ART 101

Participate | Workshops


As part of an ongoing commitment to make arts accessible to all, and to support creative learning experiences for youth throughout the greater Capital region, Salem Art Works offers Art 101, a program of hands-on art workshops for high school students in grades 11 and 12. 

Each year, in April and October, we offer Art 101 workshops in a variety of media including glass blowing, metal casting, blacksmithing, welding, stone carving, silk screen printing, woodworking, and jewelry making. See detailed class descriptions below.

During an Art 101 field trip day, students are mentored by professional artists and SAW staff as they learn basic safety practices and put in place new skills to create finished works of art. Separate morning and afternoon sessions allow students to explore two distinct art forms over the course of the day. During the midday break, students visit the Cary Hill Sculpture Park and tour SAW’s facilities, exploring some of the many works of art situated on SAW’s 120 acre campus. 

Throughout the day, students are exposed to real artists, making real work. Participants are encouraged to ask questions, share ideas, and voice feedback about their own work, and that of their peers. Staff and teachers model respectful communication as they guide students to engage with one another and deepen their appreciation of contemporary art in all its forms.


-“The whole site was very cool, eccentric. It felt like everybody’s personalities were shining through.

-“They were hands on and the assistance was clear”

“Being able to try out a medium I have never worked with before”

-”Fun and entertaining!”



Art 101 workshops are generally scheduled during the second and third weeks of April and October. We may be able to accommodate other dates with advance notice.
Remaining dates for 2016: October 10-14 and 17-21, 2016
Dates for 2017: April 10-14 and 17-22, October 9-13 and 16-20, 2017


Registration for October 2016 is open now, and it’s easy - just call or email the office to schedule your session and select workshops. To hold a spot in 2017, please contact Jenny Hillebrand, Director of Artist Programs. 
Once you register, SAW staff will provide you with workshop selection forms, parental permission form, and the SAW guest agreement. Payment and all paperwork must be submitted to the SAW office prior to arrival, and at least two weeks in advance of your visit. 

Field Trip Timeline

Students Arrive: 9:00-9:15 Welcome and Intro: 9:15 Morning Workshop / Session 1: 9:30-12:00   Lunch: 12:00-12:30 SAW Tour: 12:30-1:00 Afternoon Workshop / Session 2: 1:00-3:30 Feedback and Closing: 3:30 – 3:45 Students Depart 3:45 – 4:00

Cost and Number of Students

Each workshop can accommodate up to 6 students at once, and each session can be run twice during a field trip day, serving a total of 12 students. Ideally, teachers will attend an Art 101 day with a minimum of 12 students (for 2 concurrent morning workshops, repeated in the afternoon), and a maximum of 42 (for 7 concurrent morning workshops, repeated in the afternoon). 
The cost for a full Art 101 field trip day, including two workshops, all materials and safety equipment, and facilities tour, is $20 per student.

Available Workshops

Stone Carving 101

Working with hand saws, files, and sand paper, students will carve a piece of soft stone into a smooth form which fits in their hand. Students will compare and contrast the techniques used on soft stone, to more challenging stones such as marble and slate. The instructor will briefly discuss regional stone mining of slate and marble, to expose students to local resources and history.

Welding 101

There are many welding processes including Mig welding, Stick welding, Tig welding, oxy-acetylene welding.  In this workshop, students will observe and try different methods of welding, but will focus on Mig Welding and Plasma Cutting for the sake of expediency. The instructor will provide demonstration on safe and proper use of a variety of equipment, then students will choose metal scrap material to assemble and create a sculpture of their own design.

Glass Blowing 101

This is an introduction to what glass is and how to work with solid forms and color. Paperweights and flower forms are a great place to discover this fascinating material. Each student will make something to keep in this fun and informative class. After a brief safety talk and an introduction to the tools and equipment each student will be able to work the Gaffers bench and experiment with the glass.

Earth Works 101

SAW is located on 120 acres of rolling hills, forrest, and meadows. This workshop provides students an opportunity to work outdoors and create a temporary natural installation on site. Students will gather materials such as shrubbery, sticks, rocks, and natural debris, as well as use basic household materials like string, nails, and hand tools to reinforce their  design. The sculptures will remain in the park and will be documented as proof of their existence.

Blacksmithing 101

Students will learn basic hammer control, tapering, basic curls, shouldering, hot cutting, basic metallurgy, safety, tool nomenclature, simple twists, and general “white” work. Students will practice these techniques to produce a hand forged hook.

Silk Screen Printing 101

Students will participate in the entire process of creating a finished silk screen printed t-shirt. Students will choose a group theme and each draw something related on a pre-cut 2in by 2in transparency. The instructor will demonstrate how to create a screen using the student’s designs. Once the screen is ready, each student will print the design on a t-shirt provided by SAW. Students are encouraged to bring additional clothing or paper to print on, and will have additional designs to choose from. 

Cuttle Bone Casting 101

This primitive approach allows students to work with the casting process on a small scale, to create a piece of their own design in Britannia metal. This class gives each participating student a how to lesson and demonstration along with instruction of negative carving to create jewelry, or a small sculptural casting.

What to bring, What to expect

Each SAW workshop instructor will provide complete and thorough instruction, all materials and supplies, and any necessary safety gear to complete the session. 

Students should have already submitted payment and all paperwork to their teachers prior to arriving at SAW. Any documents that were not submitted should be brought on the day of your visit and submitted to the Art 101 facilitator as soon as possible after arrival. Sorry, but students without signed waivers and guest agreements on file can not participate in our classes! 

Students, chaperones, and teachers should bring a bag lunch and drink.  Everyone should wear proper attire, including close-toed shoes (sneakers are fine) or boots. Those participating in the workshops should avoid loose or baggy clothing that may get in the way of operating tools and equipment, and long hair should be covered or tied back. Students MUST wear natural fibers and should not wear synthetic fibers which are more likely to melt and cause serious burns if exposed to fire or radiant heat.

Workshops will occur rain or shine. Because some facilities are partially outside, students are encouraged to dress for the weather - wear boots, rain jacket, sun screen, and bug repellent as appropriate.

Students are welcome to bring a camera, or use their phone to take pictures, and make notes during workshops. 

Finally, every participant will be asked to complete a short survey at the end of each workshop session – this is extremely helpful in improving our programming and allowing us to secure funding to run it again in the future. Please encourage your students to provide honest, thoughtful feedback about their experience at SAW.


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