Looking for a Visual Arts Class That Meets in Bedford?

February 3, 2023

Are you interested in taking a visual arts class but not sure which one is right for you? There are a number of local artists that offer an array of programs for adults and/or children right here in Bedford.  

A map of the Cultural District from the town’s website. bedfordma.gov

Many of these opportunities are within the Bedford Cultural District which stretches from the Depot Park to the Town Center campus. 

The locations can be found on the map of the Cultural District from the town’s website: www.bedfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/909/Cultural-District-Map-PDF?bidId=

Among artists located in the cultural district are the following:

Scott Cahalay – Stone Carver

Scott Cahalay is a stone carver. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in fine arts in the late 1990s. In 2000, Scott relocated to the Boston area where he started exhibiting his work in many galleries and universities. 

In 2010, he founded Scott’s Stone Carving Classes which now resides in the renovated Depot Train Station in Bedford. 

His teaching approach is well regarded and he seeks to unlock his student’s fascination for the stone carving process.

An earlier article appeared in the Bedford Citizen about Scott. You can read it at: https://thebedfordcitizen.org/2022/12/stone-carver-flourishing-in-his-depot-studio

To reach Scott for information on his classes, go to his website at https://stonecarvingdust.blogspot.com  

Here is some of the art at the Glass Co-operative. Staff photo by Doris Smith

The Glass Cooperative, Inc. 

Another interesting place to check out is the Glass Cooperative, Inc., also located in the Bedford Depot. 

This studio was started in 2008. A group of women began taking classes together at the former Glass House and loved the experience. When their instructor moved, they started looking for a place in Bedford where they could set up their own studio space. They wanted an area where they could work and also teach. The Bedford Depot has turned out to be a perfect place for their group. 

Of the original seven founding members, three are still a part of the cooperative. Four others have since joined, creating a new team of seven. Their teaching is a very productive experience with each artist taking on only one student at a time. 

Barbara Purchia, a member of the original group, said, “I have always loved glass especially the colors.” 

Check out their website for more information at www.glasscoop.com.

Here is Trish Ng of Art Spark. Staff photo by Doris Smith

ArtSpark School of Visual Art

Trish Ng, a former industrial designer and teacher at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, opened ArtSpark, School of Visual Art in Bedford in 2018. Her focus is on drawing instruction and portfolio preparation consultations for visual arts students. 

Working with the Bedford Recreation Department, she says her classes are full, with waiting lists. Students will find that her classroom space is bright and airy and well lit. She teaches students about color, contour lines, pencil drawing, shading, and texture using dry media. Her emphasis is on observational drawing as well as perspective and she is glad to provide drawing lessons for both children and adults. 

“Connect to your intuition and observe shapes and shadows around you,” she says.

Trish is also interested in working with local artists to create art that is relevant to the community. 

Take a look at her webpage at www.artsparkschool.com.

Art Classes with Sarah Scoville

Sarah Scoville is an artist who teaches at the Umbrella Arts Center in Concord but also offers art classes for both adults and children through the Bedford Recreation Department. She leads after-school classes at both the Lane and Davis Schools that include: drawing, fiber arts, mixed media, mural painting, printmaking, and sculpture. 

She says she is a freelance art teacher, but you may also know her from the paintings on utility boxes around town. She is also a member of the Bedford School Committee. 

Currently, she is in conversation with the Bedford Council on Aging about creating a mural. 

Learn more about Sarah at https://simplysarahart.com.

Namrata Siviya is an artist from The Purple Pencil. Staff photo by Doris Smith

The Purple Pencil

Namrata Siviya, who studied Fine Art and Film making in India, is pleased to announce that her new studio space, The Purple Pencil, located at 99 The Great Road, is now open for classes. The classes she is conducting currently are aimed at adults, but she hopes to soon have classes for high school students.  

She works in acrylics, oil, and watercolors and leans toward abstract landscapes. Her classes are aimed at beginners or artists who are feeling “stuck” in their work. 

Visit her website for more information at www.namrata.art/contact.

More Opportunities

In addition to the above artists there are other opportunities available in the wider community. 

The Bedford Arts and Crafts Society (BACS) was organized in 1956 and has sponsored classes and art demos by talented artists, as well as having an art critique group where members can support each other in their various mediums and styles. There is also a crafting group that meets weekly and makes items such as warm hats to protect against the cold and cards for different holidays. These items are then placed in food bags provided by the Bedford Food Bank. Go to their website at www.bacsma.org to see how to participate in the above activities.

Remember to check offerings by the Bedford Recreation Department. See their catalog listings for adult programs for those interested in art under “Be Creative: Arts and Crafts” at www.bedfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1941/2023-Winter-Adult-Brochure-Final-PDF?bidId=. Some programs are co-sponsored by the Bedford Arts and Crafts Society. 

Middlesex Community College (www.middlesex.mass.edu/academics/offerings.aspx) has on-site, online, and hybrid classes for those who would like to explore their creative options with a few courses. To learn more, contact Jennifer Bauer, Communication, Art & Design Department Chair, at 781-280-3910.  

Members of the Bedford Center for the Arts Photo Group approach photography from both the artistic and technical sides. Currently, this organization is holding their meetings online and meet twice a month. For more information about this group and their 2022-2023 program schedule, visit their website at https://bcaphoto.org. The group also shares breath-taking, colorful, and imaginative photos around different topics each month.

Last but not least, the Bedford Cultural District maintains an artist listing that highlights the most active artists teaching in Bedford at www.bedfordma.gov/779/Bedford-Artist-Directory.  

Bedford is replete with an array of local artists. Explore your options, register for a class (or more), be curious about your creative processes, and treasure your finished projects.

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Doris Smith is an Arts and Cultural Reporter for The Bedford Citizen. She was supported by a grant from the Bedford Cultural Council from December 2022 - June 2023.

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Contact The Bedford Citizen: [email protected] or 781-430-8837

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Chris Wojnar
February 3, 2023 10:24 pm

Great article, Doris! Impressive to see how many resources we have in town for the arts!

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