January 11, 2016
Andrea Williams has been taking our adult art classes since we opened here in the Fall of 2012. Once a week that door opens and I greet Andrea and we both smile. She smiles because this a place that allows her to escape the world for two hours and challenge herself to create new and different artworks. I smile because she embodies our adult art student…someone seeking to tap into another part of their brain through art making. People talk about One River as a place for kids to learn art…guess what? We are all Kids!
This past weekend we had our student show and Andrea’s artwork was right there on our walls with kids of all ages…. some over 50 and some younger than 5. The wall tells all and you can see the story line across all ages, all media and all subject matter.
All kids and I’m a damn proud papa.
Image: Andrea Williams, 2015, Adult Art Shuffle
June 8, 2015
Our student show is this Friday night from 5-8PM and I want to tell you a little story.
In a world of distraction and constant noise, it is gratifying to watch our students come here and create with their heart and soul. This Friday, One River students of all ages share their work with the world at One River Gallery and I invite all of you to come by and see first hand the results of their labor and talent.
We do these shows twice a year and it serves so many purposes. On one hand it is our concert or recital for art students. On the other hand it is a social event where we get to embrace the pure joy of making something. It is also a great way to benchmark your growth when you see your work side by side with others. You also get to compare your current work with the objects you made a while ago. This is about growth in so many ways.
Speaking of growth, check out my very short video of the current student exhibition installed at Garden State. Our Teen Students crushed it…65 paintings that spoke to the emotion of overcoming breast cancer. I really don’t like to boast but I am blown away by the work our team and our students did…this is live at the mall near the AMC theater for two more weeks…please check it out if you are there.
Monday, June 8, 2015
May 4, 2015
OK, I’m about to get on my soapbox. We have the coolest new exhibition opening this Saturday. Amy Lincoln and JJ Manford are two accomplished, young artists going against the grain…they are doing still lifes and landscapes with a totally new, hip flavor.
If you follow contemporary art, today’s trend is all about abstraction. Many of New York’s top galleries are afraid to buck the trend and show more representational work. It may have something to do with the fact that it is harder to find new, unique ways to paint people or things and much easier to manipulate materials and process to create a unique outcome.
Join us this Saturday from 7-9PM for the exhibition and some food and drinks. We are excited to also have a live performance from the School of Rock and a special surprise for attendees. Amy and JJ will be in the house and it should be lots of fun.
Monday, May 4, 2015
March 23, 2015
The question of “true north” for One River is very simple for me: will the most creatively interested teens want to join and stay for a long time? So far the answer seems like a resounding yes. Our method, our space and our staff provides teenagers with an authentic experience…they can come here and get lost in doing something cool while meeting a whole bunch of new people and developing friendships along the way.
Katie Miller & Anna Pomerantz are just two of the teens that brighten our Saturdays at One River Art School. You can see the joy on their faces when they walk in the door, when they work on their art and when they share their completed works. You can also see these two young ladies challenging themselves to develop their skills and their minds while having fun. They are just two from a growing group of teens that we admire and are thrilled to see here every week.
I have always hoped to add special projects along the way to stretch the skills for our teen students and I am pleased to tell you about something amazing coming up. We have partnered with the Garden State Plaza to create a special installation during the month of May that will help to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. All of our teen students will begin this week on an individual piece that will hang in the mall during the month of May. We will kickoff our partnership on May 1st with an exhibition opening at the mall. ..more details to follow soon!
Taking our students work on the road for a great cause…and celebrating the creative capabilities of teenagers…YES!
Monday, March 23, 2015
November 10, 2014
This past Saturday was a truly special day. In celebration of our new exhibition 12”, we had teens from the School of Rock in Tenafly play an acoustic set at the gallery. It happened to be during our Advanced Teen Art Class and it gave us a chance to have those students work on a drawing assignment: capture the School of Rock players in pencil as part of a great skill building / fun one-hour project.
While this project was rooted in a basic drawing exercise, the underlying meaning was much greater to me. Music and art are in our soul. We champion sports at such a high level in suburbia and often our most creative kids get left out. I have devoted the better part of the last ten years of my life to make sure that we have the coolest places for Teens and Kids to express themselves. Seeing our School of Rock students play an amazing set while our One River students captured it in sketches brought it all full circle for me.
After the event, I saw a nod of respect from the players to the artists and vice versa. It was a signal that said all these kids are connected in a profound way. There is a Latin saying Finet Origine Pendet…”the end depends on the beginning.” If we find a way to stimulate great expressive outcomes in young folks I am sure they will continue with it as they mature. Their minds will develop into the next generation of creative thinkers and we all will appreciate it more when their worlds collide.
Monday, November 10, 2014
November 3, 2014
Watching TV is a huge challenge for me no matter how innovative the show may seem. Last night I sat down to watch Homeland (episode 4…I’m behind) and found my thoughts drifting away every ten minutes. No matter how hard they tried to build drama, I just wasn’t going to buy in. This is my personal struggle with TV…once I have seen the premise it is hard for me to watch the same basic story again.
With film, the task is different because the commitment is much less serious. If you don’t like it, you move on…you don’t have to sit through six episodes and then feel guilty because you are done with it! Having said that, your taste filter is generally kicking in by about minute thirty when the voice in your head says, ”if this doesn’t get better in the next fifteen minutes I’m done!”
Birdman. Minute one exciting. Minute five better. Minute 20 insane…get my drift? I have never seen a more original work of art on film. The acting, sound design, and directing combine to create the most compelling film I have seen in ten years…maybe all time. OK, go see this film now and if you don’t like it I’m buying lunch!
And this Saturday, come see the opening of our new exhibition called 12” from 3-6PM. Some of the world’s most compelling artist’s pay homage through their art to rock albums that inspired them. We will have live performances from the School of Rock as well. BTW: Christian Marclay is in the show (he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Bienalle in 2011)…the Birdman is coming to Englewood!
Monday, November 3, 2014
October 27, 2014
Part of my mission at One River is to close the cultural gap by sharing the stories of inspiring artists with our students and our community at large. Last year, I was walking through the Frieze Art Fair in NY and stumbled onto something that stopped me in my tracks. You know that feeling when you taste a certain type of food for the first time (chocolate soufflé…the best)? Or, when you hear a song by a new band for the first time: (U2…I’m old)?
Daniel Gordon is one of the most compelling young artists in the world today and he is someone you need to know about. He has created a method that is unique to him…involving paper sculpture and photography…and has rolled it into some of the most beautiful artworks I have ever seen. What put me over the top was watching Daniel ‘show and tell’ from his studio on PBS Art 21…watch this video for a couple of minutes and you will see what I mean.
Daniel has a new exhibition opening this week in New York at Wallspace Gallery and is the recipient of the Foam Museum 2014 Paul Huf Award… there’s a solo show at the museum in Amsterdam right now to celebrate this award. Most importantly, he is a young, bright, engaging new Dad who is adding amazing joy to the world by sharing his gift with us.
Monday, October 27, 2014
August 26, 2014
May 6, 2014
Describe your business in three words. It’s hard to do. I loved when Nike tackled it with Just Do It. My background and roots are in marketing and advertising and I have always felt that simplicity sells.
Recently we made a cool video where we asked our students to describe One River in three words and it was too much fun. Check out our video here.