Art Revamped at Hoosac School

Hoosac School Adds Spencer Sussman, Director of Art

Coming from a family of five generations of artists Spencer Sussman has grown up surrounded by and exposed to the different mediums, fields, scales, culture and history offered in the art world. In 2004 Spencer moved from Hoosick Falls, New York to study Fine Art in Brooklyn, New York, and Florence Italy with Pratt Institute where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art.

In 2009 Spencer furthered his education at Pratt Institute in Fine Art Appraisal with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) while working for some of the most prestigious fine art dealers, auction houses, and galleries in New York City. Spencer passed the Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice (USAP) exams in 2008 as set by Congress and is currently a candidate member with ASA. This authorizes him to create legal documents pertaining to the value of art.

In 2011 Spencer was hired by Pratt Institute to work in Education for Admissions. He was responsible for grading portfolio applications to determine acceptance and merit scholarships. This role included in-person portfolio reviews to which Spencer helped guide the applicant in a clear direction of what needed improvement and how to achieve their goals.

While working in admissions Spencer traveled to dozens of schools worldwide and met with hundreds of students with various, backgrounds, skills, and cultures. Teaching portfolio development courses and reviewing student work has given many young artists the opportunity to express their concepts and ideas and get real feedback and guidance from an experienced artist.

Recently Spencer has been working as a Studio Artist on several personal and commissioned projects. These projects include paintings, drawings, mold making/casting, monuments, facades, murals, and interior design and fabrication. Spencer is an experienced artist with an understanding of the many different ways in which art impacts our lives everyday. This knowledge allows him to share his perception with the creative minds of students to learn the history of art and inspire them to express themselves through their work.

Emily Sussman Joins Hoosac's Faculty

At a young age in Amsterdam, New York, Emily's natural talent in observational drawing was recognized as top of her class. She continued to push the limits of her abilities throughout her high school years and developed a portfolio with a wide range of artworks that showcased her capabilities.

In 2004 Emily was enrolled at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where she studied Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Jewelry, and Sculpture. Emily graduated with excellence in 2008 and continued her residency in Brooklyn. With a Bachelors degree in Fine Art, Emily worked as an artist assistant in a sculpture studio, a high level decorative painting company, and commissioned studio artists before landing the role, in 2012, as an apprentice Luthier ("guitar builder") at Fodera Guitars.

Fodera Guitars is known as one of the very finest builders of hand-made, professional-level electric stringed instruments. In fairly short order of her role as a builder, Emily began training others in a very thoughtful, structured and organized way. Emily evolved her skills throughout the years becoming one of the top Luthiers and Inlay Artists at the Company. As Production Manager Emily was responsible for managing all day-to-day aspects of producing the instruments at the highest level, designing new models, and developing the growth and direction of the production staff.

Working alongside many talented artists, Emily has developed the highest level of professionalism and an understanding of the many different ways in which Art can be experienced. Art comes in many different mediums, scales, forms and can be observed with all senses. For example, each handmade guitar is a unique work of art that is plugged in and played by a musician to record a new art-form. Emily's natural abilities and her professional history enables her to demonstrate the potential in Art and Design and to encourage young artists to try new things and express their creativity.

Emily has developed a unique perspective on how art forms surround our everyday lives. She enjoys developing the creative minds of the student at Hoosac and teaching that opportunities arise when you set goals, step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Emily is excited to share her experiences and the joy and inspiration that the art world has provided her.

An Overview of the Visual Arts Department

At Hoosac School we break down visual art disciplines into three separate courses, 2-D, which covers drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media; 3-D which covers sculpture, model making, mold making, casting, and ceramics; and 4-D, which covers digital media, photography, film and design.

All three areas of study are based on foundation courses received in higher education to expose young growing minds to the various techniques used in creating visual art. Students gain familiarity with the creative process through perception and investigation of the world around them. Our students learn from direct observation which is explored in all mediums.

Art is for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills. At Hoosac, we believe that the study of art plays a crucial role in education and self growth. Students are encouraged to have fun exploring new ideas, and developing their creative minds through visual art and critical thinking.

2D - Hoosac School's two dimensional classes explore many different skills and techniques used to visualize and communicate ideas onto a flat surface. Our students learn that drawing is a core tool used to develop one's thoughts. We learn to understand the forms and structures in the world we live in through the use of composition, perspective, proportion and color. Our students work from life, imagination, and a combination of both to achieve an understanding of different media and how to investigate one's ideas.

3D - In our three dimensional classes our students develop an understanding of volume, structure, form, scale, and process. Students learn basic techniques in modeling clay, relief carving, mold making, and model making. This course is designed to explore materials and technical processes in sculpture.

4D - Our four dimension class introduces students to digital media including digital photography, video, and design. Students learn basic editing of video, and photography. In class we combine the use of many other disciplines with technology and how it can be used as a tool to help capture, alter, refine, abstract, and grow one's ideas.