Local artists congregate at Jersey City Art School—not just to teach, but to learn. Through four- and eight-week class sequences, as well as occasional one-time workshops, artists of all skill levels flesh out their portfolios, hone existing techniques, or try out entirely new disciplines. The sessions run the gamut of styles, from digital photography and pottery to painting with watercolors or a bunch of Capri Sun flavors.
For more than 20 years, the professional photographers at Charlie's Angels Photography have worked to capture images that not only preserve memories but also incorporate artistic touches. Their digital galleries boast shots from larger occasions such as weddings and runway shows to private events such as boudoir and portrait sessions. Their staff also includes professional makeup artists, who can prep subjects for shoots or gussy up complexions before weddings or high-school-graduation re-enactments.
For more than a century, Greenwich House Music has fulfilled its mission to help new and native New Yorkers thrive through instrument and voice lessons. The center's Music Together class introduces children as young as 2 years old to music through tonal and rhythmic skill exercises taught in a play-focused environment. Adult programs, such the Village Folk Sing-a-Long, Group Guitar, and Jazz Vocal classes, carry on the musical traditions that helped put Greenwich Village on the world’s cultural map. Starting from basics and moving up, lessons immerse grown-ups in a curriculum that focuses on specific genres or instruments. The center also offers private instruction sessions in more than 10 instruments, giving students an opportunity to learn a new talent one-on-one and an excuse to leave their clingy imaginary friends in the car.
Kristin Hanson began her journey toward fine jewelry-making mastery by walking down a path less traveled. Raised in a home where expression was encouraged, she spread her roots to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Then she took a leap. She traveled to the wilds of Colorado to apprentice under master goldsmith Harold O'Connor, learning his nuanced, perfectionist techniques and method for training squirrels to be workshop assistants. Her studies then carried her to Florence and Tuscany before drawing her back to the East Coast.
Kristin's life-inspired works embody the contemporary with forms that highlight the innate beauty of her materials. Her trademark couture jewelry has caught the eye of such publications as Lucky and InStyle. In short courses and intensive programs, she hews to a teaching philosophy that fosters others' styles instead of encouraging copycats of her own. Except during special exhibits, Kristin handcrafts each piece in 60 Reade, her 6,000-square-foot Tribeca gallery, and specializes in conflict-free pink diamonds from an Australian mine.
John Ordover's father may have been a lawyer, but he served New York's thriving community of modern artists, representing the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Nam Jun Paik. The rampant creativity and off-beat sensibilities of this crowd greatly influenced John, who translated their visual sensibilities into the words of his own writing. Eventually, he even opened Soho Gallery for Digital Art as a way to carry on his father's legacy of supporting art in all its forms. In addition to showing off works for sale, he uses his space to screen short films, stage experimental theater productions, art competitions, and host classes for curious or aspiring artists. His workshops focus primarily on photography, teaching students how to best blend their modern technology with traditional artistic skills, such as the sense of composition and the ability to smell paint drying up to seven miles away. The gallery also hosts a number of events including music shows, book readings, product launches, fashion shows, and gaming events. Noted events for the gallery have included showcases for The International iPhoneography Show, Land Art Generator Initiative, and FX Photo Studio.
An offshoot of Greenwich House, an institution founded in 1902 to "help individuals lead more fulfilling lives," Greenwich House Pottery has served as an artistic outlet for the community for more than a century. Classes teach students the techniques of crafting pottery by hand or on the wheel, and the Jane Hartsook Gallery's collection of ceramics lets visitors fulfill their cultural appetite without having to eat crumpled-up beat poems. Despite the general laidback atmosphere, the school's program has attracted such accomplished kiln-folk as Peter Voulkos and Margaret Israel as guest teachers throughout the years.
PhotoManhattan offers photographic instruction to beginner and advanced shutterbugs at a fraction, specifically one slice of a pizza, of the industry price. Costs stay low thanks to the company’s constant pursuit of this simple ideal: photography can be an accessible means of personal expression and artistic documentation. Professional instructors lead a variety of courses around New York, ranging from lighting workshops to portraiture improvement to how to snag the best street shots. Consult PhotoManhattan’s FAQ page for additional information.