What Others Say About Us

"The course changed my thinking about
looking at art and art history.”


"I cannot thank you enough for speaking to our kids.  They enjoyed it, there was no doubt...You got great feedback and your idea of bringing the apples was brilliant.  I certainly plan to on your services again and I have no doubt that others in First Year Writing are planning to do the same."

Christine Bahls
University of the Arts

Your class has meant, and means so much to Claire and I, both as individuals and as a couple.  We have been going to museums together since one of our first dates (I think our second), and I will add, when we do go it has always been with an open mind to the possibility/probability that our horizons will be broadened by the experience. However, your class has dramatically changed the game for both of us, upping the bar, increasing our understanding, and greatly enriching our experience. And I must add, enriching our experience of life, not just paintings. The work you do is so important, it’s possible you have no idea.  It is hard work, but so rewarding, beyond my words."

Gary Phillips

“I am so appreciative to have had my life enriched by having had the experience the Violette de Mazia (Foundation)...."

Marlene Santoyo

“I am writing to personally thank you for your sponsorship of the college course here at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford. Along with your courtesy, Professor Perthes’ adept handing of the subject matter, patience with our struggle in understanding the method, and tolerance of the many delays and interruptions caused by the institution have allowed me and the class to gain valuable insight into the world of art and its appreciation. In this you have succeeded in making art appreciation a part of our communal life. My only wish is that I could have enjoyed the works of art discussed first hand.”

Student at Villanova Undergraduate Program/ SCI-Graterford

“I truly cannot begin to tell you just how much this course has done for me, or what it has opened up for me. As an artist who has never had any formal training in the field of art, I now look at art in a much different way. I never thought that I would see as much as I now see in the way art is put together. This course has opened up for me a way to express myself with my art in ways that will allow others, to see my art as a true artist would want (his or her) work seen.”

Charles H. Lawson

“I have a whole new outlook on art and how I look at everything in general. I have a true appreciation for art. Now I have been given even more tools to work with one of my passions. Needless to say, this class left me hungry for more.”

George Trudel

The course has given me, among many gifts, a heightened awareness of color-made light, line, volume and space and the impact it plays in our world.”

Elma Andrews

“I want you to know how very grateful I am for your generosity, and for the opportunity you’ve given me to learn about art appreciation. . . I feel I am always learning how to see, and how to really look at the world for what is there!”

Suzanne Au Buchon

“I have encountered few situations in recent years as genuinely rewarding as the seminars offered by the Violette de Mazia (Foundation). Here was a group of people brought together by common interest, sharing their enthusiasm for fine art with one another and challenged by the unconventional teachings of Albert Barnes. I truly believe that if I am able to share my enthusiasm for the arts with others, to be challenged by their interest, to share their thoughts and ideas, and to teach them to see a work of art in a new way, then I shall be content, and truly grateful.”

Sarah J. Bonnice

“Being able to attend these classes was an exciting and valuable opportunity. If feel that Dr. Barnes and Miss de Mazia’s ideas are things I instinctively knew but am now able to articulate. I also found this method very freeing as a creative person. Thank you for continuing to offer these teachings. I’m very grateful to have been a part of the class.”

Beth Camagna

“I have found that (parts of) the philosophy and language gave me a clearer way to explain the content and context of my work—Art, not real estate.”

E. Giordano

“The course has made me more attentive to the ‘art’ of literature and the ‘art’ of nature in general. I shall be forever grateful for the opportunity to study art that the Violette de Mazia Foundation Trust.

Elizabeth M. Field

“What I learned certainly helps me as I plan programs at the Main Line Art Center. The course changed my thinking about looking at art and art history.”

Judy Herman

“Personally the course was a most enriching and rewarding experience, giving me the opportunity to spend quality time with a great collection of art and to learn an expanded way of seeing and thinking aesthetically. I find myself using some of the terms and visual applications when teaching my sculpture classes, coaxing out new ways students can think about and experience their work. My goal has always been to have students learn how to see rather than just look. The de Mazia (Foundation) course has supported and expanded my personal interest toward this path.”

James Lloyd

“Thank you for enriching my connection to the arts.”
Judy Lupas

“It has made me much more aware of the way to appreciate art which in turn helps me in working with the art teachers.”

Jack Maguire

“I hope the de Mazia (Foundation) will continue to offer the courses to art educators. I have recommended the class to others who have taken it and loved it.”

Sheila M. Mahoney

“My life has been enriched by the opportunity to study as a student of the Violette de Mazia (Foundation) Thank you.”

Martha Marsey

“The method helped me see an art object yet again apart from what I already knew about art and what influenced me from the outside world. The course revealed to me a divergent view of analyzing items of art without bands of convention. It lets the viewer accept a new vision stripped of illusion of form, color and outline in order to define it.”

Margot M. Matkowski

“The amazing experience of study in such an enriched environment enables that experience both in the studio and when I teach.”

Sandra Milner

“The course not only provided me with the tools to understand and appreciate art, but has also given me an appreciation of life itself.”

Student at Villanova Undergraduate Program/ SCI-Graterford

“Art and life are more integrated with my thoughts of the daily nuance. I look at things more in relationship to other and self.”

Kathryn Pannepacker

“The method is integral to my appreciation of art and my surroundings. It has provided me with a gaze or means of judging my own work. I have learned volumes from these courses and my life has been changed.”

Allan Hunter

“One of the most interesting aspects of this course is the way that it sensitizes you—the techniques of looking and analyzing inform your sensibilities in your daily experience. The reward of this is heightened awareness. This is wonderful in a personal way, but even more valuable for an artist and a teacher. I have found it an invaluable experience. The method is an effectual tool for artists and teachers and [for] deciphering artwork and experiences of all kinds.”

Carol Taylor-Kearney

“Excellence, whether in fine art or education, stands the test of time. The 'Advanced Theoretical and Critical Studies' program designed years ago by Violette de Mazia is still providing understanding and appreciation for the fine arts, along with a solid foundation and methodology for all learning… The components of the objective method, taught by skilled and knowledgeable instructors have been a valuable part of my return to education. With pride and appreciation for the gift of learning to see a broader view of art and the world, I continue to observe and marvel at the patterns that emerge in people, stories, painting and song, linking us all in the aesthetic of a meaningful and common humanity."

Marie T. Slovich

“I [have] been in a stationary place for 20 years full of locked doors . . . . So it was quite unexpected. . . this door which gracefully opened [because of] the [art appreciation] course. [It felt like a] window . . . lighting . . . my mind!”

Student at Villanova Undergraduate Program/ SCI-Graterford

 “I am so grateful for the experience I have had this year. As a teacher, my philosophy has always included being a lifelong learner. My class with Marilyn [Violette de Mazia Foundation instructor] really pushed me to a new level as an artist, student, and teacher.”

Angela M. Benjamin

“Participating in courses offered by the Violette de Mazia (Foundation) gave me new skills in formal analysis, and by incorporating this approach I enrich and improve the lessons I teach at PMA [Philadelphia Museum of Art].”

Katharine Seed

“I truly cannot begin to tell you just how much this course has done for me, or what it has opened up for me. As an artist who has never had any formal training in the field of art, I now look at art in a much different way. I never thought that I would see as much as I now see in the way art is put together.”

Charles H. Lawson