Art in NYC: The Art Students League of New York
The Art Students League of New York has been around for 136 years now, and counts among its former faculty and students such 20th-century giants as Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keefe, Maurice Sendak, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jackson Pollock. The Art Students League’s NYC building on West 57th Street is a New York City landmark, and there are always dozens of well-attended classes for adults going on at any given time, in virtually all artistic mediums. Plus there’s a terrific children’s program at the Art Students League of New York, on weekends and over the summer, for kids ages eight and up, and for which we can personally vouch for as being fun, instructive, and engaging.
So given its illustrious past, the Art Students League is by no means a secret… and yet we can’t help feel sometimes as if this New York City cultural treasure isn’t a bit under-appreciated. Don’t let the lack of hype (or somewhat forbidding building) fool you: the Art Students League is a vibrant, welcoming place, with some 2,500 art students of all ages and levels of talent attending classes here each month, in painting and drawing, printmaking and mixed media, sculpture, welding, and bronze casting.
The prices are reasonable, too, averaging from $71 a month for weekend classes to $200 a month if you want to go five days a week. The facilities aren’t high-tech by any means, but there’s plenty of old-school charm and a definite working functionality in the old stone building. And in addition to all of the regular Art students league classes, there are loads of one-off workshops every month, conducted by visiting artists on such subjects as Landscape Watercolor, Video, Calligraphy, Recycled Paper Casting, Wood Block Printing, Contemporary Portrait Painting, and Practical Photoshop. And going on right now, until December 23, is the Art Students League’s always-interesting Annual Holiday Show and Sale in the big gallery upstairs.
The Art Students League of New York details
The Art Students League is located at 215 West 57th Street, between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays; 8:30 to 4:00 on weekends, and you can find out lots more about everything at the Art Students League website, here.
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