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Rutgers Community Arts

Art & Design


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all classes will be conducted virtually until further notice. We will return to the Mason Gross School facilities for each class as soon as guidance from Rutgers University indicates we are safely able to do so.

We strongly believe that the arts, in all of the different forms, is a way of making meaning out of lived experience through materials. Our Art & Design classes are designed to encourage individual artistic development, which can inspire interests in other subjects and enhance ones’ overall quality of life. While classes are designed to show students different ways of understanding form, space, color, and composition, assignments are open-ended to allow individual exploration of visual language and meaning. Making through observation, memory, imagination, and experimentation are offered. Diversity of thinking and expression are encouraged.

Students work towards Certificates of Achievement for successful participation, completion, and attendance within each Rutgers Community Arts Art & Design course. Students show their artwork during end-of-semester exhibits coinciding with dance and music recitals, allowing the extended community to enjoy the accomplishments of Art & Design participants.

Classes are offered for at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, and age ranges are flexible. Enrollment discounts and a variety of benefits are available to Zimmerli and Mason Gross class participants.


Basic Drawing & Painting (ages 5-9)

Send your child on an around-the-world artistic adventure! The focus of this course is to introduce the young aspiring artist to drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture through material exploration. By learning the basics of art-making, students will develop problem-solving skills found only during the creative endeavor of the visual arts. Students will find their voice through color, marks, shapes, forms, and materials during telling stories through their artwork. They will also learn about different ways of making by exploring different cultures and their traditions. By the end of the course, students will go home with a body of work to showcase, a community of young fellow artists, and a new plethora of visual problem-solving abilities that can only be explored through the creative act of making.

Intermediate Drawing & Painting (ages 10-13)

Students develop their drawing and painting skills through observation, memory, imagination, and experimentation. Academic and experimental approaches will be offered. Experimental approaches may include: visualizing sounds, exploring the sense of time and change, different qualities of light and shadow, and color through abstraction. Students develop individual projects that will incorporate all basic drawing and painting course material. Art history will also be discussed as it relates to each project. This course is designed differently for each semester but revisits themes from previous classes. All Rutgers Community Arts visual art classes encourage personal exploration through materials and process.

Drawing and Painting Portfolio Development (ages 14-18)

Note: This course is primarily geared for high school students. Adult learners are also welcome.

This class is designed for students who wish to develop their awareness and abilities in drawing and painting, as well as for those considering applying to art school in the future. Students will be given project assignments daily and will also have the opportunity to develop independent projects over the course of the intensive. Participants will receive feedback on their artwork and portfolios. Contemporary art and art history will be discussed. Instructions for taking appropriate photos of artwork for a portfolio will be covered.

Students will need to purchase their own supplies.

3D Model Making (ages 10-13)

Discover how to navigate and create in a 3D digital world! Build your own dream house! 3D Model Making is an introduction to imagining through digital modeling programs, such as Tinkercad, SketchUp, and Blender. Students will learn how to model cars, airplanes, animals, and Lego pieces, as well as architectural and interior design. Through fostering an online community of young makers, students will explore modeling tools and features, the possibilities of making in 3D digital design, and sharing projects with others to receive feedback and support.

NEW: Private Lessons in Visual Art

Refine your drawing, painting digital art, or animation skills in one on one lessons with our talented visual arts faculty! Open to anyone at any age or level, students will work at their own pace to learn techniques in visual and digital art. To request private visual arts lessons, new students must submit a Private Lesson Inquiry Form. Our office will respond to requests via email within two business days. Please contact us with questions or to learn more about private lesson options.


Art & Design Faculty

Sophie Auger
Design Instructor
Community Arts
Brian Bulfer
Art & Design Program Director
Community Arts
Anna Palaski
Art & Design Instructor
Community Arts
Valerie Suter
Drawing and Painting instructor
Community Arts