Many people, students especially, look at summer as a period of  freedom … a three-month vacation. With the number of college and high school students taking summer classes, however, it makes a body wonder what’s going on.

Some high school seniors take college courses as a means of getting a head start in their college credits and getting  acquainted with campus life. Universities offer summer options for credits, semester sections and courses. It’s no wonder many smart kids double credits for their time.   

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Some professors also manage time to teach summer courses and still work in  short vacations. For many college undergrads, summers is a favorite time for taking certain classes. Summers are ideal for getting that special course out of the way, or take a course that may strike fear into you when sitting in a room full of “expert” students in that area of study.

Usually, art courses fill quickly. And not all students are art majors. There’s a logical reason why: fear of failure. Summer offers much more one-on-one instructions and attention. For example, if a nursing major wants to learn about painting, but has never lifted a brush to canvas .. summer is that stress-free time when working outdoors, under the trees, painting “al-fresco” is just the ticket. Yep. Few activities heal the inner stress better than an easel, a canvas, some paint and a picnic lunch.   

Instructions are a part of the experience, but the pressure to produce is lessened because you work over a shorter time period to produce paintings (based on foundation instructions), and your instructor is close by to help with any problems.   

Taking art over summer for college credit becomes more the side activity you’re involved in, while enjoying summer vacation. It becomes fun, interesting, and every student takes away a feeling of having understood the objective, not just getting an assignment done. It’s satisfying as well as relaxing and beneficial for your health (and transcript).

The Jamestown Arts Center (downtown on Second Street Southwest) offers both kids and adult summer art classes. There are classes in crafts as well as painting, drawing, ceramics and other fine arts media. If college classes are not needed, you will get enough instruction and stimulation with the Arts Center to jump-start your creative juices. Classes are scheduled to meet summer hours.

If college credits and instruction are desired, contact the University of Jamestown registrar’s office and sign up for one of the classes being offered. Either way, you will learn some things you didn’t know, and maybe be able to get that painting you’ve always wanted, and you can do it yourself.

If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND, 58402-1559.