The Jefferson Market Library—a New York Public Library branch, located at 425 6th Avenue (at West 10th Street)—offers courses on a wide variety of topics during the year through its Jefferson Market University (JMU) curriculum. This month, JMU is featuring multi-session courses on reflective personal writing and drawing from observation.
—Andreea Ioana Pantor
Personal History: A Six-Session Course
By Joannie MacKenzie
How exciting it is, and how courageous and lucky we are, to reach a point in our lives when we have history. We have a past, knowledge, and experience unlike anyone else’s—a life lived like no one else.
This course, “A Personal History,” offers the opportunity to preserve your history and memories, and share them with others. Participants choose a time or memory—a turning point in their pasts—and write a monologue on the subject. It is up to the student to determine how important or life changing the experience is.
Course participants can even choose to rewrite their histories. They are welcome to write a narrative that imagines how they would have acted differently. Would your life have changed drastically for the better or worse—or not at all?
This class should be fun, creative, and a chance to express oneself, maybe for the first time. Having an opportunity to play and create is enriching for all of us. As a performer,
the instructor, Joannie MacKenzie, will enable students to feel more comfortable and more confident performing in front of a live audience or camera. MacKenzie likes to think that all of us have a secret desire to express our emotions and life experiences, whether on paper or in front of a crowd. Give your history a spotlight. Our stories matter.
Classes are held at the Jefferson Market Library on Saturdays from March 18th through April 22nd (3:00pm to 5:00pm). Registration begins on March 11th (online or at the second floor desk).
Joannie MacKenzie is an actress, teacher, and coach. She has performed in film, television, regional theatre, and Off-Broadway venues. MacKenzie has taught private acting classes and coached opera singers, actors, authors, and lawyers. She has also worked with stand-up comics at the American Comedy Institute and taught in the Communications Department at William Patterson University. MacKenzie is as passionate a teacher as she is a performer.
Drawing from Observation: An Eight-Session Course
By Erica Prince
Drawing is a skill that anyone can acquire through practice and exercises in visual perception. Drawing is associated with certain aspects of human experience: intimacy, authenticity, immediacy, subjectivity, history, memory, narrative, and communication. The first humans drew in the sand, as children all over the world draw in 2017. Drawing is everywhere in contemporary art, perhaps due to its ability to express ideas so directly. It is a medium for observing the world around us. In this class, Erica Prince, a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, will teach drawing from observation. Prince has taught drawing in many capacities, to experienced artists and students with no drawing experience whatsoever.
Classes are held at the Jefferson Market Library on Thursdays from March 16th through April 27th (6:00pm to 8:00pm). Registration begins on March 9th (online or at the second floor desk). There will also be an Exhibition Opening on May 4th.
Erica Prince’s work questions our lifestyle design choices and how they reflect our states of being—our essential and constructed identities, as well as our hopes and dreams for the future. Recent exhibitions include: things you can’t unthink at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, and The Transformational Makeover Salon at the PULSE art fair in Miami Beach and In Limbo in Williamsburg. Her work has been featured in the New York Times Style Magazine, Vice, and Artsy. Prince holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.