If your 2020 Near Year’s resolution is finally to take that art class you’ve always promised yourself, there’s good news. Just off Main Street in Tarrytown, an inviting new business has opened up offering all manner of drawing and painting possibilities, under the instruction of two enthusiastic artist instructors, Emily Denise and Camie Isabella Salaz.
Walking into 47 ¾ Main Street – accessed through the parking lot behind Pik Nik BBQ – is like entering a European art space, as the new venture’s name suggests. Patterned rugs line the floors, paintings from multiple artists hang on the walls. There are mismatched chairs, plants, easels, frames and art materials all around, in a narrow but appealing sequence of rooms that offers a very different creative environment from the usual stark white walls of teaching institutions. “We wanted warmth, coziness, a place where you would want to sit and create,” Emily said.
Although both women studied at Grand Central Atelier, their connection came locally. Camie moved to Tarrytown eight years ago, while Emily has always lived there. “After finishing school, I wanted to stay in Tarrytown. I see a real love of art here, and a community of artists,” she explained. When Camie approached her with the idea, it struck an immediate chord. “She suggested a space for working studios and teaching, not a store front, something more intimate and serious.”
Both artists have their own studios in the workspace too, so that students can see what their instructors are working on. And the location came with an unexpected advantage, a long corridor which has now become a gallery space for their own and other artists’ work.
But it’s the teaching that makes it all possible. For Emily, the classes feel almost like a continuation of the learning experience, reinforcing what she had learned and internalized. “To share all that with others is a great way to remind myself of the process.”
The classes currently offered are of figurative, representational art skills, drawing and oil painting, using live models. But the teachers are flexible, if students want to use different media or go in another direction. “It’s like learning a new language,” Emily explained, “understanding how to represent what you see in two dimensions. After that, students can go in whichever direction they want.”
Classes are small, between four and seven students at a time, and can cope with different levels of experience. Semesters last for eight weeks, and the adult classes are three hours each in length. There are also one-hour after-school classes for children on Tuesdays and Thursdays, open to anyone above first grade. Emily’s mother, Elizabeth Golden, a teaching assistant, is in charge of those. More serious students who want to study full-time can spend between two and five days a week at the atelier, working often with models.
Camie and Emily are grateful for the support of the local community of artists while setting up their new venture, and don’t see themselves in competition, instead that everyone is feeding into each other. Future plans include bringing in other nearby artists, to teach different skills, like collage or landscape. “Teaching is a dependable, gratifying way to be creative while expanding our own work as well,” they say.
If you’re interested in joining the winter semester, which begins in the second week of January, now is a good time to contact the Atelier. And if you would like to display your work, or even model, Emily and Camie would be pleased to hear from you too, at email@example.com.