back to top

Creativity Loves Company; 20 Years For The Studio School

Next month marks the 20th anniversary for The Studio School, a downtown Roanoke non-profit art school with a mission statement that declares they are  “dedicated to individual attention in small classes, with a supportive atmosphere to develop a creative, personal direction.”

In 2001, the school moved from its incubation space downtown above Mish Mish Art Supply to the Jefferson Center. Classes are now held in a 1,500 square foot space in rooms that are light filled, airy and open.

Faculty members are working artists who take joy in their craft, but say they well understand the frustrations involved and diligence needed to work through  problems.

“We teach the basic elements of art, rather than ‘formula painting,’ so everyone gets a strong grounding in the fundamentals” said Vera Dickerson, director of The Studio School. “Then the desire to really express one’s ideas and emotions has the strength and structure to make a powerful personal statement. That’s what separates the O K from the memorable.”

Children’s classes, offered after school and on Saturday, offer many different media so each young artist can explore drawing, painting or working in three dimensions.

“As some twenty-year veterans of these classes say, ‘I never learn it all!’ In addition to the class experience, school philosophy knows it is important to see very good art, and follows that idea with group trips to major museums in the region, Dickerson said.  “A bus trip to Washington D C is planned for early December, a time when we will study the Corcoran Gallery’s ‘Sargent and the Sea’ exhibit, as well as visit The National Gallery, Museum of Women in the Arts and some commercial galleries . . . To see art that has passed the test of time helps us all to be better judges of our own art.

Adult classes guide students through the development of drawings into painting, using watercolors, acrylics or oils. Classes in monotype, altered books, polymer clay, personal sketchbook journals, collage and other areas make for a wide offering .The school also adheres to the tradition of “plein air,” or painting out doors.

The original trio of Dickerson, Mimi Babe Harris (now in Montana) and Peyton Klein (now deceased), have grown to include Lee Penny Baker, Judy Bates, Tracy Budd, Sandi D’Alessandro, Michael Farrar, Jane Winders Frank, Susan B. Klein, Robin Poteet and Mark Shepeard. From time to time, other area artists offer short workshops and once each year a nationaly recognized artist travels to Roanoke to teach a special fundraiser workshop for the non-profit school.

Fall classes begin the week of September 14. Visit, or call 540-344-5404 for more information.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles