membership_btn links_btn accolades_btn contactus_btn
Adult & Teen (15+)
Classes & Workshops Click here for registration form.

Spring 2014 Classes

Jim Sparks, oil on canvas


DRAWING CLASSES with Jim Sparks Drawing Fundamentals & Techniques
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 from compressed charcoal to conte crayon on paper and will cover portraits, basic animal forms, still life and fantasy. Guaranteed to be an inspiring, enjoyable and a positive learning experience. Materials list provided upon registration.

6 Sundays, 10am – 12:00 noon 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/1
$150/$145 PAC members

PAINTING CLASSES with Jeanne Demotses
A POP-UP Show September 6-14 for 2014 Students taking any PAC course with Jeanne Demotses

Watercolor Beginner/Intermediate Class covers principles of watercolor. Students will develop 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 Thursdays from 1-3 pm 4/24, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29
$150/$145 PAC members

Intermediate/Advanced Class will focus on still life and photographic resources, and explore the use of gouache and inks. Class is designed for students with watercolor experience. Materials List provided upon registration. Register early, enrollment limited to 12.

Fridays 1-3 pm 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30
$150/$145 PAC members

This course will cover still life and photographic sources and focus on composition as well as the use and care of painting materials. The instructor will demonstrate various painting techniques and also offer critiques in a supportive atmosphere. This class is for students with some experience in painting in oils or acrylics. Materials list provided upon registration - easels will be provided. Register early, enrollment limited to 12.
6 Tuesdays 1– 3:30 pm 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27
$180/$175 PAC members

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

• • • • •


THE ART JOURNAL: Visual Journaling with Karen Herbst
An Artist’s journal is an important creative tool, offering a safe place to experiment and explore new techniques leading to pages of self- discovery and personal expression. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, you’ll enjoy this process-oriented class while exploring the use of mixed media, including paint, collage, photo transfer and lettering. Through guidance, inspiration and weekly demonstrations you will have the opportunity to realize your own creative potential as well as learning new insights about yourself. Materials list provided upon registration.

5 Thursdays,10am-noon 4/24, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/21
$125/$120 PAC members


Explore the creative possibilities of printmaking! This 5-week workshop will show students to how exciting and easy it is to work with a press to create beautiful prints. We will cover set up, inking and paper preparation, how to use a press, monoprinting, chine collé (adhering beautiful papers when printing), and other techniques. Non-toxic materials are used. Teacher demonstrations and critiques will guide the student to successful creative expression. Some supplies provided, additional supply list provided at registration.

5 Sundays 1 – 4pm 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25

GELATIN MONOPRINTS with Christopher Staples
This 4 week workshop will show you how to make amazing monoprints without a press! Learn how to prepare your inks, use brayers, stencils, create layered effects and leave this workshop inspired with finished works of art. Ultimately you will be able to make prints at your kitchen table! Open to all levels from the professional printmaker to the curious art enthusiast. Individual attention and creative inspiration will be provided! Materials list provided upon registration.

4 Wednesdays, 10am- 1pm 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14
$150/$145 PAC members

• • • • •


PHOTOGRAPHY with Dr. Bernie Kessler
UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY – 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.

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

• • • • •


Clay Classes with Gina Keidong
Learn something new and polish your skills at one of the following 6-week clay class offerings. Both 6 week classes provide personalized instruction and weekly demonstrations of unique projects, and independent projects are encouraged.  Allow yourself to explore the decorative and functional properties of working with clay. Each class is taught by Gina Keidong and welcomes all levels.

Wheel Class from Beginner to Practiced
This 3-hour class provides a concentration on wheel throwing and will include hand-building and lead-free glazing techniques and is limited to 6 so each student will have a wheel throughout the evening.

6 Tuesdays, 6:30- 9:30 pm  4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27
$205/$200 PAC members plus materials/firing fee of 4 cents per cubic inch

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).

6 Wednesdays, 7-9pm 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21, 5/28
$150/$145 PAC members plus materials/firing fee of 4 cents per cubic inch

• • • • •


PERSPECTIVE: You CAN get there from here! With Jeanne Demotses & Joann Zwolski
Everything you always wanted to know about one and two point perspective with instruction, examples & exercises. Enrollment limited to 15; bring a pencil, ruler, & kneaded eraser.
Sunday 1-4pm 4/27

Jumpstart your Art!
This workshop is designed to enable artists to maximize their time to create, inspire them to use materials already at hand, and expand and stimulate their artistic vision through exercises using familiar and easily available materials.  If you've ever said "I don't have enough time to do art", this workshop is for you.
All materials provided by the instructors.
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 1 - 4 pm

The Art of the ZENTANGLE with Sarah Gilchrist
What is a Zentangle? A Zentangle is a small abstract drawing with sections of repetitive patterns. The act of creating these "tangles" requires focus and concentration, often putting the creator into a relaxed and meditative state (thus the "zen"). This class will introduce the basic formula of a Zentangle and guide you to learn and adapt different tangle patterns into your design. By the end of the class, you will have a collection of your unique Zentangles, and will have the experience to comfortably create and enjoy them on your own without guidance.
Materials list will be provided.
Saturday 10am –noon 5/3

The UNPRETENTIOUS ART Project with Sarah Gilchrist
Whether you call yourself an artist or not, creative adults everywhere torture themselves with crazy high standards or don't feed their creative side at all, for fear of judgment and failure while children oftentimes create such amazing artwork because they are more uninhibited - because of this, they have lots of fun exploring the creative process. This class invites adults of any experience, to come and create art projects that I usually designate for children. It is an opportunity to not only PLAY with a variety of different materials and techniques, but to create, enjoy and experience the freedom and fun of art in a judgment free zone. It's amazing what you might discover about yourself and adapt into your own personal style when you feel the freedom to do so!
Materials included.
Saturday 10am - noon 5/17

Intro to Pottery – 1 Day Workshop with Deb Lecce
Have you ever wondered about working in clay but never tried it? This is the workshop for you – NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! Come & explore an exciting way to hand-build – if you have a tennis ball or handball, bring it. This class is all about fun! For those already in clay, we will build on new techniques, and for those who have never touched clay this is the perfect start!
Sunday May 4, 2-3:30pm
$60 /$55 PAC members plus materials/firing fee of 4 cents per cubic inch

Closed Forms – 2 Day workshop with Deb Lecce
Learn how to raise the wall and completely close a piece on the potter’s wheel. From there many other forms can be created such as salt & pepper shakers, boxes, tea pots and sculpture. The possibilities are endless! Basic wheel skills are necessary.
Saturday & Sunday May 18, 10am – 1pm
$110/$105 PAC Members plus materials/firing fee of 4 cents per cubic inch

• • • • •


Studio to Wall, The Commerce of Art
A course for individuals who are interested in learning from a dealer and artist, how the art world works, and how to approach dealers with your work. Instructor Tony Carretta, is an artist and gallery owner that has been involved with major New York galleries for over 25 years. He is keenly aware of the difficulties artists face trying to have their work shown in commercial galleries. We are pleased to offer this course in conjunction with Arts on the Lake and the member discount rate is extended to all PAC and AotL members.  Individuals must register for all six classes - @$270 for PAC or AotL members and $300 for non-members. Classes will be held at Arts on the Lake, Saturdays from 10 to 12 pm: May 3, May 10, May 17, May 31, June 7 and Thursday, June 12 from 7 to 9 pm. The May 17 session will be held at the Putnam Arts Council @ the Belle Levine Art Center in Mahopac. Additional details available on our opportunities page. To register visit

 • • • • •

PRIVATE LESSONS AVAILABLE – Call 845.803.8622 to schedule.

• • • • •

STUDIO RENTALS - Call us for details, fees 845.803.8622

• • • • •

PORTFOLIO REVIEW 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.

• • • • •

Check weekly for additions to the schedule



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.

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.


What's going on in our

features PAC member artists

Find us here too!facebook

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.



Web Design by Tabitha Pearson Marshall | Web Development by HowCreative Design Group | ©2012 Putnam Arts Council