Classes and Open Studios

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Functional Pottery with Nathan Willever

Monday Evenings 5-7pm – 4 week sessions

River arts pottery class poster- cropped

This class will focus on making functional pottery for everyday use on the wheel. We will start developing our skills with the cup form and move onto more challenging forms such as the bowl, pitcher and plate. We will be working with cone 5 white stoneware to make durable, food safe pots. The class is open to all experience levels. $120 members – $135 non-members

Nathan Willever makes functional pottery on a slow turning, treadle style wheel in Damariscotta, Maine. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Maine College of Art and has assisted multiple workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Raku with Brandon Lutterman – TBA



Japanese Shibori on a PVC Pipe with Sandi Cirillo -

November  Nov. 9th from 10-1

For adults only – class size limited

$30/members $45/non-members Materials fee per person: $8.00(covers all expenses and cost of two scarves)

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about “shibori”, the Japanese resist method of dyeing silk scarves using a PVC pipe. This is a unique process as we wrap our silk around the pipe and watch as our creativity takes over, spilling color onto the pipe in layer after layer. You will also be given the opportunity to paint directly on the silk too. The science of art and the creativity of the individual unite in this workshop to produce two finished scarves which can be worn with pride or given as gifts.

Sandi Cirillo, a retired art educator, currently lives in Searsport, Maine and has been a fiber artist for over 25 years. Her passion is working with natural and manmade textural materials to create one-of-a-kind mixed media pieces of art. Sandi also teaches many fiber workshops throughout the Northeast and in North Carolina. She also teaches drawing and fiber art classes at Senior College in Belfast, Maine.

Sandi’s work is in many private collections and she exhibits locally and nationally. Influences for her drawings and fiber artwork come from her love of hiking and photographing the natural world and for her love for the beauty of coastal Maine.

Life sculpture

Life Sculpture Studio – 4 weeks – starting Sept 4

10am – 1 pm $80

A new 4-week session in life sculpture is starting on September 4 at River Arts Studio, 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta. The sessions will run from 10 am to 1 pm, on Thursdays. The cost is $80. Participants will work, without instruction, from a long-term pose over a six week period. There are no formal critiques, but participants are free to ask other members or the monitor for help or advice whenever needed.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their own tools, armatures, and their preferred sculpting medium. Most participants use water based clay (self hardening or firing), or oil based clay (plasticine, plastilina), and some prefer wax. There are some tools and supplies available to borrow until you can get your own, but the selection is limited.

River Arts also offers open studios in life drawing and ceramics – times are listed on the website For more information email: or call 563-1507

A Different Kind of Watercolor Workshop: Illustrated Journaling

Instructor: Hannah Ineson


9 – 1 (3 days) $180

September 23,24,25  10-1

October 7,8, 9   10-1

This is a great class for beginners (yes, you can do it!), as well as accomplished painters looking for a fun way to find new images, and loosen up. Learn some easy decorative lettering, drawing and watercolor techniques, composition and more. You’ll go home with your own journal packed full of images from our surrounding area and plenty of ideas for more.

What is an “illustrated journal?” It’s a small book of watercolor paper in which you record images and text around any theme. Traditionally used to record memories while traveling, your journal can also record family memories, images of your hometown, favorite recipes, visits to restaurants, any theme that gets you into action.

We’ll provide recommendations on materials that fit in a small bag or purse. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!

“For the joy and delight of your soul!” Diana Hollingsworth Gessler


Acrylic Painting for Beginners with Deb Arter

 1 – 4  pm take one or all 3! $60 per class…

September   16, 23, 30

Deb Arter-Black Eyed Susans in Ann's Blue  Pitcher

Summer in Maine is a time when many of satisfy our thirst for color. Acrylic painting may be just the ticket to get your outdoors and it is easier to learn than you may think. Through a series of guided lessons and demonstrations each student will learn how to mix colors, find pleasing compositions indoors and out and understand technical aspects of acrylic paint on various surfaces. We will work on a triptych exercise as well as using acrylics like watercolors. Don’t worry about prior skills – we will nurture everyone in a supportive environment. Materials list sent to participants. $7 materials fee covers cost of paper and canvas. Instructor has been teaching adults for nearly two decades and has many examples from students as reference.

Debra Arter holds both a B.A. in Art Education and M.F.A. in Visual Arts. She has been teaching various art techniques to adults and children for over 20 years. She is an active member of both the National Collage Society, Monotype Guild of New England as well as National Association of Women Artists. Her work has been shown at CMCA, Boston Public Library, Johnson Johnson Corporate Headquarters, Landings Gallery and is in the Collection of the Farnsworth Museum. She has designed 9 cards for the Dana-Farber Holiday Card program whose mission is to raise funds for cancer research. Places where Debra’s work is on view locally include Pemaquid ArtGallery, Harlow Gallery and Boothbay Region Art Foundation. Students claim to have a great time in her classes. Limited to 10

Stonecarving with Andy Seferlis

First week of October  10-2pm $300/week

for beginners, or practiced hands

stone carving3

Bring your own stone or let us know if you need one. Limestone and/or marble can be provided at cost. Sizes and shapes will vary. If you have tools, bring them. Tools will be provided if you don’t own them: chisels, hammers, power tools, angle grinders, extension cords, small compressors. Bring a pencil, notebook, charcoal, gloves, safety glasses, dust masks, all available at your local hardware.Addictive, tiring and satisfying. Relaxed and comfortable environment. You will enjoy it!

Andy Seferlis, a second generation stonecarver from Washington, DC and New Harbor, Me, continues to conduct this workshop that , at its inception, was led by his father, Constantine Seferlis. For almost twenty years Andy has been working with the Smithsonian Institution engaged in the ongoing restoration of the headquarters building, the “Castle” on the National Mall in Washington. He demonstrates annually at the National Building Museum’s fall program “The Big Build”, and is involved with carving and restoration commissions in and around the greater Washington, DC area. Seferlis also leads art and architectural study tours of many of the east coast’s major cities.


Silk Paper with Sandi Cirillo October 26  1-3 pm

$25 members $35 non-members $8 materials fee


In this workshop, participants will learn about silk fusion, the process of creating silk paper using various types of silk fibers. Silk paper can be used to make books, note cards, for a variety of mixed media art projects or for the creation of 3-dimensional pieces. Its beautiful colors and translucent quality make silk paper a wonderful addition to the artists repertoire.

Gourd Design with Sandi Cirillo September 20 10-1

$35 members $40 non-members $8 materials fee


Gourds, which come in all shapes and sizes, can be painted, etched, drilled into, etc. for a variety of different effects. In this class, participants will explore surface design on their gourd using a variety of materials. Some small power tools may also be used. You will come away with a perfectly “gourdgeous” work of art that can enhance your home or be cherished as a gift. You are encouraged to bring anything you have at home to embellish your gourd(like bits of yarn, dried flowers, etc).

Watercolor with Elaine Reed

Exploring Watercolor Possibilities September 27 and 28 10:00 to 3:00

$150 members/$175 non-members

Intermediate & Advanced Level

This intensive 2 day workshop is designed for artists who already understand the basics of painting in watercolor and wish to challenge themselves to explore new possibilities. We will explore in depth the importance of having a strong composition and value pattern to start with. Creating a sense of mood and luminosity is so important to a painting and watercolors are the perfect medium to achieve this goal with.

Learn to paint in the language of COLOR THEORY-

Instructor – Kris Engman

8 Sessions – Saturdays 9 to 1

New Session beginning September 27





Instructor: Kris Engman. Kerstin Engman exhibits at the Arden Gallery, Boston, and the Courthouse Gallery, Ellsworth, among other venues. She received her MFA from University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Neil Welliver, and her BFA from Maine College of Art, with additional study at Rhode Island School of Design. Engman brings a rich and broad career in painting, drawing, sculpture and digital media to the instructor’s role. In her work she explores varied visions, media, materials and genres. In 1997 she became founder and director of Project Kalocsa, a cultural exchange between Hungary and the USA. She has also worked in arts education in Maine schools and in several New England colleges, including Maine College of Art, and is presently on the faculty of University of Maine. >

All are Welcome

$250 members/ $275 non-members

Encaustics with Camille Davidson – Sunday – Oct 26 10-3

$75 members $90 non-members + materials

#3 DavidsonCamille.Waterlilies

This encaustics workshop will be a follow-up to the workshop she offered earlier this year….although beginners are welcome.

Camille describes her work as ‘poetic renditions of nature’. She is moved by a place or sensation in nature where she makes quick sketches that she can later reference in her studio. Most of the paintings over the last several years have incorporated a combination of oils and encaustics. Layers of color, she scrapes away and builds up in order to achieve the effect of a specific time and place.


Felted Bowls (We are thinking…Christmas presents)

December 7  10-1pm


Bowls come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. In this class, we will learn how to create felted bowls using soap, water , wool and some agitation. Starting with a small bowl, we will work our way up to creation of larger bowl forms. Embellishments will then be added to decorate our newly formed bowls. You may bring any fiber scraps you might have at home to this class to use for embellishment. Such things would be beads, scraps of yarn, buttons, natural materials, etc. In addition, please bring an old towel to class and some scissors.

Materials fee: $5.00

River Arts Open Studio Schedule

Open Studio Ceramics: monitors Nate and Tessa

Tues 5-7, Wed 4-6 Thurs. & 4-6

$10/hour at the Route 1 Studio

Open Studio Life Drawing: monitor Roberta Goschke

Ongoing Wednesday evenings 6 – 9 pm$15 m/$20 n/m Studio at 241 US Route 1

Life Sculpture: monitor Rachel Oakes

Thursday mornings – 4 week sessions10am – 1 pm* Good idea to call ahead – 563-1507