Sunday, November 27, 2011

ASiF'S Sculptors' Collaborative & Atelier Style Mentoring Program...

The Artists' Studio in the Foothills (ASiF) is thrilled to announce some very exciting news about the center's ever-expanding program offerings!

The new ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative and Atelier Style Mentoring Program offers a whole new take on fine art instruction at ASiF. Resident Artists Simona Bellini, Deborah Bridges, Jennifer Iams-McGuire and Amanda Paoletti are spear-heading this new direction for programs at the center, taking the student-teacher relationship to a whole new level. The four instructors have been teaching classes at at ASiF and elsewhere for many years... though the intimacy of this program and the ways in which they will be working collaboratively with each other in the space, breaks new ground for all of them.

The new ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative & Atelier Style Mentoring Program invites a small group of two to three intermediate to advanced level students, or "mentees" into their sculpture studio for weekly sculpting sessions, ongoing mentoring and group critiques. "The teachers are as excited to learn from each other as the students are", says Amanda Paoletti, one of the four studio instructors, "The diversity and varied focuses of each of the teachers means that we'll be trading hats from mentor to "mentee" quite regularly... I'm already clearing my calendar in hopes that there'll be room for me to attend the other instructors' weekly sessions!" This new program promises to be an exciting studio environment where teachers and students share new inspiration, techniques and methods for creating sculpture.

In addition to weekly mentoring and critiques the four instructors will share the sculpture studio with their students during the centers open studio hours, working side by side in a tradition of instruction that most resembles the atelier studio methods practiced historically in western European countries.

"What", you ask, "does 'Atelier' mean?" ... Atelier is the French word for "workshop", in English it's used principally for the workshop of an artist in the fine or decorative arts, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students and apprentices worked together producing pieces that went out in the master's name. This was the standard way of working for European artists from the Middle Ages to the 18th or 19th century, and common elsewhere in the world.

The current "Atelier method" is a form of fine art instruction modeled after the historic private art studios of Europe. An atelier consists of an artist, usually a professional painter or sculptor, working with a small number of students to train them in art. Atelier schools can be found around the world, particularly in North America and Western Europe.

ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative students will receive: 3 hrs weekly mentoring with one of the four instructors, and studio space in ASiF's sculpture studio. The studio will be made available to students during open studio hours, Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm and Saturdays from 11am - 4pm.

The cost for students is $200 per month... this includes studio space. Students are asked to make an initial commitment of three months with one of the four instructors. Student dues may be paid on a monthly basis at the beginning of each month. Mentor-ships with specific teachers may continue beyond the initial three month period... this too will be established based on the needs of participating students.

This atelier style mentoring thing is really catching on...
Inspiration about this style of teaching is catching the attention of many studio residents. Kathryn Wronski, oil painter and vetran resident at ASiF has recently taken on two students or "mentorships". "People have been asking me about teaching for years," says Kathryn. "The one on one format is comfortable for me... I never knew how inspiring teaching could be... it's a mutually supportive relationship that's turning out to be super creative for me!"

This exciting new program is getting so much attention, the word at the studio is that other residents may be taking students under their wings in the near future as well!

Instructor Biographies and "Mentor-ship" offerings...

Simona Bellini...
Simona moved to the United States this year from Switzerland where she is an active member of the Association of Swiss Ceramists. Simona's works, strongly linked and inspired by organic elements found in nature, are mainly developed in clay using various firing techniques. She utilizes armored structures covered in acrylic resin for her larger forms of expression and has a particular interest in creating mural relief forms and modular structures.

The initial focus with Simona's students at the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative will be in creating ceramic relief forms, organic abstract objects... spheres, cocoons, and other forms... and utilization of pure oxides.

International Students Welcome... Mentoring with Simona is available to students in English, Italian, Spanish, French or German!

Mentoring with Simona is scheduled for 3 hours on Mondays... she is now taking student requests to determine the times that will work best for her students.

Deborah Bridges...
Deborah is an award winning sculptor of stone, clay and bronze. With twenty five years of experience sculpting professionally and teaching the art of figurative sculpture, she keeps her attention on the inner depths of being, keeping her work fresh, honest and authentic.

For the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative Deborah will teach figurative sculpture using techniques she's developed over her many years of working with the figure in various media. Using ceramic clay, Deborah will demonstrate techniques that express the evocative nature of the face and natural movement of the body.

Three hour mentoring sessions with Deborah Bridges are scheduled for Wednesdays. She is currently taking student requests to determine the times that work best for her students.

Jennifer Iams-McGuire...
Jennifer is an award winning member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists. She sculpts using mosaic surface treatment over sculptural forms made of cement and recycled materials as armatures. Her large scale 3-D Mosaic sculptures are known for their humor and playful use of scale... for example a tea-bag scaled up 250 times life size!

While the sculptural aspects of her work will be the focus of her offerings and expertise at the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative, the art of mosaic surface treatment will be an exciting additional option for her students! Mentoring sessions with Jennifer are scheduled for Tuesdays from 10am - 1pm.

Amanda Paoletti...
Amanda is a ceramic sculptor with a great appreciation for the expressive nature of the human form. With twenty five years experience working with clay, her teachings at the ASiF Sculptors' Collaborative will focus, not on the figure, but rather on technique and methods for building large scale sculptural vessel forms without the use of armatures. Combining age old methods of coil pot making and slab form building, she works closely with students guiding them through the process of discovering their own styles and personal paths as artists. Mentoring sessions with Amanda are scheduled for Thursdays from 11am - 2pm.

ASiF's 4th Annual Smallworks in the Foothills Holiday Show...

The Artists' Studio in the Foothills (ASiF) is thrilled to announce its Fourth Annual Smallworks in the Foothills Holiday Show! Many agree this is ASiF's best show of the year, bringing together the highest quality local artists and more art in a shared thematic show at a single location than any local venue in Nevada County history!

For this show, the gallery is brought to life with close to a thousand original, one of a kind works of art... paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, multi-media collages, jewelry and sculptural & functional works of art, all under twelve inches in scale, perfect for holiday gift-giving!

Each wall is a work of art in itself... Just weeks before the opening ASiF's veteran hanging crew invites a small number of participating artists to help and share in the creative work of hanging and displaying the artwork. On this day each of the crew members claims a wall and sets to work creating large wall sized collages of the artworks from about knee height to as far up the wall as one can see.

Each carefully composed gallery wall, consists of one or more of each of the sixty-plus participant's -up to ten art entries. Unlike most gallery shows, artists works are not grouped together, instead they're peppered into the mix, like unique one of a kind art tiles in a collaborative mosaic creating a kind of treasure hunt for fans of particular artists as they search to find each of their favorite artists' works.

And speaking of treasure hunts... for this event, one of the center's studio residents has designed a special art activity for those who enjoy a playful challenge. Oil painter, Robin Wallace has created a Smallworks Art Treasure Hunt offering adults and children some extra fun with an interactive game in which participants search for specific art works using special clues leading them to learn interesting facts about local artists' fascinating subjects, mediums and techniques.

Another exciting note on this show, is that over the fifty-day course of the exhibit, art works are continually sold "off the wall". This means, that unlike most of the center's gallery shows, where sold works are left on display until the close of the show, customers are encouraged to buy smallworks for holiday gift giving, and to take them right away! "The exciting part of this", offers Amanda Paoletti, owner, director of ASiF, "is that each time a piece is sold, a new piece is brought out to replace it, as new artists and artworks are accepted throughout the course of the show, making it an ever-changing exhibit. Last year the center sold and replaced so much work that a completely different show was in place just one month after its opening!

Smallworks walls are catching on... " I guess it's kind of contagious", says Paoletti, "every year guests and patrons tell me that the manner in which we hang this show, has become something they're trying to re-create in their own homes... of course, I personally have a smallworks wall in mine, and look forward to collecting a few new favorite Smallworks each year!"

In addition to the main gallery show, ASiF GiFT, the center's gallery gift shop offers an extra holiday gift shopping option featuring cards, prints, jewelry, pottery, ceramic sculpture, carved wood and glass works, and features on its walls an ongoing display of local artist's paintings and multi-media artworks.

ASiF invites the public to celebrate the Smallworks in the Foothills Holiday Show on Friday, November 4th, from 5-8pm. Fine art, food, wine and music to be enjoyed by all!

The gallery and gift store are open Monday - Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturdays from 11am-4pm, and by appointment on Sundays. The Smallworks Holiday Show will hang through January 7th, 2012.

The Artists' Studio in the Foothills is located at 940 Idaho Maryland Road, in Grass Valley. For more information go to or call 530-274-7000.

Participating Smallworks in the Foothills Holiday Show Artists:
Wanda Avery
Laddy Barnett
Simona Bellini
Rebecca Bleau
Mieke Blees
Eileen Blodgett
Lugene Boyd
Deborah Bridges
Phil Brown
Odette Brush
Dina Budginas
Roseanne Burke
Susan Crocenzi
Miranda Currie
Heather deVivieros
Christoph Diermann
Esther Escott
Flo Fahrenheit
Molly Fisk
Karin Givon
Sharon Griffiths
Leslie Anne Guinan
Irving Guyer
Barbara Harris
Sarah CV Hendrickson
Sally Herring
Suzanne Himmler
John Hoft
Richard Hotchkiss
Claudia Jeffers
Elizabeth Jens
Olaf Jens
Kris Johnson
Max Kommissarchik
Terri Lambert
Sandy Lindblad
Betsy Lombard
Jenny Long
Jill Mahanna
David McKay
Susan Michalski
Larry Miller
Mindy Oberne
Penelope Partch
Jean Patterson
Denia Pearson
Daniel Peck
Jennifer Rain
Mary K. Deleray Russel
Rose Shulman
Robin Sill
Jim Stettler
Gordon Strom
Cathy Tardif
Linda Lewis Taylor
Mary Thelander
Robin Wallace
Denise Wey
Cheryl Wilson
Joanne Wohlfeld
Kathryn Wronski

ASiF Summer 2011 Student & Teacher Show

The Artists Studio in the Foothills (ASiF) Visual Arts Center of Nevada County
is proud to present its Second Annual Student & Teacher Show... The show will feature the works of over fifty ASiF students and their teachers, showcasing just a handful of the center's program offerings. Adult and children's student art works, from papier mache to fine ceramic sculpture, functional wheel thrown and hand-built ceramics, mosaics, acrylics, oil and pastel paintings, printmaking and jewelry art will be on display throughout the month for this exciting art event. Though only some of the art will be for sale, all of the works are a testament to the high quality fine art instruction offered by the center's resident instructors.

ASiF has become hugely committed to the development of a mutually supportive community for the visual artists of Nevada County. This year's Student & Teacher Show exemplifies the ways in which that support has fostered the great talents of this budding student body, the quality of which is most evident in the art itself!

The Student & Teacher Show will open on Friday, August 12th, with an opening reception from 5 - 8pm. At 6pm that evening ASiF instructors will gather to introduce themselves to reception guests, and offer short presentations of their current and upcoming programs. Two to five minute presentations by each of the instructors will be followed by an open discussion and question and answering session.

Over a period of years since the center opened in 2008, many course participants at ASiF have become regular students, taking a different approach to art instruction... seeking more of a "mentor-ship" by working closely with one or more of the instructors on an ongoing basis. This business of mentoring has proven to be a wonderfully successful mutual support system for the center and its instructors as well. Says Amanda Paoletti, ASiF owner and director, "The mentoring in the classes that are happening here brings an incredibly vital creative spirit to ASiF... it's like a mini version of the synergy shared by resident artists with studio spaces here... each of the artists support each other in so many ways.... it's a very intimate artists' community, though since each of the artists seek visibility and exposure as well, the greater community is made to feel welcomed in".

ASiF Studios opened its' doors in June of 2008, with the mission of creating a visual arts center to support and promote the visual artists of Nevada County. The center offers professional art instruction and state of the art facilities for resident and visiting instructors, private and shared studio space, drop in studio use, community classrooms for painting, drawing, printmaking, mosaics, jewelry arts, wheel throwing, and sculptural ceramics. One of the center's greatest assets to the community has proven to be their emerging artists gallery in which themed gallery shows are celebrated throughout the year, promoting studio residents and hundreds of local Nevada County artists.

Since the beginning the community has fully embraced the centers' efforts, naming it the highest quality local artists' venue in the county. The center features over twenty resident artists with year round open studios, community art events celebrated with opening receptions offering fine art, food, wine and live music. The events at ASiF bring hundreds of local artists and patrons together each month, growing community and shared a dedication to the visual artists of Nevada County.

ASiF's 2011 Student & Teacher Show will open with a reception for the artists on Friday, August 12th from 5-8pm. Teacher presentations will begin at 6pm on the evening of the opening reception. The show will hang through September 3rd. The gallery is open from 10am-5pm, Monday - Friday, and 11am-4pm on Saturdays.

The Artists' Studio in the Foothills is located at 940 Idaho Maryland Road, in Grass Valley. For more information and a list of program offerings go to or call 530-274-7000.

Student & Teacher Show - Participating Artists
Vega Alvarez
Yoli Bacon
Barbara Barr
Eileen Blodgett
Lugene Boyd
Deborah Bridges
Kaylie Brooks
Phil Brown
Susan Crocenzi
Dallas Cruikshank
Kathryn Davis
Tyler DeFrance
Betty Takacs deViveiros
Maria Dicintio
Rita Fabrizio
Fran Ferrell
Cathy Gerstung
Sharon Griffiths
Lucy Guthrie
Barbara Harris
Sally Herring
Francene Holland
Betsy Hufnagel
Claudia Jeffers
Linda Johnson
Vivien Kane
Karen Klayman
Clea Lassiter
Angela Lazarow
Daneal Liller
Michael Marx
Karen Marinovich
Daly Merrill
Susan Michalski
Cynthia Moffatt
Gwen Moore
Jerry Murphy
Evelyn Norris
Nancy Patmont
Daniel Peck
Tayler Ravenscroft
Kristine Ringland
Adam Robertson
Mary Sanichas
Debi Savoy
Lin Schiffner
Lois Shelton
Kristin Steindorf
Denise Wey
Sierra Whitney
Christena Wiebe
Jill Wiggins
Jill Young