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US outdoor artist to share knowledge at workshops

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There's no taking short cuts with American artist Jana Matusz. All of her work is done en plein air ­­— outdoors. She never works from a photograph, and she likes to do everything in one sitting and rarely goes back for touch-ups.

Miss Matusz, who is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is in Bermuda to teach a series of workshops for the St George's-based art group The Arts Project, led by artist Emma Ingham.

This is not Miss Matusz' first visit to Bermuda. She is a former Masterworks Artist in Residence.

“I had come to Bermuda previously, because I knew I wanted to see the light of Bermuda,” said Miss Matusz.

It has been three years since she took part in the Masterworks programme that hosts international artists, and she continues to visit Bermuda to lead workshops, build on her own work and share her ideas with the community.

She said it was essential for local artists to interact with international artists to build their skills, educate themselves and gain new perspectives.

“That exchange of ideas is important,” said Miss Matusz.

She will teach a two-day en plein air workshop today and tomorrow in the town of St George.

The artist and teacher is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She always loved drawing, and started taking Saturday art classes at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh as a child. These are the same art classes that famed pop artist Andy Warhol once took.

Later, she studied studio art at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Maybe it wasn't considered ‘the thing' to major in at Harvard, but it was what I wanted to do,” she said.

After university she worked a bit in advertising and graphic design, but always knew she wanted to be an artist and a painter. She travelled in Europe and studied at Oxford University at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts in Oxford, England.

Later, she went to Poland to study art for three years.

“I chose Poland because my grandparents were Polish,” Miss Matusz said. “I didn't speak much Polish prior to my trip, but I had to learn the language at the age of 30, which was challenging.”

She also received a Master's degree in Fine Arts in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art.

She said: “I'm fortunate to have had a very intensive and interesting, formal education in the studio arts.”

Her en plein air workshops, today and tomorrow, will be from 10am to 4pm and will cost $310. Light lunch and refreshments will be included in the price. The workshop can be booked for a single day at $210.

She will lead a new artist's workshop for people over 60 years of age on Wednesday (June 11) from 10am until 4pm, for $70. Participants must bring their own lunch.

There will be a figure drawing workshop on June 15 from 2.30pm until 6pm for all ages for $140, refreshments included. All workshops will be held at St Peter's Hall, York Street, St George's (at the bottom of the steps to St Peter's Church on the right).

For details about the workshops please contact 331-1946 or Miss Matusz at janamatusz@aol.com.

Artists: Emma Ingham and Jana Matusz
Artists: Jana Matusz and Emma Ingham
Visiting: Pittsburgh artist Jana Matusz
Visiting: Pittsburgh artist Jana Matusz

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Published June 07, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated June 06, 2014 at 8:18 pm)

US outdoor artist to share knowledge at workshops

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