Welcome to WSA

WSA Art School

Our Art School is situated in the iconic ArtsPost building.

Entrance of art school

With experienced tutors covering a range of mediums, we offer art classes for all ages.

Term enrolments are now open. 

Our long running classes are often booked out long term- but you can express your interest for specific classes at any time to secure your space on the waiting list. 

Please email artschool@wsa.org.nz for details and keep your eyes on our website and Facebook page. Note that term one is an 8 week term. 

Please review the schedule for  term 1, 2020 below. Note there are two pages of classes.

NB: New class added 24 Jan 2020 - ART OF PASTELS - Tutor, Debsy Gillespie on Mondays from 9.30am to 12.30pm Register your name early so you don't miss out. Beginning 10 February to 30 March 2020.

We have new classes and tutors for Term One, 2020. Please look at our Artist bio's and class descriptions to see what interests you.

New Experimental print making morning class

A new class has just come up! Join experienced print maker and long term WSA art tutor Caroline Peacocke for her new Monday morning class. Emphasis is on woodcut, but examples of other printing techniques will give you a good understanding of the principles of printmaking. Experienced print-makers can be sure to find new inspirations

$195, members $175

Life and  figure drawing with Kate Symmans

Alternating sessions with nude and covered model, you can book in for either/or - or both!

6pm to 8pm
$195 for the full term, members $175
$105 for half term, members $85.00

Watercolour beginners with Paulette Bruns

Our Wednesday morning watercolour class for beginners is  back!
Perfect if you haven’t painted for a while or have been waiting to get into the Monday morning class for ages.

9.30  to 11.30am

$170, members $150

Art for Preschoolers with Parents

We are looking forward to a fun morning activity with preschoolers and parents, making bright, colourful art.
The new preschooler art class is aimed at children between the ages of 3-4 years. The class will focus on the basic skills of using equipment, such as pencils, paint, scissors etc. We are looking and learning about our colours, patterns and breaking down objects/animals into shapes.
Between the ages of 3-4, pre-preschoolers begin to recognise and remember such things as shapes, colour, numbers and letters. They also learn to control the muscles in their hands, which shows in their drawings (as we may refer to as "scribbles"). While the children are learning and having fun, the parents can take part in their journey.
Monday and Tuesday's 1.30-2.30pm
Fridays, 9.30 to 10.30
$120.00 per child with one accompanying adult


New after school classes for 7-9  year old children

We have a new late afternoon class for 7-9  year old children. If you would like to enrol your child, please request an enrolment form from artschool@wsa.org.nz

Childrens art 7 - 9 years
Paulette Bruns
5.30pm to 7pm

Our term dates for 2020 are as followed:

Summer school holiday programme: 20 to 31 January

Term one (8 weeks): 10 February to 4 April

Autumn school holiday programme: 14 to 24  April

Term two (9 weeks):27 April to 26 June

Winter school holiday programme: 6 to 17 July

Term three (9 weeks): 20 July to 18 September

Spring school holiday programme: 28 September to 9 October

Term four (8 weeks): 12 October to 11 December

Programme description

The Waikato Society of Arts has established the Art School in 1970. 
All our tutors are professional creatives, and we try to keep the balance between solid skill-building classes to strengthen student’s core competency and new, contemporary classes that will push their boundaries. 
See how far you can push the boundaries of your art experience. Note that classes, due to the small size, cater for new and returning students and there might be variations in the class schedule to keep you interested and challenged.

Following programme descriptions are indicative only- we often have new classes coming up short notice, so keep an eye out for our programmes - here on our website, on facebook, or at the office and the city libraries for hard copies.

 Untutored painting classes        Join one of our untutored classes get some input and inspiration for your work. Many of our long-term students join an untutored class at some stage to make use of our studio space and enjoy company while working. 

Beginners Watercolours     Paulette Bruns, Haydn Rive.  Learn the basics of a fascinating medium. Our tutors teach watercolour techniques step by step, for returning students there will be variations in the basic techniques.

Beginner Drawing Skills for planning Landscapes and city scenes    Paulette Bruns.  Come and learn tips & tricks for drawing and planning Landscapes & City Scenes! Whether it’s to help you plan your paintings or simply because you love to draw, this 8 week class will give you confidence in composing Landscapes & City Scenes. From composition, rule of thirds, perspective, vanishing points, the golden ratio, scale, tonal value & shading, you will increase your knowledge to plan and draw your next outside artwork so that it has the realistic feeling you want to portray. This class will suit brand new beginners to art, or those with some art experience who need more clarification on how to make outdoor scenes work.

 After school classes for children , 5 - 7 years     Paulette Bruns, Rhiannon Jackson and Sybille Schlumbom. Our after school children’s classes are developed for certain age groups. Art and creativity are fostered by exploring a range of materials and techniques

Oil painting  Nici Peacock. A structured introduction to oil painting,  a mixed class with continuers and advanced students, suitable for absolute beginners but with individual challenges for the advanced.

Experimental printmaking   Caroline Peacocke. Discover the principles of printmaking and continue the creative journey by creating experimental woodcuts.  While this class focuses on woodcuts and mono-types, it is a great beginners course to get to know our print studios and printing presses, even if you want to move on to etching.

Untutored woodcuts Work alongside experienced print makers and inspire each other. Not suitable for absolute beginners, an introduction to the use of our printing press in one of our tutored classes is prerequisite

Pre-schoolers with parents    Rhiannon Jackson, Monica Schinkel and Dudri du Preez. Ideal for 3 and 4 year olds to come along with a parent and have fun experimenting and learning beginner art skills with different art materials and colours.

After school classes for children 7-9 year old    Paulette Bruns and Gaye Jurisich . Our after school children’s classes are developed for certain age groups. Art and creativity are fostered by exploring a range of materials and techniques

 After school classes for children 8 - 13 years  Vivien Hendy. Children explore art and design using different materials in this after-school class 

Painting + drawing techniques  Nici Peacock. Develop and refine your painting and drawing skills. A lot of the students return to this class, so you will learn alongside fellow artists with a wide range of skills

Material Issues-Creative Sewing    Amanda Talsma-Williams.  Beginning Term 1, 2020. I have flexible projects available, from beginners to challenging, or you can bring your machine, ideas and questions and we can workshop whatever you would like to make.

Acrylics as you like it Haydn Rive. This is a mix of step by step instruction as well as being encouraged to follow your own direction and vision

After school classes for  13 - 18 years   Rhiannon Jackson. Wintec graduate Rhiannon explores the use of colour in painting with art enthusiastic  high school students 

Exciting etching untutored
Entry level experience in the etching process is required to work alongside this group of enthusiastic printmakers. Please express your interest in our beginner's etching class starting in term two (Friday morning) to gain the necessary experience

Introduction to Mixed Media and Acrylics     Collette Fergus      Are you wanting to add texture and other mediums to your acrylic painting? This class with Collette will take the mystery out of using mixed media and help you get started making art. Collette will show you how to create an abstract piece that will showcase the different mediums and give you a sample board of how to use them effectively. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a textured background or surface using mixed media pastes and gels along with common ‘found’ items like sand, glass and paper
  • Use stencils to add texture
  • Letting go of rules and expectations
  • Planning and finishing off an artwork
  • Experiment with different techniques and acrylic mediums while developing your own style

Etching and dry-point, untutored     Entry level experience in the etching process is required to work alongside this group of enthusiastic print makers. Please express your interest in our beginner's etching class starting in term two (Friday morning) to gain the necessary experience

Experimental works on paper    This class is untutored and extremely relaxed. All mediums of art are created in Studio one and all levels of ability are welcome. 

Term 2 - Haydn's Art Odyssey - From Cave to Canvas        Haydn Rive. A quick flick Slide survey of Art from Early cave drawings to the Renaissance.

 After school classes for children 10 - 14 years, Rhiannon Jackson       Aimed to inspire and extend children’s art practising skills in two-dimensional work. Illustration and visual storytelling will give the framework to develop skills in different media(e.g.dry brush acrylic, collage, oil, drawing, pastel, crayons, wax resist) and apply these to small works on paper

Life and/or Figure Drawing    Kate Symmans.  Alternating sessions from a clothed and nude model. Students can enrol for the whole term or for half a term doing either clothed or nude. 

Observational Drawing and Painting 7-10 years.   Rhiannon Jackson    Art and creativity are fostered by exploring a range of materials and techniques. Children explore art and design in a fun, relaxed environment.

Mixed Media 10-14 years   Zhe Li   Mixed media involves mixing two or more different mediums to create artwork. Students can explore and express themselves by using different media or materials. For example students could use markers instead of brushes on their paintings to create their own art works.

Still Life and Portrait Drawing for all ages   Zhe Li  Observation is one of the most important skills in still life drawing. Still life drawing helps the student observe the shapes and forms of an object. After moving to the portrait, students will learn how to draw facial features from the eyes to the mouth. The course will provide an opportunity for people of all abilities, specific to beginners to develop their drawing skills.

Acrylics   Zhe Li   This Acrylics painting course is designed for beginners with an interest to learn how to paint in acrylics. The goal for this class is to learn how to paint a landscape painting at the end of the course. Students will learn the basic equipment to use for acrylic painting: the basic primary colour palette to use for landscape painting and the differences between acrylics and oil paints.

WSA School Holiday Programme

Our January 2020 school holiday programme will be open in December for enrolment!

Please  email artschool@wsa.org.nz to request your enrolment form.


The WSA Tutors

Haydn Rive (Dip. Fine Arts -Canterbury) - I enjoy all kinds of painting and mediums.  I love the mystery oils disclose, the inventiveness of acrylics and their potential textural qualities to explore and the cleanness of watercolour. I enjoy drawing. I am attracted to all kinds of subjects. I am just as happy exploring tonal variations of an abstract as in exploring the lines of nature.  I have lived in both Zimbabwe and California and am currently in Hamilton, New Zealand, home of my birth. I also do illustration and commissions to do pastels of pets from owner's photos.  I am tutoring art for adults at the moment and enjoy the interaction and stimulation to new works. I encourage the emergence of a new Renaissance of excellence and honesty among artists everywhere. In both my classes of Watercolour and Acrylics I have a mix of absolute beginners to competent artists and aim to bring satisfaction to both.  This is done by allowing freedom to chose if they want to follow a step by step lesson or work on something of their own. We will work on a variety of subjects and teach traditional techniques and methods. I also like to introduce them to the works of various historical and recent artists. We aim to have fun on the way. My reward is when a beginner finally breaks through and find themselves doing something they never dreamed they would achieve. I feel responsible for passing on my years of experience to anyone who comes with that excited expectation to learn something, and the trust that they gain as the weeks progress that they will not be disappointed.  Rather that the knowledge gained will stand them in good stead, confident to explore the materials for themselves and thus emerge as a budding artists. 

Haydn teaches a Tuesday Watercolour class and a Wednesday Acrylics class, both in the morning.

Caroline PeacockePainter & Printmaker                                                                                 

I am a painter, a printmaker and am currently studying Architectural Technology at Wintec. I also hold a degree in Zoology from the University of Otago.

I grew up in the Waikato but it was upon moving back in 2005, that I finally picked up a paintbrush and began painting again.

Wanting to broaden my horizons and work alongside other artists, I joined Waikato Society of Arts, and attended classes in etching and experimental printmaking. Both techniques challenged my art and thought processes, and I agreed to tutor the experimental printmaking classes in 2012.

I love experimenting with print and mixing different printmaking techniques to produce original and unique pieces of work. While I enjoy using intaglio processes and solar printing, it’s the experimental relief-based prints that I’m most passionate about. I enjoy trying to bring a paint-like quality to my prints, and my acrylic based paintings are often textured or even 3 dimensional. I challenge myself to find unique ways of framing and displaying all forms of my artwork.

My most recent prints & paintings reflect my long-held interest in iron-clad sheds and rustic buildings that nestle within the Waikato landscape.

I tell my story in my art……of moments/things/experiences/objects that touch me.

The art may depict:
- an object found on a walk
- a landscape flashing by but caught like a photo in my memory
- the environment I inhabit every day
- the architecture of a building & the way it melds with the landscape
- a sensory experience - from smell/sound/sight/touch or taste
- a moment in time
- an emotion felt
- the struggle of a deep loss
- the rediscovery of belief in myself

My art speaks of ideas and dreams. It speaks of sadness, of hope and determination. My art tells the story of what is around me and what is within me. It is personal and yearns to be told.

Caroline Peacocke teaches two Experimental Printmaking classes.

Vivien Hendy - Teaching young people is a privilege as the impact that a teacher can have on young lives is profound in many situations and this is my attitude in the classroom. When I have students in the classroom we are a family, a whanau who supports each other and respectfully shares the time spent together. I believe that the parents are a part of this 'whanau' as it is their regular driving the children to class, looking at what the children are showing of their work, encouraging their endeavours , providing portfolios and framing work for the home - this all adds up to a recognition that art is important. I believe whatever profession we are in sometime there will be a place for artistic expression and a grounding in the principles of design and colour is a building block along the way. For this, I the tutor, have to do my bit and be prepared with knowledge and resources about what I am teaching as that is my role. My background is strongly in the sciences, especially of the world around us and therefore that is apparent in my teaching. I am also a sociologist so that is an important factor in my approach to my students and parents and how we learn about other people and their art. Above all, I believe we should have fun in the classroom so the students want to be there and are not 'sent' and that missing a class means that they are missing out on something important in the weeks activities. I enjoy the company these classes provide me with not to mention the challenges, but that is what teaching is all about.

Vivien teaches a Monday 10-15 year art class after school and two 8-13 year classes on a Tuesday and Thursday.

Paulette Bruns - Paulette Bruns has been a Watercolour artist for over 10 years. She has been employed as a tutor by the Waikato Society of Arts for 2-3 years, teaching 3 Watercolour Adult Classes, as well as 3 Children's Mixed Media Art Classes per week, plus also running the School Holiday Art Programme all of which she thoroughly enjoys.

Whilst watercolour is her true passion, she also loves the balance of teaching children. Having raised 2 (now grown) children, she is loving being back around young children seeing them create, learn and have fun with a variety of art mediums.

Watercolour can be a daunting and challenging medium for many, but is hugely rewarding to work in once you have learnt the basics. It has an ability to show light and luminescence due to watercolours fluidity and transparency that other mediums can struggle to do.

Paulette believes we should never stop learning, as there are always new ideas and points of view in all areas of art. She finds it hugely rewarding to help people learn a new medium or refine, master and expand their current skills.

Paulette teaches two Monday Adult Watercolour classes, 5-7 years on a Monday and Thursday and 7-9 year olds on a Wednesday and Thursday after school.

Sybille Schlumbom https://www.thebigidea.nz/profile/sybille-schlumbom-a-k-a-billadonna  

I am a German born and New Zealand based arts professional.  My work draws from the excitement of being lost in translation, visuals becoming the natural choice of communication.

It is my aim to make arts accessible and alive, and I work in a wide range of mediums.. While I am trained as a painter and illustrator, my main practice since 2015 has been in woodcut printing, and I started focusing on Japanese woodblock printing in 2016.

An arts educator since 2003, arts engagement through teaching, public work, interaction and collaboration is a strong part of my practice.

Sybille teaches Observational Painting and Drawing on a Tuesday and two 5-7 year old classes on a Wednesday after school.

Rhiannon Jackson - From young, Rhiannon has always been indulged in the world of art, constantly experimenting and exploring in the creative field. With her strong passion for creativity, Rhiannon decided to take a plunge into her vibrant, colourful world of art and study in the creative field.

Excitingly, Rhiannon finished her studies in 2017, recently graduating with her Bachelor of Media Arts, Majoring in Visual Arts. Despite being the youngest in her class, all her hard work had paid off.
Throughout her studies and since then, Rhiannon has had her art exhibited in galleries, hosted exhibitions, as well as going out into the public eye and doing live painting.
Being the 2nd eldest of 14 kids, Rhiannon has always been surrounded by the love and joy of her family, always interacting with children and loving to work alongside all ages.

"Having the opportunity to work alongside children, especially to be able to use your passion to help teach children to grow and develop in the creative field, is an extremely rewarding job. Each lesson brings me joy as I can help walk alongside my students in their creative path and watching them grow within it. Not only are the children practicing and exploring the creative world, but as I work alongside them I am also constantly learning from the children with all their questions and practice.” www.rhiannonjart.com

Rhiannon teaches a pre-schooler class on a Tuesday and Friday, our 10-14 years on a Tuesday evening and our 5-7 years on a Friday after school and Observational Drawing and Painting for 7-10 years on a Saturday morning.

Nici Peacock - Masters in Fine Art from The New York Graduate School of Figurative Art 2003

Nici teaches Monday evening Oil Painting and Drawing and Painting Techniques on a Wednesday morning.


I am a painter, skilled in acrylic, watercolour and oil paint selling work through exhibitions and commissions throughout NZ.


·        Assisted in the curation of From the Studio Floor Charity Exhibition where a percentage of proceeds went towards Middlemore Hospital Kids First Burns Unit

·        Curated Transcend art exhibition at Sandz Gallery

·        Curated Post Graduate Show for WINTEC at Draw Inc

Kate Teaches Life and Figure Drawing on a Thursday evening.

Gaye Jurisich - is a Hamilton based artist of many years experience.

Her work includes painting and sculpture in a variety of media.

     She says "It has become more and more obvious to me that my works are a dialogue that involves the reality of space and time, visual associations and ambiguity. My work reveals elements of the journey, the familiar becoming unfamiliar, and the known becoming unknown. Elements of trust, human mortality and feminist ideology are exploration points. It is important that my work challenges ideals, initiates thought and provokes discussion about connectedness, to our past and future. It isn't about making beautiful things, it's more than that, a deeper purpose that includes vigor and instinct"

Please visit     www.gayejurisich.com

Gaye teaches Childrens Art 7-9 years on a Friday after school.

Susannah Salter - I am an artist working from my home in rural Waikato in New Zealand.  I draw, paint with oils, acrylics and watercolours, and sculpt, hand-build and throw clay on the wheel. My artwork is on http://www.susannahsalter.co.nz, @susannahsalter on Instagram and @susannahsalterfineart on Facebook. I was born in the countryside, in the Midlands; slap-bang in the centre of England, and lived in London, Hove and Derby in the UK, until 2011, when my family and I had the good fortune to move to New Zealand. I have been making art of various kinds since I was old enough to hold a paintbrush. I have a BA Hons in Theatre Design: Costume Design from Wimbledon School of Art in London. This led to some interesting TV and film work but I eventually found my niche doing communications and graphic design for a national UK disability charity.  This became my career until I had children, when I chose to stay home to raise them and then to make art. I am now the Diploma Supervisor at Waikato Society of Potters in Hamilton, where I organise the Studio Practice element of the NZ Diploma in Ceramic Art, by distance learning, in partnership with Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic. I have taught pottery at Waikato Society of Potters, and art generally to children and adults at various schools and organisations in the region.

I also own Hamilton Pottery Tools, which is an online retailer of pottery tools from all over the world. Find them at http://www.hamiltonpotterytools.co.nz and on Instagram and Facebook. 

Susannah is teaching Painting from Life and Landscape in Oils on a Thursday.

Sarah Oliver -I have a Master in Teaching and Learning with Distinction, a Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waikato. I also have a Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori Level 2  from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Sarah teaches our 10-14 year olds on a Friday afternoon 

Dabau Singh-Heer - Dabau is teaching Acrylic Pouring in Term 1, 2020

Sophia Kinnane - I am a freelance illustrator and animator, having studied both a Diploma in Applied Animation, and a Diploma in Digital Media at Animation College NZ. I have worked on several freelance design contracts, as well as working as an in house artist for a small studio for two years as an animator, designer, and storyboard artist creating English language learning videos for a network of children's YouTube channels. Currently focusing on painting and illustration, she spends her free time making small animations, and animated illustrations.

Sophia is teaching Illustration on a Tuesday evening.

Collette Fergus -Known for her modern,contemporary artwork, Collette has two distinct styles: her serious, abstract and surrealist work and a fun, contemporary range that includes an increasingly infamous character - Boozehag, now re-branded as Ms Chardonnay Minx, the glamour girl, who is more about nice things and fun rather than the wine. Collette is also a popular New Zealand commission artist with an ability to accurately interpret clients wishes. Her artworks sell worldwide, including private collections in Britain, Germany, Russia, USA, Canada, Spain and Australia, as well as from galleries throughout New Zealand. Collette finds painting extremely rewarding and puts her heart and soul into it. She finds it most satisfying to portray emotions and feelings on canvas in a visual communication.


Collette teaches a Wednesday evening class in Acrylics Mixed Media

Dudri du Preez   When I do art with children I enjoy using their interests for inspiration, I give them open-ended activities where they can be free to create their own original artworks. We learn new skills and we have so much fun. I enjoy getting messy and bring all sorts of learnings through art! 

Dudri teaches our Monday pre-schoolers with Parents class.

Monica Schinkel   I spend most of my free time drawing or painting. My love for art turned into a personal project to draw every day during 2018, which resulted in some quality pieces, and has since developed into a more full-time creative roll.   @monica_butterfly_art on Instagram

Monica teaches on a Tuesday with Art for pre-schoolers with Parents and Art after school 7-9 years.

Zhe Li - Zhe Li has a BA in Painting(2012 Arkansas Tech University), MFA in Painting(2015 Academy of Art University) and Communication Design (2019 University of Waikato). Zhe has taught art in China and San Francisco for children.

Zhe Li teaches our Saturday classes-Mixed Media 10-14 years, Still Life and Portrait Drawing for all ages and Acrylics.

Danbee Park - Danbee graduated with a BA Fine Art degree(First class) in Seoul, and recently finished MA Art and Visual Culture at University of Westminster in London. I have been teaching botanical watercolours, ink wash painting to both children and adults for nearly a decade. What I focus on in my teaching is sharing passions and to encourage any hobbyist to become an individual artist by their own definition. I love to have fun with students and believe that anyone can paint if they only try.

Danbee teaches Tuesday evening with Introduction to oriental Painting and on Friday, Ink Drawing and Painting - this is not for beginning artists.