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Spring Break Camp: April 10-14


Can’t wait until the summer? Our five-day art camp during the week of spring break will let children get creative through a variety of media.

Click here to register!

Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
5 sessions Apr 10, 2017 – Apr 14, 2017
Full Week Tuition: $ 400.00
Per Day Tuition: $ 95.00
Apr 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is happy to bring back its 5 day art camp during the week of Spring Break! Children will spend the week learning about art through a variety of media. Students may sign up for single days of camp or for the entire week. All materials are included. Space is limited, Register Soon!

Click here to register!

Upcoming 5-Week Classes Winter 2017

Classes start February 11 and run 5 weeks through March 14, 2017


0107 Introduction to Indigo & Shibori | Eggleston Sundays, 1-3:30pm

1121 No Portfolio Website? No Problem! | Vesselli Mondays, 9:30am-12pm

1123 No Portfolio Website? No Problem! | Vesselli Tuesdays, 9:30am-12pm

1125 No Portfolio Website? No Problem! | Vesselli Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm

0589 Elements of Storytelling in Visual Arts | Felber Tuesdays, 12:30-3pm

0589 Elements of Storytelling in Visual Arts | Felber Saturdays, 3:30–6pm

0591 Calligraphy | Junger Wednesdays, 9:30am-12pm

1127 Graphic Design Projects | Junger Thursdays, 9:30am-12pm

0311 The Art of Woodcut Printmaking | Canziani Thursdays, 12:30-3pm

0313 The Art of Woodcut Printmaking | Canziani Fridays, 9:30am-12pm

0315 Relief Printmaking | Canziani Thursdays, 3:30–6pm

0317 Relief Printmaking | Canziani Fridays, 12:30-3pm

0727 Finishing Techniques | Bedoya Thursdays, 7-9:30pm

Kids: STEAM*-Powered Classes

0267 Toy & Game Making (ages 9-12) | Wallant Tuesday, 3:30–5:30pm

0269 Toy & Game Making (ages 9-12 | Wallant Saturdays, 12:30-2:30pm

0271 Sun Prints with Pillow Making (ages 7-10) | Trebitz Saturdays, 3:30-5pm


* STEAM refers to STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) with art
  added to the mix, making it STEAM!

The Internet & Social Media: Basics

This article is the content for the first talk and workshop I am giving at the 2017 Teaching Artist Institute. This Institute is a simple set of lessons for currently teaching artists for the Studio School here at the Art Center. I am creating this effort to add some professional development to your experience here.

What are the apps, devices, and functions we are talking about, anyway??

We are in the age of the internet, and there is no way to escape it. Print coverage is not the most effective means of spreading the word about your career, work, or thoughts–at least not by itself.

Today, we will discuss:

  • Web sites (I hope to go to each person’s site a little and discuss strategy)
  • Email newsletters
  • Personal branding
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
  • LinkedIn

Do you know how the internet works? Honestly, it does not hurt to know the basic principles.

Do you need a website? YES, yes you do!

How does Social Media work?

Ways to develop a social media strategy to promote yourself

You have to have an online presence to be truly competitive and productive as a cultural producer–who wants to live off of your work. I know some people fear to put too much personal information out there, but that is all the more reason to learn how and where to tell your story. We ned to discuss some key ideas: social media strategy and personal branding.

“Personal Branding” does not mean going corporate, by the way: it is just a way to discuss the way you want to present your efforts to the public. Bear with me, I know the whiff of marketing-speak can be offputting, but I am here to tell you that you need to know how to present your work in a clear, concise, and honest way.

This is work, have no doubt about it! But we have always needed to promote ourselves, no matter the era. The fact that so many of us do not get much training in this in art school is a shame, but with some training, you can start making better and better choices over time.

Some of the services we will talk about are free (but take time and effort), and others cost money. Once you look at the work you are doing, come up with your purpose and planned trajectory, choose the networks and strategies in which you want to invest your resources. Then you can start learning the ropes on that limited bracket of options!

Need to see a great example of this effort? Look no further than the website and social media efforts of Studio School Teaching Artist, Anne Kullaf. She has a great Facebook presence as well!

Create a website and maintain it so that it stays contemporary in function and aesthetic.

  • You must have a website. This is not a bad thing! You are coming to the field well after the wild west days; now there are so many ways to assemble useful websites without knowing a thing about code. I will go over this in-depth later this week. I would love to look at everyone’s site right now and discuss the criteria you want to develop.
  • You need to make sure your site is kept current. That means making sure the content and links are fresh as well as the look and feel.
    • There are so many systems for building a site now, I seriously recommend you use those instead of trying to build one of your own (unless you want to be a web designer).
  • You need to gather email addresses and be prepared to send out newsletters if ever you need to. This is simple if you are using a service that provides the code for you. You need to be able to send emails to people who are interested in your work

Look at the current channels and decide what you are willing to do and what ends you hope to achieve.

  • Facebook is huge, with well over a billion members worldwide. It gives you the biggest possible audience of all the social media networks. Due to its particular development, it’s the easiest to manage and allows for the best possible targeting if you want to go into formal advertising. Rates are still affordable.
  • Twitter is a great platform if you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.It gives you the potential to go “viral” most readily. Hashtags are used to catalog and organize content. They make a big difference in building momentum for your posts, so pay attention to what is trending today and include relevant hashtags. You can also get in contact with people at the top of your field readily through Twitter through retweets and other means.
  • LinkedIn is the network for presenting yourself as a professional to other professionals. It prioritizes relationship building more than any other, so be sure to keep the content about that, not about sales pitches. Also, you can create a LinkedIn Group for people in your niche and provide value to them that way.
  • Instagram comes with a phone app for making great photos. Use this to talk about process and illustrate your narrative. You can also use it to sell work. Hashtags are popular here as well.
  • Pinterest is great if you have great images to share as those go viral most readily. This can promote your work, but you need to make sure to watermark or mark your images with a credit. (You can use the free level of PicMonkey to do this)
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine and owned by Google. Your videos on this network will do far better in search engine results just by association.

Homework: think about your personal brand and what you want it to do for you

You need to think long and hard about what you want to do ith your work, your techniques, your story: in essence, you need to start to recognize that you already have a personal brand and how to begin to truly control and promote it.

Once you know how you want to present your work and the goals you have for your career, you can decide your social media strategy. What amount of time and money can you devote to this? What end goals are you working towards?

Write out what you want, start working on your action plan, and decide where you would like to start!

Winter Mini-Session Success Story: Intro to Digital Photo

Dave Blinder, a new instructor here at the Art Center, help a class over the Mini Session called Intro to Photography and Video for Teens (ages 13+)

He reported back this morning:

Seemed like a very successful class! I got the students to take their cameras off of automatic mode and use full manual controls to control the exposures. We did review some video pointers and settings but we really focused on digital photography because of their particular needs.

For our final project, both students took photographs of textures throughout the whole facility using the DSLRs in manual mode.  We then learned how to use the various color correction tools in Lightroom and I showed them how to choose the proper print drivers.  Both students walked away with their  digital montages as 13″ x 19″ prints on high quality photo paper that I brought in.

We are so thrilled to have Dave on board. Be sure to check out his other classes this winter!

NEW! Introduction to Digital Video & Editing

This is a class for adults, so be sure to sign up today!

Artists with a Cause, Unite! Print Posters for the Change You Want to See!

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Shows You How to Express Your Views with Compassion & Respect

Building consensus while learning how to screen print? It’s easier (and more accessible) than you ever knew!

As a fractious election season segues into the presidential inauguration, many groups are ready to peacefully express their views in marches and events across the country. Many yearn for the ability to navigate diverse viewpoints with compassion and respect. The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is hosting two workshops (January 8, 10 am to 5 pm or January 15, 10 am to 5 pm) to develop useful cause posters based on consensus and a sound education in the history of protest/support graphics. Entitled “Graphics For Change: Poster Design and Printing,” the two workshops can each accommodate 24 people working in groups to produce work.

Artist Libby Clarke, who is currently the Director of the Studio School at the VACNJ, is leading the two sections through the process. “Most people have a cause they are passionate about. It is essential that we learn to speak up, and we also must be able to develop messages that will have an impact. I emphasize the process of formulating a message through consensus, so we begin from a place of shared values and responsible messaging.”

Clarke, a Maplewood, NJ resident, has been a printmaker, designer, and educator for over 20 years. She developed the workshop 8 years ago and has taught it in various iterations at the California State University Northridge, the Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn, NY, and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville, MD. Each time, the workshop has become more focused: “I have found a great balance of history, art lessons, and basic printmaking principles to mix into the instruction,” Clarke said. “What is the hardest part is getting people–even ones who are very much in agreement–to share ideas and work on a design. It is such a lovely thing to see when a real collaboration begins to form.”

By the end of previous workshops, Clarke reports that people began to truly work together, which may be the biggest lesson of all: we can navigate difficult political topics with respect and compassion, no matter where we fall on the ideological spectrum.

Details on the workshops are below.

Graphics For Change: Poster Design and Printing

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Poster for the workshops at the VACNJ

Poster for the workshops at the VACNJ

Instructor: Libby Clarke

Come to a day-long workshop in the origins, design, and art of consensus-based cause posters! We start with a talk on the history of protest/support signs, then break into groups to develop our designs. We end the day with each team printing an edition of posters using photo screen printing! Each student leaves with a selection of the day’s posters and handouts to continue developing work. Ages 9 to adult welcome!

Two sections to choose from: