Workshops for the Artist in You

The office in late-afternoon light

The Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts offers diverse and inspiring workshops for artists and writers of all ages and abilities. Most workshops will be held at the arts colony - either in our beautiful administrative building (above) or in the colony's studios. We are located in the Ellis Hollow neighborhood, an easy 20-minute drive from downtown Ithaca. We have ample free parking at our doorstep, and our office is fully accessible.

Saltonstall Workshop Registration Form

Stay tuned... More workshops coming in the Fall!

(Image credit: Craig J. Barber, copyright 2010)

"Tintype and Ambrotype Photography Workshop"

Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, April 6 - 7, 2013 / 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Instructor: Craig J. Barber (from Woodstock, NY; Saltonstall alum '11)
Location: the Saltonstall Arts Colony
Cost: $275 (includes all chemistry and equipment)
What to bring: lunch both days; clothing and footware appropriate for some time outdoors; latex or nitrile gloves and an apron. (This process stains and this is the way to keep clean.)

Registration: this workshop is limited to just 6 participants. You can now register on-line (see link above), or you can click on the PDF registration form above (and to the right), print it, and mail it to us with your check. Questions? Please call us, (607) 539-3146

Description: In a time when photography is being transformed by the digital medium, more and more photographers are exploring earlier processes – processes that are just as magical and relevant today as they have always been.

This intensive, hands-on workshop will provide you with an excellent introduction to this beautiful handmade process, thereby enabling you to continue when you return home. In the workshop you will learn to make tintypes (tin plate direct positives) and ambrotypes (glass plate direct positives). In addition to learning how to pour, expose and develop your plates, you will also learn what chemicals and equipment are needed to set yourself up as a tintype photographer.

Instructor bio: I am a photographer who travels and works using antiquarian processes and focuses on the cultural landscape. During the past 15 years I have focused my camera on Viet Nam, Havana, and the Catskill region of New York State, documenting cultures in rapid transition and fading from memory.

My work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America and is represented in several prominent museum and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Brooklyn Art Museum; the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, among others. I have received several grants including from the Seattle Arts Commission, the Polaroid Corporation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2006 Umbrage Editions published my book, “Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited.”

I have been photographing for over 35 years and teaching for 20 of those years. I have taught classes and workshops and Lectured throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America, at the International Center for Photography in New York, the Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY, Charles University in Prague, CZ, and others.

(Image credit: Craig J. Barber, copyright 2012)

Interested in professional development workshops?

The Community Arts Partnership (CAP) is Tompkins County’s arts council. They do great work. Check out their 2012 professional development workshops for artists here.

Past Workshops - Spring, 2012

(Made possible, in part, with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts)

"Learning to Love Your Digital Camera and Smart Phone"

Joe ZiolkowskiDate/Time: Saturday, March 24 / 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Joe Ziolkowski
Location: the fully accessible administrative office at the Saltonstall Arts Colony
Cost: $35 (includes a vegetarian lunch)
Designed for: You! (all ages and levels of experience)
What to bring: variety of digital cameras and phones with memory cards; laptops with digital editing software (optional); notepad for taking notes

Description: It's time to unpack the digital point-and-shoot you were given for Christmas. Embrace the camera function you've never used in your phone. Every smart phone and digital camera has the same basic components as a traditional film camera: a light-tight container (the body); light-sensitive material (the sensor); a device to control time (the shutter); and a device to control the amount of light that enters the camera body (the aperture, lens, and f-stop.)

This introductory workshop will demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of photographing in the digital age. You will learn the pros and cons of digital cameras and smart phones and will learn to take advantage of their limitations to make interesting images. There will be hands on experience and time to photograph various situations, both indoors and outdoors.

Instructor bio: Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Joe Ziolkowski is a Rochester-based photographer. He received a Masters of Science in Education from Nazareth College; a Master of Fine Art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

He has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College (SUNY), the Center for Creative Studies (Detroit), Barat College (Lake Forest, IL), and in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College, and the American Academy of Art. His work has been widely exhibited, nationally and internationally, and he is the author of two monographs, Walking the Line (1992) and Pressure (1997).

Visit Joe's daily blog at


"Nature as Source and Inspiration: A Poetry Writing Mini-Retreat"

Date/Time: Saturday & Sunday, April 7 - 8 / 10:00 am - 3:00 pm each day
Instructor: Bhisham Bherwani
Location: the fully accessible administrative office at the Saltonstall Arts Colony
Cost: $65 (includes a vegetarian lunch each day and copies of readings)
Designed for: Writers of all levels of experience, including beginners, are welcome.
What to bring: writing tablets, writing utensils, whatever is most comfortable for you in the writing process

Description: From Virgil to Li Po to Basho to Seamus Heaney, poets have been writing about nature and through nature for centuries and across cultures. The experience of nature can lead to work that is informative (Virgil's instructions on beekeeping), political (Robert Frost's prescient environmentalism), or meditative (William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey").

This two-day writing workshop is designed to help you compose original poems influenced by nature. Over the course of the weekend, we will read and discuss poems by A. R. Ammons, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, W. S. Merwin, Robert Morgan, and Theodore Roethke to examine how their experiences with nature informed their work.

Then you will engage in writing exercises and discussions designed to help you identify your own experiences with and insights into nature and to apply these in your own poems. Toward the end of the weekend, you will compile a small manuscript of your own poems, an exercise more challenging than it might seem, but one infinitely rewarding!

Instructor bio: Bhisham Bherwani's poetry volume The Second Night of the Spirit was published in 2009 by CavanKerry Press. He is the editor of an anthology of modern and contemporary poetry in English (including translations) from India (Atlanta Review, 2012). He has been the recipient of fellowships from The Frost Place, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, and the Jentel Artist Residency Program. A graduate of Cornell University and New York University, he lives in New York City, where he teaches literature.

"Free Your Body, Make Art: A Calligraphic Approach to Drawing with Qi Gong Movement"

Date/Time: Saturday, April 14 / 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Instructor: Mayumi Ishino
Location: Saltonstall painting studio and lawns
Cost: $75 (includes a vegetarian lunch and supplies: ink, rice paper, and a wolf-rabbit-hair brush to keep)
Designed for: Anyone with an interest in drawing.
What to bring: nothing required except comfortable clothing

Description: Free yourself from a goal-oriented approach to drawing. This workshop will give you the opportunity to experience and develop a sense of free movement while making art using traditional Asian materials. No prior experience is necessary.

Using sumi ink and soft calligraphy brushes on delicate rice paper, you will learn how to draw with your whole body. Qi Gong between drawing sessions will facilitate flexibility regardless of physical capacity.

The class will feature three components: a brief slide show of both traditional and contemporary calligraphic art works; simple physical movements using Qi Gong methods; and a series of drawing exercises. The focus will be on process rather than product. Throughout the class, discussion will focus on the concept behind the method in an effort to connect theory and practice, mind and body. The instructor's demonstrations will be combined with extensive individual attention.

This is not a course to learn how to write foreign characters but rather how western students can utilize the concept and practice of East Asian calligraphy to deepen their connection between body, mind, and creative action.

(Note: Qi Gong is a mild, stretching method similar to Tai-chi but very simple and low impact. It is often used as a rehabilitation method for those who suffer from injuries and back problems.)

Instructor bio: Born in Tokyo, Mayumi Ishino now makes her home in New York City. She received an MFA in Sculpture from New York Academy of Art. Mayumi combines various disciplines including drawing, sculpture, performance, and video. She has presented her work in national and international institutions including Exit Art, New York; Leslie Heller Workspace, NY; Babel, Norway; and ArtNews Presents, Germany. Awards include MCAF from NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Summer Fellowship; Virginia Center for Creative Arts; and HRH Prince of Wales prize.

"Aim low! Write fast! Tell Lies! A writing workshop with Leslie Daniels"

Leslie DanielsDate/Time: Saturday, April 21 / 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: the fully accessible administrative office at the Saltonstall Arts Colony
Cost: $25
Designed for: Writers of all levels of experience are welcome.
What to bring: writing tablets, writing utensils, whatever is most comfortable for you in the writing process

Description: Leslie Daniels is the author of Cleaning Nabokov's House, called "required reading" by the NY Post, and published in paperback in March. She has taught writing in many settings, both academic and independent. The class focus will be on generating material, fresh starts, and explorations. There is a limit of twelve participants. All work will be done in class, it is not a critique class, nor is it necessary to submit work for entrance. Pen and paper required.

Instructor bio: Leslie Daniels' debut novel, Cleaning Nabokov's House, published by Touchstone Fireside, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will be released in paperback in March, 2012. Leslie's stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Florida Review, Gulf Coast, The Santa Monica Review and, New Ohio Review. The Shooting Gallery in New York City produced her one-act play. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Associated Writing Programs. In 2005, she became the fiction editor for The Green Mountains Review. In 2010 she relinquished that lovely gig. She is currently at work on another novel. Visit Leslie's web site at