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Summer 2014

Adult Classes
(16+ eligible for some adult classes)

Teen Classes (scroll down)
Click here for registration form.




Drawing Fundamentals & Techniques with Jim Sparks
This informative hands-on drawing class will be geared to improving confidence and ability in both observational drawing as well as the many possibilities of textures, patterns and imaginative abstract forms. The emphasis will be on investigating a variety of media and may cover portraits, basic animal forms, still life and fantasy. Materials list provided upon registration.

4 Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm July 8, 15, 22 & 29
$150/$145 PAC members

Drawn to Pastel - a 3-day Workshop with Jeanne Demotses
This workshop is for all levels of experience and will explore pastel techniques such as underpainting, cross hatching and blendingusing still life and photographic resources. Instruction will include demonstrations focusing on value, color, and composition as well as an exploration of materialsand framing needs. Limited to 8 students. Materials list available
at registration.

1-3pm on 7/28, 29 & 30

$80/$75 PAC members

Watercolor - all levels - with Jeanne Demotses

This class covers the basic principles of watercolor. Students willdevelop skills necessary to produce finished paintings. Demonstrations in composition, focal point and design will be covered. Bring any watercolors, brushes and paper you have. Materials list provided by instructor at the first class. Register early, enrollment limited to 12.

6 Fridays from 1-3 pm July 11, 18, 25, August 1, 8 & 15
$150/$145 PAC members

Saturdays in the Park with Jeanne

All Media on Location Class
with Jeanne Demotses

5 Plein Air Saturdays from 9am to noon
Paint the landscape of the Hudson Valley in oil, acrylic, watercolor or pastel. Students will visit 5 different locations in Putnam and Westchester counties to try to capture the beauty and variety the landscape has to offer. The course will include demonstrations, techniques in various media and offer students individual critiques. A list of materials and locations will be provided @ registration. Rain dates we'll move inside at the Belle Levine Art Center.

July 12, 19, 26, August 2 & 9
$195/$190 PAC members

SEPTEMBER, 6-14, 2014

An invitational exhibit in the A. Eric Arctander Gallery featuring
students taking any PAC course with Jeanne Demotses

SPECIAL OFFER - TRY ANY CLASS with Jeanne Demotses ~
New students ONLY - are invited to try a class for $20.00, which can then be applied towards tuition.

Free Workshop/Demo presented by Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
The A to Z of Acrylics plus Williamsburg oils and QoR watercolors
presented by author and artist Patti Mollica in the A. Eric Arctander Gallery @ PAC
limited enrollment, filling fast! Call PAC to reserve a spot - 845.803.8622
Friday, August 8th from 1-3pm

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MIXED MEDIA- one day workshop

Mixed Media Techniques with Karen Herbst and Christopher Staples
Two experienced mixed media artists will share their different approaches to creating textures, and layering for use in your own art. Whether you're an experienced artist or just beginning, you will come away from this hands-on workshop with new ideas and a collection of samples you create, including photo-altering and photo transfers, texture techniques for watercolor or acrylic, collage, stamping from objects, making your own unique stamps and more! Minimal materials list provided at registration as most supplies are supplied.

Friday, July 11, 9:30-12:30

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PHOTOGRAPHY with Dr. Bernie Kessler

Personal Individual Instruction You Can Afford – Taught in the Artist’s Studio

Join Dr. Kessler in his studio in Yorktown to learn about any phase of digital photography that interests you, from buying a camera to printing, and everything in-between. Receive clear, uncomplicated instruction. Your creative journey begins with a two hour session in the photographer’s studio which is equipped with 4 printers, a 24" iMac and 2 PC laptops. Come alone or in a small group, no larger than 4 to insure individual attention.

Hourly Instruction available from Monday - Friday, between 2-6pm,
contact office to register and schedule instruction – 845.803.8622.
Single Session @ $50; Three Sessions @ $135

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Learn something new and polish your skills at one of the following 4-week clay class offerings. Classes provide personalized instruction and weekly demonstrations of projects and techniques.  Personal exploration always encouraged.

Wheel Class from Beginner to Practiced
This 3-hour class provides a concentration on wheel throwing and is limited to 6 students so each has acces to a wheel. Glazing techniques will also be developed. Hand building always and option.

4 Tuesdays, 6:30- 9:30 pm  July 8, 15, 22 & 29 with Gina Keidong
$145/140 PAC members plus 4 cents per cubic inch in materials/firing fees.

4 Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm August 5, 12, 19 & 26 with Michael Cole
$145/140 PAC members plus 4 cents per cubic inch in materials/firing fees.

General Class from Beginner to Practiced
In this class, all techniques will be explored including wheel throwing, hand-building and lead-free glazing; open to all levels and limited to 8 students (2 hours) with Gina Keidong

4 Wednesdays, 7-9pm July 9, 16, 23 & 30
$105/$100 PAC members plus 4 cents per cubic inch for materials/firing fees.

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PRIVATE LESSONS AVAILABLE – Call 845.803.8622 to schedule.

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STUDIO RENTALS - Call us for details, fees 845.803.8622

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Portfolio Development with Jeanne Demotses
A preliminary assessment will be made covering past art courses taken, work done independently, student's strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, as well as a review of  quantity and quality of work needed to prepare a portfolio for presentation to colleges and art schools. A series of exercises and projects will be designed to assist the student with the development of pieces needed for portfolio presentation for individual colleges.  Work will be done one-on-one with the instructor as well as independently.
Class open to teens 16 and over.

$65 for a one hour private session. Call to schedule (845.803.8622)

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Multi-Media with Sarah Gilchrist
This class will develop the artist in you, wherever it may lead! Explore a variety of projects from drawing and painting to paper-mache, collage, printmaking, pastels and more! Working with an arry of quality materials, we will experiment with different styles inspired by artists and art movements. With an exciting, interactive and unique approach, this class blends fine art & fun. Class open to teens 13-15.

4 Fridays 10:30-noon July 11, 18 & 25, August 1
$105/100 PAC members (includes all materials)

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35mm Photograhy & Darkroom Developing
with James B. Sparks

In this hands-on class, learn the foundation of photography from a profesisonal. Through instruction and assignments, students will learn about taking photographs and printing them, too! Enlarging and various darkroom techniques will improve your skills and can be used when taking photos with any camera. 35mm cameras will be loaned to students for use in this class. Class open to teens 13-17.

4 Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm July 10, 17, 24 & 31
$125/$120 ( includes materials).

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Clay in the Pottery Studio

In this general clay class students will explore clay on the wheel as well as hand-building.
Specific techniques will culminate in projects both functional and decorative.Discover the pottery in you! Lead free glazes only. Instructor to be announced.

Class open to teens 13-15

4 Fridays 4:30-6pm July 18, 25, August 1 & 8
$105/$100 PAC members (includes all materials)

Check weekly for additions to the schedule

Summer Office Hours are Monday - Thursday, 10am-4pm



Click here for registration form.

Advance registration is required for ALL classes & workshops. Classes are registration driven and can only take place with sufficient enrollment. Please register early so that we do not cancel a class. Do not appear for a class if you have not already registered with the office.

REGISTRATION can be done in person, by mail, by email or phone. Please access our registration form and get it to our office when completed with your payment. Payment forms accepted include cash, MC/Visa, personal check or money order along with the form and can be hand-delivered, mailed, scanned & emailed or call.

REFUND POLICY: A refund will be granted prior to the first class. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GRANTED AFTER THE FIRST CLASS MEETING. Full refunds are issued for classes cancelled by the Putnam Arts Council.

We attempt to accommodate everyone but DO NOT SCHEDULE MAKE UP CLASSES.

ABOUT MATERIALS: Adult Classes may require materials and a list will be provided upon registration. Youth classes include all materials unless stated.

CLOSINGS/CANCELLATIONS: It is the policy of the Putnam Arts Council to follow the Mahopac Schools for weather delays/closings. This information is available at WHUD, 100.7 FM and on their website, and

Our Faculty of Teaching Artists

Jeanne Demotses
Jeanne's primary medium is oil. She also often works in watercolor, acrylic, pastel, monotype and collage. She experiments in making her own paper to use as a ground for her pastel work, and uses the paper as a collage element. Her work ranges from the figurative to the abstract and often combines aspects of both. Jeanne's paintings are in many collections in the U.S. and in Europe. She maintains a studio in Peekskill and is a member of that community's growing artist district. In addition to her classes at the Putnam Arts Council, she also teaches oil and watercolor painting at other schools, and portrait painting in her studio. Jeanne studied art at Hunter College, the Art Students League and the Westchester Art Workshop.

Sarah Gilchrist
A working visual artist and educator, Sarah introduces children to style and medium by showing them the work of great artists through history and then she encourages them to develop their own techniques, in pastel, watercolor, collage and other media, with light, fun, and playful presentations and activities. She has a Master of Arts degree in education from Manhattanville College and she studied in Italy as well.

Karen Herbst
An artist-educator and workshop instructor, her interests include children’s book illustration, painting, printmaking, mixed media collage and exploring the image-word connection in her art journals. She encourages experimentation with many art forms and believes there are no mistakes in the creative process, only opportunities to learn and grow. She received her BS in Art Education from Kuztown State University and her MA in Studio Art from the College of New Rochelle and has recently retired after teaching art for 32 years in the Pleasantville school district.

Gina Keidong
A practicing artist and art teacher, formally trained at SUNY New Paltz in Art Education with a focus in ceramics, she currently teaches in Croton-Harmon High School. Gina has been working with clay as a medium for over 10 years. From throwing to hand building Gina takes a holistic approach to teaching ceramics reaching out to her students individually, taking them from the point they are at to the next stage in creating.

Dr. Bernie Kessler
Bernie Kessler has been an award winning photographer for over 50 years, exploring and celebrating the beauty of nature, including human nature. His images have been exhibited internationally and are in corporate and private collections. He is recognized as an outstanding teacher. His ease of style creates a non-threatening learning environment. Students have fun and feel very personally inspired as they improve their photographic skills.

Deb Lecce
In 1971, while still in high school, she first embraced clay. As she wandered the halls searching for the stone carving room, she stumbled upon the clay studio. Looking back at it now, this was and is the only time that she had ever been grateful for her lack of directional skills. She observed the students at their wheels, and the hand builders shaping expression into developing forms. She was enamored. From this moment on she knew that clay was my passion. The potter’s wheel is her primary tool. It allows her to create a canvas for embellishment while also challenging the physical boundaries of the medium. Wavering rims, darted forms, and paddled surfaces help her discover which direction a piece will go. She has attended Alfred University, Penland, Haystack, as well as Peters Valley. She co-created Clayworks on Columbia, Brooklyn, NY.

James Sparks
Jim is a prolific painter and photographer whose work has been shown and collected country-wide. His special talent and energetic style as a teaching artist is widely known. His experience ranges from elementary level on up, with particular emphasis on college level instruction in art history, drawing, photography and painting (College of Mt. Saint Vincent, Bronx Community College, Connecticut Institute of Art and others). His BFA in Painting is from Washington University and MFA from the University of Southern California.

Christopher Staples
An award-winning mixed media artist and workshop leader, Staples cross pollinates collage and printmaking with painting and drawing in her abstract works. Combining words and images is of specific interest. She has a passion for bringing new and rich creative experiences to people of all levels of artistic ability, opening and pushing the boundaries for the creative voice she believes is inherent in all of us. She has a studio in a converted barn, is Executive Director of LOOK | ART GALLERY in Mahopac, and exhibits regionally. Further information is available at

Joann Zwolski
Joann works with a wide variety of mediums. Her work visually expresses a passion for line and color. Her palette is full of brilliant hues from a wide spectrum. She combines both abstract and thematic elements in her "works on paper". She has exhibited through solo and group shows in the tri-state area and Delaware. Joann received her BFA from Pratt Institute and her MA from the College of New Rochelle. She has taught art for over thirty-five years to students from kindergarten to high school and has been teaching adults drawing for the past several years in a variety of places.


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Watch For Additional Visual Arts Classes And Workshops To Be Announced Soon - For Adults And Children.


Sign up for a one-on-one hour long portfolio review with one of our teaching artists.

Student rate $50, all others $100

Call for additional information


PAC’s programs and services are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and NY State Legislature. Public support is also provided by Putnam County Government. 
Additional revenue is generated by the Putnam Arts Council through membership, educational and creative programs, fundraising efforts and through donations from the public and private sectors.



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