June 22, 2023 10 - 4 pm CST
June 23, 2023 10 - 4 pm CST
June 24, 2023 10 - 4 pm CST
June 25, 2023 10 - 2 pm CST

Bridgeport Art Center
Jeffrey Hirst Studio
Chicago, IL

$1095 *price includes some materials not listed.

Michael "Shem" Shemchuck                    

Michael "Shem" Shemchuk

Michael "Shem" Shemchuk

Are you ready to be challenged?

Interested in taking your work to new places?


3 OVER 3 
3 over 3
In this workshop we will be creating a modular (3 over 3) 9- panel installation. Our goal is to have each individual panel stand on it’s own and work in concert as wellThis parameter allows us to fully focus on our design and composition skills, while creating a manageable interplay between the panels.
Focus: Our focus is to learn the fundamental Abstraction by Design (AbD) techniques of layering paint and paper, reacting and repeating, and applying this method to our panels.
AbD is the process of applying paint and paper simultaneously. We work on cradled-panels exploring collage & painting techniques.Collaging involves color selection, paper choices, placement, glueing, mark making, composition and surface extraction. Painting involves panel prep, trowel application, brushing, sanding, surface manipulations, paint mixing and texturing.
The Abstraction by Design technique: With AbD, we employ both our design skills and the craft of collage and painting.The collage activities involve color selection, paper choices, placement, glueing, mark making, composition and surface extraction. Painting involves trowel application, brushing, sanding, surface manipulations, paint mixing, panel prep and texturing.
AbD fundamentals: Layering paint and paper simultaneously and repeating the process.
Goal: The goal of each student is to learn and apply the Abstraction by Design fundamentals and to practice these techniques on your panels.
9-16”x16” x 7/8” cradled panels. (See Blick item 07044-1616) 1-qt white latex house paint. (Flat or satin sheen)
1-qt black latex house paint. (Flat or satin sheen)
2-qts. Acrylic urethane/varnish clear medium.(gloss or semigloss) 12-16 sheets black tissue.
12-16 sheets 18”x22” newsprint.
Variety of collage papers and color tissue ( color, pattern, graphics, craft paper and re-purposed).
Color paint. You will need a small quantity 1-3 colors of latex house or acrylic artist paints. Note: use what you have in your studio. To be used for mixing with black & white paint.

1-6”wide flexible broad knife and 1- putty knife.
1- scrubber sponge.
1- sheet 100 grit sandpaper and 1- sanding block. ( wood block 2.5”x3.5”x.75” works well)
6- 2” chip brushes.
6- pint/quart plastic mixing containers and 1- plastic gallon bucket (for water). Scissors, utility knife, spray bottle(atomizer), wiping rags, paint stir sticks, white cards, artist brushes, hair dryer or heat gun.

NOTE: We will use color paint in small quantities. You will need small quantities of acrylic/latex color paint, I encourage to use paint that you have available in your studio. Our goal here is to coordinate/compliment the combined use of the paint color with the color of collage papers. We will be using white, black and grey paint on our panels and will discuss these paint/paper selections at length in class.
Option: you can work on 12”x12” or 16”x16” panels. Whatever you are most comfortable with.
Your are welcome to work on re-purposed panels and as many panels as you wish.

June 22, 2023 10 - 4 pm CST
June 23, 2023 10 - 4 pm CST
June 24, 2023 10 - 4 pm CST
June 25, 2023 10 - 2 pm CST

Bridgeport Art Center

Jeffrey Hirst Studio
Chicago, IL

$1095 *price includes some materials not listed.

  • Four Days of creating 
  • Individual and group discussions over the four days
  • The class is limited to 11 people 

Michael "Shem" Shemchuk

Michael "Shem" Shemchuk

Michael "Shem" Shemchuk
Michael Shemchuk is an abstract artist living and working in Northern California.
Born in the blue-collar mill town of Lowell Massachusetts in 1954, Shemchuk realized at an early age that his keen eye for color and form, burning curiosity, and love of adventure would necessitate a departure from the culturally spare town of Lowell.

Making a choice that was unpopular, Shem saw service in the military as his ticket out of the surroundings he found so limiting. Shem dove headlong into a world he had never
Largely self-taught, Shem did not emerge on the art scene in a conventional fashion.

Following his native skills and sensitivities as an artist, his career has criss-crossed the world of applied arts and visual expression. Influenced by studies at the Academy of Art
College and California State University, SF, Shem combined his love for photography, color, and abstraction. The result was an unusual amalgamation of interest and influences. Leveraging his practical skills, Shem supplemented his nascent career as a mixed media artist by practicing the craft of faux finish from the late eighties until 2000.
His work from this period is evident in some of the most noteworthy homes and buildings in the Bay Area. With a keen eye for hue and value, Shem served as a color consultant to numerous architects and interior designers in and around Northern California. His day of reckoning came at the turn of the millennium, when he resolved to focus his efforts on painting and abstraction full time. With the support of his wife, noted interior designer Kathy Farley, he was all in.
Shem’s work has evolved over the last two decades, shaped directly by a close engagement with material and process. From the onset, Shem’s focus has been on
abstraction and design. Influenced by his earlier faux finish work, Shem’s Meridian series, begun in the late nineties, used paint and plaster as primary media. In 2014,
Shem became interested in the changes in art-making stemming from shifts in technology. His response was to re-evaluate traditional materials such as paper and
paint, thus simplifying his approach to abstraction with the Tags series. In 2017, Shem was inspired to further his pursuit of abstraction and design by streamlining his materials and employing process as integral to his work. The result is his Surface Tension series, which is based on an organic process involving water, paper, pressure, friction, and time.
In addition to his art-making, Shem teaches the principles of Abstraction by Design (AbD) to students and fellow artists via workshops and private mentoring. His experiences as a teaching artist over the last four years have inspired and deepened his appreciation for creative community and collaboration.
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen
In my journey, I have visited this quote many times. As a self-taught artist these words
have provided me with a launching pad and a landing site in pursuit of my work.
Awareness of the light has assisted me in recognizing my aesthetic and teaching skills.
Sensitivity to the light has guided me in choosing the paths presented before me.

$500 deposit holds you spot and the balance is due June 1.

You may pay for the class in the following ways:
  • using the Paypal button below
  • Call Jeff with a credit card (612-414-3030)
  • Send a check to Jeff Hirst at:
         1200 W 35th Street 3A3120
         Chicago, IL 60609


*Cancellation policy:
In the event of cancellation before May 15, 2022, a refund will be issued. If cancelation occurs after May 31, 2023 no refund will be issued. A $100 processing fee will be charged to a refund.
note: a 3% processing fee is included for all credit card and Paypal charges on deposits and full payments.