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Raku•Fest This Weekend


June 3 & 4, 9-5pm

Led by our inimitable Peter Syak and assisted by Lisette Bedoya, we will have a full-blown Raku firing weekend! Beginners are welcome! Now is your chance to learn the fascinating firing process originally developed in 16th century Japan. Experience the fun of a Raku firing first-hand while learning the process of glazing and the meaning and aesthetics of Raku. Workshop will also cover safety issues and pieces you fire are yours to take home at the end of the workshop.

Drop by the Art Center for RAKU•FEST! We will be firing all day, with snacks provided!


Total beginner? No problem! Buy pre-made pieces to paint and fire, right before your very eyes. It takes 2 hours from glazing to amazing – you can make art in the time most people would take to watch a movie!

  • Small pots: $55
  • Plates: $20
  • Jewelry pieces: $10


Are you a ceramicist? Bring up to 3 pieces of your own small bisqueware and fire them for $20 each! Stay all day and you can learn the process from top to bottom!

Call us today at 908.273.9121 to reserve your space!


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Open House: Spring 2017

Open House Spring 2017

Come tour our studios and see everything that the Visual Arts Center of NJ has to offer this spring and summer! Hear about our summer art camp and our spring classes, and meet many of our talented teachers! Admission is free and all ages are encouraged to come. April 6th, 5:30-8pm.

Summer Wonder Camp

We have an entire room dedicated to the Summer Wonder Camp! You can meet teachers and see what all we are planning for your children this summer.

Spring Semester

Renee Furst will work and demonstrate Pique Assiette applications. To quote Nancy Olliver, “Pique assiette, also known as shard arts, is a very popular folk art style of mosaics. In French, pique assiette literally means stolen from plates. This kind of art incorporates recycled bits of broken china, porcelain, ceramic tile pottery, stoneware and found objects that are used to make one-of-a-kind and eye- catching art creations.”

Michael Wolf will have soapstone and stone carving tools so that students can try their hand at stone carving.

Megan Becker will show work examples and will welcome visitors to try out Photoshop for themselves

Mark Saenger will bring small sample works and will demo some small black and white paintings with opportunities for hands-on participation.

Peter Syak is planning demonstrations with hands-on participation (making pendants). He will promote Raku Fest by offering the opportunity to glaze and fire their pendants at that event. Will also promote classes and the ceramics department. Will have a display of his works.

Mary Jean Canziani is bringing in different types of printing plates and the prints that were made from them. She will also demonstrate how to carve a design in a linoleum substrate and allow attendees to try inking and burnishing with a spoon. 

Ellen Monroe has a great contour line drawing demonstration, including a big exuberant still life in the center of the room and supply paper, pens and pencils, charcoal, and easels for visitors. Learn drawing from observation. As she teaches children as well, she will help you create neon heads/busts out of model magic with your kids!

Kate Eggleston will be doing an indigo shibori demo (binding fabric and dyeing it) to promote upcoming her 9-week class. 

Sue Sachs is showing students’ finished pieces so people can see what they do in the studio. She will be bringing some of her own work so people can see her sensibilities and skills and will demonstrate tools so people can see what goes into making a piece.

Kelsey House, who teaches a color class for teens,  will have examples of her work. The students can look forward to lots of brainstorming and exploring what colors mean and how they are used in famous artworks, how we see colors every day, and how they are used to communicate messages to us.  Students can plan to take away an idea of what their pieces will look like and gain a better understanding of color.

Paper Mill: Watercolor Students of Fernando Catague

The satellite gallery at the Paper Mill Playhouse saw a great turn out at the opening for the students of Fernando Catague’s watercolor class. On Sunday, April 2nd , a crowd formed on the on the second floor of the Playhouse to admire the work of Fernando Catague and his talented students. Fernando has been working at the Visual Arts Center as a watercolor instructor for several years and is incredibly beloved by his students.

The show consisted of a mix of content from landscapes to portraiture, wildlife imagery to street scenes and even a few abstract pieces. The layout, done by Paper Mill Playhouse Facilitator Lauren Katz, really lent itself to creating a smooth transition between the different subject matter. The great thing about Fernando’s teaching style is that he gives his students the knowledge and techniques they need to succeed but then allows them the freedom to each to paint about which they are passionate. The result is a diverse show full of works done by truly gifted artists. The show will be up until April 27th,followed by the opening for Howard Nathanson’s painting class on Sunday, May 28th.

Studio School Teaching Opportunity! Fall Semester!

Fall Quarter Proposal Season: March 26 through April 28

Forms to be filled out:
Instructor Information Form (online form for new instructors)
Proposal Form (PDF)
Spring 2017 Catalog for informational purposes (PDF)

This Quarter we are looking for instructors and proposals in these areas in particular:

  • Art instruction for toddlers
  • Fiber Arts (we have papermaking, silk painting, 3 sewing machines, an embroidery machine, and a loom! We are seeking specific proposals and ideas for the new department)
  • Sculpture
  • Digital media
  • Graphic Design

To be considered for a teaching position for the upcoming semester, interested parties must:

  • Submit proposals
  • If proposal is chosen, new applicants must fill out all required paperwork
  • New applicants must also attend a formal orientation (scheduled after all proposals are scheduled)

Proposals are reviewed by the Studio School administrative staff at the end of the current proposal season. All proposals must be completed and submitted electronically by set deadlines in order to be considered. In making curriculum decisions, the following criteria are considered: student interests, curriculum balance, synergy with upcoming exhibitions, and proposal presentation.

To submit applications and proposals, or for more information regarding opportunities and proposal procedures, please contact the Studio School at

Fall Quarter Proposal Season: March 26 through April 28

Forms to be filled out:
Instructor Information Form (online form for new instructors)
Proposal Form (PDF)
Spring 2017 Catalog for informational purposes (PDF)

Summer Art Camp 2017: Children and teens are in for a treat!

Summer Wonder Camp at the Studio School!
Programs for Children ages 5-12 and teens ages 13-16!

The summer is all about fun!! Your child or teen will have the time of their life making art projects that are like none they’ve made or seen before!  Each week our creative team of teaching artists guides campers in a new theme. Every week is different, so they can come back for new experiences throughout the summer! And each Friday your camper’s group puts together an art show in their homeroom studios for family and friends to see and enjoy.

Our faculty members are all practitioners and experts in the creative field and will lead your camper in creating original projects designed to be challenging and fun to make. Each camper will have the opportunity to create about 10 projects each week, exploring and learning various techniques as they paint, draw, sculpt, and more!

Please note: Projects mentioned are not made in every group as we have designed projects appropriate to each age group. Videos shown are from the research materials we used in developing camp projects.

How Your Day Will Go:

  • Early drop-off: 8:30-10:00 am; early drop-off  is for parents who opt-in for an additional fee of $25/day or $100/week*
  • All weeks are $400/week
    • Period 1: 10 am – 12 noon
    • Lunch: 12 noon – 12:45 pm (outside weather permitting)
    • Period 2: 12:45 -3:00
      • Snack (you provide this in your child’s lunch box): 1:45 – 2:00 (in class)
      • Pick up at 3pm*

Sign up your Child! (5-12)

We will split the campers up into suitable groups, according to grade and age.

Sign up your Teens! (13-16)

Teens have programming which includes digital design and ceramics!

The programs for all ages are as follows:

June 26-30: Art for All, All for Art! Thinking about Others Through Art

Due to popular demand, we just added this early week, compete with drop-in options!

$400 per week or $95 per day

Come and open the summer up with art! Have fun making work that we will display in the sculpture garden, explore ways of making art to help others, and learn how you can use art to change the world! Projects include public art projects, t-shirt printing, and poster design.

July 10 – July 14:  Build It! Building & Taking Apart in Art

Create work based on the ideas of building up and taking apart, gathering and scattering! Projects include tearing apart photos to create new images, creating sculptures out of found objects, and self-portraits digitally morphed with your favorite animal!

July 17 – July 21: Light It Up! Light & Shadow in Art

Explore light and shadow as they create projects across a wide variety of materials. Projects include shadow puppets, dramatic lighting in photos and video, and more!

July 24 – July 28: Fill It Up! Flat to Full in Art

Push your ideas from the flat surfaces of screen and paper into the physical realm. Projects include making your own inflatable sculpture, origami balloons, and digital rendering!

July 31 – August 4: Stay Balanced (or Not)! Balance and Imbalance in Art

Explore the idea of balance, then play upon its disruption. Projects include inventing and creating toys, performance art, and games with campers that play with balance.

August 7 – August 11: Make It! Soft and Hard Materials in Art

Work through many explorations of soft and hard as you explore a wide array of materials. Projects include soft sewn sculptures, reworked clothing, air-dry clay illusions, and more!

August 14 – August 18: MOVE! Motion and Stillness in Art

Make art that moves you! We will create animated works with materials including paper and video such as video vignettes and flip books. Create simple animation devices like phenakistoscopes and thaumatropes!

August 21 – August 25: Shake It Up! Pattern & Disorder in Art

Develop patterns in several ways and contrast them with the many means of creating and even celebrating disorder. Projects include creating your own stamped patterns for a wide variety of uses, designing digital patterns,Seeing patterns? You will after this week of camp! Projects include creating your own stamped patterns for a wide variety of uses and designing your own digital patterns.

August 28 – August 31: Bend, Stretch, Pull! Proportion & Distortion in Art

Spend the week learning rigor and a little rigamarole! We study proportion through traditional drawing and sculpting techniques, then we mix it up and bend reality to suit our needs! Projects include distorted self-portraits, puppets, and comic books!

  • (M-TH only because of Labor Day weekend)
  • $340/week

Sign up your Child! (5-12)

We will split the campers up into suitable groups, according to grade and age.

Sign up your Teens! (13-16)

Teens have programming which includes digital design and ceramics!

We will offer late pickup if you need it from 3:00-3:30 pm for an additional fee of $25/day