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In addition to my work in multimedia, graphic and web design, I am a photographer and independent teaching artist. I do mixed media assemblage workshops as 'Beth Bernett presenting Erik Wood workshops', honoring Erik's vision and keeping his legacy alive. Erik, my late husband and a brilliant artist, started doing workshops with children, mostly preschoolers, in 2001, and until his untimely death from cancer in 2007, I worked alongside him. Since then, I have expanded the program to incorporate more curriculum- and literacy-related themes, and I have focused a great deal on children (and adults) with developmental and physical challenges, something that Erik and I had often talked about.

Beth Bernett presenting Erik Wood [Mixed Media] workshops: Tell Me A Story
Following my presentation and discussion, tailored to connect with your curriculum (i.e. Animal Habitats), participants create unique mixed media works of art on styrofoam 'canvas' boards, using the more than 40 bins of non-traditional materials (like zippers), glue, and watercolor paints that I supply. The work is beautifully glazed and outfitted with hooks back at my studio, and it's returned with accompanying signage containing the participant's name and any title or narrative I am able to elicit; I work with non-verbal participants to get them to indicate, where possible. This project is empowering. It promotes independent creative thinking, small motor skills, problem-solving while working with non-traditional materials, storytelling and literacy skills. The finished product is long-lasting and good enough to hang publicly or in a living room, providing years of self-esteem, especially for at risk children and those with special needs.

For more about the mixed media workshops, with many samples and slideshows, click on the Erik Wood icon to visit in a new window. For enlargments of the artwork below, click on their thumbnails. Close the new windows to return here.

Erik Wood workshops
special needs 9-year-old
typical 5-year-old
special needs 3-year-old
special needs 9-year-old
typically developing 5-year-old
special needs 4-year-old

Digital Photography workshops: Photographing Our Neighborhood
In 2010, inspired by my love of photography (and a dear colleague), I put together a program to see if I could get preschoolers, most of whom had never had a camera in their hands before, to take photographs worth looking at. I spent months putting together a Power Point presentation on a level that I felt even preschoolers could understand and relate to, with various elements that would make for interesting photographs, like shapes and colors and where to look for them in our everyday world. After my presentation, the 4- and 5-year-olds would go on a chaperoned neighborhood walk, taking turns with the digital cameras I would supply. Well, the results were better than I had hoped for, simply stunning! And by photographing things and people in their neighborhood that they often don't even notice, this experience opened their eyes to looking at the world around them in a whole new way, seeing beauty in their everyday surroundings. Since then, I have worked with many more preschoolers AND with special needs and at risk children
and adults of all ages.

Click on the thumbnails below to view slideshows with photos by typically developing preschoolers or special needs school-age
children, and for enlargements of photos by special needs preschoolers. Close the new windows to return here.

Gun Hill Child Care 2010
UCP/NYC Brooklyn School-Age Program 2011
UCP/NYC Brooklyn School-Age Program 2012
My shadow!
View from my wheelchair!
Gun Hill Child Care, typically
developing preschoolers
UCP/NYC Brooklyn School-Age
Program 2011
UCP/NYC Brooklyn School-Age
Program 2012

UCP/NYC Bronx Children's
Program, preschooler

UCP/NYC Bronx Children's
Program, preschooler

I work with all ages and abilities, specializing in children as young as 3-years-old and people of all ages with physical and/or developmental challenges, at your location, or at my [wheelchair accessible] studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. If you are interested in either my mixed media workshop or my digital photography workshop, email me: