Renaissance Arts Center opens studio in Sparta

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Photos



  • A display of fashion-design sketches by Lorraine Alfano, an instructor at the Sparta Renaissance Arts Center




  • Some of the staff members at the Renaissance Arts Center's Sparta location. Left to right: Matthew Burbridge, John Suchy, Marianne Baggot, Lorraine Alfano, Rebecca Scinto.



Patricia Navarino was a woman with a mission. In 1989 she was working as the supervisor of arts and dance for the public schools of Millburn.

She had written the kindergarten through 12th grade arts and dance curriculum for the Millburn school system, but she still believed that the children needed more.

In order to provide greater opportunities for young people interested in the visual arts, she founded the Renaissance Arts Center in Millburn. It was a success, and it continues to this day.

Navarino retired to the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts in 2006, but was unable to remain inactive: in 2007 she set up a second location of the Renaissance Arts Center in Great Barrington, a cultural center for the entire northeastern United States, best-known for the Tanglewood Music Festival, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The Great Barrington Arts Center branched out into music, dance, and the dramatic arts, beyond the visual arts curriculum of the Millburn location.

Now, her daughter Rebecca Scinto continues her work and has opened a third location of the Renaissance Arts Center, at 83 Woodport Road (next to the Theatre Plaza) in Sparta.

The Sparta studio concentrates on the visual arts, including painting, drawing, sculpture, collage and photography, as does the Millburn studio.

The objective, as Scinto explains it, is “Any student, young or old, should experience a comprehensive training, broad enough to give every kind and every level of talent an opportunity to develop.”

Instruction is offered on Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Courses run for six weeks, with classes offered once a week. Younger students are offered one-hour classes, with tuition of $150. More advanced students may choose 90-minute classes, priced at $225. The tuition includes all supplies — here are no additional charges.

The Renaissance Arts Center also offers one-on-one private instruction at $75 per hour. For students looking to make a career in art, portfolio development is offered. For high school students, the Center offers a college showcase: college representatives come and give presentations on what their institutions have to offer. The Center also has a college admissions counselor on hand who can answer students’ questions and give them advice on preparing their portfolios.

The first term of six-week classes begins on Sept. 16.

Those interested in enrolling may call 973-726-3331 or send an e-mail to sparta@renaissanceartscenter.org.

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