2016 adults general


Be bold - try something new! The Art Center is the place to embrace curiosity and explore your creativity. We offer experiential learning opportunities for students at all levels of artistic development and encourage new and experienced artists to investigate, take risks, build skills and be part of the meaning-making.

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HDAC members save $25 on every class!
More information: 802-253-8358 
Scholarships available
Registration: Registration requires a $50 non-refundable deposit. Payment in full is due 2 weeks prior to class.
Cancellation Policy
: There are no refunds for cancellations 14 days or fewer before the first class. 

Write for Life w/Jackson Kytle
Photographer's Workroom w/ Marcie Scudder
Bookbinding w/Chiyomi McKibbin
Winter Watercolor w/ Robert O'Brien
Color Research Lab w/Chiyomi McKibbin

Beauty in Process w/Galen Cheney
Storytelling for Social Change w/Vermont Folklife Center
Watercolor Now w/ Suzanne Siegel
Beginning Drawing w/Chiyomi McKibbin
Exploring Abstraction w/Jenny Nelson
Stained Glass w/Natasha Bogar
Watercolor; Painting Water w/Robert O'Brien
Expressions in Paint w/Claire Desjardins
Big Fat Art 2018 w/Jane Davies

Instructor Bios


Wednesdays, Jan 10- February 7 
(5 weeks)
$110 (member) | $135 (non-member)

Writing can become your lifelong companion. Writing helps us think better. And we deepen relationships with family and friends. This workshop will review personal letters and memoirs as well as business letters and proposals. Finding one’s voice is the starting point. Then habits have to be built to support writing, daily or weekly, if only to write one sentence a day. Becoming a writer takes inspiration and perspiration, but also elements of craft like grammar and proofing. Participants will develop a small writing project for class discussion.
Instructor: Jackson Kytle


Tuesdays, January 23-March 27 (10 weeks)
10:00 am- 12:00pm
$240 (member) | $265 (non-member)

Photographer's Workroom is a 10-week class in project creation and portfolio development. Although not a pre-requisite, it builds upon and continues much of the work done in Photographer’s Workroom 1. There will be a number of new class assignments that stimulate thinking creatively and responsively to suggested prompts. We’ll research and study other photographic artists as a means of learning and understanding. Emphasis will be on photography as process and practice. Our cameras become tools for personal expression and perceiving. In this class, we’ll explore the use of words and story to build upon the visual

Although technical questions will be addressed as they arise, this is not a technical ‘how-to’ class. All cameras and levels of ability and experience are welcome, as is any method or medium of image making. The only requirement is that of presence and a willingness to experiment and explore. Each student will choose an individual project that he/she might like to pursue during the course of our time together. While working on our projects, we’ll meet and engage in supportive critical discussions of each other’s work. The end goal is for each student to have a completed and cohesive body of work (10-12 images) that speaks to a set intention or story. We'll close with a communal exhibit of our work, with the hopes of archiving, showing and sharing it all together on a website. If new to this class - please contact Marcie (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) directly to learn more.
Instructor: Marcie Scudder

Photographer's Workroom


Saturday, January 27
Sunday, January 28 (2nd day optional)
9:30am-3:30pm Saturday; 10:00am-3:00pm Sunday
Saturday only: $100 (member) | $125 (non-member)
Saturday & Sunday: $190 (member) | $215 (non-member)
Teens welcome!

In the first day of this workshop, students will learn to make an Accordion book, a Pamphlet Stitch book, and how to fold a single sheet of paper into 7 different folded books. In the optional second day students will make a portable hole-punching cradle that can be used for future stitch-bound books along with learning how to make Postal Notebooks. Supplies provided.
Instructor:Chiyomi McKibbin


Introduction to Bookbinding

Saturday, February 3
$85 (member) | $110 (non-member)

Watercolor artist Robert O’Brien will teach a one-day workshop on painting the New England countryside in winter. Light, shadow, value and composition will be emphasized. The instructor will begin with a demonstration, explaining each step of the process. Students will then paint with the instructor providing hands on assistance. There will be a critique at the end of class. Students are encouraged to provide their own reference photos, though Robert will have many on hand. Materials list provided.
Instructor: Robert O'Brien, AWS, NWS

Winter Watercolor


Sunday, February 11
$85 (member) | $110 (non-member)

Color is exciting! Color is fun! Color is complicated! Color Research Lab is for artist and color enthusiasts of all levels to learn about color, the art of seeing and looking, how to research color, how to expand beyond your go-to color choices, and of course, how to mix colors. This class is for artists with experience in watercolor, gouache, acrylics, or any medium that allows you to mix your own color. Supply list provided.
Instructor: Chiyomi McKibbin

Color Research Lab

Saturday, March 10
$110 (member) | $135 (non-member)
In this one-day painting and drawing workshop we'll mine the depths of intuitive abstraction through process painting and manipulation of materials.  Come explore your deep creative impulses and immerse yourself in the process of building beautiful, surprising paintings. Supply list provided. 
Instructor: Galen Cheney

Beauty in Process

Presented by Vermont Folklife Center
Saturday, March 17
$95 (HDAC member discounts do not apply)
Register by calling Vermont Folklife Center: (802) 388-4964, or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Storytelling is a powerful tool for the documentation of voices, memories and histories. It can also be a catalyst for activism and social change. In this workshop we will explore the ethics and techniques of oral history, ethnography, and storytelling as activist research methodologies. Attendees will be introduced to these three merging methodologies through a combination of short media pieces and discussions, will be invited to take a critical and analytical look at the history of documentary work, and will learn the basics of skills such as interviewing, story circle facilitation, and ethnographic observation. We will also cover the technical aspects of storytelling, providing an introduction to tools for minimal-resource and mobile audio recording.

This workshop is intended for anyone interested in developing collaborative documentary or storytelling skills, including students, community members, and staff members of organizations doing cultural, community and social-service work. In addition to developing attendees’ collaborative research abilities, the workshop seeks to expand participants’ listening skills—and by extension, interviewing skills—while also encouraging attendees to consider the challenges, possibilities, and ethics of representation. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of participants’ project ideas.
Instructors: Kathleen Haughey, VFC Executive Director & Ethnomusicologist; Mary Rizos, VFC Director of Education & Photographer

Storytelling for Social Change is a part of the Vermont Folklife Center’s Cultural Sustainability Institute workshop series.  Cultural Sustainability provides a framework for examining human experience in the present with an awareness of the past and a view toward the future.

Contemporary Approaches with Watercolor
March 24-25
9:30am-4:30pm both days
$225 (member) | $250 (non-member)

In this workshop we will use transparent watercolor, gouache and other water-based materials in a variety of traditional, innovative, and experimental ways. We will explore different papers, composition and non-composition, mark making, painting without drawing, and other contemporary ideas, including collage. Attention will be given to creating your own voice through the color and compositional choices you make. A range of abstract to representational ideas can be explored. Demonstrations, examples, and a slide presentation of current and historical watercolor painters who have led the way with watercolor will be shown. Critiques and group discussion are included. Bring some sketches and ideas that you would like to work with, and a few of your less successful watercolor paintings to be transformed. All levels are welcome; some experience with watercolor painting is helpful. Supply list provided. Materials fee for shared materials $5.
Instructor:  Suzanne Siegel

Watercolor Now

Saturday & Sunday, April 14-15
9:30am-4:30pm both days
$225 (member) | $250 (non-member)

This class begins with guided exercises designed to open the mind to abstract concepts. Students will discover spontaneous ways to create dynamic marks and lines. There will be an emphasis on shape relationships and creating strong compositions. Prepare to have fun making stimulating work with a variety of materials. Development of individual vision will be encouraged. Open to all levels. Students may choose to work in oil or acrylic. (*Jenny prefers oils).Materials fee for shared materials $10.
Instructor: Jenny Nelson

Exploring Abstraction

Saturday, April 28
$110 (member) | $135 (non-member)

This introduction to stained glass will use the Tiffany copper foil method of construction. Students will learn to cut, grind and fit glass shapes, apply copper foil, solder their piece together and complete a unique piece of stained glass to take home.  
Instructor:  Natasha Bogar

Stained Glass

Painting the Moods and Facets of Water
Saturday, May 5
$85 (member) | $110 (non-member)

This one-day workshop will focus on the many moods and facets of painting water in the watercolor medium. Water provides the artist with an endless variety of interpretations given its reflective qualities as well as its restlessness. Students will learn techniques from rendering a simple reflective puddle to a swift moving mountain stream and everything in between. Foreshortening and the ability to suggest a flat plane will be taught when painting a river or a lake. The class will start with a demonstration by the instructor followed by time to paint. A critique will be offered at the end of the class. Reference photos will be provided though students are encouraged to bring their own as well. Materials list provided.
Instructor: Robert J. O’Brien, AWS, NWS

Watercolor; Painting Water

Tuesdays, April 10- May 15
6 Classes
$125 (member) | $150 (non-member) 

This class is designed for beginners and those who have minimal drawing experience. Students will learn the basics of handling pencils and charcoal by exploring a variety of techniques (blending, shading, and crosshatching) and subject matter (still life, landscape, and drapery). We will cover the fundamentals of composition, line, and contrast. There will be technical demonstrations and short homework assignments to compliment our studio work. The goal is to give students the basic tools and ideas necessary to begin their own personal drawing practice.
Instructor: Chiyomi McKibbin 

Beginning Drawing

Saturday & Sunday, June 9-10 
9:30-3:30 both days
$225 (member) | $250 (non-member)

Deepen your understanding of the acrylic medium as you learn innovative mark-making techniques, experiment with larger brushes, and explore color theory. Focus is on planning and getting started, choosing color combinations, and achieving desired overall effect. View work by other contemporary artists, explore color field paintings, and discuss negative and positive space as well as collage techniques. Supply list provided.
Instructor:  Claire Desjardins

Expressions in Paint



November 9, 10 & 11
9:00am-4:30pm Friday and Saturday
9:00am-4:00pm Sunday
$350 (member) | $375 (non-member)

Big Fat Art is a state of mind rather than a specific kind of art. It is all about loosening up and getting past the thinking/evaluating zone and into the creative, spontaneous one where you can be freely expressive. Ditch the inhibitions, relax and have fun playing with paint! We start Big Fat Art on big fat drawing paper (18"x24") with process-oriented exercises using inexpensive paints and drawing materials. This generates loads of works-in-progress, which we then use as playgrounds for layering paint, drawing, and collage, and expanding the visual vocabulary. After dozens of expressive and exploratory pieces, we move onto good paper (22"x30") beginning the pieces in a similar spontaneous mode, but working on them longer and slowing down the process. This workshop gives you the tools to get un-stuck by focusing on process, working in multiples, and having more fun. You can apply this playful approach to your art, whether big fat, teen tiny or in between. Supply list provided

Instructor: Jane Davies


Natasha Bogar was born in Hanover, NH and grew up in the Upper Valley Region. She earned a BFA from the University of Maine. Before graduating she spent 9 months in Florence, Italy studying under Silvia Fossati at Studio Giambo. She was immersed in fresco painting, mosaics, wheel, handbuilding, maiolica decoration, stained glass, and glass fusion, in an international environment. Natasha has continued painting throughout her career as an artist. She has completed many commissions for murals, paintings, mosaics, stained glass, and Italian plaster finishes. Teaching has been a way to give back. Natasha and her sister wrote many grants to bring youth mural projects to schools and community centers. She has worked at 7 different art centers teaching a myriad of subjects to all ages from Maine to Hawaii. natashabogar.com

Galen Cheney has been painting professionally for over 25 years, since receiving her MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. Her work has been exhibited and collected throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Recent exhibitions include The Painting Center in New York City, Gray Contemporary in Houston, and The Drawing Room Gallery in Cos Cob, CT. She has received fellowships from The Millay Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and Da Wang Culture Highland in Shenzhen, China. galencheney.com

Jane Davies is a full-time artist working in collage, painting, and encaustic. She offers workshops at her studio and nationwide, focusing on helping people to find a personal and playful approach to art. Beginning as a potter in the early nineties, selling her colorful hand-painted ceramics at craft shows, Davies gradually transitioned into freelance art, designing tableware, fabric, paper goods, stationery, and other products, using painting and collage as her medium. For the past several years, Davies has put most of her efforts towards teaching, writing and making art. janedaviesstudios.com

Claire Desjardins comes from a long line of artists and grew up in Montreal, Canada. She worked for many years as a graphic designer until she gave up the life of technology and marketing to pursue her love of painting. Claire received two grants to attend artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in 2011 and 2013. She traveled to southeastern China, also on a grant, to attend the Da Wang Culture Highland artist residency, in the fall of 2013. She is represented by Muse Gallery (Toronto, ON), and is one of Saatchi Art's best-selling artists. U.S. retail chain, Urban Outfitters, sells her original artwork under their Anthropologie banner. They reproduce her work on merchandise and sell it under Claire Desjardins signature label. Claire recently signed an agreement with Warner Brothers, who used her art in their feature film, "Winter's Tale" (released in February 2014. Her work can be found in both private and corporate collections around the world. clairedesjardins.com

Montreal artist, Marc Taro Holmes is the author of The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location, and the instructor for online classes; Travel Sketching in Mixed Media and Sketching People in Motion, and is an award winning member of the the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Color. Marc writes the popular blog at www.CitizenSketcher.com, where he focuses on travel sketching in watercolor. Feel free to stop by for his frequent, free, updates including reviews of supplies, painting tips and tricks and stories about whatever he's painting next. citizensketcher.com

Jackson Kytle has lived in Stowe for twenty years. His B.A. in English is from Middlebury College and he earned the Ph.D. from Columbia University in social psychology. Now retired from academic positions at Goddard, Norwich, The New School, and Bank Street College, he enjoys working with adult students who want to use writing to enrich their lives. A second edition of his book, To Want to Learn, featuring new chapters on neurobiology and mindfulness, was released by Palgrave Macmillan in July, 2012.

Chiyomi McKibbin earned her Master of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA), her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), and her Bachelor of Arts from Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA). McKibbin studied abroad in Greece in 2010, New York in 2014, and was an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center in February of 2016. Previously, McKibbin has worked in education as a Mentor for the First Year Honors Program at California College of the Arts, a lecturer in the continuing education department at City College of San Francisco, and as a guest lecturer for a variety of continuing education classes around San Francisco. She was one of six artists exhibiting in the group exhibition Present Tense: Future Perfect at the Chinese Cultural Center in San Francisco. Along with exhibiting, one of McKibbin's artists' books has been acquired for the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection in Chicago, IL. In addition to working at the Helen Day Art Center, McKibbin is a practicing artist, teaching artist, and color enthusiast. chiyomimckibbin.com

Jenny Nelson attended Maine College of Art in Portland Maine, and is a graduate of Bard College, where she received a scholarship to the Lacoste School of the Arts in France. She has been living in Woodstock, New York for nearly two decades, including a Residency at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony from November 2004-08. Jenny has been exhibiting for many years nationally and regionally including, Tria Gallery, Manhattan, NY; Hidell Brooks Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina; Carrie Haddad, Hudson, NY and Pryor Fine Art in Atlanta, GA.

As an arts educator, Jenny has designed a unique approach to teaching abstract painting. She has gained national recognition through her workshops, including classes at; The Woodstock School or Art, The Artists Association of Nantucket, Truro Center for the Arts, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and The Firehouse Artist Collective, Berkeley CA.  

Nelson begins each of her canvases with layers of color that are improvised, abstract and even chaotic. Through a process of addition and subtraction she brings each painting closer to her personal sense of balance with sensitivity and an attention to detail. Committed to abstraction -- yet very sensitive to her environment, Jenny creates paintings that are energetic, responsive and finely tuned.

Robert J. O'Brien, AWS, NWS is a signature Member of the American, National and New England Watercolor Societies as well as several others. He is is a full-time award-winning artist and instructor. He recently won Best in Show at the New England Watercolor Society's Regional Juried Exhibition in Plymouth MA and at the 2nd Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition in Waitsfield, VT. Robert O'Brien is the Director of Exhibitions for the Vermont Watercolor Society and the Scholarship Chair for the American Watercolor Society. Robert lives and paints in Weathersfield, Vermont and teaches many workshops throughout the United States and abroad. www.robertjobrien.com

Marcie Scudder’s artist's journey began almost two decades ago as a means of slowing down and recording the world thru her camera’s lens. As a self-taught photographic fine artist, writer and yogini – she believes in the transformative healing powers of daily practice as a means of connecting to the spirit that resides within. By yoking together the ancient teachings of yoga with her passion and love for the animal and natural world, Marcie’s art acts as a visual and verbal expression of simplicity, silence, solitude and self. Like life itself, her art is an ever-evolving process. She likens it to a vinyasa yoga practice, a continuous connection between movement and breath. Recently, Marcie has added artist book-making to her repertoire as one other medium through which she artfully weaves together her words and images to create story. Selections of her work can be found in permanent private collections in Canada and the USA. She has been published in numerous art magazines, including Still Point Quarterly, where she was awarded Best in Show. She shows and shares her work regularly on her Daily Practice Blog, and in many local and community artist venues. Currently, Marcie lives and works in Stowe, VT. From her treetop studio, she finds inspiration in the changing seasons and majestic views of the mountains. When not at work in her studio, you might find her at dawn's first light, walking with her camera and much-loved Aussie pups. She is most grateful for all of life's most unexpected gifts.

Suzanne Seigel: Suzanne takes long walks, always in places near the sea. She makes drawings, takes notes, and searches for visual ideas that communicate arrangements of space and luminous light that she feels deeply connected to. With a visual and sensual interest in rugged working harbors and ever changing tidal environments at the edge of the sea, Suzanne works in mixed media painting, watercolor, and mixed media collages. In her studio, she searches inventively with line, shape, color, texture, and value as she suggests the spirit of her beloved locations. She is currently represented by Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland, Maine, Cynthia Winings Gallery in Blue Hill, Maine, Cove Gallery in Wellfleet, MA, Cape Gallery Framers in Falmouth, MA, and Archipelago - The Island Institute in Rockland, Maine. She teaches workshops in Truro, MA, Nantucket, MA, Stowe, VT (upcoming), and in her Guilford studio.

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