Back to collage: Bushwick school offers adult art classes

Quiet mind, busy hands: People create multimedia pieces in a meditation and collage-making workshop at Classeteria in Bushwick.
Jessica Baker

It’s back-to-school season — for adults!

A Bushwick community space will launch a new semester of art and writing workshops for adults and teens this month. Classeteria, which offers classes for homeschooled children during the week, also features workshops for grown-ups on evenings and weekends, which it will showcase at an Open House event on Aug. 18.

The school’s founder said that she was inspired by the community education space Brooklyn Brainery, in Prospect Heights and Park Slope, and opened the venue last year to create a learning space for her homeschooled children.

“I was inspired by the thought of building an urban folk school,” said Selena Beal, who lives in Williamsburg with her family. She came up with the cafeteria theme to emphasize its wide variety of “a la carte” classes.

“I used the theme of the cafeteria to illustrate the idea of people selecting from a wide variety of content based on interest; of each of us having a different ‘meal’ when it comes to education,” she said.

Upcoming classes for adults include a history of Japanese art, several drawing classes, and a memoir-writing workshop. One unique upcoming session focuses on Zen and the art of collage creation. For the one-night workshop “Meditation Installation” on Sept. 19, an expert print maker and yogi will combine her meditative practice with collage-making. The class will begin with a period of quiet reflection before attendees create collages of text, fabric, and natural objects. According to instructor Jessica Baker, meditation can help people enter an artistic “zone.”

“Anytime you make art you’re entering into another state,” said Baker. “There’s a certain clarity and focus that takes you into the very present moment of what you’re doing.”

Baker has offered variations on “Meditation Installation” before, but hopes to make the upcoming workshop even more interactive, since collaborative workshops yield the richest art.

“You’re actually engaging with other people, talking to them, understanding what ideas they bring into their view of their work and your work,” she said. “I’m much more interested in doing that now than anything else — I really want to engage with people and the community.”

Each semester of Classeteria offers both students and teachers a chance to try something new, said Beal.

“My favorite part of running the adult programming at Classeteria is how excited both the facilitators and the students are about each class,” she said. “For the students, it’s just fun to be in an atmosphere of people trying something new and doing something different.”

Classeteria Open House [284 Suydam St. between Knickerbocker and Irving avenues in Bushwick, www.classeteria.nyc]. Aug. 18; 4–7 p.m. Free. “Meditation Installation” at Classeteria. Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. $25.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams

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