ART build to launch this summer

Johnson State College Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts Department, Michael Zebrowski is creating a new summer art program that will be offered starting this summer called ART Build.

Zebrowski is looking for students, faculty and community members that are hardworking, interested in working with their hands and willing to collaborate on an interesting campus project. “I am looking to attract a well-rounded group of folks interested in all or any of the aspects on campus,” Zebrowski says. Anything on campus involving the arts, science, math, education, business, or sports and so on all apply.

“Interdisciplinary is the collaborative approach we will take with this endeavor,” says Zebrowski.

As far as a focus in work goes, Zebrowski is planning to have a primary focus in woodworking for this project, along with some metal and paint. “When I design a project like this for students to engage themselves in I always want to offer a given high success rate, as well as a comfortable place for everyone involved to experiment and learn from their mistakes,” he said.

Because the work will be exposed to the elements and handled by many, he emphasized making the project safe and structurally sound. “The choice of these materials will allow all students involved to learn a great deal about design and construction,” says Zebrowski. “This will lead to successful build and a work that will clearly voice the collective conceptual, artistic and creative voice of the students and all involved.”

Zebrowski’s inspiration for the ART Build stretches as far back to his own higher education. “I participated in a design build studio during my senior year in architecture school at the University at Buffalo,” says Zebrowski. “I personally saw it as a fantastic and invaluable collaborative learning experience rooted outside the studio walls.”

He described it as the construction of a real-life three dimensional physical object. Along with this, he explained how there was no pretending when all was said and done opposed to traditional two dimensional art practices. “When presented the opportunity as a faculty member, I wanted to offer the same kind of dynamic real world educational experience for my students.”

“There are so many reasons to run this program here and the biggest is our collective cultural identity to the arts as “Vermonters,” said Zebrowski. “Sharing our creative processes and products is critical to the vitality of our region, and I think that this program will offer another way to do this in a big way.”

Zebrowski is hoping to use the project as a promotional tool of what is done within the arts department at JSC. Along with this, he hopes it will act as natural recruiting tool. “It will help get our students excited about working with the community and potentially open up opportunities for further collaborations, internships and exposure, fostering lifelong relationships and opportunity,” said Zebrowski.

Just like with everything in life, there are always ups and downs, but currently the ART Build project is leaning towards the up side. “There are many challenges associated with starting up a program like this,” said Zebrowski. “I have to say that so far all of those challenges have been surmounted.”

He attributed the success to administration and the larger community of JSC being positive and supportive towards the ART Build. “Our next biggest challenge is getting enough folks to register for the course so we can move forward and get building,” said Zebrowski. “As my previous experience has taught me after getting the first work built it was downhill from there.”

He explained how excitement for the work along with his experience made running the previous program year after year rather smooth.

“For this year we will be looking into working with Margo Warden and the First Year Experience as a client,” said Zebrowski. “We will be thinking of ways to build something that welcomes back everyone to campus, but perhaps has the most profound effect on the incoming class, president, faculty, and staff.”

Zebrowski said his goal is to show the strengths embodied in collective experiences, efforts and labors at JSC. As far as the future of the program goes, Zebrowski is looking into work with River Arts, which is a non-profit community arts center in Morrisville.

This project will focus on the construction of a semi-permanent work in the village. “From there, I will continue to try and grow the program year after year from there,” said Zebrowski.

“Hopefully in the end it will result in the creation of something that is a part of our vibrant learning history, diverse cultural community, and local and regional collaboration in Vermont.”

Anyone interested in participating in this year’s Art Build should contact Zebrowski at, He will answer any questions about the course, program and grant permission to take the course.

According to Zebrowski, “No experience is needed to apply. Passion and excitement for the work is a must.”