Gage Academy of Art

Rating: 4.71 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Education

Location: St. Nicholas Building 1501 Tenth Ave East, #101 Seattle WA 98102 USA

Mission: Guided by the belief that artists are made, not born, Gage strives to educate, enrich and engage artists and the community in the visual arts. Gage offers instruction in the principles of drawing, painting and sculpting and is dedicated to helping students of all ages and skill levels realize themselves as artists in contemporary society Gage Youth Programs offer practical art instruction in drawing, painting and 3-D design for 6 to 18 year old artists. Our curriculum encourages students to explore new materials and techniques, develop creative problem solving skills and celebrate self-expression. We are dedicated to providing professional teaching artists to present engaging, age-appropriate classes that empower young artists to "be seen and heard."
Results: In spite of the difficult economy, Gage has shown strong enrollment patterns this year with an increase of 12% in its adult classes.
Target demographics: Annually, Gage serves over 10,000 members of our community through educational and community programs in the visual arts. Our Youth Prorgrams engage young artists ages 6 to 18 and our open enrollment Adult Programs draw artists of all skill levels from beginners to professionals. Gage year-long ateliers provide professional training in drawing and painting to a core group of 40 artists who work in on-site studios under the mentorship of master teaching artists.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Each year, Gage awards $160,000 in tuition relief to over 300 deserving students.
Geographic areas served: Gage serves artists across the NW region
Programs: ADULT PROGRAMS - classes, workshops, ateliers, evening lecture series, national & international art tours. YOUTH PROGRAMS - after-school & Saturday classes, family programs & art tours, summer workshops, pre-college Teen Intensive, plus free, drop-in Teen Art Studios, running 50 Friday nights a year. COMMUNITY PROGRAMS - exhibitions, evening lectures, art competitions, public art events.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I go by the rule of three - once or twice might be a mistake but if I'm insulted three times by the staff, I don't come back. This was the third disappointing instance at Gage. Don't bother with them unless you enjoy paying to be insulted. Try giving your money to Pratt or any number of other fine Seattle institutions.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unlikely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is a great place for artists of any caliber. Classes might be pricey if you are used to a community college or other venue,but the instructors have a solid background in the arts and know the things that they are teaching you.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I brought in a painting and came out a winner.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

donate more, since my budget is low right now, I need to stick to the stapples unfortunately.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I studied at Gage for four years working through the Drawing Certificate Program. I found the classes and teaching of the highest level. I gained a strong foundation in the principles of art, in drawing and sculpture. The school also offers excellent workshops taught by emerging and established artists from around the country. One can tailor his own program to fit his needs from refresher classes to preparatory program for a profession in art. The open studio figure sessions, free talks and lectures are an added benefit along with the friendships one can establish with other artists. Gary Faigin and Pamela Belyea have done a wonderful job in guiding this school into becoming an important part of realist art movement in the Northwest. I highly recommend Gage to anyone wanting to study art.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my four years if art studies preparing me for a full time atelier program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to develop a sculpture program, along with a life drawing atelier.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am pleased to write a review of the Gage Academy of Art. The school began operation year-round in Seattle in 1995 and has grown rapidly to become one of the premier visual arts institutions in King County with more than 1,400 students who flock to Gage from around the country. The core of its programming is traditional observational training with emphasis on the foundation skills of figure drawing, painting and sculpture. I think one of the aspects of Gage that distinguishes it from other art schools is its commitment to youth. In the year 2000, it established the InternCity Project, a year-long program of intensive art classes for homeless youth and established youth programs providing in-school specialists and free after school visual arts classes at five elementary schools in the Seattle School District. Besides after-school and weekend youth classes, the school now offers a popular, free Friday night program, Teen Art Studios, for teens to socialize and explore their own creativity. Two major annual events epitomize Gage’ commitment to serve the local public and artist communities. The “Drawing Jam” held every December now attracts a thousand artists of all levels of skill to spend a 12-hour day with free art supplies, free café refreshments plus non-stop music and models. In June of every year, Gage hosts its “Best of Gage” annual student show and open house at which every Gage adult student is invited to show their artwork in a one-month exhibition juried by a local arts professional. Gage has become more than an arts school. Its founders, Gary Faigin and Pamela Belyea, have created a community center focused on visual art that serves artists from age 6 (youngest) to 86 (oldest) and a vibrant hub of activity on Capitol Hill in Seattle. My organization, 4Culture, is proud to support Gage Academy financially to help it continue its work in the service of the citizens of Seattle and King County. Jim Kelly, 4Culture Executive Director

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The quality of its arts instruction and accessbility of its classes to artists of all skill levels.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Knowledgeable, engaging, non-judgemental, encouraging and supportive.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Become the premier visual arts teaching academy in the world.

Ways to make it better...

It needs to secure an adequate long-term home.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding, funding and funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Gage is an arts school that functions like a communiuty center.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

We are a retired couple who now have time to pursue our longstanding interest in art as students in drawing and painting. We have taken quarter-long classes, weekend and summer workshops and a variety of the evening lecture series at Gage. In each case the instruction has been excellent and has helped us improve in all aspects of our art. We also regularly attend the free monthly lectures. Some of these lectures introduced us to the work of established artists in this area. Other lectures we enjoyed were given by museum curators and gallery owners. The lectures have made us much more aware of what is happening in the local art scene. Other lecures have given practical advice to the emerging artist. These lectures helped one of us prepare for a show at a local gallery through guidance on pricing decisions and writing an artist statement. We both have taken advantage of the opportunity to show our work in the student art shows. One of us was chosen to have a one-man show in one of Gage's galleries and also won a prize in the annual student art show.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

always professional, helpful and welcoming. The two founders have created one of the finest art academies in the country. Seattle is very lucky.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

pursue long-term planning to establish the Academy as a permanent Seattle institution. This would include finding adequate classroom and studio space that is accessible to all.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was Chair of the Board of Gage for 6 years and helped shepherd the organization through its move from the University Heights building to its present location at St. Mark's and its name change from Seattle Academy of Art to Gage Academy. Both of these monumental undertakings were solved with efficiency and grace. I have never worked with more committed founders whom I respect individually for their dedication to the art and community. From the Board to the Staff to the Students to the Donors, Gage Academy fosters an atmosphere of shared creative learning. I would urge anyone reading these reviews to become involved: take a class, visit an on site gallery, donate or join the board. Your life will be enriched.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

growing its youth program. They have now opened Teen Art Studios South in the Rainier Valley.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase its visibility in the community and add board members.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the devotion to art and my relationships with the everyone I've met through the organization

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Become the west coast hub for art training and education.

Ways to make it better...

I'd had more time to work with the organization

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

space constraints because its outgrowing its capacity and attracting good board members.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Gage Academy of Art, led by founders Pamela Belyea and Gary Faigin, fills a unique and important niche among the Seattle’s university and college arts teaching institutions. Gage offers year-round affordable yet expert instruction for young and adult students on the fundamentals of artistic painting and drawing. Dedicated to helping artists of all ages and all levels of proficiency, Gage serves as an independent art school in the tradition of the Ecole Nationale des beaux-arts in Paris and the Art Students League in New York, offering the technical foundation of an artist’s training. Focusing on the humanist tradition, the Academy offers the broadest range of figurative studies on the West Coast. Over the past five years, Belyea and Faigin have doubled the school’s budget and increased enrollment by 25%. Without Gage, over 1,000 adult students, 700 youth students, and over 10,000 members of the public would need to go elsewhere each year for artistic training or to participate in the various exhibitions, lecture series and public events Gage provides as the foundation to drawing, painting, sculpting, and their appreciation.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, experienced, and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

enlighten thousands through arts education.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I have been a professional painter and until recently, teacher of art for over 40 years. My association with Gage began in 1993 when I was invited to teach at their Santa Fe Painting Workshops. Since then, I have taught figure and still life painting workshops for the school in '94,and '98 and am currently on their board of advisers. By 1993, when I initially worked for Gage, I had taught in dozens of workshops, but had never seen one run with greater professionalism which engendered in the students a dynamic spitit of investigation into all the components which coalesce into the creation of a work of art. I noticed that in the subsequent workshops I taught for them, this investigative spirit had matured and grown, so that I can confidently say that Gage is now the premier art academy on the West Coast. The Academy fulfills a number of functions locally in Seattle, in the West Coast art community and, I may add, to the country as a whole. Their students are nurtured in an ever more demanding and varied sequence of classes, ultimately creating a body of accomplished work over a period of years. The classes are taught by a strong corps of local artists (some recruited by the Academy from around the USA), augmented by a very impressive guest instructor roster of nationally known painters and sculptors. Some of my workshop students traveled from Canada, Japan and across the coutry to study with me. On the most rigorous level, the Academy offers an extremely disciplined Classical Atelier for very serious students, headed by a nationally known painter who already has published two art instructional books in drawing and painting. The Gage Academy is worthy of your most generous funding.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the serious and professional atttudes of the students and staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, kind, considerate and thorough in every way.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build a building with north facing skylights in every room.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am a current teaching artist and lecturer at Gage Academy of Art. My experience at Gage over the past three years has been thoroughly positive. The passion and engagement in arts education that I have witnessed from my colleagues is refreshing, challenging, and inspiring. An important element of Gage is that it provides a supportive environment for instructors that are also working artist- providing opportunities to show and discuss our works/research with the student body and the larger public. This creates a meaningful dialog and curiosity for learning between students and instructors. Gage is an asset to the Seattle arts community.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the enthusiasm of the student body.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate and committed to providing the public with a meaningful and challenging experience.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Gage Academy of Art is an exceptional arts institution for any city - that it exists in Seattle is our great fortune. The school deserves to be recognized for its role in creating a world-class art school that serves any person with the desire to learn art. My experience with Gage began in 2002 with my first painting class. I never looked back, and continued to take one or two classes plus workshops every quarter. Because the school has been such an important part of my life and my personal growth as an artist, I welcomed the chance to give back, and became a trustee. Here are a few reasons why: students are welcomed from every walk of life, every age group, and every socio-economic demographic. Students have the independence to choose the path that serves them best - from individual classes and workshops, to Gage's foundation program, to the ateliers. Regardless of the chosen path, students are treated with the same respect and encouragement by the outstanding local, regional, and national instructors. The education goes beyond the classroom, and includes drop-in studios; free exhibitions of student, instructor and guest artist works; lectures by notable speakers (including several free lectures each quarter); teen art studios every Friday night provided at no cost to the drop-in students; and the much anticipated and well attended annual Drawing Jams. Gage opens it's doors to students and to the general community. It is a unique institution which is gaining well-deserved national exposure.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people. The directors, the board, the teaching artists, the staff, and fellow students. All come with the same passion for art and for making Gage the success it is.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, dedicated, hard-working, and approachable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Become an even greater destination for students and instructors to fulfill their artistic aspirations and goals.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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