Kate Manville-Schwartz and her husband, Matt Schwartz, have been around the world, and Kate is now bringing her experience, and love of art, home.
Manville-Schwartz was formally trained in art and art education at Spring Arbor University. Besides traveling the world (she and her husband, both Brooklyn natives, have lived in China and Kuwait) Kate has taught at the Jackson School for the Arts, Creative Arts in Tecumseh, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, but she has always had a desire to come home.
“It was like there was a little bug in my ear telling me I needed to put down roots here in Brooklyn,” she said, “and I am glad I did. This area is unique, both in its beauty of the Irish Hills, but also in the demographic. My enrollment has been 50 percent adults, which is very unusual for this industry. But this area has a lot of people that are retired and prioritize the arts and cultivating their own personal hobbies,” she said. Besides that, there was a very real niche for what she offers. “This area has been a little bit starved for [for an art school]. There is a need for it.”
Prospective students can learn to express themselves in many ways at Kate’s Art School. She will be teaching drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, painting sculpture and ceramics, and she noted that some trendy crafts and arts will end up making their way in. “I am open to learning new skills,” said the 32 years old.
Perhaps most importantly, Kate says she knows what the ultimate goal of her business will be.
“The product people are looking for isn’t just the art,” she said. “People are looking for an opportunity to unplug. They might be really busy and be looking for something that is totally for them, where they can turn off their phone and be here and be creative.
“I understand that some people are here to be social.
“I understand that some people have gone through something traumatic or life-altering, and they need a safe place where they can work through those feelings and emotions, and this place can be that,” she said. In the first month of owning the business, she has already had an executive looking to unplug, people who come for the wine and to socialize, as well as those simply looking to express themselves through art. “Then there is another lady who recently went through a very traumatic experience and is looking to redefine herself,” she said. “This space isn’t for me, it is for my students to create their own personal styles.”
When asked about her teaching style, Kate said that her personal philosophy of education is to teach tools and techniques and all the choices that are available to the artists. “That way they make can have their own prerogative, they can make their own choices within the medium.
“I provide a lot of choices,” she said, adding that her ultimate goal is to foster creativity.
For the younger set, youth classes run for the school year and are based on the child’s ages.
Teaching young people art is obviously a passion for Kate, as her education attests. “I was student teaching when the housing market crashed. I watched a department with three teachers get cut down to one. That was when we moved to China and then Kuwait,” she said.
She said that the focus on STEM classes needs to shift a little back to art, or what she dubs STEAM.
“We obviously need math and science, but, truthfully, art does incorporate many of the same things.
“It seems like a no-brainer that we need art.”
Now, residents, young or old, can have it. To learn more about classes being offered at Kate’s Art School, visit her website at katesartschool.com or Facebook page at Kate’s Art School.
Some classes available
1-4 Year Old Art Drop-In (Fridays)
12 Years Old – Adult Art (Mondays)
5-7 Year Old Art (Mondays)
8-11 Year Old Art (Wednesdays)
Adult Drawing Workshop
Adult Only Ceramics (Tuesdays)
Adult Only Collage to Canvas (Mondays)
Adult Only Collage to Canvas (Tuesdays)
Adult Only Drawing and Mixed Media (Friday Evenings)
Adult Only Drawing and Mixed Media (Thursday Mornings)
Adult Only Drawing and Mixed Media (Wednesday Afternoons)
Multi-Age Homeschool Art (Ages 3-12)
Collage to Painting
To learn more about times and classes, visit Katesartschool.com or Facebook: Kate’s Art School or call 517-581-9526.