Meaningful Marks: Contemporary Painting Workshop

Meaningful Marks: Contemporary Painting Workshop:

Meaningful Marks is a contemporary painting workshop, wherein you will learn contemporary painting techniques, theory, and principles while exploring the power of marks to convey meaning and emotion in your artwork. In this course, you will create three paintings that build on the skills and concepts covered in class. We will discuss how color theory, composition, and mark-making techniques affect the concepts, emotions and meaning in your paintings. You will experiment with different materials and tools, such as brushes, palette knives, and mixed media, to further develop your unique style and visual language. In addition, we will discuss conceptual approaches to painting and workshop how we communicate ideas and express emotions through our visual languages. By the end of this course, you will have a solid understanding of contemporary painting techniques and concepts, as well as the confidence and skills to continue exploring and creating meaningful artwork.

Erlin Geffrard is a painter based in Philadelphia, PA. Most of his work is mixed media painting with a variety of styles.Ranging from family portraits, to images derived from imagination. Using new, and repurposed materials in rhythmic combinations. His Current series explores the connections between family memory, ritual and popular culture. 

Erlin has had solo shows at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Armory Show Booth F19 in New York, Allentown Museum, SWIM Gallery in San Francisco, CA, ICA in Philadelphia, PA, and at the Philadelphia Contemporary Museum, among others. In 2021 Erlin was artist in residence at Bedstuy Residency in New York ,NY. He graduated with his MFA from University of Pennsylvania and has his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute.

This is the first time Erlin Geffrard is teaching Meaningful Marks: contemporary painting workshop with the Alternative Art School

Office Hours: TBA

***ALL Classes include FREE & Continuous Membership Access to our virtual Campus Programming
** Payment Plans Available

Art in Public Space – Between Mission & Commission

Art in Public Space – Between Mission & Commission:

The public art reaches most closer the area of “real politic”. It has distinct features which differentiate it from community art projects which are usually dealing with minoritarian politics. In public art there are big stake holders – the city, investors, different security regulations, police, institution of control of public health and so on. Therefore, it is exactly where artistic autonomy stops and the endless process of negotiations begins.

In this course we analyze a broad variety of different public art projects. We trace the differences in approaches to the politic of commemoration, gentrification, the difference between agonistic and consensual work.

And we also deal with one practical task – creating an altar which commemorates any events, personalities or communities and we will discuss the practical aspects of its realization.

***ALL Classes include FREE & Continuous Membership Access to our virtual Campus Programming
** Payment Plans Available

Dmitry Vilensky (born 1964 in Leningrad) artist and educator. He works mostly in collective practices and focus on developing an architecture constructions, educational seminars and learning plays, graphic works, and films. Не is the founding member of Chto Delat (What is to be done?), a platform initiated in 2003 by a collective of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Vilensky is also an editor of the Chto Delat newspaper and main facilitator of a School of Engaged Art in Petersburg.

He is also authors of numerous contribution to art press and participant of symposiums and conferences and guest teacher at many international art academies.

He has participated with Chto Delat in many shows – see profile at including 29 biennials and major Museum solo shows:

Recent exhibitions include: When the roots start to move and get lost”, State of Concept, Athens (2020); ‘Times, Lines, 1989s’, Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi (2020); The Missing Planet. Visions and re-visions of ‘Soviet Times, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, Italy, 2019; MUAC (The Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), Mexico (solo show 2017); KOW BERLIN (solo show in 2017 and 2015), San Paulo Biennale (2014), Art, Really Useful Knowledge Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2014), Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013 – Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2013); FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2013); 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2012); Chto Delat in Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kuntsthalle, Baden-Baden, 2011; Chto Delat Perestroika: Twenty Years After: 2011–1991, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2011; Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, 2011; Study, Study and Act Again, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2011; and The Urgent Need to Struggle, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 2010.

The works are part of the collections: The Museum of Modern Art , New York; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Museum Reina Sophia, Madrid; Le Centre Pompidou, Paris; MUDAM, Luxemburg; Tretyakov Art Gallery, Moscow; MUAC (The Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo) Mexico City; KIASMA, Museum for Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; Museum of Conteporary Art, Belgrade; CAAC, Sevilia and many others

This is the first time Dmitry is teaching Art in Public Space – Between Mission & Commission with the Alternative Art School.

Professional Practice Intensive for Artists

Professional Practice Intensive for Artists with Lexa Walsh

In this six-part class, we will get cracking on our career goals. We will cover the big picture of Goal Setting, Grants, Residencies, Budgets, CVs, Artist and Project Statements, Elevator Pitches, Documentation, Websites, Networking and Promotion, and the importance of Community. We will share tips and strategies to help define and finesse each of these, by identifying our audiences, contexts, processes, research and challenges.

As we are covering a lot of ground, do expect to spend some time out of class doing homework. Additionally, you will be provided with worksheets so you may go deeper into organizing your career.

Lexa Walsh is an artist, cultural worker and experience maker. Walsh makes projects, exhibitions, publications and objects, employing social engagement, institutional critique, and radical hospitality. She creates platforms for interaction across hierarchies, representing multiple voices and inventing new ways of belonging, not only for people, but also for collections and archives.
She is a graduate of Portland State University’s Art & Social Practice MFA program and holds a BFA in Ceramics from California College of Arts and Crafts. She was Social Practice Artist in Residence in Portland Art Museum’s Education department, received the Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Award, the CEC Artslink Award, the Gunk Grant, the de Young Artist Fellowship, and Kala’s Print Public Residency Award. Walsh has participated in projects, exhibitions and performances at Apexart, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cité de la Musique, Exploratorium, de Young Museum, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Exploratorium, Federal Hall, Kala Art Institute, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, NIAD, Portland Art Museum, SFMOMA, Smack Mellon, Taipei Artist Village, Walker Art Center, Williams College Museum of Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has done several international artist residencies, tours and projects. She is currently Artist in Residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA. This is the second time Professional Practice Intensive for Artists is offered by Lexa Walsh at the Alternative Art School.

This is the second time Lexa is teaching Professional Practice Intensive for Artists at the Alternative Art School.

Maximum Magic Intensive

Maximum Magic Intensive is a two week online art intensive for contemporary artists. In this class, artists will get feedback on their art through various exchanges and explore their art practice’s connection with magic. From smoke & mirrors to spirits & mysticism, this course will be engaging all kinds of magical arts in relation to diverse creative practices, historical developments, and current cultural expressions. To provide a foundation and context for our studio-based endeavors, we will be actively experimenting with, and blurring the lines between, various interpretations of magic vis-à-vis science & sorcery, metaphysics & aesthetics, social engagement & ritual, and plenty of other enchanting topics. In this workshop, artists will get feedback on their art through various exchanges and explore their art practice’s connection with magic.

Aaron Gach’s diverse artistic practice consistently addresses public concerns, social politics, and power dynamics. Inspired by studies with a private investigator, a magician, and a ninja, he established the Center for Tactical Magic in 2000. This collaborative authoring framework is dedicated to the coalescence of art, magic, and creative tactics for encouraging positive social change. Although the collaborations take many different forms, the work is largely the result of creative partnerships with a wide array of individuals and organizations, including hypnotists, biologists, engineers, activists, nurses, military intelligence officers, journalists, radical ecologists, former bank robbers, security experts, street vendors, community organizers, and many others. His work has been presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; Hayward Gallery, London; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Vigo, Spain; Deutsches Theater, Berlin; and a major public commission for the City of Toronto. In addition to teaching at TAAS, Aaron Gach has taught courses in Community Art, Street Media, Art & Magic, Collaborative Practices, and 4D Art at the University of California Santa Cruz, Stanford University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and currently at California College of the Arts. This is the second time Aaron is teaching Maximum Magic Intensive at TAAS.

Embodying Process

Embodying Process

This course is for artists who want to workshop projects and reinvigorate their creative practice, in a supportive critically engaged environment. Through this non-hierarchical workshop, artists exchange critical supportive feedback to develop new, vulnerable, or ongoing projects. Participants get weekly exercises and materials to help unstick what’s stuck. Our feedback sessions are structured on a foundation of compassion – with the common goal to understand each other – in order to offer meaningful insights, relevant knowledge, and useful resources.

The classes includes – guided questions, tools and exercises, group discussions, exercises, and weekly breakout sessions wherein you get deep personal feedback from their peers. Artists can expect creative exercises and project deadlines to help prompt progress and deep introspection into their research & practice processes.

This course is one of our most popular for returning students and culminates in an online art exhibition and talk/ discussion series.

Embodying Process meets for 7 weeks, after which attending artists have time to complete the projects workshopped in class before submitting them for a group online culminating project; specifics TBD from our class discussions.

Amber Imrie is a queer artist, art educator, and founding team member of The Alternative Art School. She received her BA from UC Berkeley and MFA from Stanford University. She’s been the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and residencies including the Murphy Cadogan Award and Anita Squires Fowler Award in Photography. Amber Founded and was editor-in-chief of the art magazine, Venison Magazine from 2014-2017, ran a pop-up art residency, Camp Venison in 2015, and has facilitated critique sessions in and outside formal education. Imrie has taught at a variety of institutions, including UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Since 2020 Amber has worked alongside Nato Thompson building the Alternative Art School. Imrie lives in Winslow, Arkansas, and is developing a new body of artworks centered on queering the rural American South.

***ALL Classes include FREE & Continuous Membership Access to our virtual campus Programming called Student Life
** Payment Plans Available