Inspiring young artists through popular music

For the last several weeks I’ve been teaching an after school aspiring artists class for sophomores and juniors in high school. Several of the students expect defined structure with each lesson, not necessarily my style for this type of class that focuses on the process of making art. Earlier in the month I gave an assignment to bring reference materials of, “what inspires you as an artist”. Many of them panicked! They had so many questions running through their heads. “Does it have to be a particular book? How many references do I need?” “Can it be something new or does it have to be old?” I thought this would be a simple take home project to prepare them for the following project, giving them free reign to begin their own work in progress, but it turned out to be a lot more complicated than I anticipated.

When I was young, so many things inspired me as a budding painter, from comic books, to fashion, and especially music. This afternoon for class I’m going to use this song, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, by Jody Watley, to get the kids to think. I have two friends coming in to model, a man and woman, and after listening to the song and reading the lyrics, the students will pose our models outside at a nearby park and begin to sketch the scene they’ve created. Their sketches will be later translated into a fully realized painting on canvas the following week. Following that, the students will use a song, article, or book of their own choosing that will become their final work of art for the term. Hopefully this will get them to not only look at things through an artist’s eyes, but also listen with an artist’s ear, and mentally process as an artist does.

Summer Schedule for SWart Studio!

Teen & adult bisqueware ready to be fired in the kiln!

Steven’s summer schedule of classes has finally been released and registration info can be found in catalogs for the Brookline Arts Center and Brookline Adult & Community Education, or online. Steven’s already begun planning and collaborating for some exciting classes and workshops and is excited to gear up for the upcoming season!


Pottery & Wheel Throwing for Beginners, Adults / Mondays, June 8 – July 28, 7 – 9:30pm

This class is designed for beginning students who are interested in a survey of ceramic techniques. You will learn a variety of hand-building methods, while also being introduced to the pottery wheel. Our guided projects will range from functional objects to whimsical sculpture. You’ll learn about applying dozens of decorative accents, and be given the freedom to explore your own self-expression.

Summer Studios, Ages 13-17 / June 23 – July 3 / July 14 – 18, 9am – 2pm

Learn what it is to be a working artist in a studio environment with a clothed model and drawing/painting mediums. Use what is studied and discussed with an experienced artist, combined with your imagination to create your own unique masterpiece by the end of the week. Sketchbook required. Spend the other week working on your skills in the ceramic studio. Class will cover wedging, centering, pulling, trimming, glazing and basic studio etiquette. Dress for mess! Be prepared for lots of laughs with a summer theme for most projects in a relaxed and jovial environment! (No class 7/4)

Ceramics For the Beach, Adults / Tuesdays, June 23 – August 18, 6-9pm

Learn wheel and handbuilding techniques to create works inspired by the beach! Projects might include creative trays for treats poolside, carafes and containers for your favorite tropical drinks, wind chimes for those summer breezes and maybe even sandcastles that won’t get washed away!

Date Night In the Ceramics Studio, Adults / Fridays, June 27 – July 5, 6-9pm

You can stay in any night of the week, but why not get creative and dirty in the clay room? Sign up with a loved one and learn to work with clay to create objects you can share, use and brag about to each other for years to come! Wheelthrowing and hand-building techniques will be demonstrated in a relaxed and fun environment. Snack and wine provided each class.

Summer ArtVentures, Ages 5-7 & 8-11 / July 7 – August 29

The popular ArtVentures program for children provides students with the opportunity to explore creative themes, try a variety of art mediums and make new friends! Classes meet from 9:00am-4:00pm with a 30-45 minute lunch break and two 15 minute snack breaks. Weather permitting,  students will eat lunch and snack outside on our playground.  Before care will be available at 8:00am and after care will be available until 5:00pm (this option is available at checkout).

Painting and Wheel Throwing Demos by Steven Derrick!

Steven Derrick, Artist At WorkThe Brookline Arts Center has asked that I give a ceramic wheel throwing demo during its Open Studios, Saturday, April 26th. I’ll also be giving a brief demo of my technique and unique approach to painting from noon to 1pm! I’m looking forward to sharing what I love to do with the local community, everyone is welcome!

End of winter and start of spring classes!

Kindergartners working on, “Planet Warm”.

I’m pleased that my classes at the Brookline Art Center have been  extended for the spring! I’m also teaching a Saturday ceramic class for ages 10-12. I can’t thank students and parents enough for the huge success winter term has been!

List of  Youth, Teen, and Adult Classes for Steven Wilber

I’m the latest addition to the Brookline Adult and Community Education Center’s February break programming! Already six students have signed up for my two morning classes, ages 5-7, but spaces are still available. To register click on the link above class descriptions.

SmartVacations, February 18-21

World Art9:00am-10:30am
Track your adventures across the globe as you learn about the arts and crafts of different continents. We’ll make a map, discuss the places we’ll visit, and make traditional arts and crafts. 
Mythical Voyages10:30am-12pm
Discover ancient worlds and civilizations through games, stories, building projects, and fun challenges.  We’ll build ships, create board games, and role play as we learn.

“Melting Wax & Smoke”

A third painting for my Heroines collection was completed just before the end of 2013. I’ll begin a fourth this week, but then stepping away from the super heroine theme, just briefly, to flex my creative muscles in a different direction for something new. I apologize for the low quality photograph. I’m looking forward to having much of my new and old work reshot in the future when I begin updating this site.

Announcing classes for the new year!


I’ve fallen behind on updates with the end of the semester and a recent vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico. But I’m pleased to announce several classes I’ll be offering in Boston for early 2014. I’m looking forward to starting off … Continue reading