Free Columbia Summer Courses

July 2–6 Overview of Rudolf Steiner’s Sketches for Painters

July 9–13 Sunrise/Sunset: The 8th and 9th Sketch

Flexible scheduleinstruction in the morning, open studio in the afternoon. Come paint this summer!

Over the past 3 years Free Columbia has offered summer courses on Rudolf Steiner’s sketches for Painters. is summer we will spend one week on an overview of all 9 sketches and then we will spend a week working intensively with the 8th and 9th sketch: the second sunrise and sunset.

Everyone is welcome whether or not you have worked with the sketches before. We will work both outside and inside and we will work in many media and use many approaches. The weeks may be taken together or separately.  

The courses will be held at Hawthorne Valley School.

Free Columbia is a free cultural initiative based on an understanding of the importance of creating independent and accessible educational and artistic opportunities. There are no set tuitions. Suggested donation amounts are based on what it costs to run courses.  Suggested donation $0- 600/week.

Contact Laura Summer for more info and to register:; 518-672-7302.

Free Columbia holds 3rd ART Convergence

July 16-22, 2018


Building upon the Art Conferences at the Basilica in Hudson NY 2010-12 and the Art Convergences of 2013 and 2017, Free Columbia has scheduled a gathering this summer — July 16-22 — of 16 artists from various places including California, England, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Vermont, as well as local artists from Columbia County, NY. These artists will 'converge' and work together for five days on the following questions:

  • What passes between us when we work together as artists?
  • What is it to create?
  • What is it to create together?

Artists will come to the Convergence willing to work with these questions artistically in collaboration with others. At the Convergence, time will be set aside each day for collegial conversation. The rest of the day will be dedicated to continuing artistic projects that may stimulate informal dialogue and/or collaboration. On Saturday, July 21st there will be a series of events in Philmont—performances, an exhibition, demonstrations and/or a panel discussion—that will be open to the public. Visit Free Columbia's website for updates.

Low Residency Work In The Elements Of Painting:
A New Course With Laura Summer

Four sessions: November, February, April, and July 2018/19

Free Columbia will offer a series of weeklong intensives in the basic lawfulness of color and composition. We will explore and exercise our capacities in the quality realm. If you are interested in painting and wonder how to take your work beyond your own expression and into the realm of conversation with the elements of two dimensions you are so welcome to apply. If you have been painting for years and long for enlivening dialogue with other painters or if you are a beginner, but you’re fascinated and committed to this work of learning through artistic process, you are so welcome to apply. The four sessions will be held in November, February, April and July. There will be individual work to do between sessions and the studio at Free Columbia will be available during the year. More information at <>.

Announcing The ART/Capital Residency

In January 2018 the Free Columbia Art Initiative in Philmont began collaborating with Lightforms-Art and Spirit, an arts center located in the neighboring town of Hudson, to offer Free Culture Residencies to selected artists from near and far. Artists all over the world are bearing inner riches like seeds in search of gardens, in search of sun and rain and nurture. We need these seeds today more than ever, as we need nature, as we need connection to sky and earth, and to each other; Free Columbia and Lightforms have come together to make studio space, practical support, and an annual fund of $8000 available in service to nurturing creativity in and for community. Since it began in 2009, Free Columbia has been about Free Culture. What does this mean? Well we know we need these seeds, but art has become money, and money art, art adorns the wealthy wall as money symbol, art is a product in the market, for those who can afford to make and sell it. But what is its potential? Art needs capital, but no less does capital need art: capital needs creativity, or it becomes a dead money. In the words of Joseph Beuys, capital is human dignity and creativity, capital is art.

If we can support the artist to create, free from economic edict; and if this creation can be made accessible to everybody, not just to those who can afford a ticket; then the inspiration seeded in the individual person can connect with the whole community, and the community in turn can connect with the individual, in creation that is mutual. This sounds like pretty talk, but can it be done? What is the magic currency? Short answer: it can be done; it is being done. The magic currency is called, by some, the Gift. All events and classes that Free Columbia offers are accessible to anyone, regardless of income: there is no set ticket price or tuition. This does not mean the offerings don’t need currency, a form of human energy and creativity: in reality, an event that comes to fruition has of necessity received this energy in the past, through past gifts, otherwise it could not come into existence. The event is a gift. If you experience this gift, and out of this experience you wish to make a gift like it accessible to future audiences and students, your capital can do it. The ART/capital artists in residence for 2018 will share their work with the community in Free Culture events. Keep an ear out for upcoming places and times. Artists in Residence for 2018: Zoltán Döbröntei; Martina Angela Müller; Jason Healy.