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The Katherine Martin Widmer School of Painting
Today 9AM–5PM
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40 Quincy St Somerville, MA 02143
40 Quincy StreetUSMassachusettsSomerville02143
(617) 628-0508
Painter, EducationToday 9AM–5PM
Saturday 9AM–5PMSunday ClosedMonday 9AM–5PMTuesday 9AM–5PMWednesday 9AM–5PMThursday 9AM–5PMFriday 9AM–5PM
The Painting School began in 1979. Fall, Winter, Spring Terms are 10 weeks. Adults: $135; teens and kids $95. Summer Term is 6 weeks. All materials are included. Beginners and experienced artists.
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"It's perfectly fine, and common, that newbies have never painted before."
"So you see you can take the class on a more spiritual level too."
"I plan to keep signing up every new term for the foreseeable future."
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Esha Rakhit's profile photo
Esha Rakhit
in the last week
I've so far attended one session at the School of Painting and am just a few weeks into my second. I had never painted before my first class with Katherine, but after 6 weeks with Katherine, I'd created a painting that I truly loved and was entirely me. Katherine herself brings out the best in her students, as painters and as people. She will find out the loveliest, most random facts about each of her students and make sure the whole class knows how much she adores them. She has stories about every person who has walked through her school in the past thirty years, and her love of the school and of every painting it produces is wholly evident. Update: I've been regularly taking classes with Katherine for almost five years now. Through Katherine's school, I've showed paintings in three Somerville Open Studios and am preparing for my fourth. If you've always wanted to paint but never tried it, if you're looking for a creative outlet, if you're not sure if you'll be any good, COME TO THE PAINTING SCHOOL. Katherine will help you make something beautiful that is uniquely yours, and you will get to meet the most compassionate, creative, and fascinating woman in Somerville.
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Joana ferreira
2 years ago
I attended 3 or 4 terms at the K.M.W school of painting around 2001ish. I discovered this hidden treasure because I was lucky enough to live only a few feet from the school, and i am so glad i did! I love art but always lacked concentration hand coordination to ever get past art in elementary school, Katherine helped me change that. She gave me the confidence i needed and helped me with issues that had nothing to do with painting through her kind advice, never ending patience, dedication to her students and stress free environment. I became a better person, i learned to appreciate classical music, my GRADES IN SCHOOL GOT BETTER, and my relationship with my mother was great. The K.M.W school of painting is not only a place where you go to learn/ perfect your ability to paint on canvas, it is also a place where you can come together to meet people of all ages and to also discover yourself! i don't know if this still happens, but in the summer terms, there where breaks in each class where she handed out mini ice cream sandwiches and we all gathered on her porch and just took a minute to chat, get to know each other better and appreciate nature and our time, HOW COOL IS THAT? After i moved and started to work, i was unable to continue attending and have longed to return ever since, and i plan on doing this in the next 6 months! I MISS YOU KATHERINE! P.S. one of my paintings came out so well that i still keep it up and NO ONE believes i did it! ;-)
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Ed Thomas
3 years ago
I spent months searching for a painting class, and I gave up for long periods a number of times. Finally, one day, I found what I was looking for; The Katherine Martin Widmer School of Painting. Obviously the price is unbeatable, not to mention all materials being included in the cost; but after experiencing this class for one and a half terms at this point, I can honestly say that I would pay twice what she charges, at least. There are many great things that can be said about this class. First, being able to paint whatever I want, and not limited to some still-life that everyone else is also painting, makes the class so much more rewarding. Then there is the environment, a cozy studio full of wonderful artistic people, all amazingly friendly and helpful. Finally, I have to talk about the teacher. Katherine is simply a wonderful, interesting, and caring woman who has been teaching students like myself for over 30 years. It is clear that she adores her students and thinks of them like family, and I think most of them feel the same way about her. The only caveat I should mention, which has been mentioned by others, is that it can be a little frustrating waiting your turn when you need help. Since everyone is doing their own thing, and everyone needs separate instruction on the techniques for their own chosen subject, Katherine is kept very busy in the class. This is perfectly understandable, and necessary for the type of class it is, and I think it just requires a little calm patience. I plan to keep signing up every new term for the foreseeable future. I look forward to the next class from the moment the last class ends. (Note: This is my review from Yelp, originally written on 2/25/2010. I remain a student at the school, and have no plans to retire from it.)
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amy ward
3 years ago
This is a terrific place. Two years ago I started searching around for a painting class and almost didn't believe what I saw when I read about the KMW School of Painting: the price is absurd. I mean that in the most positive way possible. I was floored: it is less expensive than any community Adult Ed classes, far less expensive than other private schools, and a mint apart from continuing education classes at nearby colleges. AND all materials are included, which never happens. So, there's that, but it's not just that. I took a class in January '11, and have gone every term since. The price, while shocking, is not the place's biggest selling point. The school itself is as charming as all get-out, the atmosphere is borderline groovy, Katherine Martin Widmer could survive as a fictional character, but happily she's not, and she's an incredible teacher. I painted paintings that looked good. That looked like they were painted by someone who would refer to themselves as more than a Dabbler. That did not look like they were painted by someone who didn't know how to paint. And I was not someone who knew how to paint -- that was why I was taking lessons. Katherine has a method that guides the student from Point A to Point Z; it's never overwhelming or abstract. There a number of concrete processes that start with choosing subject matter and continue one after another, all the way to signing the painting. And in the end, the whole school celebrates each process, painting, and painter with an art show. It's nice -- it's such a sweet touch. If you want to paint, you should take a class at the Katherine Martin Widmer School of Painting. I can't put it any more plainly than that. You will probably paint something you can't believe came out of your head and hands, have some serious laughs, become more community minded, and catch a bit of a painting bug. For very little money.
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Elena O'Brien
a year ago
I've been taking painting classes with Katherine for 2 years. I found the school on Google maps when I first moved to Somerville and haven't missed a term since. I knew I found a special place when during my first painting class I sheepishly told Katherine that I wanted to paint a purple zebra that I had stuck in my head for some reason. She said, "Great, let's do it!" The open-minded and laid back atmosphere of the School of Painting makes it a great place to unwind and hone some serious painting skills. Katherine pays a lot of attention to you when you're starting out to give you the basics. It's perfectly fine, and common, that newbies have never painted before. Once you get a few terms under your belt you work more independently and use Katherine and other classmates as a resource. You'll also love Katherine's stories, political commentary, and ice cream in the summer. It's a great, creative environment.
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Janice Furtado
3 years ago
I found the K.M.W. School of painting approx. 7 years ago. What a delightful opportunity it is to be able to create a painting! I've had a lifelong desire to paint but had no idea if what I believed, could be interpreted onto canvas. Katherine as teacher, has the ability and expertise to draw out the best of your buried talent as she guides your dreams magically onto canvas. The Studio is located on the 3rd floor of a charming property, complete with skylight, great energy and a great group of fellow painters. Since painting with Katherine, I have had the opportunity to have my work displayed, a number of times, at the Somerville Museum! Also, had the joyous privilege of selling my work!
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Michaela Duffy
3 years ago
Let me start with a full disclosure--when I started looking for a painting class...or some substitute creative outlet for this over-worked young professional...I had a vision of what I wanted. I ended up getting exactly what I needed. Bear with me while I explain... The class is situated on the top floor of a charming three family--it's tight space sometimes because the classes are always full, but it's cozy. In the summer session it's worth noting that there are ice cream breaks during which everyone piles outside and drapes themselves on various chairs and stairs of the outdoor staircase that leads up to the studio. There are students of all ages and levels of painting proficiency in the classes which makes for a very laid back atmosphere. Katherine sets the tone of patience and appreciation for everyone's backgrounds and points of view...both artistically and philosophically. The 'painting school' is absolutely about making art--Katherine's studied eye and suggestions about everything from color mixing to brush choices are indeed very helpful--but the underlying emphasis is something completely different...something that didn't click for me until my third term there. Painting is a metaphor for life. You can take the class on the literal level--mapping out your drawing of what you're going to paint. Planning ahead what colors you'll use. Spending the time prepping the canvas. Remembering to take breaks and step back to look at the complete picture as you're working on details. And remembering to share with others the triumphs and trials you face along the way. So you see you can take the class on a more spiritual level too. Maybe I'm being overly sentimental, but I walked into this space that Katherine has created at a time in my life that what I needed was a sense of community, more than anything. This School of Painting made me feel simultaneously a part of something great and very special in my own right. Katherine--and my fellow students--have spent an incredible amount of time sharing and's the type of human interaction that really feeds my soul. I'm sure many of the other students would agree that Katherine is the type of 'master-teacher' who's lessons in self-expression go far beyond Quincy Street...and all for an unbeatable price tag!
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A Google User
5 years ago
As an artist with paint brush in hand, I am a great singer. I attended Katherine's school of painting for several terms and am so very happy with my results. I moved out of the area(went South) and this experience is one of the things I miss the most. I gave 3 away and have the others hanging, proudly, in my home. If you have even an inkling to try, JUST DO IT, you will not be sorry, AND, you will make some wonderful friendships! Peggy Wass, formally from Winthrop MA, now Casselberry FL
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