Franklin Alexander (1925–2007) studied at the Art Students League of New York; New School for Social Research, New York; University of Florence, and the State Institute of Art, Florence, Italy.
A few of the institutions in which he exhibited include the Davanzatti Palace, Florence, Italy; the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Washington and Jefferson College, Pennsylvania; the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York; the Institute of Man and Science, Rensselaerville, New York; Allied Artists of America, the National Arts Club, Audubon Artists, and the National Academy of Design, all in New York City.
Mr. Alexander taught at the Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York; State University of New York at Albany; Dutchess County Community College, Poughkeepsie, New York; Ulster County Community College, Stone Ridge, New York; State University of New York at New Paltz; Barrett House, Poughkeepsie, New York; Art Students League of New York, Woodstock, New York; The Woodstock School of Art 1968–2005; and held summer workshops at his home in Woodstock.
Robert Angeloch (1922–2011) was born in Richmond Hill, New York, to Frederick and Laura Scherer Angeloch. He studied at the Art Students League of New York with Martin Lewis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and others. He also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Florence, Italy and privately with Fiske Boyd in New Hampshire. While a League student he won the McDowell Traveling Scholarship and visited France, Italy, Austria and England.
His work has been included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Museum of Modern art, the Wichita Print Annual, the Society of Washington Printmakers and elsewhere.
He was artist in residence at Western Kentucky University in 1974 under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He taught at the Art Students League of New York from 1964 to 1979 and from 1968 to 2003 at the Woodstock School of Art.
Lon Clark (b. 1942), originally from New York City, attended the Silvermine School of Art, Pratt Institute, and the Art Students League, where he studied painting with Edwin Dickinson, Mercedes Matter, Charles Cajori and Philip Pearlstein. He was a student founder of the New York Studio School before he moved to Woodstock, where he studied at the Arts Students League summer school as Walter Plate’s monitor.
In 1965 Robert Angeloch included Clark’s work in Drawings of Woodstock, one of Angeloch’s early Phantom Press publications, and in 1968 Clark was among the founding faculty of the Woodstock School of Art. Thereafter, he moved first to Los Angeles and then settled in San Francisco where his paintings were represented by the ADI Gallery. During this time, he was a founding member of SF Camerawork and served on its board of directors. He established North Beach Press, a small press dedicated to monographs of artist’s work with an emphasis on work in progress. His own photography publication, Itinerary won top awards across the country.
Working in several visual art disciplines, Clark taught painting, photography and mixed media at a number of Bay Area colleges. During this time, he was also known nationally as an experimental photographer in the editorial and commercial sphere. In 2001, he was appointed Director of the Graduate Photography department at the Academy of Art University. In 2006, he went on to co-found the San Francisco Studio School where he serves as Dean and continues to teach drawing and painting with an emphasis on visual language. His work has earned many awards and is held in public and private collections.
Wallace J. Jerominek (1907–1983) was active in the field of graphic arts for over twenty-five years. He was a staff member of the Saxon-Fells School of Art in Kingston, New York, the William Pachner School of Art in Clearwater, Florida, and taught silk screening for many years at the Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen.
At the Woodstock School of Art Mr. Jerominek taught serigraphy or silk-screen printing. Serigraphy is the reproduction process in the graphic arts related to the painter’s way of thinking. A number of colors may be used with relative ease, and by using overlays of two or more colors additional hues and tones may be achieved without the need for separate technical procedure. Students often found the course to be a complement to their work in other classes.
Mr. Jerominek was the proprieter of Tatra Prints in which he and his wife created imagery later reproduced by Mr. Jerominek in the serigraphic medium. Additionally, he exhibited at the Rudolph Galleries, the Woodstock Artists Association, and his work is in many private collections.
Nancy Campbell is a landscape painter who grew up in Saugerties. In 1968 she got her learner’s permit, and soon after, her New York State driver’s license. Her first solo trip, in a 1961 Chevy Impala with her younger sister as passenger, was to drive up the road 10 miles to Woodstock. It was where the artists, “beatniks” and hippies were, where you might see someone famous walking in the village, and where the fragrance of patchouli came wafting out the doorways of the little shops lining Tinker Street.
Campbell has taught landscape painting at The Woodstock School of Art, served as the school’s Executive Director from 2010-2015, and currently is a Vice-President on the WSA Board of Directors. She lives in Saugerties with her husband, Michael.
Founders: 1968 was brought to you by a great team. Thanks to all of the following for their part in helping put our exhibit together: Richard and Deborah Heppner and Joanne Margolis of the Historical Society of Woodstock for their assistance and invaluable contributions; Paul Alexander; Woodstock Artists Association; Letitia Smith; Weston Blelock; John Kleinhans for scanning and photographing paintings and exhibit items; and Paula Nelson, our WSA-historian-par-excellence for her guidance, help and incredible memory. Thanks to the Art Students League of New York, especially Stephanie Cassidy and Ken Park, for providing photos of the ASL in 1968. Thank you Eric Angeloch for your calm and patient attitude in creating the show’s catalog, for your input and guidance, and, as always, for installing a beautiful exhibit. Nina Doyle, thank you for your enthusiasm, ideas and support. And to the rest of our staff, Mimi, Mandara, Steve and Sharon, you are simply the best…you help us bring vision into reality.
1968 is often described as the year that changed America. No wonder. It was a year that crept in on the back of the Tet offensive in Vietnam. Young people went “Clean for Gene” as the President of the United States refused to seek reelection. Assassin bullets snuffed out the fires of hope offered by Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Student rebellions in France, at Columbia and the Chicago Democratic Convention rose to challenge the very foundation of postwar America. Black Power fists were raised at the Olympics. And, throughout, the year continued to be overshadowed by the mounting death toll in Vietnam. By year’s end, more than 16,000 American lives had been lost.
Woodstock, too, was changing. Not since the arrival of artists in the first years of the twentieth century had the small town at the foot of Overlook experienced an influx of new ways and new challenges; challenges that ran counter to the decidedly conservative nature of longtime residents. 1968 saw a number of Woodstock citizens increasingly alarmed by the arrival of young people in town and the perceived threat they embodied. In August of that year, one town resident speaking at a meeting of the Town Board, offered that he was seriously considering leaving town due to the influx of hippies, “they are ruining the town.” When another resident demanded greater police vigilance and stiffer penalties, Supervisor Milton
Houst reminded the audience that there was no law “against long hair, wearing blankets or going unwashed.” To paraphrase a former resident of Woodstock, the times, they were “a-changin.”
And yet, despite the many challenges of a challenging year, something new was stirring that fall along Woodstock’s Millstream Road; something that gave rise to the promise that only art can bring. Reinforcing and expanding upon the ideals and beliefs of the art colony’s founders, the newly formed Woodstock School of Art announced that it would open its doors on October 6th.
Behind the new school were its four founders: Robert Angeloch, Franklin Alexander, Lon Clark and Wallace “Jerry” Jerominek. It was, in fact, Jerominek’s building along the Sawkill where the school first welcomed students. Once a sawmill, the two-story structure that housed Jerominek’s Tatra Prints, was a building steeped in Woodstock lore. In addition to a mill operated by the actor Dan Sully and his wife, the building would later house a general store and stagecoach stop, was home to female students attending the Art Students League summer program and an “emporium” of sorts hosted by Louise Hellstrom. With a jazz band and furnishings that included red carpets and zebra striped chairs, Hellstrom’s Woodstock Lodge often played host to various local and visiting notables, including, on occasion, Sinclair Lewis.
Purchased a number of years later by Jerominek and his wife Rosemary, Tatra Prints occupied the first floor. There, the couple would produce graphic art and silk-screened Christmas cards. The second floor of the building, as well as some out buildings on the property, would become home to the first classes offered by the school. They included silk-screen classes with Jerominek as instructor, portrait painting by Alexander, and drawing and painting classes conducted by Angeloch and Clark.
So it was, on Sunday October 6, more than 300 people crowded into the school’s studios to celebrate its opening. Press reports indicate that those in attendance “feasted” on everything from potato chips to pickled herring and a “potent punch that seemed to get stronger as the afternoon hours passed.” Looking down from the studio’s walls were the works of the school’s founders… landscapes that “seemed to bring summer back,” and portraits that “came to life as localites Jane Axel, Cornelia and Edgar Rosenblum and Arnold Blanch walked in front of the paintings they had sat for.”
Despite the success of the school’s opening, questions no doubt lingered in the minds’ of the founders. Could enrollment be sustained? Would there be enough interest to keep a full-time school open year round? Fifty years later, the answers are as obvious as the historic, thirty-eight acre campus of today’s Woodstock School of Art.
Studio Class, 1968
Robert Angeloch with a student and his dog, Sam, c.1960s
Moving to its current location in 1981, two years after the Art Students League ceased operation in Woodstock, the Woodstock School of Art has kept faith with the original intent of its founders. For it is their vision that has been forged into each class, each exhibition, and into the deep well of talent possessed by the instructors of today.
As 1968 gave way to a new year, Woodstock and the world continued to change. Building on a tradition of festivals, from the Maverick to the Soundouts, Woodstock would not only lend its name to a rather well-known music festival but to an entire generation. Along Millstream Road, the fledgling school would also continue to push forward as founders, Robert Angeloch, Franklin Alexander, Lon Clark and Jerry Jerominek, announced a Spring term featuring classes in painting, drawing, landscape, silkscreen printing, and a 3-dimensional design workshop. Today, fifty years later, the foundation they built during that first year of operation continues to engage us all–students and community alike–in the joy of creative expression.
Woodstock Town Historian
It was 1966, and fresh from the Art Students League in New York, I was eager to continue my studies in the little country town of Woodstock. One of the first people I met at the League’s Summer School was Robert Angeloch. His painting class met in a magical old stone building with perfect north light, and there, students like me were inspired by both their instructors and fellow students.
The League in Woodstock, with its deep roots in the artistic history of the area, was an ideal setting for art students. But when summer ended there were those who wanted to stay in the countryside to study. Angeloch recognized this need. He himself remained in Woodstock after attending summer classes in 1948. He oversaw the League’s buildings and grounds off-season, and supervised maintenance on-season. Before long, Angeloch began teaching private classes during the winter months in Paul Fiene’s former studio on Speare Road. By the summer of 1965, the League hired him as a landscape painting instructor.
Angeloch’s friends, Jerry and Rosemary Jerominek ran a business named Tatra Prints in their building on Millstream Road, where they produced silk screened prints, posters, signs and greeting cards. In 1968 Angeloch rented the top floor, and along with Jerominek, invited artists Franklin Alexander and Lon Clark to join in a cooperative venture, which they named the Woodstock School of Art. Alexander was a noted instructor at the League’s summer school. Clark, a co-founder of New York’s Studio School, was a groundskeeper at the League in Woodstock, a job even then considered by some a noble undertaking for aspiring artists.
For two years winter classes were held at the Millstream Road studios. Jerominek taught silk screen printing, and Alexander, Angeloch and Clark taught drawing and painting. Edward Chavez joined the staff in 1969 as instructor of 3-dimensional design.
In 1970 the Millstream building was sold, and the WSA lost its home. The
instructors dispersed, some to teach in their own studios under the umbrella of the Woodstock School of Art. From time to time, instructors were added to the staff, and some dropped out. Angeloch continued teaching in the Speare Road studio, which carried on the name of the WSA.
A turning point for the Woodstock School of Art came at summer’s end 1979, when the League’s summer school, whose attendance had been steadily diminishing, abruptly closed its doors and abandoned the buildings. Angeloch promptly assembled a group of Woodstock artists and business leaders in a vain attempt to persuade the League’s administration to remain. Within a year, this small group was successful in securing a lease on the property. In addition, they obtained a not for profit designation, and raised funds to begin classes at the new site in May of 1981.
With backing from the community, and the perseverance of Angeloch and like-minded supporters, the school steadily grew in size and reputation. Over the years the WSA purchased the 38 acre property, upgraded the buildings, received historic landmark status, and attracted thousands of students from home and abroad. The instructors have always been highly respected professional artists. To ensure an enduring future, an endowment was established; a building fund formed for the preservation of the buildings; and a scholarship fund created to encourage artists of all ages and backgrounds.
On our 50th birthday, we celebrate the WSA’s founders and all those, past and present, who have nurtured the idea of an independent art school, where all who revere beauty, knowledge and dedication are welcome.
Paula Nelson, WSA Board of Directors
Woodstock, NY, 2018
Paula Nelson is an artist who has enjoyed a varied background at the Woodstock School of Art as work exchange student, registrar, vice-president, president, secretary, director and ping pong team member.
Speare Rd. Studio WSA, 1983