I worked at Gage as an instructor of classes and workshops for 5 years and my classes were popular and there were never any complaints or a single negative incident. I began my teaching career 25 years ago at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.
During my time at Gage I witnessed so much shockingly unprofessional behavior that it would take a series of articles to do them justice so I will stick, as briefly as possible, to my own story.
I opened my own small classroom/atelier in 2014 and two popular teachers from Gage, who had been passed over for ateliers at Gage (who had opened the, then defunct, Seattle Sculpture Atelier) were plannng on collaborating with me on it. We communicated a lot about this and one of them also donated most of the equipment I needed to get started.
After being told that I was not allowed to leave promotional materials in the area for which they are designated at Gage one day, everything started to change. My would-be partners stopped communicating with me, art centers in the region which had expressed interest (based on my reputation) and even volunteers quickly and suddenly estranged themselves.
What was maliciously spread all over, by the classical atelier instructor, school manager and co founders, to other schools and important artists all over the region and even NATIONALLY, was that Gage had had to take out a restraining order against me. This devestating lie was repeated all over to destroy the tiny business I started because it competed with what they do.
No nonprofit should be deliberately and dishonestly destroying another business because it competes with theirs. Yet, this is what they do there, and worse, all the time. It is run with the self appointed privilege and entitlement of a corrupt small town nonprofit which behaves like a pyramid scheme or racketeering operation.
They don't deserve grants and donations, they deserve to be reported, repeatedly, to the IRS.
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.
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.
Since it’s inception in 1989, Gage Academy has trained students of all ages and walks of life, in the creation and appreciation of Art. Through it’s programming for children and teens, and full curriculum adult programs, Gage embraces the broadest possible public spectrum. Through grants, scholarships and work-study programs, Gage puts great effort into making education a possibility to all who are interested in self-betterment, regardless of their means. Gage draws from and supports an internationally acclaimed roster of instructors and professionals in the art field (including media and literary critics, historians, gallery owners, museum Directors and specialist in the field of artist tools and materials) and provides an environment where these educators can promote sound, broad, academic training in a well-equipped, professional environment. Gage fosters a community both within and outside of the school boundaries, with its many public events, including guest speakers, multiple concurrently running lecture series, and it’s monthly Artist’s Took Kit and Art Talk Series, both free to students and public alike. Gage also leads national and international art tours, fostering a world-encompassing, multi-cultural acceptance, and a belief that Art is both a legacy and pursuit shared by all people. As an instructor at Gage and in my tenth year of association, I have always found Gage to be nothing short of a remarkable educational resource. The board, administration, staff, and instructors have continually displayed inspired, inventive, and tireless work, coupled with a passionate and heart-felt commitment to nurture, embrace and encourage arts education and community.
I've been privileged to be part of this bastion of creativity for over 12 years. It is by no means just a teaching venue for me, but a creative community that has enriched my artistic life on every level. I would not be where I am today were it not for Gage Academy -- from the enriching relationships I have with the students to the support I have received from all the great instructors. From my perspective -- as an instructor who “gives” to the students and an artist who “takes” from the staff and other instructors -- Gage is truly committed to championing art-making in their community. A survey of all they have to offer demonstrates this, from the free public lectures and exhibits to the Children’s Academy. Call me biased, but I believe Gage is THE place to study art in the Northwest.