our mission

Greater Norristown Art League, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a 501 (c)(3) status engaged in the promotion and teaching of the Arts. Founded in 1941 and chartered in 1957, it is located in the Old Norriton Schoolhouse and is one of East Norriton Township’s historical resources.

 

GNAL offers day, evening and weekend classes for adults and children, in addition to, one day studios in all media, exhibition opportunities, and summer camp for children. We hold a September open house for the public and variety of Second Sunday events open to the public.

our history

THE HISTORY OF THE ART LEAGUE

 

In 1941 a group of about 125 people, who hoped to further education and appreciation of the arts, sponsored a one-man show for Marvin Detwiler at the YMCA. It was received so well that the Norristown Art Committee (later to become the Norristown Art League) was formed. The group met in many different locations including the Norristown YMCA, Army Reserve Center, A.D. Eisenhower School, the Bridgeport Fire Station, and occasionally members’ homes. The group became a chartered non-profit organization by 1957 and officially became a 501(c)3 sometime in the late 1990s.

 

OUR HISTORIC SCHOOL HOUSE

The place where people come to learn and inspire one another. The Greater Norristown Art League’s (GNAL) home is a small, one-room schoolhouse that was built in 1894. The current building is a replacement for the original school which was built in 1771 by Norristown’s first physician, Dr. Shannon. It is the oldest school in E. Norriton Township. Dr. Shannon’s family hosted George Washington on his march from Valley Forge to New Jersey in 1778.

After the township was divided into East and West Norriton in the early 1900s, the building was no longer needed as a schoolhouse and subsequently sold for $875.  It was sold again and used as a Community Center. Fun fact: Charley McCracken and Joanne Jackson, both GNAL members, once attended square dances here.

FUN FACTS

In the beginning, there were no cash prizes for juried art shows sponsored by the Art League. Winners received silver trays, silver goblets, sterling pitchers, and other similar items.

 

Shows were held at the YMCA and later at Norristown High School. In 1948, dues were $1.00.

 

There were 93 members in 1951.


Free biweekly painting classes were offered early on in the formation of the League.


Children’s classes were added in 1949.


For many years, the league held an annual Beaux Arts Ball that was attended by the community.

meet our administration

EXECUTIVE BOARD • 2022/2023

Ria Hyer • President

Brittany Delp  • Vice President

Carolyn Silverthorn • Treasurer 

Open • Secretary

MANAGING DIRECTORS

  • Alexus deBraganza

  • Russell DiLeo

  • Will Donnelly

  • Fran Matthews

  • Michael Wrigley

  • Open

  • Open

  • Open

COORDINATOR

  • Kathy Bampfield

PARLIAMENTARIAN

  • Francesca Barone

Board Meetings are held a minimum of four times a year. Interested in getting involved or joining our board? Email us at gnartleague@gmail.com!

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"Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."

 – John Steinbeck

meet our instructors

Have a talent for art? Are you a willing professional? GNAL is always looking for experienced instructors! Please submit a cover letter describing your interests with your resume to gnartleague@gmail.comGNAL holds adult classes, young artist classes, summer art camp and specialty programs in addition to birthday parties all year round! 

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DOUG TWEDDALE

Classical Drawing Essentials

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NICOLE LEE

Acrylic and Watercolor Painting and  Kid's programming

GABRIELLE SIVITZ

Sketch Club

I have been an artist my whole life. I remember being nine years old and oil painting with my Uncle Lester Gallagher, an artist from the Midwest who loved painting the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. For the last 30 years, I have been a pastel artist, and for half of that time I have studied with Master Painter Albert Handell. Now that I have retired, I have the wonderful opportunity of making painting my first priority as I travel this beautiful country with my wife Sue. So far, we have been on two three-month extended trips to many National Parks out West. I’ve attained signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of the West Coast. A story of our 2015 journey and my travel art work was just published in the August issue of the Pastel Journal. During our travels, I conduct “Living the Dream” Plein Air Workshops to share my artist’s knowledge and experience with students as we enjoy painting our treasured National Parks.   

I’ve been an artist my whole life. From drawing, painting, animation, photography, filmmaking, and pottery, I’ve done a little of everything! I grew up in Feasterville, PA and am the only artist in my family.

I attended the University of the arts in Philadelphia from 2000 to 2005 and have a BFA in film and digital video. Like many others, I loved too many forms of art to focus on just one, so I studied several art forms during my college career including animation, photography, illustration, screenwriting and film.

I absolutely love Disney and the amazing art of the talented people who work for that company, so I partook in an internship program at Walt Disney World during my sophomore year of college. That was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about customer service and work ethic.

After college, I worked on the sets of many major motion pictures that were filmed in the Philadelphia area. I’ve met some truly amazing people and actors through my experiences, but eventually it was time to find more steady work. I spent some years working in marketing before I found an art center and a few paint-and-sip companies that helped me turn my love of art into a professional career. Through the art center, I was offered a role as an elementary art teacher at many different schools. Here I learned that kids are an amazing window to new ideas and creativity and it’s a lot of fun seeing where they go with it.

Working as an artist allows me to create art all the time and that is my ideal job. I am one of the rare few in the world who can say ‘I absolutely love what I do,’ and honestly mean it. I am truly grateful to have that in my life and am hoping it lasts forever!

Originally trained in scientific illustration, Gabrielle Sivitz credits her father, a science teacher, amateur photographer and painter, for shaping her lifelong enthusiasm for nature and art. As an educator and artist, she has held positions at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope. Gabrielle studied at Bucks County Community College, Moore College of Art & Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where she focused on painting and printmaking. Gabrielle recently returned to eastern Pennsylvania after 15 years living in the Intermountain West, where she taught drawing and painting to adult students out of her own studio as well as at art centers and museums in Idaho and Montana. In 2017, she was awarded a professional
development grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts with the National Endowment for the Arts. Gabrielle wants her students to enjoy art and embrace the learning process. Her classes and workshops are geared toward having fun and accepting mistakes. “When we’re kids we naturally draw and paint for fun and we don’t worry about the results, but as we get older we become much harder on ourselves. We accept the myth that artists are born with some magical ability that we don’t have, and so we give up. In reality, it just takes practice. It’s all about training yourself to see like an artist, and having fun along the way.” 

Mosaic art

ROXANNE SLEMMER

Mosaics

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VEDA MANAM

Oil Painting and Cold Wax Medium

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DIANE DEROGATIS

Kids Create Summer Program

My name is Diane DeRogatis and I am a certified art educator.  I am originally from New Jersey where I taught Elementary and High School art.  Since moving to Pennsylvania I continue to teach and work independently as a freelance artist.  The mediums I love working with are watercolors and acrylics.  Being a landscape artist I am totally inspired by the beautiful lakes, mountains, hiking trails and farmland of PA.

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JASON RODRIGUEZ

ZOOM Classes

Paint Tubes

JIM GREEN

Oil Painting

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BETZ GREEN

All Media Drawing and Watercolor

I started drawing Sesame Street’s Ernie and Bert at the age of two, and from then on I couldn’t stop filling sketchbook after sketchbook. In highschool I attended the School of the Arts in Charleston, SC as a Visual Arts major. However, in college, I started to question the purpose of art which led me to give up on it and major in something “useful.” It wasn’t until my mid 20s (while I was in seminary of all places) that I realized I was created to be an artist and that creating art was one of my deepest joys. It was on an iPad in a program called Procreate that I started drawing again. I especially liked the “undo” button and the diversity of true to life brushes. Creating on the iPad got me back into drawing, and eventually I returned to physical/traditional media. I now use both digital and traditional tools to illustrate; for example, I will ink or watercolor a picture and load it into the iPad to utilize the breadth of tools available in a digital workflow. Being part of an Art Community has also been crucial to this journey. I am actively engaged with the Society of Visual Storytelling, an online art school and art community for illustration. I am a major proponent of self paced learning, challenging yourself and finding what’s available to you to improve your craft. Currently, I am homeschooling my own little artists, freelance illustrating and running a custom portrait studio. 

After graduating from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and completing several business courses, I owned and operated a commercial construction business for 30 years. I have now turned my full attention to a career in the fine arts. My studio and the home I share with my artist wife Betz are located outside Philadelphia.

I have exhibited and won prizes for my work in many juried shows and gallery exhibitions including Allied Artists of America, Audubon Artists Inc., both located in NYC, Stover Mill Gallery as an invited artist in a recent dual exhibition, Phillips Mill in New Hope and Historic Yellow Springs in Chester County. Besides jurying regional art shows, I give art lectures, demonstrations and workshops on my painting methods. Over the last few years I have also enjoyed instructing classes at non-profit art organizations.

I create oil paintings using vibrant colors in an impressionistic style with an expressionistic twist. As for subject matter, that includes whatever inspires me in that moment.

When very young I would collect bits of nature while hiking in the countryside of Berks County, go home to set up a still life with the found objects, and then draw, draw, draw. This experience developed my perception and discipline. After attending youth classes at Kutztown University, receiving a scholarship to attend Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts and then Tyler School of Art, I married fellow artist Jim Green. While raising two artsy children I honed my own skills by creating commissioned children’s portraits and house portraits. Later I became the cover illustrator for Montgomery County Town and County Living Magazine and co-founded Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists. I jury area art shows and have won numerous awards in regional, national and international shows including gold and silver medals at Audubon Artists Inc. in NYC at the Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists of America, also in NYC, Philadelphia Water Color Society, Phillips Mill, the Philadelphia Sketch Club and regularly exhibit at Historic Yellow Springs. My work has been featured in galleries, including as invited artist at a recent dual exhibition at Stover Mill Gallery, museum shows and many private collections.

I reside just outside Philadelphia with Jim, a few chickens, and too many gardens. Teaching art to adults has become a passion, and as I am constantly experimenting with different materials and techniques to create various portfolios of work, in the classroom I enthusiastically pass on what I have learned.

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LORI CROOK

Alcohol Inks

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FRAN MATTHEWS

Acrylic Pour

Citrus Fruits

NOW HIRING!

Please send your resume to gnartleague@gmail.com.

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community outreach


One of Greater Norristown Art League’s main goals is to introduce, enrich and provide knowledge, support and participation in the arts to the local community and surrounding areas.


SCHOOLS


Greater Norristown Art League provides Awards to Montgomery County Community College for its annual High School Art Show and the college’s annual Student Art Show.

THE ARTS

GNAL collaborates with many non-profits such as Expressive Path and Variety Club, both organizations committed to enriching, educating, and inspiring children by providing resources for them in the areas of theater, dance, music, humanities, and

HOSPITALS

 

GNAL volunteers serve as curators for rotating art exhibitions at the Braemer Medical Arts Building at Einstein Montgomery Hospital in East Norriton Township. GNAL members provide original art to enhance the corridors for hospital patients and visitors. Dermatology Associates in Plymouth Meeting is our new exhibit in 2021, which is an extension of Braemer Medical Arts.

CLUBS

GNAL is working with Variety Club in Worcester, PA. Our collaboration is with our summer camps and mural art at Braemer Medical Arts Building at Einstein Montgomery Hospital.

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member gallery

The Greater Norristown Art League Member Gallery was created to give our members an online platform to display their artwork. We encourage you to participate in the GNAL Member Gallery. If you would like to see your work displayed below, please email us at gnartleague@gmail.com.

 

Please include your name, the title of the work, the year it was created, the medium and the size. High resolution JPEG images only.

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coming soon

policies

NON-DISCRIMINATION

No student will be denied admission based on race, color, gender, or ethnic origin. However, the Greater Norristown Art League reserves the right to refuse enrollment to participants with a history of disruptive behavior or for any impediment to the learning process of the group as a whole. 

ESTABLISHED ARTIST

 

Greater Norristown Art League policy states that an artist meeting any of the following criteria will be considered “ESTABLISHED” for purposes of GNAL:

1. Has been an artist for 10 years or more.

2. Has an art degree.

3. Has had a one-person show in a professional gallery.

4. Makes a living as an artist.

5. Has obtained signature status in a national art organization.

6. Through experience and training, has developed his/her work to a level that he/she considers professional.

7. Is an art instructor.

EMERGING ARTIST

Has been an artist for under 10 years.

Please remember, that one way of developing and validating your abilities as an artist is to be challenged by those who have become accomplished and skilled in the art experience. Please consider this when making your declaration as an Established or Emerging Artist. (See “GNAL Policy” above).

SALES POLICY

 

GNAL retains 25% commission from members and 30% commission from non-members on artworks sold during or as the direct result of GNAL-sponsored events.

RENTAL FEES

The Schoolhouse Gallery is available on weekends for 1-3 person exhibitions and private parties. The rental fee is $200 for Saturday and Sunday. All other conditions are addressed in GNAL’s Rental Contract. Please contact us at gnartleague@gmail.com for more information or to schedule your event.