"Here and There" Paintings from Maine and New York

  • April 02, 2024


April 1, 2024

Maine Artist Exhibits at New York Studio School April 11th – April 21st, 2024
8 West 8th Street, New York, NY 10011

Catherine Bickford Certificate Completion Exhibition

Here and There, Paintings from Maine and New York

Opening Reception Thursday, April 11th, 2024, 6-8pm

The New York Studio School is pleased to announce that Maine artist Catherine Bickford will be exhibiting her recent work, “Here and There, Paintings from Maine and New York,” in the Main Gallery from April 11 to April 21, 2024. Bickford will be graduating this May, having completed the School’s three-year, full-time Certificate program. She conducted her first two years from her studio in Maine through the School’s virtual learning option, and she is currently completing her final year of the NYSS Certificate in New York City.

Bickford is the executive director of Artascope in Yarmouth, Maine, which she founded in 2000. In 2021, she joined the inaugural cohort of NYSS’ Virtual Certificate—a program designed to enable artists from around the world to participate in the School’s unique pedagogy. Participating artists study with full-time NYSS faculty members in real-time via Zoom, receiving in-depth guidance and feedback along with drawing, painting, and sculpture courses, lectures, critiques, and a special weekly seminar. Artists in the program are invited to attend the School’s legendary two-week Marathons in-person whenever it suits their schedule during their six semesters of study. The program is ideal for artists like Catherine who have a strong studio practice that they are looking to take to the next level within the structure of a rigorous practice and vibrant community. According to Bickford, her experience at NYSS has been transformative:

The quality of education at NYSS is a level above what I have encountered in other art programs. In my first class, ‘Why Paint the Figure’ with Elisa Jensen, I learned how to work both observationally by drawing from live models and synthetically by including references to art of past cultures and eras. Each day we examined an enormous trove of art historical resources. Even though the class was offered remotely I felt as if I had entered a real classroom. We use Padlet to share our class work, which gives us access to a detailed view of the work of our peers. It is like having a “wiki-art” program loaded with all the references of our instructors and the studio work of our fellow classmates. I often return to the Padlet to see how my peers are handling the

assignments, which is very informative and illustrates different solutions. I have truly bonded with the colleagues I met in the online classroom, and I remain in contact with them today.

New York Studio School was founded in 1964 as a center for drawing, painting, and sculpture, emphasizing sustained studio engagement; artists learning from artists; and drawing from perception as a foundational practice. The School continues to hold to those principles today. Students begin each semester with an intensive two-week Drawing, Painting, or Sculpture Marathon, offered both in-person and virtually. The rigor of these Marathons, where each eight-hour day culminates in a group critique, sets the pace and generates momentum for the remaining weeks of the academic semester. During the third year of the program, on-site students are allocated a private or semi-private studio. The Program culminates in a Completion Exhibition at the School, showcasing the work of the graduates.

The School is located in a National Historic Landmark building in Greenwich Village that once served as the original Whitney Museum of American Art. The skylit studios where students work today have been the site of art-making and conversation around the creative process for more than 100 years. Artists such as Edward Hopper, whose earliest exhibitions took place here and whose works formed part of the founding collection of the Museum; Daniel Chester French, who had a studio alongside Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney on MacDougal Alley (now part of the building); and Philip Guston, an early NYSS faculty member, along with many others are associated with this site. When Bickford took her first in-person class at West 8th street, she explained, “ I felt an immediate affinity for the building, as most people do. There is a presence, a knowing, of all the artists who have climbed these stairs with their paints and canvas, striving and committed, carrying not only their art materials but also their own unique story of beauty and anguish. It is a connection to the lineage of painters through the ages, a fellowship of like-minded souls, connected through the painstaking yet joyful pursuit of art.”

In 2023, Bickford was awarded an Artist Springboard Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, which resulted in a solo exhibit in April 2023 entitled “Field of Study” at Merrill Memorial Library Gallery in Yarmouth, Maine. Three of these paintings were also shown at the Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset in July 2023. The School is incredibly proud of the dedication and achievements of Bickford and her fellow graduates. Their commitment to art-making and growth has been exceptional, in New York City and from their respective studios around the world. We welcome visitors to view their work in person this spring as we look forward to their future projects and pursuits.

The New York Studio School Gallery is open daily, free of charge, from 10am to 6pm. The School is located at 8 West 8th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

For further information:

Erin Hinz
Communications and Outreach Manager New York Studio School ehinz@nyss.org
(212) 673-6466


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Catherine Bickford

48 Railroad Square
Yarmouth  ME  04096