Arts Center offers summer art classes
As Jamestown's schools empty for the summer, the Arts Center downtown begins to fill up. An assortment of classes covering a variety of media that will give parents and children alike opportunities for adding art to their summer activities. Paren...
As Jamestown's schools empty for the summer, the Arts Center downtown begins to fill up.
An assortment of classes covering a variety of media that will give parents and children alike opportunities for adding art to their summer activities.
Parents need to contact the Arts Center to arrange for times, days, classes and age groups.
If a child has never taken an art class, then a drawing or ceramics class would be a great way to get the child started. Each has its advantage and offers new learning experiences.
Drawing gives the child a concept of composition, colors and the use of pencils to create values (the light and dark shades of gray). They learn how a single light source creates body shadows on objects and how light casts shadows, creating additional shapes within the composition plane. Concepts such as edges and textures, scale, perspective, vantage point and repetition are added to the vernacular as the student gets experience in the basics.
There are many ways of using pencils, pastels and crayons to achieve a good composition. How media are used is called technique. What is drawn is called its subject. Once an aspiring artist is adept at accurately capturing a likeness from life, then the next consideration is style. Students gain individual styles after mastering technique and the materials used to do the drawing.
When using color, students learn the primary colors of red, yellow and blue, and the secondary colors of orange, purple and green, then the tertiary colors and variations of all those. Regardless of materials or media, mixing colors takes time and effort. Whether it's colored pencils, pastels, paints or glazes, colors add an impact that is beyond the form or line of the work. Color dominates is usually secondary to learning compositional skills.
Drawing is the most portable and least expensive art medium. It can be easily carried in a backpack or purse, and travels wonderfully on trips. It requires no machinery, only to be matted or framed to exhibit.
Ceramics is the next easiest and most rewarding of the media, using water-based clays to form vessels that, once fired and glazed, then fired again, can be used on the table and even in the microwave or oven.
Clays come in red or white, buffs and grays. They are made to be fired in an extremely hot kiln as well as a cooler one for low-fire clays and glazes. All get fired above 1,000 degrees.
Glazes that are waterproof are overglazes and fire either matte or glossy. There's another type glaze that allows control of designs: it's labeled as underglaze and is in reality simply water-thinned clay materials with colored stains added. Underglazes are applied when the vessel is ready to go into the kiln the first time and is done on greenware, or un-fired clay.
Underglazes allow very detailed designs not possible with over-glazes (which actually produce glass surfaces). Once the underglazed vessel has been fired once, a clear overglaze is applied to make the vessel water- and heatproof.
Clay is the least portable of art media and is usually done on a wheel for thrown vessels and hand-built vessels are formed using one or all of three methods of hand-building: pinch-pot, coil or slab techniques. An unfired vessel will not hold together and in time will either break or powder back into dry clay. Until it's fired, it will not be serviceable. But once fired, it becomes an amazing piece that adults and kids alike will treasure.
Children and adults can benefit from classes in either medium and classes are offered at the arts center.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to "ART VOICES," c/o Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown ND 58402-1559.