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April 13, 2013

Retired teacher finds new career with art school

By Cathy Nardi
The Daily Star

---- — Doug Hallberg, former teacher and stained glass artist, has come out of retirement and opened an art studio, teaching several different mediums of artwork.

Carriage House Art Studio is located behind the former Wilber mansion, now home of Community Arts Network of Oneonta, or CANO. The studio has a kiln, glass working area, painting studio and a place where computer art is created. Hallberg offers classes in jewelry making, painting and drawing, ceramics and glass work.

After retiring from the Edmeston Central School system in 2012, Hallberg decided to open Carriage House Art Studio. He applied for a grant from the state of New York and received $25,000 to open the studio. Siting the school on part of the CANO propertyalso help the not-for-profit with their education requirements.

In addition to adult classes, Hallberg has an afterschool program for children ages 7 to 14. He has several high school and college-aged students who volunteer to help supervise the children.

“They love this,” Hallberg said. “Some of the kids really are interested in the computer lab. They are very creative.”

On a recent weekday afternoon, the studio was bustling with several children working on art projects.

“This is fun,” said Caroline Carter of Oneonta, who was making a clay creation.

On the same afternoon, several other kids were melting crayons together for a project. 

In the summer, Hallbert offers an art intensive summer day camp for children.

Hallbert grew up in Minnesota, where he fell in love with stained glass windows.

“I have always liked beautiful things,” Hallbert said. “As a boy, I was fascinated with the stained-glass windows in my church. The power of sunlight through colored glass, ornamental objects — and especially in architectural windows — has had a profound effect on people for over 1,400 years.

“I graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville Minnesota. The Benedictine Abbey church there, designed by Marcel Breuer, has a massive stained-glass window featured in many books on architecture.”

Hallbert became an accomplished stained glass designer and has repaired many stained glass windows in several locations around the county. What began as a hobby became a calling.

“I took up stained glass as a hobby,” Hallbert said. “Soon, I started getting commissions for church work and began making stained glass windows full-time. In 1986, I moved to Oneonta to work for a stained-glass designer in the area.”

When Hallbert moved to the area, he obtained his master’s degree in fine arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. He taught art and technology at Edmeston from 1996 until he retired in the spring of 2012. In September of 2012, he had opened Carriage House Art Studio.

In addition to art classes and demonstrations, Hallbert offers his studio for rent. He also books birthday parties where a group can make an art project in one room and celebrate with cake in another room. There are several demonstrations planned for the summer, where accomplished artists will show those interested how to create fine art in various mediums.