Summer 2017 Classes & Workshops*

The Foundation of Drawing Principles | Alexandra Higginsinstructor
Sight is such an important sense that it takes up 40% of our brains. We use it for everything from recognizing and categorizing to greeting and communicating. Part of surviving and thriving is being able to negotiate between what we expect to see and what is actually there. Artists try to master the complex language of vision by drawing from observation, and through study and creativity, they can build their own visual poetry – art. Pencils, brushes, lenses and software are the tools artists use to manipulate the act of seeing, and in this class students will learn to see in a new and sophisticated way.


Songwriting | Flame and Tom Simek, instructors
Learn the magic of composing songs from scratch from accomplished musicians Flame and Tom Simek. Students will write, perform and record their musical experiments in the recording studio located in the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts.


Drawing & Painting | Erin Kelly, instructor
Every great artist has honed his or her craft through drawing from reference, whether in life drawing sessions or by copying famous works of art. In that time-honored tradition, students will begin by recreating a photo reference with pencil and paper. Once the foundation is laid, the student will incorporate painting. The finished painting will exhibit all the principles of design, with the artist’s personal touch to distinguish it from the original photograph.


Digital Art/Photography | Erin Kelly, instructor
The progression of technology has opened countless new doors for artists of all kinds. In this class, students will create a piece using a series of digital images following a theme of their choice. Students will learn the basics of digital photography and photo editing software as they use nothing but a mouse and keyboard to turn several images into a single, unique, cohesive work of art.


Printmaking | Erin Kelly, instructor
This course is an introduction to the basics of printmaking. Printmaking is one of the most historically significant and prolific forms of art, and with the right instruction, anyone can learn to multiple images from the same etching, carving or stencil. This class will focus on the intaglio (ink and etching) and the relief (carved block) processes. Students will create a block/plate matrix based on an original drawing and will create a full edition of matching prints from that matrix. The result will be a series of images that are similar but never identical – because the beauty of printmaking is that, even though all prints come from the same matrix, there are countless variables in the process that ensure every image is a unique expression of the artist’s craft.


Mixed Media and Repurposing | Erin Kelly, instructor
In this course, students will learn the importance of recycling by using found and collected objects to create art. So much of art is about observing, interpreting and learning from nature; it goes without saying that many artists feel the desire to protect and celebrate their muse by recycling and repurposing rather than throwing out and discarding. Students will make their own jewelry and crafts from objects that others might reject as trash. An object’s usefulness is limited only by the beholder’s imagination.


Oil Painting | Jonathan Swartwout, instructor
Some of the most famous paintings in history – Mona Lisa, The Starry Night, Girl with a Pearl Earring – have been created with oil on canvas. In this course, renowned Adirondack artist Jon Swartwout will guide students through the journey of creating an oil painting. The medium has its challenges as well as benefits, but with care, creativity and Jon’s professional instructions, each artist will create a vibrant and durable masterpiece of their very own. The painting will be theirs to keep, to hang on a wall or give to a loved one as a thoughtful, handmade gift.

Wood Art | Susy Easterly, instructor
In this course, renowned local woodworker Susy Easterly will guide students in sculpting and framing wood to create a geometric patterned piece of art. Students will walk away with a beautiful, homemade creation that will last forever.


Band-Saw Box Making | Susy Easterly, instructor
Few things are more satisfying than making a functional object with your own hands. In this course, woodworker Susy Easterly will teach students how to create a beautiful wooden box using only a single solid cube of wood. This simple project will hold jewelry or keepsakes for years to come.


Basic Book Binding | Jessica Lewandowski, instructor
In a world of mass printing and practical factory binding, it can be easy to forget that books used to be works of art, lovingly cut, stitched, glued and decorated over the course of weeks. In this workshop, instructor Jessica Lewandowski will re-introduce the satisfying craft of handmade book arts. Students will construct a book using recycled cardboard.  They will create the book cover with handmade paper after sewing the pages in by hand using a simplified book binding technique. This project is easy to do at home and can be used over and over again to create personalized journals or sketchbooks. They are great gifts, keepsakes or just personal items to hold your thoughts, drawings and memories for years to come.


Still Life Oil Painting | Jessica Lewandowski, instructor
This workshop will combine two of the art world’s most important practices: oil painting and still life. Students will learn basic oil painting techniques associated with still life painting, including color theory, shifting values from dark to light, indoor lighting vs. outdoor lighting, texturized brushstrokes for that personalized touch, and more.  Since oil paint relies heavily on the artist’s timing, students will learn to utilize the slow drying of the paint to benefit their overall composition. At the end of the course, they will have a beautiful and carefully composed painting to take home with them.


Adirondack Gourmet | Wally Hart and Nita Preddice, instructors
In this class, Chefs Wally Hart and Nita Preddice will teach students to prepare delicious and nutritious food using local ingredients. Students will learn about the elements of flavor and will create simple and remarkable dishes. Students will sample each dish and leave with recipe cards.


Creative Writing | Megan Balser, instructor
Students will communicate their feelings about different musical pieces through writing. Once the emotional tone is set, a plot and story will be created through a team building approach. Students will leave with a journal of personal and team building creative written expressions.


Web Design 101 | Kate Ehle, instructor
A simple website can be built without technical skills. Using Vistaprint website design, students will have the opportunity to build their own personal website. To showcase student talent, selected designs will be chosen to link from the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts website.


Theater Workshop | Roberta Esposito, instructor
This workshop will introduce students to the extraordinary expression and magic of theater in a fun, positive and nurturing environment. We will encourage each student's involvement and collaboration through acting, movement, music, mime, improvisation, characterization, theater games and creating props, scenery and costumes. The class will culminate in an "Extraordinary Revue" performance of skits, scenes, songs and dances, all shared with their family and friends.

One Week Theater Classes | Roberta Esposito, instructor
Begin camp on Monday and lights up on Friday! With fun rehearsals, theater games and creative acting lessons, this is an excellent opportunity for campers to use their creativity and talents while building their self-esteem and confidence in a nurturing, enriching weeklong theater experience.

  • “The Voice” comes to the Paul Nigra Center
    Through expressive music, movement, improvisation and theater games, you’ll create “The Voice” right here at the Paul Nigra Center. Campers will be the judges, contestants and the MC as we discover our next Sawyer Fredericks!

  • Video Characters Are Alive
    Create a skit based on your favorite video characters. Learn to wing it; be in the moment. Be spontaneous –  think and speak on your feet. Use your imagination and teamwork to create these characters through movement, theater games and improvisation.

  • May the Force Be with You
    Star Wars at its best! Campers take on the roles of Yoda, Darth Vader, Luke, Han, Princess Leia, Jedi knights and other Star Wars characters as we improvise our way through the galaxies.

  • The Wizard of Oz Meets Wicked
    Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow (and Toto too) meet new characters along the way as they journey to the Emerald City! With music, expressive movement, scene work, rehearsal techniques and improvisation under our belts, we’ll soon be off to see the Wizard.

  • The Treasure Book Box
    Open a treasure box filled with your favorite books. A new story is explored each day. These actors create the characters and dramatize the book using movement, music, mime, theater games, improvisation and self-expression. The students discover their creativity and learn theater skills as they enter the magical world of theater.

  • Broadway Tonite!
    Based on Broadway’s greatest and most beloved musicals, this class will teach students different ways of interpreting characters, songs and dances. The class will focus on advanced characterization, vocal production and skills, character interaction, movement, acting and scene work. This class provides exciting training for actors in a safe, fun, creative environment.

  • Musical Theater Express   
    Using Disney musicals as a model, students will explore ways of interpreting musical theater characters. Class time will include exercises, scene work, improvisation, vocal technique, choral and individual songs, acting and movement.  Explore “a whole new world” teeming with imagination and wonder!

  • Heroes and Heroines
    Learn to play the characters we love to be. Using some of theater’s greatest good fairies, good witches and kings, students will focus on the development of vocal skills, body language, movement, acting, songs, scene work and the creation of a persona. Students develop confidence and self-esteem to make bold character choices and go for it!

  • Villains and Villainesses
    Learn to play the characters we love to hate. Using some of theater’s greatest villains, students will focus on the development of vocal skills, body language, movement, acting, songs, scene work and the creation of a persona. Students develop confidence and self-esteem to make bold character choices and go for it!

  • Princes and Princesses Treasure Box
    Open a royal treasure box filled with your favorite princess or prince. A new kingdom is explored each day. Using movement, music, mime, theater games and self expression, these actors create the royal characters. The students continue to develop theater skills and enhance their creativity as they explore royal kingdoms.

  • Transitions
    Apprentices will be introduced to the extraordinary expression and magic of theater in a fun, positive and nurturing environment. The focus will be to encourage each Apprentice’s involvement and collaboration through acting, movement, music, mime, improvisation, creating props, scenery and costumes, characterization and theater games. The session will culminate in a performance of skits, selections of scenes, songs and dances – to share with family and friends!

  • Play Acting Discovery Theater
    The students will unlock their imagination through music, movement, creative dramatics, theater games, improvisation, and scene work. They build confidence, self-esteem, pride and a sense of accomplishment. With a focus on artistic expression and bringing out each Apprentice’s extraordinary “star essence,” theater arts strives to enrich, educate and inspire each student.

  • Creative Acting
    Use your imagination and teamwork to create characters, skits and stories through theater games. Discover the essence of great acting, enhance concentration and sensory awareness, and learn storytelling, pantomime and movement skills.

Fold and Cut Paper Art | Michaela Worosz, instructor
In this workshop, students will learn a variety of fold techniques and designs and use that knowledge to create sculptural forms. They will create their own personal map through these artist fold books. The maps can represent any space, real or imagined. The goal of this workshop is make students re-imagine the purpose and content of a map.


Portrait Painting in Oil | Gwyneth Scalley, instructor
Portrait painting is one of the greatest traditions in art, and throughout art history, artists have rendered the human face in oil paints.  In this class, students will be introduced to basic oil painting techniques, including composition and layout, human proportions, underpainting, flesh tones and glazing.  Students will be provided with photographic references of the face to work from, and will gain an understanding of essential facial anatomy.  Each student will leave the class with a beautiful portrait created by their own hand.

Wire Wrapped Jewelry | Jessica Lewandowski, instructor
In this class, students will learn basic wrapping techniques in the creation of a unique and personal piece of jewelry: a ring, earrings, or a pendant.

*This list is preliminary and subject to change.