Posts Tagged ‘New art school in the Grove’

Norma Tolliver in front of some of her paintings at the Main Avenue Galleria. Paul Goldfinger photo

Norma Tolliver is an artist who owns and operates the Main Avenue Galleria in Ocean Grove where she provides a venue for local artists, particularly those from the Jersey shore. Norma has been in town for seven years, and during that time she has offered art instruction, especially during the winter when she is less busy.  But her dream has been to open a full time art school in conjunction with her gallery. Recently she had the opportunity to rent space designed for two small shops at 54 Olin Street, ironically, across from the Starving Artist Restaurant.  The school has already begun classes, and new ones are getting ready to start.

Ms. Tolliver’s history is that she left her job as a Wall Street executive to become a professional fine-art painter. She likes to work in pastels and she enjoys painting flowers and landscapes.

Her new space is open for business. There are easels there and work benches.  She has about 900 square feet. Her goals are ambitous, with classes being held 7 days per week and being taught by professionals.  In the beginning they will start classes for adults and  young people over age 12.  But she will begin programs for children in the summer.  Norma says, “I want to inspire children in art.” One of her innovations will be to have art exhibits featuring kids. The artists will be present to show their work, and usually these events will be fundraisers, giving the kids the experience of doing art to raise money for charity.

In addition to the usual array of courses, including classes in painting, there also will be offerings in collage, jewelry making, crochet, quilting, doll making, drawing and many other choices.  Classes will be small, and the cost will be much less than most art schools.

Norma has some wonderful ideas for art in the Grove. She is already setting up packages for day trippers who can enjoy lunch at a restaurant in town  and an art class with their friends at the Olin school.  She hopes to host showers where the guests participate in a collaborative painting that will be presented to the guest of honor.  Other events that incorporate art include birthdays, reunions or just a day out “with the girls.”

Another neat idea is a painting class that sounds like musical chairs. A group of perhaps 6 people will be working individually at easels arranged in a circle. Each one will begin a unique image taken from a photo that they bring.  After 30 minutes each painter moves to another easel and so on.  The result will be 6 paintings,  each created by 6 artists.

Until her web site is ready   (soon you will find the art school section at  Main Avenue Galleria) ,  you can get more information at 732 988 1002 or via email at info@mainavegalleria.com. You can also stop in to the Galleria on Main Avenue and talk to Norma in person.

—Paul Goldfinger

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