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The Art Studio NY

#1 Rated Art Classes in New York City!

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” so Pablo Picasso once famously proclaimed. Though we expect the pompous Cubist was being his usual haughty self when he uttered the well known quote, his belief in art‘s transcendent qualities might not be too far from the scientific mark.

New cognitive research out of Germany suggests that “the production of visual art improves effective interaction” between parts of the brain. The study, conducted on a small population of newly retired individuals (28 people between the ages of 62 and 70), concludes that making art could delay or even negate age-related decline of certain brain functions.

Essentially, if art isn’t washing away the dust accumulating on your soul, it might be cleaning up your braininstead. Read more at

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This summer we’ve had so many wonderful students! Their creations wow’ed us and we can’t wait to see what will come in the fall. From our drawing classes to our painting classes, each student created something unique. 

Artwork: Top Left by Gary Young from our Painting for the Next Level Class with Jacob Premo. 

Top Right by Rakhee Ippili from our Painting for the Next Level Class with Edward Holland. 

Bottom Left by Barbara Rosen from Drawing Foundations

Bottom Right by Maria Elsa from Kids Art Camp

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  • When did you start taking art classes at The Art Studio NY, and why did you begin to take classes (what was going on in your life at the time)?
    I began taking classes at The Art Studio NY over a year ago.  At the time, I was working as a professional medical illustrator. My desire has always been to paint and to do something less “technical” than I was used to. Coming in every week from Connecticut has allowed me to concentrate on my painting and put everything else aside. 

  • What class/es did you take, and what classes are you currently taking?
    I have been taking oil painting with Rebecca and several times with Jake. I have just completed my last session with Rebecca.

    What makes your experience at The Art Studio NY unique and memorable? 
    It is a unique experience for me because it allows me to break away from my fear of making something perfect without flaws and my fear of painting. It is a very freeing feeling and an important tool for me.

    What is something you have achieved because of your art classes that you never thought you could?
    I’m painting! I work on paintings in the city at The Art Studio NY and I work on paintings at home. I love painting

  •     What are you most proud of when it comes to your artistic journey? 
        I actually enjoy the fact that I get lost in my work. I don’t have a deadline that forces me to complete something at a specific time….I just let it go!

  • What fears have you overcome, on and off the canvas, since starting to paint?
    Avoiding the “blocks” that used to occur when I would start a painting and not know where to go next. It has given me perspective and the ability to stand back and then continue….

    How have your art classes allowed you to relax and relieve stress? 
    I come into the studio, I forget everything….stress extinguished!!!

    How have your art classes changed your life, either in your art or your everyday life?
    The classes have started me in a new direction with my art, a direction full of new surprises and a stronger self identity.

    What advice would you tell a total beginner who feels afraid of taking an art class or they feel they “have no talent”?
    Try it. The most that can happen is that you don’t like it….but I know that you will!

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Whether you started painting at age 1 or age 100, you can always learn and take away something from the process of creating. It really doesn’t matter if you started using crayons or oils, pencils or brushes, or even if you began finger painting! The process of making art makes you FEARLESS. You may not have noticed how creativity is a form of risk taking, so we’ve rounded up some ideas. Feel free to send us more ways that ART has made you fearless. Contact us.

               Painting for the Next Level

Artwork by Gary Young from Painting for the Next Level


Have you ever made a painting, spent countless hours on it, and you’re still unhappy with it? You don’t want to waste a good canvas, so you decide to paint ALL over it and start over. Luckily you can do this with acrylic painting, but you took a risk that you would erase the painting you weren’t happy with for something you hope will be even better. When we overcome our fears in real life, we sometimes have to get rid of what isn’t working in our life, and make room for what will work.


Sometimes you can’t start over. Your painting is far along, you made a weird line or circle that isn’t so round, and you’re stuck. You decide to turn the weird lines into something beautiful, maybe you can paint over a certain part, make another part larger… You are turning that lemon into lemonade. Learning how to adjust to the challenges in life requires some “creativity.” Painting makes you realize that whatever messy paint life throws at you, you can overcome these challenges. This definitely helps you become more fearless and accepting of the bumps in life. 


Showing someone your artwork can be like letting someone read your diary, or public speaking (most people rather die)! AH… so scary, but sharing your artwork with others and letting them into your “creative soul” helps you overcome these fears. It makes you a more open person. You express yourself onto the canvas, and can let others look at your painting, while overcoming the fear of caring what they think about your creation/your soul. 

Can you think of more ways that ART makes you fearless? When did you start taking ART CLASSES? Have art classes at The Art Studio NY helped you overcome certain fears or anxieties? 

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Published in Manhattan Sideways in June 2016. 


Even without taking an art class, I began to feel a sense of calm and purpose in the presence of Rebecca Schweiger, the owner and founder of The Art Studio NY. I arrived in the middle of an adult class in which the students, all women, were being taught how to create photo transfers of architecture. I watched the women critique each other’s work good-naturedly, pointing out “lines that move your eye” and “good use of layers.” The students were comfortable enough that they were not afraid to make suggestions, using comparisons between the other pieces in the group as inspiration. In the background, classical music played unobtrusively. The walls of the classroom were covered in art that ran the gamut from a pop art Alice in Wonderland to a gray scale still-life. After focusing on each photo transfer individually, the ladies seamlessly shifted towards talking about their experiences during the project. As one woman pointed out, “The key is knowing when to stop.”

After the class, I chatted with the women, who were probably close to my own age and were all friends. “This is our favorite day of the week,” they uniformly agreed. Not having an ounce of artistic talent, I was so inspired by these ladies, and simply having a wonderful time being creative. I actually considered signing up on the spot. As they filtered out, I was then able to speak with Rebecca and hear her amazing story.

Rebecca started The Art Studio NY in 2005 in her apartment with five students. Rebecca is a trained painter who has always been “enamored by the power of creativity.” In addition to being a painter, I believe she should consider herself a poet. She told me, “Art is one of the best kept secrets. It’s an elixir for all life experiences.” At a certain point in her own life, Rebecca realized that she wanted to teach. “I always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.” Her goal in The Art Studio NY is to bring art to people who do not think that they are creative. From weekly classes for the very young to “paint and sip” sessions with groups of adult friends – complete with wine – her days are jam packed with interested artists on any and every level.

Rebecca’s style of teaching is very different from that taught in art schools. She attended Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she found that their philosophy did not mesh well with how she wanted to experience learning. As she explained, “They taught well if you wanted to be cutthroat and competitive.” In The Art Studio NY, Rebecca makes sure that the environment is relaxed and that people can work at their own pace. Fifteen different teachers work at the studio so that class sizes can remain small and Rebecca lets each teacher’s strengths shine. “It is important that my instructors bring their greatest passions,” Rebecca said, adding that though there is structure to each class, she does not stifle any teacher’s creativity.

As for the studio itself, it is a unique space that became available to Rebecca by chance. She lives in the building and is very friendly with the doormen, who know everything there is to know about the neighborhood. After teaching out of her apartment for a few years, she asked the men if they knew about any available space in the building. They came back to her with the news that one of the basement apartments, which was zoned to be commercial, was soon to be vacated. Although it is a little out of the way and can only be accessed by riding the elevator, Rebecca has been quite pleased with her location. She considers the elevator a great safety measure for the children, as they can never escape without the doormen’s knowledge. This is a good precaution for a studio that caters to children as young as two-years-old (for the Mommy and Me programs). On the subject of children, Rebecca was sure to tell me that, “The kids classes are not babyish.” She recognizes that little ones are sponges, and so she teaches them the same things as adults. She was proud to tell me that one woman who interned with The Art Studio NY had started taking classes from Rebecca when she was seven-years-old. She is now a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). “It feels great,” Rebecca shared.

Though the 96th Street classrooms are Rebecca’s main studio, she and her fellow instructors teach throughout the city in after school programs, and work with corporations on team building events. When discussing the adult instruction, Rebecca commented, “Many of these people have never picked up a paintbrush since Pre-K.” Not only do the professionals get to try something they may have never done before, but they also get to work next to people they usually do not work alongside. A story that Rebecca relayed was when she was asked to organize an event for the entire staff of the newly branded Lexington Hotel. “It was a lot of paint and a lot of canvasses,” but she loved it. During the art class, one of the housekeepers was painting right next to the CEO. Rebecca remembers that at the end, a different housekeeper came up to her and said, “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to take an art class.” It warmed Rebecca’s heart.

In addition to these outreach art lessons, The Art Studio NY offers events outside of its normal classes, including drawing classes at the park or in one of the museums. Rebecca even holds Date Nights, in which two people work on the same project. Thanks to the studio’s relationship with hotels, they are able to cater to tourists who are only in town for a short time but are eager for this art experience.

No matter whom Rebecca happens to be teaching, she has the same goal of wanting to “bring people’s creative spirits alive.” She clarified that the classes are not just about art: they “are about growing and gaining self-esteem.” As the mother of a talented artist from the time he was a very young child, I fully appreciated Rebecca’s philosophy on teaching, but also her kind and gentle way with each of her students. She told me that parents often tell her that they can sense a physical and emotional shift in their child after they have taken a class. They notice that “there’s a happier, more relaxed person in front of them.” Parents have described their children as being “more mellow” on days when they have a class at The Art Studio NY. Rebecca says this is because art “gives them wings and space to express themselves.” I am sure that she is correct; however, I am also certain that it because of Rebecca, herself, that everyone is happier after spending an hour in her presence.

I could have sat and listened to Rebecca for another hour, as I found her to be totally enchanting, but we both had other appointments. Before leaving, Rebecca revealed to me that she was recently contacted by a publisher to write a book about creativity. This means that she is now benefitting from two artistic outlets: painting and writing. In closing, Rebecca left me saying that she feels strongly that the world is at the beginning of a “creative revolution.” If this is true, I see Rebecca as one of New York’s most passionate revolutionaries.

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“When you draw an object, the mind becomes deeply, intensely attentive, and it’s that act of attention that allows you to really grasp something, to become fully conscious of it.” – Milton Glaser, Drawing Is Thinking 

MEMORY: Drawing is the oldest language. Even our language is composed of letters drawn on paper to form ideas. Not only is drawing a form of literacy, it also helps your memory! A study from Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology found that participants that doodled were 29% more likely to remember mundane information. 

IT MAKES YOU HAPPY: When you draw, you release Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. You don’t have to be a famous artist to draw and doodle. Drawing also has calming effects, so if you’re stressed out, you may try to pick up a pencil. Read more about how drawing relieves stress

HAND-EYE COORDINATION: Even you can’t draw the perfect circle, you are improving your hand-eye coordination. 

ALERTNESS: What’s better than a cup of coffee in the morning? DRAWING! The act of drawing wakes up your brain and makes you more alert. We think that’s pretty cool. 

Want to start drawing, but don’t know where to begin? View upcoming drawing classes at The Art Studio NY

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What better way to bond then over paints, canvas, and brushes! After close to a 100 corporate events at The Art Studio NY, we love to see how everyone that participates has a great time. Our creative corporate events can come to you, or hosted in our studio on the Upper West Side. Often, with a corporate event we get a range of levels and ages, but everyone comes together, laughs, makes a mess, and leaves happy! 

Here are some pictures of recent corporate events in NYC. 

Beautiful paintings in bloom by the Women’s Initiative of Epstein Becker Green.

Painting beautiful bridges at K&L Gates corporate event. Lots of smiles and bonding/AKA building bridges! 

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Art. It’s everywhere. Maybe you notice it, and maybe you don’t. Art is important, and we’ve gathered a few reasons why. Whether you’ve taken 20 art classes, or if you’ve never taken an art class, we hope you’ll appreciate our reasons. 


1. It’s a Language – Art is like another language. It’s a way to express what you cannot say in words with colors, shapes, textures, and more. If you go back to the cavemen paintings, you’ll see it’s a language that has been going on for centuries! Art is also a universal language. Most cultures see the color red on the streets as a warning sign, or green as “go.” If you can create, you can basically speak another language! 

2. It’s Cheaper Than Therapy – So therapy might cost you a couple hundred and hour, but with Art you can express yourself and pour your feelings onto a canvas and feel like you accomplished something. We differently recommend painting and drawing, it will make you feel good! PS Studies show that looking at artwork can release Endorphins

3. It Makes You Smart – Several studies have showed that children that take art, music, or drama classes have improved literacy skills and math skills. We figure, if it works for kids, why not adults? 

4. Improves Self Awareness – In our hustle bustle world, art gives you a chance to step back. With art, you have to take your time. You learn to slow down and feel a range of emotions in the process. Basically, even though you’re impatient waiting for that paint to dry –  you’re just becoming more aware of YOU.

5. It’s Beautiful – Art is everywhere. It’s the way your phone is designed, your favorite dress, your home, your dishes…. It makes life interesting, pretty, and colorful! Enjoy it. 

Find an upcoming art class in NYC


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Do you remember your first art class? Maybe you got to play with some crayons or finger paint. You felt free, excited, maybe even a little nervous. You were thinking, “What is this odd texture?” “What should I draw?” You went for it! There were no expectations to be perfect, no rules, except maybe trying not to spill all the glue. You were having a great time, and no matter what you created, it was perfect in your eyes. What happened as you got older? There were more rules. You were taught to color within the lines, that an apple can’t be purple, it’s red or green. Basically, your imagination was slowly being “corrected.” 

At The Art Studio NY, we do our best to give every child, and adult, an uplifting and nurturing creative experience. Art should be about self-expression. Imagine if Monet and Picasso listened to all the critics that thought their paintings were gibberish? That is why we try to give all of our students the opportunity to learn, but at the same time the freedom to create and express. Our Art Summer Camps in NYC offer daily activities where children learn about artists that “dared” to try something different and didn’t always follow artistic rules. Children can enjoy an art workshop creating their own masterpiece, while learning about Andy Warhol, Magritte, or Van Gogh.

Give your child the gift of creativity! They will love it. 

Kids creating their own Gustav Klimt paintings with mixed media

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When did you start taking art classes at The Art Studio NY?
I started taking art classes in May of this year when I took some time off before starting my new job. I took art as a subject for a while in high school and always loved it. The first thing I did when I knew I’d have time off is sign up for art classes.

What classes did you take?
I convinced my husband to go to a BYOB Painting Party, which he ended up enjoying as much as I did (and we didn’t even drink that much wine). I also took a few Painting Fundamentals classes with Jake, who recommended that I take his evening classes once I started my new job. I now attend weekly evening classes with Jake, which I am so enjoying. I’m currently working on an oil painting of flowers that will take me many weeks to complete. Despite my general impatience, it’s so rewarding to see my progress each week and to keep learning new techniques. My art classes have also inspired me to resume sketching in my own time. I recently purchased a book that is teaching me to sketch cartoons.

What is your most memorable ART experience? 
In a recent Painting Fundamentals class at The Art Studio NY,  I learned new painting techniques- including dry brush, and I worked alongside a fabulous group of women. I also vividly recall learning various sketching and painting techniques from my grandmother who was a very talented artist.

What inspires you?
Strong, ambitious, hardworking women. I’ve been lucky to come from a strong line of women in my family, and to have worked for many talented women (and men) who have become my mentors.

What is your favorite quote or song at the moment? 
Brave by Sara Bareilles. It took some courage for me to totally change my career path recently, and this song inspired me to take the leap (and I’m so pleased that I did).

Name one spot you’d love to travel to with a brush & a canvas? 
My grandmother went on many art tours around the world. I remember her telling me how beautiful and inspiring the Algarve Coast in Portugal was and her artwork reflected that. I’d love to hone in on my painting skills, and make a trip there with paintbrushes and a canvas!

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6 fun facts about the benefits of drawing. 

¤ Drawing triggers your brain’s relaxation response while creating a physical state of deep rest.
¤ Drawing is a stress-relief from life’s demands. You exit the world of fears and worries and enter a world of imagination and fun. 
¤ Drawing is a natural form of meditation. As your mind quiets, you naturally feel happier and more peaceful. 
¤ Drawing allows you to become a better communicator through expressing your full emotions creatively. 
¤ Drawing helps you reframe. You learn to solve problems with renewed perspectives. 
¤ Drawing improves your memory. As you sharpen your mind, you enjoy life more while releasing daily tensions.

Find an upcoming drawing class at 

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1. What is your favorite medium? Acrylic on canvas/mixed media
2. What is your most memorable ART experience? My first one – my version of one of Rebecca’s pieces. It is in the photo of me with some of my work. I will always remember my first art piece because the last memory of my artwork was from kindergarten – not the best memory!
3. What inspires you? Art, music, laughter, friendships
4. What is your favorite quote or song at the moment? “I will never apologize for being me. You should apologize for asking me to be anything else.” – author unknown.
5. Name one spot you’d love to travel to with a brush and a canvas! Giverny

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This spring our artists created beautiful art in a range of mediums and subject matter. 

Would you like to be a part of our online student art gallery? Email your artwork/name/class name to [email protected]

Highlighted ART CLASSES:


Drawing is one of the most popular modes of artistic expression since the beginning of time… just think of cavemen! Express yourself through this encouraging and relaxing drawing class as YOU:

• Receive one-on-one expert art instruction customized to your skill level 
• Learn our fear-free art approach as you learn to draw in our intimidation-free, non-judgmental art studio 
• Feel inspired by a variety of subject matter as your muse, including: still life, realism, abstraction, the human figure, portraiture, and more 
• Unleash your inner-artist as you learn a variety of beginner drawing class techniques, such as: charcoal and pencil use, shading, expressive line, mark-making, composition, contour drawing, dimension, and more! 
• Succeed in creating many finished drawings 
• Receive the lasting health benefits of drawing and art classes, such as relaxation, stress relief, and mental clarity


Painting is sumptuous, exciting, and one of the most popular mediums used by painting artists throughout the world. This oil painting class is perfect for any level, both beginners and those who have taken an art class (or many art classes) already and are excited to master even more. In this oil painting class, you will:

• Learn new techniques to explore and incorporate into your paintings 
• Master artistic techniques that will deepen your painting experience 
• Relax, de-stress and feel inspired while you express your unique voice through your paintings 
• Explore both foundational and advanced techniques, such as: color mixing, color value, composition, glazing, brushwork, paint application, texture, and more 
• Paint from personally chosen subject matter such as still life, landscape, abstraction, portraiture, and more 
• Receive nurturing, customized one-on-one expert art instruction based on your personal needs and goals 
• Create multiple paintings that you will be proud to hang in your home! 
• Engage with your peers in a supportive, non-judgmental art community


Taste it all in this drawing and painting class for beginners! Artistic expression in the form of painting and drawing expression is exciting, energizing and incredibly freeing! Discover your authentic inner-artist and your creative passion in this popular weekend beginner’s art class as YOU:

• Explore your creativity through painting, drawing and the two combined 
• Experiment with a variety of art materials, including acrylic paint, charcoal drawing, paint textures, and more 
• Discover art techniques including color mixing, composition, paint application, personal self-expression, line, form, shading and more 
• Get inspired from subject matter such as still life, landscape, abstraction, realism, and your personal creativity 
• Relax in this weekly creative escape while receiving encouraging, one-on-one art instruction by a professional artist

All levels welcome, perfect for beginners or those who have dabbled with painting and drawing classes

– See more at:

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In NYC spring starts a little late! While some states are enjoying a sunny 85 degree day, there’s still a chance of snow in mid March! What better way to forget the super long NYC winter than with an ART class at The Art Studio NY! We’ve round up 5 great reasons to take an art class in the spring! 


As you slowly stop hibernating from the winter, it’s time to explore! In the spring you’re out more and those creative juices start to flow! Put those creative juices on a fresh canvas in an oil painting or acrylic painting class. 


The stunning colors of fresh flowers and the cherry blossoming make us want to paint the beautiful city and all of it’s glory! No more white snow, but a palette of reds, pinks, and greens! 


In early March, you’re probably still waiting for those colorful spring flowers to bloom and grow. It’s a perfect time to cozy up in doors with some wine, paint, and inspiration! 



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“I hope when other kids read my comics, they will be inspired to find what they’re interested in and become great at it.” – Sasha Matthews, 10 years old

Sasha’s love for comics began when she was 8 years old when she received an X-Men comic series as a gift from her father. She was inspired to create comics and decided she wanted to develop her drawing and creative skills. Sasha began taking art classes at The Art Studio NY in September 2014, and began publishing her comics under Rumble Comics while she was in 5th grade! One of her most popular comic books Sitting Bull: A Life Story, is sold at local bookstores on the UWS.


“I was very, very impressed with [Sasha’s] comic, both the art and the writing. Heck, I liked the whole thing. I fully expect to see many more great things from [her] in the future.”  – George O’Connor, Author “Olympians” Series

We wish Sasha continued success and creativity! 

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Art isn’t just for museums or your living room. ART is everywhere. Even small objects like our phones and are shoes require artistic and creative skills. Even our STREETS have become masterpieces. Here are a few spots where you will find incredible STREET ART. 


Mr. Thoms in Favara, Sicily

FIN DAC in Los Angeles, USA

Kobra in Sao Palo, Brazil

Ino in Greece

Re-creation of an untitled mural painted by artist Keith Haring on the corner of Houston Street and Bowery in Manhattan.

START CREATING. Find a canvas and a brush.

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Do you ever stare at a blank canvas not knowing where to begin? The possibilities are endless. What will the background look like? What should the subject matter be? Should I tryout new mediums? A new technique? Perhaps, I should make it abstract? Might as well call it “painters block.”

When you’re stuck on a painting and don’t know where to start? Don’t be afraid to try something NEW! Take a smaller blank canvas or piece of paper, and map out your plan. You can test that new medium on a small piece of canvas or paper. It’s okay to explore! It’s also okay to make mistakes! It’s art. Have fun. Express YOURSELF. 

Since ART resembles life, we learn to take risks, problem solve, and create! 

Don’t stop creating! Happy 2016. 

New winter painting classes starting in NYC –

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It’s never too late to start creating! If you haven’t picked up a paintbrush in 20 years, don’t fret. Art classes are meant to be safe spaces to explore, create, and let go! Pick your favorite medium – oil painting, pastels, acrylic, or pencils! 

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Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful to the hundreds of artists that walk through our doors each year. Their creativity inspires us, and we hope that we inspire them as well. Our creative urban oasis wouldn’t be the same without our friends!

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What is your favorite medium?
My favorite medium probably has to be acrylic…and makeup. I but if I had to classify myself I am would say that I am a mixed media artist. I love the versatility of different items and how it adds interesting texture and visual effect to a piece.

What is your most memorable ART experience?
When I was in 4th grade I illustrated a report I did on Egypt. I got a very positive response when I presented it. It was the first I can remember someone other than my family commenting on my work.

Who or what inspires you?
Fearless beings inspire me. Get rid of fear and pretty much anything is possible.

What is your favorite quote?
Fave quote at the moment: “Go home, Cosmopolitan, you’re drunk.” Referring to their cover they did on the Kardashians as well as some other ridiculous headlines. Its good to call out the tom-foolery when you see it!

Where would you go with a canvas in a paintbrush?
Spain! I’ve always wanted to go there and for some reason I feel like I could retire there even though I’ve never been.

About Nicole Rivera

Nicole V. Rivera is The Art Studio NY’s hugely adored art instructor for early childhood art classes and children’s art events. Through her warm enthusiasm, Nicole engages, entertains and educates children with hands-on art experiences that keep their creativity soaring. Nicole has the perfect balance of creative leader blended with childlike essence. Quite simply, kids LOVE Nicole!

Nicole comes to The Art Studio NY with a rich background in education as well as a professional makeup artistry background. Teaching artistic and creative expression at the early childhood level at The Art Studio NY has allowed Nicole to marry her two passions: art and education. Nicole’s innovative art education approach includes an exciting recipe…. a touch of art history, a dash of art technique, sprinkles of artistic buzzwords that are memorable and relevant to the children, and huge magical doses of artistic self-expression!

Nicole received her Masters in Special Education and Science from Touro College. She earned her BA from Boston University and her BS in Communications and Journalism from Suffolk University. When she’s not inspiring children at The Art Studio NY, Nicole enjoys being a mom to her own creative cutie at home

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When did you start creating at The Art Studio NY?
I started taking classes at The Art Studio NY in August 2015.

How has ART helped you in your life?
Art helps me relax, and it helps me to get to know myself better every day. I try to be spontaneous every time I start a piece, and I think that is how I let my soul and my feelings speak up!

What’s your favorite medium?
My favorite medium is acrylic, but I really enjoy working with collage and watercolor too.

What is your most memorable ART experience?
A few years ago, some friends and I made this HUGE painting. I really enjoyed working as a group. We had an idea that we wanted to communicate trough the final piece and the process was really interesting, as we had to put all our creativity together and be patient with each other, but the result was great and we had a lot of fun doing it.

What artist inspires you?
One painter that inspires me is Matisse, I enjoy the way he uses colors and shapes by making them the essential parts of his paintings. Another one is Frida Kahlo, I really like her story, all though it is a tough one!

What inspires your artwork?
Mostly what inspires me is nature, flowers and leaves.

Where would you love to travel to with a brush and a canvas?
I would love to go to Bali or to an Island in Greece with my brushes, my acrylics and a really big canvas!

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Q & A with Mitchell Siegel

Why did you decide to teach art to the Aspergers Community?
My son, Ryan, was born with autism. As he was growing up, I quickly learned that there was an unmet need for creative services after the teenage years end. After graduating high school, families are left with no services at all. It is a huge problem.
Many people with Aspergers are gifted with visual talent. One of my current students has extreme drawing talent and wants to one day become an animation artist. I am nurturing the self-esteem, creativity and self-expression of the Aspergers Community so that they, too, can have successful futures and have their dreams become reality.

Why is art important for those with Aspergers?
Art gives people with Aspergers another way to communicate beyond the traditional speech and language. People with Aspergers have communication difficulties. Art allows them to use another form of communication to help them express themselves, and to be understood, more effectively.

Why is ART important to you?
Painting is the easiest way for me to communicate my feelings, hopes and dreams. Art also allows me to communicate things that words could never express.

Why is art vital for personal wellness?
To stay healthy, we all need to express our emotions, values and ideas. Art generates personal exploration through self-expression, relaxation and self-empowerment.

Who inspires you?
Mary Temple Grandin (b.1947) is an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University, best-selling author, autism activist and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. She is the inventor of the “hug box”, a device to calm those on the autism spectrum. In 2010 Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, she was listed as a “hero”. She was also the subject of the award-winning, biographical film, Temple Grandin.

View art classes for kids and adults at The Art Studio NY.

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1. What is your favorite medium?
I enjoy using lots of different materials…pencil, colored pencils, pastels, acrylics and collage and any combination of those.

2. What is your most memorable ART experience?
Years ago I had a show at my house in Westchester. There were 6 other artists and myself whose work I hung in my house…Lots of friends and neighbors came. We all sold some of our work, it was so much fun!

3. What inspires your artwork?
Everything from a color to a shape. I use my phone to grab a picture of something.

4. What is your favorite quote or song at the moment?
The definition of “Fear” is ”False Evidence Appearing Real.”

5. Name one spot you’d love to travel to with a brush and a canvas!
Any place with an ocean or a lake.

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11 years ago, Rebecca Schweiger had a dream to promote creativity and authentic self-expression through art. In 2004, she started in her 1-bedroom apartment with 5 students. Now, with hundreds of weekly students and over 50 classes every week… HOW FAR WE’VE COME! 

Here are 11 reasons to CELEBRATE TASNY and the thousands of artists that have been inspired throughout the years!

1. PASSION: When you follow your PASSION in life, you feel alive. Take the risk and do more of what makes you feel alive.

2. CREATIVITY: The more you use, the more you have! Never stop creating! EVERYONE is creative. Carve out 5 minutes a day to flex your creativity muscles.

3. NURTURING: The Art Studio NY’s goal is to offer their creative oasis that is loving and non-judgmental. When we are loved, we grow to new heights.

4. SMILES: We’ve seen THOUSANDS of SMILES! There is nothing like seeing a or an adult feel good about their artwork, and more importantly, about themselves.

5. FRIENDSHIP: Through ART, friendships have blossomed off the canvas! Together, we have formed a wonderful community.

6. pARTies: Our BYOB Painting Parties became a hit because… who doesn’t like to paint with one hand and sip wine with another? Birthday parties, corporate events, bachelorette parties… You name it, we’ve celebrated it!

7. LOVE: We have had over 100 MARRIAGE PROPOSALS at The Art Studio NY! ALL SAID YES!

8. SELF-EXPRESSION: When you have the freedom to express who you truly are, you tap into your true power. Rebecca and our amazing instructors always strive for every artist to express themselves fully! Just be YOU!

9. FAMILY: We’ve formed bonds, networks, support systems….. We are a real family.

10. VACATION: Whether you joined The Art Studio NY on an art adventure to Costa Rica or Italy, or if you simply ESCAPED the concrete jungle weekly in our NYC art studio, we hope you enjoyed your RELAXING ART vacation with us!

11. HOME: We all yearn for connection, and we all need a home where we can truly be ourselves. The Art Studio NY strives to be that place for YOU.

We look forward to MANY more years of ART & SOUL with YOU!

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For young adults with high functioning Autism/Aspergers Syndrome
Ages 14 – 19
Instructor: Mitchell Siegel
Fridays, February 5 – June 24, 3:30pm – 5:30pm, 17 Sessions, 4 Students max, $674

Enjoy an inspiring acrylic and mixed-media painting class that will take your artwork to the next level. This class is designed for young adults who have transitioned to adulthood and are ready to move forward creatively and grow as an artist.
In this art class you will:

  • Receive personal one-on-one instruction in acrylic painting based on your individual needs and learning style
  • Express yourself in a safe and encouraging environment free from judgement and intimidation
  • Learn through tailor-made art instruction on how to use your art supplies effectively
  • Explore the use of the “color wheel” and deepen your knowledge of color mixing
  • Learn new texture techniques including “Impasto”
  • Explore self-expression through mixed-media techniques
  • Complete two finished paintings from real life or reference material that inspires you
  • Receive the lasting health benefits of art classes, such as relaxation, stress relief, and mental clarity
  • To insure a successful art class experience, please email a few samples of your artwork in jpeg format to [email protected] Students will be invited to The Art Studio NY to discuss your skill level so we can tailor the class according to your individual needs and learning style.

    Materials not included. Purchase our discounted painting kit or see our online materials list.

    Comments (1)


    16-Mar-2019 11:22 AM

    Deborah Brenner

    Does this class have availability? I am looking for a class like this for my highly artistic 17-year-old daughter with Asperger’s.


    1. Art is a STRESS-RELIEVER.

    Life is stressful. After a full day of work, family, and city life, sitting down with art supplies, even just a pencil and paper, allows you to let go and forget about your stresses.

    2. Art is a form of SELF-EXPRESSION.

    Use art to express and share your emotions and thoughts. When you want to express yourself, art can be even more effective than words.

    3. Art creates a feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT.

    Creating art gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Making something from start to finish provides fulfillment because you have done something new.

    4. Art helps you THINK in DIFFERENT ways.

    In ART CLASSES, you have a chance to be creative and think outside of the box- something which most people do not do in their daily lives.

    5. Art makes you a HAPPIER PERSON.

    Experts say there is a strong connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing. Getting into a state of creative flow produces substantial happiness… the kind that lasts.

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    I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. Georgia O’Keeffe

    Why is ART Important? SELF-EXPRESSION.

    The first evidence of art dates back to almost 40,000 years ago with cave paintings found in Asia and Europe. The need for humans to express themselves using art has not stopped, even if the medium has changed! Art has been used to share information, impose ideas on a society, criticize society, capture memories, and inspire a culture, at the same time there is always the artists point of view and “touch” to every artwork.

    Humans need an outlet to express themselves! Self-expression can come through music, painting, drawing, or literature. Just as children thrive with creative play, and with the space to fully express themselves, adults require the same creative space to fuel their minds and nurture their souls.

    Spain, Altamira Bison

    When taking an ART class it is important to let go of the rules, and free your mind from everyday worries. It is an incredible feeling to tap into the creative soul and the emotions that are deep inside, and let them spill onto the canvas. It’s best to use a medium you feel comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to try something new! Have fun, relax, and create!

    Learn more about upcoming art classes and workshops in NYC at

    Art Class Schedule in NYC

    Nurture Your Creative Soul!

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    Want to try out an art class in our UWS studio without signing up for the full 7 weeks? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! This week we are offering MEGA discounts on our popular oil painting and mixed media art classes. For only $175 you can try out 4 sessions of an ART CLASS! Offer expires April 24th, so don’t miss out!

    Learn more at

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    Eating your veggies, exercising, and good hygiene are all very important for a healthy lifestyle, but in our hustle bustle world we often forget about nurturing our soul! ART is healthy, and there have been multiple studies that have proven the tremendous benefits to art classes and creativity. We often encourage children to express themselves through art because it teaches them many valuable skills, but we cannot ignore the importance art has in our adult life! What has ART taught you?

    We’ve compiled a few reasons ART is important & what creativity can teach you!

    1. Problem Solving:
    Art nurtures you creative and problem solving abilities. Turn that canvas upside down, give your brain a break, and BAM you can find solutions. Also, when you make beautiful mistakes in paintings you start to find creative ways to fix that big blotch of spilled paint on your beautiful flower you just spent hours painting!

    2. Patience:
    These days we are used to getting that instant gratification. With art, when you develop a painting, and put the time into your work, you begin to appreciate that patience it takes for something beautiful come together.

    3. Communication:
    Art can help express what cannot be said in words. As children we are often taught to use materials such as crayons to share our feelings, but even as adults using words is not always easy, and painting a picture can describe deep thoughts and emotions.

    4. Making a Difference:
    Learning to create can enforce the idea within ourselves, that we can create, and thus make a difference. It also shows that even a small difference can have a big impact. For instance, change the color of the background of a painting can change the entire mood!

    5. Experience:
    We are often using the same senses on a daily basis, but when we use untapped parts of our mind, or use our hands in new ways we are experiencing something different. Exploration gives courage to new experiences.

    Start Creating at Find nurturing art classes to boost your soul and confidence!

    What has art taught out? Share it with us!

    The Art Studio NY offers art classes for kids and adults. Including – Summer Art Camp for Kids, oil painting classes, BYOB Painting Parties, drawing classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park, and MORE! Every level is welcome to explore and create!

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