Hands-on Art brings students to WSW’s professional printmaking, papermaking, and book arts studios to work as artists with artists. Women’s Studio Workshop devotes 12 weeks each year to providing in-depth, day-long experiences for students from 4th grade through high school. WSW and Kingston City School District (KCSD) have collaborated on Hands-on Art since 1985. Over 6,300 students and their classroom and art teachers have participated in the program.

Hands-on Art was recently ranked the best visual arts education program across all of NY State by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Our Art-in-Education program offers students the opportunity to work alongside practicing professional artists learning some of what it means to be an artist in today’s world.

Each fall, advanced students from Kingston High School (KHS) come to WSW to work on projects to enhance their college application portfolios. Other courses, such as Chemistry and Art—which is based on WSW’s ArtFarm and hand papermaking program—have been developed with the KHS faculty to enrich the learning in both fields. In the spring, WSW works with full grades of elementary and middle school students on projects to complement their classroom studies.

During full-day sessions, the students break into small groups and spend one day in each studio: Etching, Silkscreen, and Papermaking. Many of the classes are taught by artists-in-residence, who are developing projects of their own at WSW. The students can observe the progress of their teacher’s work over the course of the program. KCSD classroom and art teachers making work alongside their students. Art created by the students during the program is exhibited in a local gallery space.

Itzel Hernandez, an eighth grade student in KCSD, says, “I learned how to put images inside paper. I learned you have to be patient and feel comfortable with the tools you’re working with. I learned that you can make a random shape look like you want it to by adding details and with the help of your imagination.”

Fourth Grade student dipping a mold and deckle to gather pulp for a sheet of paper
Fourth Grade, Intaglio
Fourth Grade, Silkscreen
Fourth Grade, Papermaking
Fourth Grade, Installation of Intaglio layered with Monotypes
Eight Grade, Silkscreen
Eighth Grade, Silkscreen
Eighth Grade student pulling a silkscreen print
Eight Grade, Silkscreen
Eighth Grade, Linoleum Relief Accordion Book
Kingston High School, Etching
Kingston High School, Etching
Kingston High School, Silkscreen
Kingston High School, Intaglio
Kingston High School students working in the intaglio studio