If you’ve always thought that an artist waited deep inside you, eager to burst forth, now may be the time to tap that latent passion and make the most of it. It’s also the time to wrestle the Nintendo and TV away from the kids, introduce them to new friends, and discover talents you’ve suspected but never developed. The Prairie Art Alliance and Springfield Art Association offer a cornucopia of possibilities.
More classes than ever are being taught at PAA this year. Artist/instructor Joan Burmeister says, “We have a lot of members that didn’t teach before that are coming out of the woodwork to teach, and that’s great.” Nationally known pastel artist Anne Von Ehr will present a special workshop July 13-15. In addition to lecturing about basic color theory and creative techniques, the PAA catalog promises she’ll “give plenty of individual time at your easel.”
Priscilla Kluge has returned to teaching after some years away to concentrate on her young family. During her “Draw It, Paint It” class, which concluded June 17, kids ages 8 through 12 learned about color mixing, perspective, and shading and got to draw still-lifes. Robert Konzelmann, a sixth-grader, takes an art class in school, so why is he attending the summer class? “I think it improves my art so I can do a greater variety in school,” he says. Robert and his third-grader brother Russell prefer drawing to painting at this time in their study, and sometimes they compete with each other in good fun. June 27-July 1, Kluge will meet her young artists at PAA and walk to selected sites in downtown Springfield so that they may draw landmark buildings, sitting outdoors with their easels and paints. July 6-8, Kluge will teach a kids’ class called “Optical Illusions,” focusing on combining art and science and creating art that is not what it appears to be.
If your interest is drawing, painting, clay, printmaking, altered books or photography, check out the catalog of classes for kids and adults at PAA. Classes are under way now, but new classes will begin as the summer continues and conclude Aug. 27. Call 217-544-2787 for a catalog.
At SAA, classes begin June 27 and continue through the last week in August.
New this year at SAA is “Window to the World III,” aimed at students 18 and older. The program presents films never shown at typical American cineplexes. Taught by documentary filmmaker Joshua Hester, the course is not about how to make films. Instead, it offers views of Eastern cinema, which American artists may never see. SAA education coordinator Sharon Black says, “It’s a wonderful way to expose yourself to perceptions of artists from other parts of the world and bring them to your own art form.”
Also new at SAA is the “Learning to Look” class, which guides parents and children in exploring art together. “It takes a unique person to direct an adult and child at the same time,” Black says. “The real reward of that class is going to be parents’ learning something about their child they would not learn elsewhere.”
SAA offers several classes of interest to ceramic artists, from beginners to the advanced. “We have several kilns and 10 potters’ wheels,” Black says. “Ladies’ Tuesday-Night Mud Wrestling” welcomes all comers — even men, if, as the catalog advises, they “can handle the estrogen rush.” Hand-building and wheel-throwing will be taught, as will unusual glazing techniques.
SAA also is the place to learn beginning and advanced sculpture and creative bead making. These classes and many more are taught by John T. Crisp, profiled in the June 9 edition of Illinois Times. To obtain a catalog of SAA summer classes, call 217-523-2631.
The classes and workshops offered by PAA and SAA range in cost from $45 to $225. Both associations offer discounts to members.
• Calling all landscape artists: July 5 is the deadline for entries in the Springfield Art Association’s 2005 Artist Invitational, themed “The Modern Landscape.” The work judged Best in Show and three honorable mentions will be awarded $1,500 in cash prizes. The competition is open to any artist at least 18 years old who lists Illinois as his or her permanent address. Slides of paintings related to the theme and produced within the last two years should be sent, along with a $20 nonrefundable entry fee, to SAA, 700 N. Fourth Street, Springfield, IL 62702. Notice of acceptance to this juried contest will be mailed to participants July 22, and the exhibit will run Sept. 3-Nov. 4. Call 217-523-2631 for an entry form.