2016
We took 11 teen students.
Gave them a studio of their own.
Connected them with a mentor / teacher.
Asked them to make an original body of artwork…akin to a professional assignment.
We told them we would exhibit the work in multiple locations.
They did the work …and we are exhibiting it!
I couldn’t be more proud.
Art Effect by One River is coming to NYC this Saturday, December 10th, 4-8PM.
Bravin Lee Gallery in Chelsea is the setting for our this third and final leg of a three-city tour: Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
It will be a wonderful celebration of the amazing commitment our students made.
Please join us.
#MondayThoughts #ArtEffect #TransformingArtEducation