Catherine Carter has always loved teaching. “The act of visual self-expression is the greatest joy I know, and I can never get enough of supporting others who seek that joy for themselves,” said Carter, who recently opened Catherine Carter Art Studio, where she’ll host classes and workshops at Hatch Street Studios in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A teacher of art to all ages for the past two decades, Carter began slowly when starting her own art school.
She moved to New Bedford in 2016 and began to teach at some nearby art museums. She also began to write a column for the New Bedford Standard-Times on local small businesses. “I was so impressed by the achievements of the business owners I was interviewing that I felt inspired to open a business of my own.”
In the fall of 2018, in the corner of her friend’s studio, Carter held a four-week class in realistic drawing for middle-school-aged students. “I had spent the summer teaching art camps to that age group, so I knew how much I enjoyed working with them and what kinds of projects work best for them,” she said. “The class was such a success, with 12 students signing up, that I was able to add a second session.”
Riding the momentum of this success, Carter found a studio space to start her own art school with expanded course offerings. She cites the New Bedford art community as her greatest resource in this endeavor. “The city has an extensive network of artists, working in a wide range of materials and styles, and we all respect and support one another,” she said.
Beginning in January, Carter will be offering drawing courses for ages 12 to 16, as well as courses for adults. Her classes will be offered with afternoon, evening and weekend schedules. She is also planning on holding one-day Art Discovery Workshops “to give an overview of basic drawing and painting techniques to novice artists.”
Her studio is located at Hatch Street Studios, a former textile mill, in New Bedford’s North End. “My dearest friends are among the artist tenants here, who have encouraged me in opening my school. I feel very fortunate to be in this place,” she said.
Carter also revealed that another wonderful resource to her has been her loyal following of students who, over the years, continue to take her classes. “Planning projects for them and watching them make progress is such a pleasure for me.”