Summer art workshops offer excitement at Eliot School

Abigail Norman

Courtesy Photo
“Surrendered Faith” is a woodcut monoprint by Jennifer Hughes, one of this summer’s new teachers at The Eliot School. In addition to woodcut printing, the school is also offering special art classes for children, along with painting, drawing and woodworking.

Jamaica Plain will gain new art adventures for kids when The Eliot School expands its offerings this summer to create five one-week special “art intensives,” each with a different theme. Children will also be able to take once-a-week classes in woodworking and sewing.

This summer’s children’s offerings will serve ages 9 to 12 (with a little wiggle room on each end); in fall the school will serve more ages. Starting July 9, the first summer intensive week will take children outdoors to create natural installations inspired by artist Andy Goldsworthy. Flowers, stones, sticks and leaves will create patterns and invite close relationships with the landscape of Jamaica Pond, the Arboretum and the neighborhood. Teacher George Anastos has earned followers for his infectious energy expanding art’s boundaries for kids. Week 2 will take children around the world—dyeing cloth, printing images on fabric, stringing beads and creating other wearable art, with Meridian Academy art teacher Caroline Beasley. In Week 3, children will make papier mache creatures and constructions. Teacher Maurice Rucker is well known around JP for his expansive sense of humor and his multiple talents.

In Week 4, Massoudeh Edmond will teach drawing and painting, emphasizing the pleasures of observation and the practice of core skills. By midweek, she will take the children outdoors to draw and paint from nature. Finally, Edmond will return the last week before school re-opens at the end of the summer with a week of drawing from life. This week gives parents a welcome respite at a time when few activities are available for kids itching to start the school year. Summer classes for adults will expand, too, to include a new six-week woodcut printing class with Jennifer Hughes, a dynamic young artist who also teaches at the Museum School. One-day workshops with David Sturtevant and Terry Boutelle will take adult students outdoors to paint.

Meanwhile, the school continues its traditional core classes in woodworking, painting, upholstery and stained glass. Figure drawing continues every Tuesday night as a drop-in class, with no registration required. The Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts offers classes year-round for adults and children in woodworking, furniture-related skills, painting, drawing and other crafts. Located behind the civil war monument in its signature 19th century schoolhouse building on Eliot Street, it is known for its welcoming atmosphere, its habit of mixing students from all skill levels, and the high quality of its teaching.

The Eliot School will reopen in September with a full roster of evening and weekend classes for adults and after-school programs for children. Painting and drawing workshops will be expanded, while Tuesday night drop-in figure drawing will continue year-round. Woodworking, upholstery and furniture finishing will be augmented with workshops in furniture design and more. An open house on Sept. 15 will offer a tribute to long-time teacher Charlie Sandler, plus tours of the school.

Schedules, registration forms and announcement sign-up are available at

The writer is the director of the Eliot School.

Eliot School invites input on art center offerings

The Eliot School is inviting the public to be part of a conversation about the school’s role in the community, including: identifying needs for art and fine craft classes, determining art-making times for people without studios and creating opportunities for artists and craftspeople to get together and share skills. Join artists, neighbors and staff of the school on Wed., July 18 at 7 p.m. at 24 Eliot St. For more information, call 524-3313 or e-mail [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.