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
November 22, 2016
This past summer, One River did an exhibition with Shara Hughes and I am honored to announce that Shara was selected last week to participate in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. I am so proud of Shara and so grateful for the chance to share her work with our community.
Our commitment to presenting work from emerging artists is hard wired in our DNA. We share and teach what we think is “current, relevant and potentially important”. It is our hope that more people appreciate contemporary art and support living artists by collecting artwork.
Tomorrow we present our final opening of the year and I am so excited to share Yevgeniya Baras’work here at One River School. There is something unique and quite mystical about this artwork…it feels both contemporary and at the same time, it feels like it may have been found in a cave 1,000 years ago.
Yevgeniya is special…friend, curator, artist and teacher who represents exactly the voice that we are trying to share and promote. Our opening is from 6-8PM and I will participate in a Q&A with her at 7PM. Come check it out.
PS: I am personally going to teach a class on Art Collecting / Appreciation in the New Year… more details to follow soon.
#MondayThoughts @SharaHughes @YevgeniyaBaras
November 2, 2015
Now that I have spent the last ten years trying to improve creative education around the world, I find myself constantly thinking about what makes our brains tick? I never had the science skills to become a doctor but somehow I wound up earning a doctorate in human observation. And, at the center of my personal interest is: what drives creative capacity in people and how does creative action help to improve your brain’s wiring?
According to a recent article in Good Magazine, participants in a hands-on art workshop found that making art greatly improved their “psychological resilience”, which helped them resist the effects of stress and actually made them feel happier. Read article here. This is not surprising to me … I see our students craving art experiences and to me that speaks to the positive emotions derived from art-making.
The biggest reason adults don’t take an art class is: fear. We all worry about our image and we fear that first step. Get over it…there is nothing better than treating yourself to a new, creative experience and I am certain that it will pave the way for feeling better in so many ways. If you are an adult and want to try a class for the first time, click here and I will give you 50% off your first month! Your brain matters to me.
August 10, 2015
Monday Thoughts: Winter Blues
Uh oh, I have a subtle feeling that the winter blues are around the corner. How do I know? Well, it generally starts with a few signals: sleepier in the AM, drinking way too much coffee, nesting at home on Sundays and finding ridiculous chores to accomplish, sitting in the man cave and watching too many games…thinking about how much I miss the warm weather!
No matter how you slice it, every year this time we all go through the same thing…conscious or unconscious…our body and mind shifts into a different place and it really can effect your mood. Before you become Jack Nicholson in The Shining, I have a few ideas for you to consider:
- Check out this really cool portable energy light called Sphere. These things really work with no known side effects.
- Plan “ME TIME”— yes, plan it!
- Find a cool new workout, take a cool class, eat some great comfort food or check out a cool art show.
Send me your best idea for dealing with the Winter Blues…I will pick one and post it on Facebook. If I choose yours, you get a free class @ One River!
BTW: If you start chanting REDRUM, all bets are off.
July 14, 2015
I am often asked “what is the best way to create a great portfolio?” To which my typical answer is “make great art.” It may sound trite but the fact of the matter is, whether it is for high school (Bergen Academies), college or the professional level, the process of creating a portfolio ultimately comes down to having amazing objects that demonstrates your uniqueness…and your technical capability.
At One River, we focus on growing our student’s ability to THINK differently which promotes their ability to CREATE differently. That is why you may want to register your child for one of our PORTFOLIO CAMPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL. It is true that every portfolio has to demonstrate baseline skills in drawing and painting and we cover those bases. But, we will make sure that their personality shows through and individuality is really what people look for the most.
I am proud to say that we have helped numerous students get into amazing art schools. I am more proud to say that some of our teen students are already doing professional level artwork. So, for me the end game is this. HAVE FUN. MAKE AMAZING ARTWORK. STRETCH YOUR SKILLS. BE ORIGINAL = Create a great portfolio.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
July 6, 2015
Isn’t it amazing when you contrast this question by asking about important musicians? Imagine if not one answer came from the last 50 years! For some reason, the system for creating literacy about visual art has failed us. And one of my goals at One River is to create a reference point for living artists and we are doing so in a number of ways.
We have created a proprietary curriculum that teaches the practice and style of the most important artists of the last 50 years so we can share what’s currently important and relevant. We also blog about it and now we have something new and exciting to share.
This fall we will roll out a class for adults that will teach the most important trends of the last 50 years and I will be teaching the class. We will cover art history from 1970 through today and will focus on numerous topics that include collecting art, how to value art and how to understand and appreciate contemporary art in relation to art history. If you are interested in this class, send me a note by clicking here. The class will begin in October; it has limited space and will include special guest lectures and visits to cool galleries and museums.
Monday, July 6, 2015
June 22, 2015
I grew up in Queens and have spent a lifetime tying to deal with my New Yawkeese accent. Summer was pronounced “summa” but no matta how you said it every kid knew what it meant. School was over!!!! OMG—let the fun begin!
My summers were largely spent upstate New York and they were undoubtedly amazing. Camp was about friends and fun…the way life should be. We all get caught up in the day to day and our long “to dos”….time to shift people.
This AM we started our first Summer Camps and this little 1st grader drew the pic above in ten minutes waiting for camp to begin. It is so simple, so cool and so summa! Not sure what you are planning for the next two months…make sure you find some time for that part of your brain that reminds you of your last day of school when you were ten years old. SUMMMA!!!!!!!!!
Monday, June 22, 2015
March 9, 2015
There is nothing like teaching and seeing someone “get it.” You put your heart and soul into sharing an experience or skill and when someone applies it well, it fills your bucket and reinforces why you do what you do. It’s also so cool when your student is young, willing, smart and adorable.
Haruka Fujihara has been with us for almost two years. She is now joining our Art Rocks Plus class…this is a more advanced class for grades 3-5 and allows for longer sessions and more advanced technical development. Take a look at the artwork Haruka is in the process of finishing HERE. On one level it is basic drawing / cartooning / illustration. But, if you really look closely there is so much more there.
I am a sucker for complex, detailed drawing with lots of information. When artists get this right, the overall work looks beautiful and requires no time to engage in the detail. It just looks great. However, the real payoff is when you dig in and your eye darts all around trying to connect with the message, the story and the nuggets of information all packed into a small space. It is so cool to see Haruka doing this kind of work here at One River Art School. It’s even cooler to think that she has so much growth ahead and that we can play a role in that.
Monday, March 9, 2015