Children ages 8 to 15 are eligible to take part in an arts education series featuring the region’s art leaders in the disciplines of drawing, painting and folk/traditional arts beginning at the Bottle Works Arts Ethnic Arts Center, 411-413 Third Ave., Johnstown.

Each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bottle Works said “young artists will have a chance to learn from and work alongside professional artists to gain a deeper knowledge of art basics and foundations, and learn a variety of techniques. Students will learn how to treat professional-grade art supplies, create an arts exhibition featuring their work over the course of the nine weeks, and plan a graduation and opening reception.”

The academy is broken into three segments: Drawing, Painting and Folk & Traditional Arts. Students can sign up for all three segments, or they can create their own path by registering for segment that interest them. At the end of the program, Arts Academy students will earn a “Master of the Arts” certificate and receive Bottle Works swag if they participated in two or more sessions.

“For the 2021 Arts Academy season, we are pleased to offer two explosive experiences: in-person in the ArtWorks Event Center, or virtually via our online teaching platforms,” said Bottle Works Director of Advancement & Operations Melody Tisinger. “By a grant provided by the Community Foundations for the Alleghenies, we were able to fully transform the academy.”

Participating students will be able to flex between an in-person or an online experience. Safety tips and guidelines outlined by the CDC will be followed for all in-person sessions. Guidelines include wearing masks indoors, practicing social/ physical distancing when possible, frequently washing hands, and sanitizing high touch points. Participants experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to say home and participate via our online platforms.

Registration is now open for virtual or in-person experiences. Registration fees include:

  • Three-week segment registration — $100 for non-members and $95 for Bottle Works members;
  • Nine-week registration — $275 for non-members and $255 for Bottle Works members.

Full and partial scholarships are available. Funds are limited. Students registering for all nine-weeks of Arts Academy will take precedence.

Arts Academy sessions will be led by accomplished professional artists and arts educators from across the region. Instructors include: Beverly J. Struble of Johnstown, Sarah Hunter of Greensburg, Kimberly Williams of Johnstown, Barry Poglien of New Florence, Eddie Maier of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Joanne Mekis of Johnstown. Norman Ed of Johnstown is teaching Segment One — Drawing: Building Foundation and Capturing Creativity, which began Saturday, Jan. 23.

The arts academy segment and session details include:

  • Segment Two: Painting: Watercolors, Portraits and Mixed Media, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 13, 20 and 27 — Explore the discipline of painting with three talented artists. You will learn painting basics, techniques and more from Beverly Struble (painter and potter), Sarah Hunter (painter and art educator) and Kimberly Williams (painter and mixed media master). Each week participants will learn a different skill, and at the end of the segment, students will have three unique pieces of artwork using watercolor, acrylics, and mixed media. Hunter, a 2012 St. Vincent College graduate, teaches art classes at various art centers in Westmoreland County. She has exhibited her paintings in several galleries such as the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, the Greensburg Art Center, Latrobe Art Center, St. Vincent College and the Westmorland Cultural Trust’s Art in the Alley. Her pieces are also included in the Saltsburg Free Library’s permanent collection. Check out Sarah’s artwork on her Website:

Segment Three: Folk & Traditional Crafts, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 6, 13 and 20 — Folk and traditional arts are rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community. This art form embodies the expressive philosophy associated with the fields of folklore and cultural heritages. Whether learning traditional dances or eating meals from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, we all have experienced folk and traditional art in some way, shape, and form. Poglien, who will teach the Animals in 3-D session on March 6, worked as a drafting and arts education teacher at the Greater Johnstown School District for more than 20 years. As a retired teacher, he spends his time making music and swimming in his log-heated wooden pool he built himself.

For more information, visit the Bottle Works website at

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