About Us

 Mary Wood Park House

Mary Wood Park House

 Mary Wood Park House, ca.1876

Mary Wood Park House, ca.1876

The Conshohocken Art League is located at the historic Mary Wood Park House, 120 E.5th Avenue in Conshohocken, PA 19428. First organized as a sketch club by an enthusiastic group of professional artists in October 1923, the art league was the first of its kind in Montgomery County (see History).
For almost 96 years, the Conshohocken Art League(CAL) has continuously provided fine art classes, visiting artist workshops and exhibition opportunities to the Conshohocken and area communities' adults and children.

 

Our visiting artist series has most recently been represented by established Philadelphia area artists Moe Brooker, Joe & Kathy Winter, Stanley Bielen, Jim Victor & Marie Pelton, Julie Zahn and Stuart Shils, all of whom generously used several of their original works as backdrop for projected presentations and the rare opportunity for intimate dialogue between them and CAL's local artists/community residents. We were thrilled this Fall to welcome painter and conservator Mark Bockrath as our visiting artist. Mark provided a beautifully varied mix of his original pastels and oil paintings in conjunction with his slide presentation, fielding questions from those in attendance with informative answers and techniques based in classic conservation. Our next visiting artist will be joining us in the Spring.

Continuing at the art league are two newly introduced programs  designed for --but not exclusive to-- the beginner: Basic Drawing and Clothed Figure Drawing. We added a Japanese Mixed Media Techniques printmaking class last season, proceeded to offer a White-line Woodcut class with Julie Zahn and private drawing classes with Ava Blitz. Watch for a new program of short workshops to be offered in early 2019.


Our returning students are the backbone of CAL's programs. Throughout Independent Projects and Introduction to the Fine Arts (10 week classes offered at CAL), for example, adults and juniors/teens are able to experiment and explore with new techniques and materials, while simultaneously being introduced --through prints, books, discussion-- to historically renowned artists' work. Both the instructors and students benefit from these classes, as they allow instructors to follow their students' individual inclinations; in turn, the students feel more encouraged to try new methods which they may have not previously considered. 

Last June, Conshohocken Art League's annual student exhibition coincided with the first annual Conshohocken Arts Festival & Car Show. In collaboration with Conshohocken Borough's Mayor Yaniv Aronson, the event was hosted on the grounds of the Mary Wood Park House —and was a great success. So many of our area's artists joined us as vendors and exhibitors, it was a real treat to see everyone again. Conshohocken’s 2nd Annual Arts Festival and exhibition will take place on June 1st, 2019 (raindate June 8th).

We’ve had a terrific Fall season of classes so far. Look for our new schedule of classes and workshops after the new year. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at conshohockenartleague@gmail.com

 
 
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Instructors

Ava Blitz:  BA University of Toronto, MFA University of Georgia.  Director of Art Dept. at Bryn Mawr College for 12 years.

Ava Blitz is a visual artist who currently divides her time between studio work in sculpture, works on paper, digital photography, and public art.  Blitz's public works and commissions are many, including installations in Tokyo, Japan, at the Philadelphia International Airport, and at the University City Science Center.  Ava Blitz served on an International Sculpture Symposium panel in Japan, and has lectured on public art for the American Institute of Architects, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Michener Art Museum.  She has been the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and fellowships, many of which have funded her public art projects.  These include grants from the Japan Foundation, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Leeway Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Doge Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.  Blitz has shown in the Philadelphia area at the Michener Art Museum, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Grounds for Sculpture, and the Allentown Art Museum.  From 1986 to 1998 she taught at Bryn Mawr College, where she directed the fine art department.

To contact Ava directly, please go to avablitz.net



Eileen McDonnell:  BFA, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia; Post Bacc, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Violette de Mazia Foundation at the Barnes Foundation, Merion

A painter, Eileen McDonnell prefers to work observationally. Following separate concentrated periods of drawing and painting exploration, she presently incorporates both disciplines into a current body of mixed media application. McDonnell's most recent informal lectures have featured fundamental composition and conservation; watercolor and pastel techniques. Regularly commissioned and represented in both public and private collections, she continually presents new work in juried exhibitions as well.


To contact Eileen directly, please go to eileenmcdonnell.com

 
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Julie Zahn: Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

A painter and printmaker, Julie Zahn works in a variety of media. After completing the 4-year Certificate program at PAFA, she apprenticed with an antique screen restorer in Kyoto and studied with a Japanese stencil dyeing (katazome) master. This taught her many ways to work with paper and has informed her studio practice ever since. In her studio, she produces woodblock prints, katazome pieces and mixed media work. She has a distinct and direct approach to making art, exhibits widely and enjoys teaching.

To contact Julie directly, please go to  juliezahn.net

 

We'd like to thank our sponsors and friends for their generous scholarship, donations and consistent community support:

The Florence R. Collins Family

The Corson Foundation

Conshohocken Historical Society

The Borough of Conshohocken

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Yaniv Aronson

Julian Miraglia

Todd Nurick/Nurick Law Group

Rotary International CPW Club

The Mary Wood Park House Commission

Chad Dixon

Shelly Castorino/St. Clair CPA Solutions

Plymouth Meeting Historical Society

JCF Construction

Gilmore and Associates

Conshohocken Free Library

William Jeanes Memorial Library

Wissahickon Valley Public Library

 Betty and Jeff Stanley/Pasta Via

Mary English

Jack and Brian Coll

Kevin Tierney

Daniela De Souza/'Feine Coffeeshop

Robin Gupta/Guppy's

Bill Webber/Flanagan's Boathouse

Whitemarsh Art Center

Allens Lane Art Center

Bob and Gina Philips

JJ

Rittenhouse Lumber

Bowe's Exxon/Bob Shoemaker

 

Board Members

President:  Eileen McDonnell

Secretary:  Tina Cook

Publicity:  Judy Alexy-Rayner

Treasurer & Fundraising:  Al Rayner

Fran Beaumont

Webmaster: Erin O'Kane

 

 

Because the cost of providing these services to adult and junior students is only partially covered by tuition and membership fees, we welcome the generous donations from our community. We sincerely appreciate the consideration of such a gift --in any amount-- as it will substantially enhance the funding of our programs. 



Thank you so much for your support.