Teaching

About our Teacher

Natalia Koren Kropf developed her unique method that combines Eastern and Western artistic traditions. Her foundation is deeply rooted in classical European culture since she studied art in St. Petersburg Russia. Natalia attended the Academic School of Fine Art since she was 11 years old.

Her strong foundation evolved after her move to New York City in 1992. The new fascination, American Expressionism and the rest of abstract art of the 20 century, affected her deeply. At that time most artists of Russia were not exposed to American art world. Natalia continued her artistic development at the Art Students League of New York. She also worked at the Fine Art Mural studio, where she explored new materials and techniques.

At the Parsons School of Design Natalia studied Illustration and digital imaging where she also discovered her passion for printmaking. Later she returned to the School of Visual Arts to continue her growth by taking printmaking classes. Natalia was soon offered a teaching position at the Parsons School of Design.

As she was developing her own art, she observed her young daughter's need for artistic expression. It was then that she decided to open her own art studio. Here she continues to share her extensive knowledge with children.

In 2005 Natalia received a local Rotary grant, for the cultural center, hosted by Hawley Public Library in Hawley, PA, which allowed her to teach her unique art program to students ranging in age from 3 to 93 years old. Her program offered painting, drawing, composition, mosaic, found object / conceptual sculpture, calligraphy, mural. Her program also included art classes for toddlers.

Natalia is a member of the Center of Contemporary Printmaking, Monotype Guild of New England, and National Association of Women Artists (NAWA). She became a pioneer in opening the first children's art exhibition at NAWA in their 123 year history. "Multiculture Multimedia" exhibition opened in August 2012 focused exclusively on the amazing talents of KorenKropf Studio's young artists.

"Teaching is extremely enriching experience - one should remain firm and open at the same time" - said Natalia in the interview with Susan G. Hammond, Executive Director of NAWA. " ... teaching children gives one an extra responsibility - that influence will stay with them for the rest of their lives".

About our Classes

The creative direction of KorenKropf Studio lies somewhere between the classical European art and the freedom inspired by American Expressionists. Her teaching is also influenced by Asian Art which comes from Natalia's spiritual connection to Asian culture. Classes teach a variety of art techniques and genres to inspire children's curiosity. Each class children are offered a choice of media or theme (sometimes both) while they are required to stick to the proper technique and to come up with a unique approach. At the end of the class students present their work in front of their peers, explain their approach, and listen to each other's story. This enables children to look at their whole body of work, inspires them to think, and understand their unique way of seeing. This moment is called "going to the museum".

The themes and techniques include drawing from observation, gesture drawings, clay sculpture, mosaic, collage, tapestry, mural/large scale painting, 3-D dioramas, abstract drawing/painting, watercolor, sumi ink painting, pen calligraphy, decorative painting, art objects, art cards, illustrations, figure sketching, portraits, genre pieces, found objects, mono prints, woodcuts, silkscreen, as well as learning from the old masters.

The curriculum of the studio is based on the 2-3 semesters a year. The students are divided by their age, and in some cases experience, into groups of 3-5 people. Each group meets once a week for one or one and a half hour. At the end of each semester they have a 4 people group show and a presentation of their work.

About our Students

Most children attending the KorenKropf Studio come from different cultural backgrounds: Japanese, Russian, Colombian, Polish, Italian, Lithuanian, Hindu, Irish, Philippine, German, Haitian, Scottish, and Panamanian. This is a very diverse group of kids, not to mention variety of ages, between 4 and 12 years old. It is also great that several children have their siblings enrolled in KorenKropf Studio. Classes encourage cultural family traditions, become part of children's conversations at home, and of course, class presentations, and mini critiques.

Students are encouraged to learn from one another by observing and analyzing each other's work. They are taught to look beyond personal taste, cultural background, and subject matter by examining basic elements of the artwork, such as composition, color, and concept.