River Arts Writing Lab

$5 suggested donation

The River Arts Writing Lab is designed to support a range of writing experience, goals, and genres. The emphasis is on providing a means for the participants to share their work, and to give and receive constructive, well-thought-out feedback.

A webpage is provided for those writers who are ready to have their work critiqued (the work can be at any stage of development). Posting manuscripts prior to the meetings will allow more time for careful consideration and productive discussion. Together we’ll develop guidelines for providing respectful and useful feedback.

A period of less structured time for reading, writing, or sharing will also be a part of the meetings.

The aim of the Writing Lab is to support each other by giving and receiving helpful commentary. It’s a cooperative effort. The group welcomes ideas for other activities that encourage and expand our writing skills.

If you are interested in joining this group, send us an email at [email protected].

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Open Studio Figure Drawing

$10/session; punchcards available - $90/10 classes (save $10)

Open Studio Figure Drawing meets every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month in the beautiful Robert C. Folley Performance Hall, located on the second floor of the River Arts Center. The group, which gathers from 4:00-6:30 p.m. invites and accommodates all levels of drawing/painting/sculpture backgrounds and expertise. The sessions feature a variety of approaches to working from the figure. The open studio is open to the public for a fee of $10 per session, and we encourage anyone interested in working from the figure to join us for a fun and creative evening. Easels and tables available.
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Poetry Clinic

$5 Suggested donation

For those of you who use writing classes as a way to set aside special time for your writing practice: Here is an irresistible gift … a clinic to keep your pen and mind in motion. The first hour of the clinic will be devoted to generative poetry writing exercises; the second hour will be devoted to respectful critiques of work you bring to or make in class.   River Arts hosts workshops, readings, and clinics devoted to supporting the myriad voices living within the community and surrounding areas. Read on to see what’s been going on, about to happen, and join us!  

River Arts Review: Voices from Northern Vermont Volume 3 – Our third collection of poetry – take a look, or purchase  online!    

Click here to view River Arts Review: Voices from Northern Vermont Volume 2  

Click here to view River Arts Review: Voices from Northern Vermont Volume 1
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River Arts Photo Co-op

$5 Suggested donation

The River Arts Photo Co-op provides photography enthusiasts with a way to gather, promote and share their experience and knowledge of photography in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. No experience necessary – just a love of photography and a desire for discovery, building skills, and connecting with others with a similar passion!  Our goal is to promote the sharing of ideas, techniques and creativity through membership participation in workshops, competitions and monthly social gatherings.   image4  
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Beginner Wheel & Mug Making


CLASS FULL - Contact [email protected] to be put on the waitlist

Adult Class

6 Sessions

Instructor: Jake Harnish

This class is an introduction to wheel thrown pottery. Learn the basics of throwing, forming, handles, and finishing pieces trimming and glazing. Create several functional pieces, with special focus on 'the mug'. Beginners welcome! Tuition includes materials and firing costs, as well as open studio access during the weeks of your class. Additional clay is sold separately at $30/25lb bag.

  Instructor Bio: Jake moved to Johnson, VT where he studied Fine Arts in 2013. He is a multi-media artist focusing mostly in clay. His work includes thrown and sculpted forms, mixing traditional techniques and experimentation in his throwing. Beyond clay he also works with paint and is an avid gardener. Before graduating Jake hosted his thesis gallery show “From the Dirt”, which led to three more art shows in his recent career: at the Vermont Studio Center, “Intergalactic" & “Paintings that are Hard to Move”, as well as “Earth Like” at the White Water Gallery in Hardwick, VT.
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Sip n’ Slurry – Pottery Friday Nights

$18 per session or $45 for series + cash bar


Sign up for fun pottery nights! This summer, every 1st Friday in June, July, and August, River Arts will host a Sip n' Slurry creative experience. Clay Studio instructors will walk you through a simple handbuilding project, all while enjoying a glass of wine or locally brewed beer. Handbuilidng is a great introductory method of working with clay, no prior experience is required (pottery wheel not used in this class as it requires more than one class to complete work).

Students will make 2 - 3 pieces during this 2 hour class, such as a bowl, plate, mug, or decorative piece. Couples and groups encourages, bring some friends and make it a party!

Includes materials, pieces will be available to pickup after glazing and firing approximately 3 weeks later.

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“Oldtime” Beginner Banjo with Dana Robinson


Pre-Registration Required


  Introduction to Oldtime Banjo with Dana Robinson

In this class we’ll learn the basics of Southern oldtime-style banjo. We’ll get started on clawhammer frailing, basic chords in the key of G and D, and teach a handful of tunes and songs. We’ll reference chord charts and videos to help you become self guided. We’ll also cover jam session etiquette and how the banjo fits into the setting of an oldtime string band.

  Instructor Bio:

Dana Robinson has been a professional musician for more than 30 years. As a multi-instrumentalist (Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo) and singer-songwriter, Dana has released 12 CD’s and toured over a million miles across the United States, Canada, and Europe. His original compositions have been featured on a half-dozen films including two Ken Burns’ documentaries, "The National Parks, America’s Best Idea" and "The Dust Bowl.” Dana resides in Cabot, VT and is currently the Executive Director of Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture. www.robinsongs.com
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CLASS FULL: Nature in Stained Glass One-Day Workshop

$85 includes all materials

  Spend the day moving through the Stained Glass techniques of pattern selection, choosing and cutting glass and decorative soldering. Instructor will provide a large variety of patterns featuring flowers, garden herbs, feathers and birds, as well as a selection of glorious colorful glass. Each student will make 1-2 pieces to bring home and leave with the basic knowledge of the stained glass process. Your finished pieces will make a lovely gift or look beautiful in your window all year long. This is a beginner level project, but all levels are welcome!

We will have an hour break for lunch between noon-1pm. Bring your own lunch or check out one of the local restaurants in the area.

Instructor Bio: Dayna Sabatino studied stained glass in the Bay Area of California where she worked in all aspects of the industry. Building artworks one piece of beautiful glass at a time was a natural fit for her. Over the years there, she taught courses in many techniques of stained glass and mosaic art, built commissioned works on her own and for other artists, and performed restorations, from small lampshades to large church windows.

After returning to the East Coast, she landed in Vermont where she married her husband and became a mother. Currently, when not busy working on their homestead, Dayna is creating one of a kind works of glass art, taking commissions, and teaching workshops around New England. Find her online here and on FaceBook.
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Mixed Media Collage Workshop


Pre-registation Required


Constructing a mixed media collage is a fun and creative project that anyone can do! The process is simple. A variety of papers are glued down and layered onto a substrate in a visually interesting way. The piece is further embellished using paints, pens, etc. Collage pieces can be completely abstract or reflect a scene, object, or chosen theme.

The paper used can be from magazines, junk mail, old catalogues, wrapping paper, tissue paper, old cards, sheet music, old books, etc. The more variety, the more interest it adds.

In addition to paper, mixed media collage uses other medium such as paints, stamps, pens, markers, ink, watercolors and even small objects such as buttons, string, bottle caps and lace – all are layered and adhered with either glue and/or a gel medium. The possibilities are endless!

A host of collage techniques can take your works even further such as tinting to create a vintage look, adding a splattered layer of paint with a toothbrush, using sandpaper for a distressed effect, and more! Display your finished piece on the wall, with or without a frame, as a journal cover, or a decorative box top. There are no rules!

All materials provided, however, please bring any special materials you want to include such as personal photos and mementos.

Instructor Bio: Toni Flynn is a self-taught artist with a deep interest in fabric, paper, and mixed media collage. With roots in the Boston area, her passion for creating art began at a young age with drawing, woodworking, painting and mixed media. Focusing most recently on mixed media and paper collage, her works range from abstract to everyday scenes of rural life. Recycled fabrics are used for fabric/mixed media collages and her paper collages often include hand-printed paper, which incorporates more intentional patterns and colors.
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Zen of Watercolor


Pre-Registration Required. Register Here!

Anyone who wants the joy and challenges of watercolor painting will enjoy and benefit from ‘no-fail’ watercolor painting lessons that lead to self-expression, confidence and the ‘zen’ that painting has to offer.

Lessons on painting wet-into-wet, simple landscapes, and the importance of learning to see and paint negative spaces are a few examples of the way the student artists will engage with pigment, shape and composition.

Instructors Rosalie desGroseilliers and Patti Warren are sisters. Both are former art educators, school administrators and cancer survivors who paint and teach together often. Rosalie and Patti believe that painting with watercolors is an opportunity to have fun, be creative and learn to ‘go with the flow’.

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Art Marketing 101: Social Media and Beyond

$10 suggested donation

Presentation with Corrina Thurston

Pre-registration required - register here!

Marketing is essential for any business, but it can be especially difficult for artists and creatives to market ourselves because we’re not just selling a product, we’re selling something we’ve made, we’re selling a part of ourselves. Artists, crafters, writers, musicians, and other creatives, like every other type of business, need to market ourselves like any other entrepreneur. No one can buy from you or use your services if they don’t know you exist. That’s what marketing does: it lets people know you exist and shows them why they need what you do/create.

Social media is a great marketing tool for artists and creatives. It’s inherently visual and easy for people to share, which is the easiest form of word-of-mouth marketing. The problem is, as much as people are familiar with social media, most don’t know how to use it specifically for marketing without coming off as “salesy.”

This presentation goes into detail about how to write and talk about yourself and your work, the best techniques for marketing your work, and how to best use social media to help market and build your creative business.

Corrina Thurston is a professional artist, entrepreneur, speaker, author, business consultant, and wildlife conservationist. Learn more at www.corrinathurston.com.  
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iPhone Visual Storytelling


Pre-registration Required


Visual Story Telling with your iPhone

Advance your ability to tell compelling stories with your iPhone camera! Your iPhone is an excellent companion for capturing the moment as well as stepping back and planning what you want your images to say. Your stories can be about an event, a person, a place or the possible emergence of spring! It’s your story to tell in your own way!

During this series of workshops we will focus on elements of story telling through photography. There will also be discussions on composition and editing to get the best images for the story you want to tell. In between sessions you will have time to experiment and play with your story. During class time you will receive feedback and support for your story and style.

Topics of discussion will include:

Elements of Story Telling Through iPhone Photography

Composition and Style



Easy editing apps for exploring your own style

Participants should bring their iPhone to each session. All levels of photographers are welcomed.

NB: Smart Phones other than iPhones are welcomed but the expertise of the instructor is for iPhones.

    Nan Carle Beauregard

Instructor Bio: I am an iPhone Photographer. My iPhone X is the one camera that is always with me and it means I can be in the moment with my experience of the world. I want my photography to be spontaneous in capturing the spirit of time and place. In particular, I want to share the beauty of life as I see it. I am too well aware that there is an ugliness that swirls around us but my quest is to see and share the beauty that weaves the tapestry of our life experience. My journey takes me to cities, streams and towns across the globe. Join me on my journey!

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Painting in Black & White with Gabriel Tempesta


3 Session Class

Pre-registration Required

Register Here or call 888-1261

Experience the simplicity and ease of painting in black and white. It’s great as a stand alone method or for practice in establishing contrast relationships in your full color paintings without the distraction of pigment. We will be using a variety of mediums including charcoal, acrylic, and oil.

Bio: Gabriel Tempesta has been painting and drawing professionally for 20 years and primarily painting in black and white for the last 8 years. www.gabrieltempesta.com
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Bookbinding Art Journals with Nancy VanWinkle


One-Day Workshop

Pre-registration Required

Register Here or call 888-1261

Come learn how to hand-bind an art journal! Participants will learn the whole process, starting by selecting beautiful handmade papers to sewing the open-spine binding using traditional techniques, resulting in a high-quality journal for writing, drawing, doodling ... or whatever your heart desires! We will also learn how to make a button closure for our books. Promises to be a full-immersion experience in book-binding; participants will leave with a handmade book and a wealth of knowledge.

Bio: Nancy spent nearly a decade teaching adolescents in a land-based Montessori program; it was here that she started teaching visual journaling as a form of self-expression. Over time, her love of books grew and Nancy learned everything she knows about bookbinding from Asheville-based artist, Erin Keane, dynamic book-binder and encaustic innovator. Nancy has been honored to join Erin as her teaching assistant at both John C. Campbell Folk School and Penland School for the Arts in western North Carolina. A new transplant to Vermont, Nancy teaches classes and creates books through her home-based business, Nomadic Roots Studio, in Craftsbury VT.
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T’ai Chi

Upstairs at River Arts

$65 - 6 session series

T'ai Chi Chu’an is a sequence of precise body movements done slowly and without effort that balance the flow of energy within the body. Developed in China where it has been practiced regularly by millions for a millenia, T'ai Chi requires no special clothes or equipment, keeps you on your feet, takes only a few minutes a day, can be learned at any age, and builds internal health.

If you find it difficult to concentrate, can't find time for sports or regular exercise, or feel that your life is wearing you out and making you tense, then perhaps you should discover T'ai Chi Ch'uan. It can improve your balance, and introduce you to the basics of selfdefense, while coordinating your mind and body. T’ai Chi is ideal for individuals with sedentary or repetitive jobs. It frees the body of tension rewarding its practitioners with energy and focus.

Intro classes to T'ai Chi last an hour and run for 6 weeks, each building on the one before. T'ai Chi is a sequence of precise movements, 108 in all, divided into 3 sets. The intro class teaches the first of the 3 sets. Students who find T'ai Chi appealing usually take the intro class 1-4 times. From 1-2pm will follow a more advanced class immediately after the intro class, tailoring it to the specific needs of the group.


Instructor Bio: Alan Erdossy began studying this moving yoga of China in 1970 and has taught at businesses, movement studios, and art centers throughout the Northeast. Mr. Erdossy earned an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1972 and while in LA studied T'ai Chi with master Marshall Ho'o. Marshall is a member of Black Belt magazine's Hall of Fame, was chairman of the National T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association, and founder of the Aspen Academy of Martial Arts. Alan also runs fly fishing schools in Northern NH.and Vermont, and has taught T’ai Chi locally at GMCR, River Arts, One Studio, and Ballet Woilcott

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Figure Drawing Marathon

$40 for one day, $75 for two days

The Open Studio Figure Drawing Group is hosting it’s Annual Fall Marathon!

Two days of drawing from the figure…it doesn’t get much better….

  Bring your charcoal, graphite, conte crayons, paints and/or clay!

Artists and art lovers with all levels of experience are invited to spend one or two full days drawing, painting, or sculpting, with a diversity of models for inspiration.

The Drawing Marathon will feature nude and clothed models. Saturday morning will follow the traditional Open Studio Figure Drawing session with a nude model. This session will begin with a series of short poses that culminate with a 45 min. pose. Participants will break for a one hour lunch, then resume the afternoon session with one 3 hour long pose with a clothed/costumed model. On Sunday, the day will consist of two 3 hour long sessions, with a nude model in the morning and a clothed/costumed model in the afternoon. The Sunday afternoon session will close with a wine reception and friendly critique of work accomplished during the marathon.

The Figure Drawing Marathon will be held in the beautiful Robert C. Folley Performance Hall located on the second floor of the River Arts Center.

Time: The doors to River Arts will open at 9 a.m. Free coffee, tea and bagels will be available on both Saturday and Sunday.

The morning sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. sharp.

Saturday sessions: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., lunch from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., Afternoon session, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday sessions: morning...9:30 a.m. - 12-30 p.m., afternoon, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., wine reception and critique 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Register early, space is limited!


For more information please call or e-mail River Arts at: 802.888.1261, [email protected]

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Southern Old Time Fiddle with Dana Robinson

$100 tuition


This intermediate class in Southern Old Time Fiddle will focus on expanding your repertoire, bowing technique, and exploring ways to get the best possible tone out of your fiddle. Attention will be given on to how to learn a new tune during a jam session and sharing some exercises to practice chording on the fiddle. We will introduce one new tune each week which will be taught by ear, phrase by phrase. Instructor Bio: Dana Robinson has been a professional musician for more than 30 years. As a multi-instrumentalist (Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo) and singer-songwriter, Dana has released 12 CD’s and toured over a million miles across the United States, Canada, and Europe. His original compositions have been featured on a half-dozen films including two Ken Burns’ documentaries, "The National Parks, America’s Best Idea" and "The Dust Bowl.” Dana resides in Cabot, VT and is currently the Executive Director of Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture. www.robinsongs.com
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Intro to Capoeira



The learning experiences I offer are designed to physically immerse students in the techniques, culture, language, and traditions of Capoeira, as well as Forró (Brazilian partner dance), Samba (Brazilian dance), and Maculelê (dance with sticks). As students develop strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination, mind/body awareness, rhythm, and social skills through fighting, singing, dancing, and performing within the Brazilian cultural norms, they will grasp how Brazilians, as a group, act towards life. Consequently, they will form a connection between their own behavior, culture, and ethnicity and how it informs, many times unconsciously, their daily behavior. The classes I teach incorporate history, as well as, anthropological, scientific, philosophical, religious and gender studies as methods for analysis of one’s reflexive cultural behavior.

Capoeira Invented by Brazilian slaves, the art of capoeira is a complex amalgamation of fight, dance, and ritual. Considered one of the largest black resistance movements, capoeira was outlawed from 1890 to 1940 in what was the first constitution of the Brazilian Republic. As a forbidden movement, capoeira was practiced in secret until one capoeira master was able to bring it out of its fugitive status. The legendary Mestre Bimba (1900 -1974) invented a new style of capoeira, Capoeira Regional. As its savior, Bimba modernized capoeira and Brazilian President Getulio Vargas recognized him as an educator. Capoeira today is played in 150 countries throughout the world. The art was added to UNESCO's list of cultural manifestations respected as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on November 26, 2014.

Instructor Bio:

Fabio Nascimento – Professor Fuá

During the last twenty-eight years I have practiced the art of capoeira in its entirety. I have mastered the martial art, the tricks, and the dances. I have also mastered capoeira’s percussion instruments as well as the singing techniques and rituals. During the last fifteen years I have taught and performed for people in Brazil, Germany, and currently in the United States. I have lived in Vermont since 2009, and during this time I have introduced capoeira to over three thousand people. I have also founded a capoeira group, Jagube Capoeira. We’ve hosted two international events with two days of workshops, rituals, and dinners and the participation of more than three hundred people from Brazil, United States, Canada, Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, and Israel. Jagube Capoeira Method: Developing Cultural Competence Through Capoeira.  
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Polymer Clay: Colorful Veneers for Jewelry and Mixed Media

$95 tuition


Rev up your wardrobe with jewelry made by using a simple surface coloring technique with polymer clay, a heat-cured modeling material! Crafting elements for jewelry, journaling and mixed-media uses or covering tiles, picture frames or other home decorating projects are just a few of this technique’s many uses. Beginning to advanced students from any discipline-- mixed media, journaling, painting or jewelry arts--can benefit from this class. Just bring your curiosity and a well-developed artist's or crafting skill-set.

On Day 1, we’ll use the instructor’s extensive collection of pastels, paints and colorants to make sheets of colorful veneer. We’ll also cover how to make your own texture molds using 2-part mold putty. Day 2 is devoted to creating jewelry shapes for earrings or pendants and other forms with these layers. Coaching with color choices will be provided and you’ll come away with the confidence and skills to tackle projects on your own.

Instructor Bio:

Christine Damm studied art at New York University and ceramics at The School for American Craftsmen at R.I.T. in Rochester, NY. Her art jewelry business—Stories They Tell—was founded in 2009. She was Featured Designer in Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine - Fall 2011 and was the cover artist for BAJ’s recent issue in Spring 2018. She was one of 12 artists showcased in Polymer Clay: Global Perspectives by Cynthia Tinapple, whose website Polymer Clay Daily frequently features her work. Her work is seen in numerous books and magazines and on Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr and Instagram. She is a member of the International Polymer Clay Association. She has been teaching polymer clay classes at art retreats and craft schools since 2011 and gives “Art on the Farm” workshops at her home in Braintree, VT. Website: http://storiestheytell.com
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Learn to Yodel! with Ari Erlbaum



In this one-session workshop following Intro to Harmonica series, Ari will give history and examples of yodeling from around the world. Participants will learn to identify their own voice break, learn a simple yodel, discover which keys works best for their personal yodeling range, and put it all together into songs. Along with Swiss and country western music, yodeling has been used in music as diverse as traditional singers from the Republic of Georgia, Hawaiian music, and hip-hop. It is nearly impossible to be unhappy while yodeling!

Bio: Ari Erlbaum runs Pocket Music out of Montpelier, teaching private lessons, group workshops, and festivals in Harmonica, Guitar, Mchakamchaka, Yodeling, Spoons, and Rhythm Bones. Pocket Music refers to the simple, yet powerful act of carrying an instrument in your pocket. It is the ability to make music wherever you go. With Pocket Music, there is no need to carve out times to practice - just play on your way to work, while you’re waiting for your bread to toast, or at the bus stop. Ideally, music should never feel like a responsibility. The most fun way to experience music (and the best way to get better at it) is to treat it playfully, experimenting and exploring, trying to make music with anything you can get your hands on, taking joy when you discover or master something new. This way you will end up playing more, simply because it is enjoyable. In my lessons, my mission is to keep this joy and excitement alive.

All Ages Welcome!
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