There was a queue last week outside Bradford Art School. It was the first “normal” open house the art school had held in several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The school was buzzing with energy as families discovered the art the children had spent weeks working on. Bright, vibrant paintings covered nearly every open space on nearly a dozen tables in the St. John building.
“Tonight is all about the kids, especially after the pandemic, we decided it was time to come back strong,” said owner Lindsay Mucci-Provenzano.
The strong turnout at the open house is a testament to the hard work of children who, according to Mucci-Provenzano, need happy events like this to feel normal again.
“It’s pretty overwhelming,” she said. “When you see the smiles on their faces, it’s quite impressive. It’s all about them tonight.
“Everyone is there for these guys and my staff have been so amazing. As much as everyone has gone through a change over the last few years, the kids have been impacted in such a dramatic way. That’s where I got the hang of it. said, we have to do something. It’s not about awards or being the best, it’s about showing what these kids have done and are capable of so that we can truly honor them tonight.
With students ranging from four years old to adult, Mucci-Provenzano and staff teach a wide range of ages and abilities.
“We made sure our selection of programs had a bit of everything,” she said. “The five pieces we work on are pen and ink, pencil, oil pastel, watercolor and acrylic paint.”
A term at Bradford Art School consists of several weeks, during which students work on a new piece focusing on a different art form.
“Each piece takes about two to three classes to work on,” Mucci-Provenzano explained. “Students come here once a week for about an hour and a half and they are instructed and guided. Everything is done by hand, nothing is traced and our teachers don’t help with the piece itself. The only help we give is positive artistic feedback and breaking down the steps and color theory with them. We really try to take them into the beauty of the art and help them figure out what to do.
Opened in 2013, the school focuses on teaching children the fine arts and offers weekly classes, summer programs, spring break programs, painting nights and workshops in schools.
“The inspiration was to teach art, to love art, and to just be passionate about it,” Mucci-Provenzano said. “I taught at the school board, then decided it was time to move on to the next chapter.”