Frequently Asked Questions
What type of studio are you?
The Academy of Art of Highland Park is a classical teaching studio, not a recreational facility. The only admissions requirement is a smile, and enthusiasm. We teach the craft traditions (long-standing ideals, theories, techniques, and methods) of over 20 different media in the visual arts, covering both Western and Asian traditions. Our students excel in all the core aspects of any of the media they explore with us. We follow a classical progression that starts with drawing (not linear sketching), and reaches through many media and technologies into mural works and highly experimental approaches.
How big are your classes?
Approximately 10 or fewer students, allotted by age group.
How will my studio training unfold?
You will sit in a small group of students in your age group, but your class will be entirely private, focused on your own current work at all times. Your current work is always based on the skills-building and “sense-ability” training tracked by our syllabi. Each course has its own syllabus, and each syllabus carries at least three levels of advancement. It may take a teen or adult anywhere from 5 months to a year to cross from one level of advancement to the next; it all depends on the time you may devote to it. Children will work more slowly. Most students of all ages will begin with Drawing, which includes color theory, brushwork, many different work surfaces, and a total of more than 10 different media!
How long is any given course?
Most courses run for one hour, once a week, in eight-week Sessions. Painting courses are typically one and a half to two hours. Intensive skill workshops or critique are also offered at the end of most eight-week Sessions.
Do I need prior experience?
No. You need the will to learn, and the desire to practice and hone your craft. We excel at teaching both beginners and more experienced practitioners. Courses stress the use of traditional techniques, tools, and methods in new and creative ways. We emphasize eyesight as insight; studio skills become life-skills in seeing and knowing, problem-solving, self-confidence, respect, and generosity.
Do you teach over the summer?
See our staff page to meet our professional, exhibiting, art instructors. Our instructors speak English and Spanish, and teach the Italian lingo of our craft. Our teaching assistants speaks English, Russian, and Cantonese.
Who do you teach?
Academy students come from all walks of life, and bring an enormous amount of knowledge to bear on our studio practice! Our adult students include a brain surgeon, an economist, a funeral home director, a retired Marine, and a physicist, as well as others serving as computer software designers, lawyers, business executives, caterers, interior decorators, psychologists, homemakers, grad students, registered nurses, physicians, school teachers, and office administrators, to list a few.
Our staff is not certified in special education or rehabilitation training. However, there are many health care professionals that regularly recommend their clients to us. Our staff is compassionate and caring, and much of our practice contributes to healing. We encourage students who have trouble in other learning environments to visit us.
Do you demand that your students compete?
No. We hold no in-house competitions. Nonetheless, our students have independently won many local, state, regional, national, and international awards.
Who are your students?
We have students from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, ranging in age from five to 80. To date we have over 6,500 alumni.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes. We teach up to 10 students a year (under 18) who clearly express special needs and/or are already receiving government aid. Their families must show a valid record of current government assistance (Section 8; food coupons, Medicaid, etc.).
When is your studio open?
We teach Monday through Thursday, and Sunday. See this Session’s schedule for more details. Please make an appointment to visit.
Where are you located?
We are at 727 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park, NJ, 08904 USA. Find us situated between 7th and 8th Avenues North. Click for map and directions
How do I enjoy a fun, free, 1 hour class?
I took my fun, free class! Now how do I register myself, or my family member?
What are the fees? And what is a Session?
How do I pay for classes?
The AAHP accepts only credit card payments. Your payment is processed through your student account. To open your account, we must have received your online registration, or have registered you in person through a previously booked appointment. Your credit card will be charged shortly after you register. Charges to your account will be prorated as needed, depending on the day you began classes in a Session already underway. Thereafter, your Student account will be billed on a pre-set billing cycle published online on the AAHP website and sent to you via email. Your account will be charged for every Session until you submit an online form requesting temporary suspension of classes or permanent withdrawal.
Once I register, how and when do I begin my classes?
Please wait for an email confirmation and telephone call announcing that that we have received and processed your registration. At that time we will indicate the best seat we have secured for you under your stated preferences. The Registrar will then alert you as to the next best time to begin your regular classes. Please do not show up to studio without said confirmations, as we will surely not be able to seat you.
Must I register for regular classes under the same slot as my free class?
No. You will be able to choose your preferred day and time for all your subsequent regular classes. If your first choice is an already filled-up slot, we will speak with you about your second best choice. We are happy to explore any possibility that will allow you to sit for regular class. You may seek to change your preferred slot mid-way during any Session by submitting a formal request using our online form; you will be able to change your slot provided that seating is available.
If the current eight-week Session is already underway, must I wait until he next eight-week Session to begin classes?
No. We offer open, rolling enrollment throughout the school year. You are welcomed to join the studio at anytime after having taken your free class. We will seat you in your preferred slot—provided that said slot is available—immediately upon processing your registration.
EXCEPTION: We do not sit new or returning students during the last week of any eight-week Session. In such cases, we will ask you to kindly wait for the following week’s opening of a new Session.
What art materials do I need?
The AAHP proudly provides the highest quality art materials to all students at all times.
What happens if I miss (or my family member misses) a regularly scheduled class?
A student enrolled in a regular eight-week Session can enjoy up to two make-up classes; the make-ups must be booked and fulfilled within the current Session; make-ups will not be honored after the Session ends.
Where do I park?
The tiny parking lot at the AAHP does not accommodate class-time traffic. During class times, please park close by, on our neighboring side streets, namely 7th or 8th Avenues North. These streets often afford you a two minute-walk to our door. Please note that no neighboring business authorizes you to park on its lot while attending the AAHP. It is prohibited to drop off any student or representative in the fire lane or stand in front of 727 Raritan Ave. All drop-offs must take place in a legal parking zone
I do have a few other questions. Who can help me with answers?
We all have answers for you!