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Review for Gage Academy of Art, Seattle, WA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Gage Academy of Art deserves community recognition and support because of its large and unique contribution to the arts in Seattle and the positive difference it makes in the lives of its students, as it has for 20 years. Gage takes all comers from age 6 to age 86, those who haven’t stopped drawing since pre-school and those who are only starting, prepared to nurture them to their full potential. Gage is not just Seattle’s premier school of realist art; it is also one of our nation’s best art schools. Gage is founded on the belief that artistic skill is learned, not innate, and they prove it daily with the quality of their instruction and the achievements of their students. Gage has greatly helped in the transformation of my artistic capability. In grammar school, I consistently got D’s in Art class. That experience left me with a belief I lacked any artistic capacity and I also lost any interest in art. Seventeen years ago I astonished both myself and others by deciding that I wanted to learn how to paint landscapes. I have been studying at Gage periodically ever since, because it offers a wide range of programs for different interests and skill levels all taught with exceptional competence. I have taken a dozen workshops out of state and I can testify that the learning experience at Gage is as good, or better, as that offered elsewhere. Gage has transformed many lives. In one of my first classes at Gage, I met a student who is now a professional artist in his own right as well as an instructor at Gage. In addition, Gage takes youths from the street, and people from all walks of life and stages in life, and makes them not just better artists but also more alive and active people. That is special. The free Friday night class for teens gives them a window on a new life. I watched it for a number of weeks, and found that it is led by extremely dedicated and skilled teachers! ThatFriday night class is one example among many of how Gage changes lives and creates a better Seattle. As well as spawning a rich artistic legacy in Seattle and beyond, Gage is building an artistic community. It starts with students who know, or soon learn, that Art is about development of the mind and the personal vision and discipline to be successful not just in creation of a work of art, but also to be successful in life. These artistic and life skills are taught continually at Gage and the result is that the Gage community of students, instructors and alumni exudes an ethos of eagerness to help one another succeed, to set high personal goals and to achieve them. This is the kind of institution Seattle needs to build great citizens and it is precisely the kind of institution that deserves civic note and financial assistance.

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

transforming my artistic skill from nil to reasonably accomplished and in watching it do the same for others.

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

have to help them deal with the financial implications of growth, the need to plan for expanded facilities and to obtain the financial support required to make a move or to have multiple locations.

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

dedication of teachers and students, depth and breadth of education offered.

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

exceptionally well organized, invariably constructive, all working well together to create a positive and productive learning environment.

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

upgrade its facilities which it has outgrown, extend its outreach, and increase the diversity of students taught by being able to offer more financial assistance.

Ways to make it better...

I had not cherry picked the courses of interest to me and had committed myself to taking their core curriculum. I had to go back and get the core education I had skipped over and lost time as a result.

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

the impact of the recession on students ability to afford tuition and art supplies and on donor's ability to make contributions.

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

Gage is a remarkable success story. The organization is truly exceptional as is Gage's mission. Both are definitely worth financial support.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Client Served & I have taken many classes, workshops, and am a donor.