Woodstock School of Art
The Woodstock School of Art, Inc. is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3, educational institution chartered under the laws of the State of New York. The school is located in New York’s famed artists’ colony of Woodstock, surrounded by the pristine woodlands of the Catskill Mountains, about 100 miles north of New York City.
Classes in fine art, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture are offered year round in fully climate controlled studios in historic bluestone and native timber buildings. Classes are open to all, with no entrance requirements or experience necessary.
To fully understand the provenance of the Woodstock School of Art, we must first know something about the original occupants of its beautiful campus of native bluestone and timber offices and spacious studios: the craftsmen and artists—both students and professionals—who designed, built, and developed skills in them. The structures had their beginnings in 1939, when they were commissioned as a school for arts and crafts under the National Youth Administration (NYA), one of the programs in FDR’s New Deal. There were several NYA training camps across the United States, but the one located in Woodstock, New York, provided instruction to rural youth in applied arts such as woodworking, masonry, blacksmithing, and pottery. Among the artists who not only taught but whose craftsmanship is still in evidence on the grounds and in the studios is the noted stone sculptor Tomas Penning (1905–1982). The studios and buildings of the Woodstock School of Art are listed in the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places.
The NYA program ended after World War II, and the buildings remained vacant until the Art Students League (ASL) returned to Woodstock in 1947 and leased the campus to host their summer school. Located in New York City, the League had formerly run a summer landscape branch in Woodstock, from 1906 to 1922, in the building on Tinker Street that now serves as the Christian Science Reading Room.
Concurrently, in 1968, four of the artists who had been affiliated with the League—Franklin Alexander, Robert Angeloch, Lon Clark, and Wallace (Jerry) Jerominek—established the Woodstock School of Art (WSA). In 1980, when the Art Students League finally vacated the Woodstock property, the founders of WSA formally took over the buildings, incorporating as a not-for-profit. To this day both staff and officers of WSA are artists, choosing instructors who are also professional working artists for their expertise. Since its inception, and continuing to this day, hundreds of renowned artists and notables in the art world have been associated with the school.
Woodstock School of Art’s mission is to offer high quality, affordable instruction in fine art; maintain stewardship of its unique and historic buildings for continued use as an art school; and provide opportunities which engage the community in allied arts activities and exhibitions.
The Woodstock School of Art holds classes throughout the year in newly renovated and climate-controlled studios. Over eight hundred students from the United States and countries abroad currently enroll in weekly classes and workshops. There are no entrance requirements or previous art experience necessary. Each class is an artist’s atelier combining the instructor’s viewpoint with the free and open dialogue necessary for artistic creativity. Because of its respect for the artists, for the artist’s way of life, and for the creative force that motivates artists, the school does not interfere in this vital exchange. Students select courses of their choosing conducted by more than forty professional teaching artist instructors. The schedule includes daily classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking, with workshops in specialized techniques under the guidance of experts in their respective fields.
The Woodstock School of Art is one of the unique organizations that contribute to the Town of Woodstock’s reputation as a vital, contemporary colony of the arts. Others include the venerable Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Byrdcliffe Woodstock Guild, Maverick Concerts, Woodstock Playhouse, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. All flourish in the stimulating environment and natural beauty of the green valley in the foothills of the Catskills.
Add to the mix the cafes, restaurants, theater, art galleries, antique shops, a first-run movie house, a historic library, swimming, tennis courts, horseback riding, and walking along the many secluded trails, and the experience of coming to Woodstock and attending the Woodstock School of Art is likely to be as fulfilling and unforgettable as it will be productive.
STUDIO & WORKSPACE
The large, airy studios with natural north light are unexcelled; the wooded grounds spacious; the air clean and pure. Tuition scholarships, work exchange scholarships, and studio workspace along with the dedication of the teachers, student body, and administrative staff all combine in an atmosphere of freedom and seriousness.
Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and Printmaking studio rentals are available to students in studios that are not otherwise in use. Rentals are not necessarily exclusive or private. Rentals are available half days from 9 AM to 12 Noon and from 1 PM to 4 PM. Contact the Registrar about limited availability.
No pets are are allowed on campus.
MATERIALS & SUPPLIES
Studio easels, sculpture stands, and equipment for printmaking are provided for the use of registered students in the studios. Students working in landscape classes provide their own outdoor easels. Materials and supplies such as paints, brushes, and etching plates are not included in tuition fees. To maintain our non-toxic environment, the Woodstock School of Art does not permit the use of turpentine or mineral spirits in the classrooms. Citrus-based solvents are acceptable. A list of recommended materials for each student’s class will be provided at the time of registration. The Woodstock School of Art will not be held responsible for any materials or artwork left on the premises.
The Woodstock School of Art offers the most complete graphic shop facilities in the region. Visit here for a complete listing of printmaking classes and workshops.