East Side Art Institute will present a unique, advanced ceramics studio program in collaboration with ceramic artist and educator, Nancy Utterback. Additionally, similar studio programs in woodworking, sculpture, metal, and glass will be taught under the direction of local masters.

The curriculum provides up to eight months of advanced, personalized instruction for artists who are serious about taking the next step in their art education. This program is designed to respond to the changing needs of students and to give non-traditional students the same quality of information and critique found in a university program.

Participants will earn a “Certificate of Completion” through a combination of instruction and individual mentoring. The program will extend beyond the classroom to include artist lectures, gallery tours, and studio visits with established artists.

Certificate recipients will possess the technical skills, artistic context, and personal insight to build a strong and cohesive body of work. They will learn how to present and promote their work, whether they are seeking gallery representation, applying to graduate school, or selling work to the public. Artists will have also developed new connections with peers and established artists in the field, built professional credentials, and created a strong body of work. The program will culminate in a final exhibition at the Institute.

With education as our primary mission, East Side Art Institute has affiliated with:

  • CSU to offer college credit classes and programs. Students will have the option of taking classes for college credit, working toward a certificate or independent study.
  • Boulder Valley School District with the goal of providing classes through Life Long Learning.
  • Accredited Online Schools to offer art opportunities to home-schooled students.

Classroom design will include handicap accessibility to all workspaces, equipment, supplies, and clean-up areas.

The Institute will offer an art program for people with traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions. This underserved population needs a school and a faculty that can meet their special needs. Persons with brain injuries often cannot work in a traditional workplace due to their sensitivity to noise, lighting, or the inability to focus and work for long periods of time. This art program provides opportunities for individuals to find ways to be self-sufficent and productive during and after their recovery.

Many autistic and developmentally challenged individuals can express themselves through art whereas using language might be difficult or impossible for them. We believe in providing opportunities for all individuals to enjoy a creative life and we make accommodations that allow each person to find their own creative expression through engaging with art. Learning together and sharing ourselves with one another makes all of us better individuals. We welcome and promote community inclusion with individuals of various talents, abilities, and special needs. We believe that every person has something special to offer to the world and East Side Art Institute is committed to supporting that.

By supporting research, the Institute will help students and faculty discover and publish information about best environmental practices in the arts. Sharing knowledge about how to reduce, eliminate, and dispose of toxic materials, minimize equipment emissions, limit water use, reclaim materials, and find ways to achieve zero waste is a top priority for ESAI. Artists will learn how to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising the process or the art they create. All this will expand the educational contribution of the faculty and students in the program. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to lead the art community into a more sustainable and healthy future.

  • Offering master workshops several times a year will inspire working artists to reach their full potential while providing an opportunity for the community to see and participate in the magic and mystery of the creative process.
  • By providing much-needed exhibition space in Boulder County, we can offer an opportunity for the community at large to enrich their lives through the arts. The Art Institute will bring together faculty, students, and the community to celebrate the human experience through art. The gallery space will be located within the building where works created by students will be displayed for sale.
  • We will also have a small supply shop for students to buy art supplies needed for their classes. At the moment, a potter must drive to Arvada or Denver to buy a bag of clay or a sculpting tool. The supply shop will hopefully be utilized by local artists as well.
  • The size of the property affords the Institute the opportunity to host community events, open houses, and fundraisers. Ample parking space and areas for children to run around will make the location an attractive space for such events.
  • Once the classes are established, the Art Institute will initiate summer and holiday week-long camps for children where they will learn to make pieces of art in several art forms and have the opportunity to enjoy nature and fresh air. With time, we hope to start an organic garden where children can learn about how food grows and how to sustain a garden.
  • Fun craft times for families to share in creating art in a variety of art forms on a weekend afternoon will enable parents and children to work and learn side-by-side.
  • An artist-in-residence program will allow national and international artists to come to Boulder County to instruct and inspire local artists to reach greater heights.

The Institute honors the land originally occupied by Indigenous peoples that now serves as the ESAI campus. We strive to be good stewards of this land, renewing the respect it received from the wisdom of the Indigenous peoples who cared for it long ago.

ESAI is currently exploring sustainable land renewal activities for our 14 acre campus that all may participate in and enjoy.  Preserving the natural areas of our campus allows art students, our local community, and all who visit East Side Art Institute a quiet place for reflection and creative engagement with the outdoors.

We are especially interested in agricultural research for improving soil health and water retention with regenerative methods. We want to learn from our global community about best practices in these areas. ESAI will conduct studies to determine what plants suited to our climate sequester the most carbon, thrive on less water, and are the most environmentally friendly. We are excited to team with local farmers and gardeners to share with each other what we learn.  We believe that by conducting research into these questions, and instituting the regenerative practices we learn, what we do may also help and inspire others.

In exploring plants that are helpful to the soil, we will consider plants for food, for making less harmful and more sustainable building materials, and for use in art making. In addition to vegetables and herbs, we have been working with WishGarden Herbs and are interested in botanical plants that can be used for medicinal purposes. We want to grow plants to make dyes for yarn, paper, and paint. Plant fibers are also used in papermaking and to spin yarns. Whatever we grow on the ESAI’s 14 acres and all that we learn in our research and experimentation, we look forward to sharing with our local community and other interested parties in the region.