Since the founding of the Byrdcliffe Colony in 1902, Woodstock has been synonymous with the arts, and for many years a cornerstone of its thriving arts community has been the Woodstock School of Art (WSA). Located on Rt. 212 a couple miles outside the village in a charming campus of bluestone buildings — they were constructed in 1939 as a youth school for arts and crafts under FDR’s New Deal; the WSA later served as the summer school for the Art Students League — the school was founded in 1968 by a group of League instructors and was formally instituted at the complex of buildings in 1986. Initially open only in the summer — instructors who brought in heaters during the colder season had to pay for their own heat — the school has evolved into a year-round institution and has steadily updated its facilities, which are fully heated and flooded with natural light. The WSA’s roster of 47 instructors, offering everything from monotype printing to portrait painting, have attracted a loyal following; many of the students are accomplished artists themselves. The school’s breadth of talent (some of its artist instructors have shown nationally or are otherwise known outside the region) representing a diversity of techniques, mediums, styles and genres is sumptuously showcased at the Woodstock School of Art instructors’ second annual exhibition and sale at The Lockwood Gallery, located on Route 28 a couple of miles outside Kingston.
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