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Fall Classes & Workshops, Returning Faculty, Shop Re-Opening

We have learning options that will work for YOU!

Join us on-campus or study online … the most important thing is that we continue to gather together to learn in a supportive creative community.

Fall semester classes begin the week of Sept 14. We’ve reduced the sizes of classes due to new safety guidelines, so don’t delay in registering. Classes are filling up quickly

New Free Demo Offered 

Are you interested in taking a watercolor class? Check out this free online demo on Wednesday, Sept 9, 11am-12pm, from GAC painting instructor Sharon Schmiedel. She’ll review her “Skyscapes in Watercolor” online class; you’ll get a chance to see her teaching style and do some painting as well..  Registration is required by Friday, Sept 4 in order to receive the photo the class will work from. Register here. 

Welcoming Back Faculty 

One benefit of offering online classes is the chance to reconnect with faculty who live out of state. Meet two faculty who will continue to teach from their home studios this fall. 

Shilo Ratner
Shilo Ratner, an instructor based in California, led students in painting classes throughout the summer. We’re so happy she is back with us on screens this fall. She will lead two classes: Intuitive Painting (starting Sept 25) and an “Abstract Painting Workshop” (Nov 14 & 21). 

Shilo holds an MFA from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California and a BA Design, Curry College, Milton, Massachusetts. Shilo is represented by Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA and MIKA Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel. Her paintings have been exhibited from coast to coast and included in numerous publications. 

Intuitive Painting

8 Fridays beginning
September 25, 4:30 – 6:00pm

Abstract Painting Workshop

2 Saturdays beginning
November 14, 10:00am – 1:00pm

Phillip Alexander

Live from Miami, Phillip led an engaging online class for sewing/apparel design/fashion illustration this summer. He’s back this fall, teaching “Pattern Making, Draping: The Fundamental Tools of Design” and “Knit-Pick.”

Phillip studied at Fashion Institute of Technology and has been working in the fashion industry for more then twenty years. Phillip worked as a sample-maker, cutter and pattern-maker. He created his own design firm right out of college scoring success, by selling his first collection to some of New York’s premiere department stores. After two seasons, Phillip tried his hand as Senior designer/consultant for major apparel and sleepwear companies, where he worked with head-designers to develop new collections and re-define their brand. Phillip has worked as a graphic artist and then Art Director were he honed his skill around product development and branding. Phillip is now developing his own product line of menswear. 

Pattern Making, Draping: The Fundamental Tools of Design

10 Wednesdays beginning
September 16 2:00 – 5:00pm

Knit-Pick (learn to manipulate knit fabrications through pattern-making, create 4-5 piece knit separates group with bold color, drape and twist)

10 Thursdays beginning
September 17, 2:00 – 5:00pm

The Shop will re-open SOON! 

We expect to formally re-open the Shop on October 1! Our staff and volunteers are hard at work filling up the shop AND gallery with beautiful, handcrafted items. We’re getting a head-start on the holiday season and can’t wait to welcome you back into the Shop. 

In the meantime, the GAC Shop is open for appointment shopping. Contact Elena at to set up a time. You can also shop via our online site

COVID-19 Guidelines

We have state-approved guidelines in place to safely open our doors for students and visitors, including protocols for social distancing and wearing of masks. Find all of our COVID-19 safety guidelines for the school (including ceramic studio), shop and gallery here

Contacting GAC Staff

In order to continue to limit the number of people on campus, some members of our staff will continue working remotely. If we are not in the office and you need assistance, please either email a staff member (list below) or call GAC (203-453-5947), leave a message, and a staff member will contact you.

Students are strongly encouraged to register for classes online. If you cannot register online, please email or call GAC, leave a message, and a staff member will contact you to take your registration. Walk-in registration will not be available

The best way to reach staff is via email:

Maureen Belden – Executive Director

Suzanne Hens-Kaplan – Operations Director & CFO

Lisa Wolkow – Education Coordinator

Lisa Ste. Marie – Marketing & Communications

Elena Albergo – The GAC Shop 

Dawn Tiscia – Craft Expo