About the Studio
The Art Students’ Exchange is built on the belief that a combination of strong traditional technique and truly imaginative ideas make great art. Students are encouraged to think for themselves, and to create unique and individual projects. We believe that the skills used to build a successful drawing or painting can be adapted for use in other creative and academic disciplines as well. These skills include developing a central idea, exploring this idea, and finally putting it into a form that is thoughtful, exciting, and uniquely creative.
The studio is relaxed, friendly, and open to all who enjoy drawing and painting. “Talent” is not a prerequisite — only the desire to enjoy personal creativity through visual art.
Students applying to art school are asked to do extra work in order to maximize their chances of being accepted by the more competitive colleges. To date, all students who have applied to art, architecture, and fashion schools have been accepted by either their first or second choice.
Students who want to add an Art Supplement to their liberal arts application might choose projects combining both academic research and visual art. Such projects might include interpreting historic events or literary works with painting, sculpture, collage or other materials; storyboarding an original short play or film; or writing a graphic novel. Engineering students might want to make drawings of possible or impossible machines or architecture. The objective is to make a final project that is distinctive enough to make college and university admissions boards take notice.
Connie Lane, Director
Connie Lane is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and has been working as a practicing artist since 1980. She opened The Art Students’ Exchange in Lexington, MA, in 1985.
Schedule and Fees
We are open for class seven days a week. Class times vary, but students can come to class on any day that is convenient, not necessarily the same day each week. Prices range from $95 – $150 per month, depending on frequency. Private lessons are available on a limited basis.
For further information, please call Connie Lane at 781-266-6564 (cell), or send an email to email@example.com.
Alum Words 2014
Laura Kishimoto, age 23, furniture designer and maker. Currently working as a freelance contractor for Codor Design in Seattle and Flitch Studios in Denver as well as creating personal work for an upcoming gallery show in Philly this December. Also an assistant teacher in the woodworking department at Red Rocks Community College. Current portfolio can be found at kishimotodesign.com.
I attended Art Students’ Exchange from age 9 to 18 and Connie has undoubtedly been a critical influence on my creative and personal development. At her studio I learned the value of self-discipline, constructive criticism, and personal drive, all of which have been invaluable to discovering and applying myself to my greatest passions. Just a year after graduating college I am able to earn a living from doing what I love everyday and I know that Connie and the Art Students’ Exchange has played a huge part in that.
Nathan Silver graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2005. Since then, he has written and directed five feature films: THE BLIND (2009), EXIT ELENA (2012), SOFT IN THE HEAD (2013), UNCERTAIN TERMS (2014), and STINKING HEAVEN (2015). His films have screened at festivals around the world and been released theatrically in the United States. Recently, Silver was profiled in the New York Times, and Filmmaker Magazine named him “one of the most interesting emerging directors in U.S. indie film.”
“For me, ASE was essential to my growth not only as a wannabe artist but also as a wannabe adult. I associate the place so heavily with my artistic formation that I can’t picture a life without it. I recommend that everyone go there until it’s so crowded that more places like it pop up.”
Jackie Kong, 18, student at New York University majoring in Studio Art
“Connie really changed my perspective on what art is and can be, and without her my work wouldn’t be where it’s at today. Her wisdom, humor, and creativity push every student to do their personal best.”
I have been doing art with Connie since I was in elementary school at LMS (the Lexington Montessori School). Connie is not only a fantastic artist and teacher, but also really knows how to connect with kids. I remember one class when “Walkin’ on the Sun” by Smash Mouth came on the radio, and we all got up on our stools and had a dance party! After elementary school, I started coming to classes at the Art Students Exchange (ASE) regularly, and really grew as an artist. In high school, I continued to explore new subject matter and media, and my art portfolio became an important piece of my college application.
The ASE was also an essential social outlet for me. Many of my high school friends came to the Friday class, and we’d usually go out to dinner at Bertucci’s or Via Lago in Lexington center after class. Looking back, I can’t think of a better way for a bunch of high school students to spend a Friday night!
After graduating from high school and the ASE, I studied physics at Yale. I thought about double-majoring in art, but the art classes were way harder than the physics classes! After college I worked for four years – first as an IT Consultant in Boston and New York, and later as a programmer at Bloomberg in New York. On a whim I applied to graduate school, and now I’m back in the Boston area studying Computer Science at MIT. I recently moved back in with my parents in Lexington, so now I am just a 10 minute drive from the ASE! I’ve started painting again, and I’m excited to be getting back to my roots.
I’m 21 and currently in my senior year at George Washington U, in DC studying international affairs and journalism.
I don’t know if anything I could say in an email could accurately sum up my experiences at the studio or convey just how important it was to my life for such a long time. Going to art classes every week for upwards of 10 years (?!) was probably the most consistent, comforting and wonderful experiences I had growing up. I always treated art as something deeply personal and private and felt immense joy in being able to explore that part of me at ASE with absolutely zero inhibitions. Although I never pursued it beyond the high school level, art has always played a substantial role in my life and that is without a doubt in large part thanks to you and ASE. It’s also worth noting that the years I was at ASE were also the toughest ones at home for me and my family–my parents divorce and sister’s illness–and going to art classes was a huge source of comfort during that period of time.
ASE helps students channel creativity into constructive activities and replicable problem solving methods that will serve them throughout their lifetime. Early lessons learned at ASE continue to help me work through complex design challenges (both visual and technical), successfully identify people I want to work with, and find beauty in the world around me. Many art classes will teach you what to see and communicate – ASE will teach you how to see and communicate.
Connie Lane has an unbelievable gift for connecting with a wide range of creative personalities, figuring out what motivates them, and then inspiring them work harder than they ever. thought. possible. During my time there she also established a community that could only be described as a social refuge.
Beyond the swirl of high school social dynamics, family drama, relentless coaches, and bizarrely cruel teachers, lay this precious community of art students that treated each other with respect. There, peers challenged each other and connected across vast social divides. Together, they learned about pieces of their personalities that were so often silenced in that outside world. I have no idea how Connie Lane accomplished this but I am forever grateful for the consistently safe place she created for us week after week.
ASE was a great addition to my college applications and prepared me for advanced anatomy and art history classes alike. It also introduced me to the type discipline it takes to pursue independent projects – a skill they simply don’t teach in the traditional classroom setting.
I recently graduated from U.C. Berkeley’s School of Information with a Masters in Information Management and Systems. There I studied data-science, business, law, and human computer interaction. I now live in San Francisco and have a job in the health tech field as an UX / UI Designer.
Well, uh… where should I start. Times I spent at ASE is unforgettable – Connie has been a great adviser for me ever since I entered the studio for the first time. Although we cannot meet face to face, I still rely on Connie’s word and always look forward to see her again.
After leaving ASE in 2007, I flew back to Korea and went to a design school. And there I met two other guys who I started a small design studio together. We officially started working together in 2013 and we specialize in branding and product design. So far we have worked with small start-ups..Is and packaging for their products. We are yet to make huge incomes but we have been blessed to work with wonderful people and we believe in our path.
Over twenty years ago I attended classes at the The Art Students’Exchange with some of my good friends and have seen all of us grow so much with the guidance and encouragement we received there. Today I live in New York and travel the world as an artist, those early sparks of inspiration led to a creative and interesting life.
ASE is great! I spent a large part of my childhood there. and my teenagehood. It was an environment that every kid needs a little of. Connie is still my art teacher, so either she’s doing something right or I’m a terrible student. or maybe a little of both.
The Art Students’ Exchange was one of the best parts about growing up in Lexington. Connie is an incredible art teacher who truly goes out of her way for her students. I have never met a more inspiring and encouraging educator. In particular, she really challenged me to create a college supplement that represented not only my artistic talent, but also my personal views and critical thinking. Now, I am currently a pre-medical student at the University of Southern California, majoring in neuroscience, and of course, minoring in the fine arts.
Occupation: Program Manager at SapientNitro
I was a private student at the ASE for 11 years (age 7-18). During those years, I took weekly private lessons from the intelligent, talented and unique Connie Lane.
In terms of instruction, Connie taught me all of the basics, and showed me how to work with a wide variety of mediums: pencil, charcoal, watercolor, oil, acrylic and clay. Connie’s instruction is very different than that of an academic course. She allowed me to work on whatever I was interested in and along the way, would support me in learning any techniques needed to get there.
My weekly class with Connie was extremely therapeutic and a much needed break from my daily life. It was the only time I could completely switch gears and escape into my painting. Throughout the years, I not only came to appreciate this time artistically, but also looked up to Connie as mentor, who I’d often ask for personal advice.
If you’re considering the ASE, I cannot give Connie enough accolades. She not only developed my drawing and painting skills, but also evolved my critical eye and helped me tap into my creativity. If you’d like to hear more about Connie and the studio, please don’t hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lydia Conklin has received a Pushcart Prize, work-study scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, the James Merrill House, the Vermont Studio Center, Millay, Jentel, Brush Creek, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera, the Sitka Center, and Harvard University, among others, and grants and awards from the Astraea Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Alliance of Artists Communities, and the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Her fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine, New Letters, The New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. She has drawn graphic fiction for Gulf Coast, Salt Hill,and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lydia Conklin has received a Pushcart Prize, work-study scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, the James Merrill House, the Vermont Studio Center, Millay, Jentel, Brush Creek, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera, the Sitka Center, and Harvard University, among others, and grants and awards from the Astraea Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Alliance of Artists Communities, and the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Her fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine, New Letters, The New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. She has drawn graphic fiction for Gulf Coast, Salt Hill, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I loved the studio, partly because Connie let me play Nirvana Unplugged week after week!”