Life as an artist, creativity, painting instruction, writing musicals, working studio tours.


T.E. Breitenbach – Artist, Playwright, Composer, Creative




K-2, 3-5, Middle school, High school


Creative Writing, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts


The Arts



Dates Available


Program Theme

Life as an artist, creativity, painting instruction, writing musicals, working studio tours.

Program Description


Thom Breitenbach is available for a limited number of school visits each year. He has talked and demonstrated to students of all grade levels from Kindergarten through University. He was artist-in-residence for Albany Academy during the 2007-2008 school year and in 2015-16 he worked with six area high schools to create creature masks for his musical “Hieronymus”, filmed for public television. His subject matter is easily adaptable to all age groups, needs, or interests. Subjects include, can be mixed, but are not limited to:

LIFE AS AN ARTIST – This talk is designed to provide inspiration and encouragement for young artists and includes: a slide show discussion of the artist’s paintings (and their meaning and construction) along with his castle, a display of at least one original painting and other items, a discussion of art as language, the business of art, new and old tools for the artist, advice for young artists, and more.

DESIGNING CREATURES – This popular workshop focuses on developing creativity. The artist first demonstrates creative tricks he used to design thousands of unusual creatures for his “Grumparar’s the New Creatures” book. Then the class designs their own creatures and gives them names and a purpose or story. Grades 1-12. Materials needed include only paper, pencils, and crayons or colored pencils. Sample chapters.

PAINTING LESSONS – The artist will demonstrate simple tricks from his oil painting course and the students will do the exercises. Recommended for advanced art classes. Please consult with the artist for needed materials.

CREATIVITY – This talk encourages young people to follow their dreams, but emphasizes that ideas are fleeting–it takes hard work to make dreams a reality. The artist shares the story of his own dream to build a castle and how he made that happen. The second part of the talk discusses why people are afraid to use their imaginations (because of the pressure to conform), followed by the artist sharing the personal tricks he employs to break away from traditional thinking and to develop new and original ideas.

THE ART OF WRITING A MUSICAL – If your school plans to perform one of the artist’s musicals, or for creative writing or music classes it will be a special treat to meet the/a playwright in person. He will tell how he writes shows, how a musical is constructed, lessons he learned along the way, and much more. His musical “Hieronymus” was recently performed at Proctors and filmed for public television. Click here to learn more about “Hieronymus”.

RULES FOR YOUNG ARTISTS – The artist shares his experiences as he lists ways to improve artistic skills, learn new disciplines, promote one’s work to the public, and earn a living.


If you can arrange a bus trip to visit the artist at his handmade studio and castle DO IT! The students love this experience and leave very inspired. A typical visit might include, an artist guided tour of a working blacksmith’s shop, then a walk around the castle learning how it was built. He points out fossils in the walls, and explains a bit of the geology of the area (there are also some Native American artifacts indoors). Next, smaller groups are escorted inside, where they learn more of the castle’s construction, view the artist’s paintings and other works, learn how he makes a living in the arts, and much more.

The artist will answer all questions, pose for photographs, and even bring out his giant insect collection. Later the students may picnic on the extensive grounds, visit a giant stone labyrinth built by the artist’s wife, get out their sketchbooks, or study pond life. There are two types of ponds near the castle and one is home to the Wood Frog which travels miles each year to mate, arriving around April 1st. Click here to learn about the castle.


Fees start at $400 for two classroom talks plus $100 for each additional class, or $800 for the day. Additional charges may apply for long distance travel. Fees are negotiable for longer term programs, or in cases of hardship.

Studio/castle tours and talks are $400 per school visit of about two hours.


(518) 861-6054


809 Township Rd.
Altamont, New York 12009

Associated Acts/Performances


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