As an adult, it’s incredibly easy to become complacent. And adults are especially good at making excuses for why they can’t break a routine or try something new. (Guilty as charged.) But somewhere in the recesses of your mind, there’s some skill, some journey or some new adventure that you’ve always wanted to try but never crossed off your list. If one of those items is an exploring an artistic skill, I have good news: Here is your opportunity.
"Adults do have a fear of trying something new,” says Megan Collier-Bansil, education and outreach coordinator for Redux Studios. “But all of our classes are designed to be very introductory level. Whether you have never touched a paintbrush before or you just want to learn a new technique, it really does reach everyone."
Beginning in September, Redux Studios has a calendar of courses, lectures and after-school programs so large and varied it resembles a college course catalog. Additionally, the teaching artists read like a veritable "who’s who" of local artists and crafters.
To begin, artist and instructor Mia Loia teaches two watercolor courses. Loia, a regular Redux artist, offers a multiweek, illustrative and introductory watercolor course, “Nature and the Figure,” but she also instructs a laid back, adult event, “Un-Wined With Watercolor.” As the title suggests, adults are free to paint and sip wine while also getting one-on-one instruction in watercolor techniques. It’s a course that first appeared about six months ago and one that Collier-Bansil notes is a bit like a “happy-hour watercolor workshop.” It is one of the more popular regular offerings from the studio.
Loia also is the instructor for many of the after-school kids’ camps, camps that focus on drawing, portfolio and skill-building, and art and science. Redux’s summer camps are always popular, and the after-school camps are just as notable. (Clearly, Loia stays busy as a teaching artist.)
Additionally, six-week courses in knitting with Tamara Evans Goff of local business Knit Oasis and a five-week Intro to Digital Photography with Nickie Stone each address the fundamentals of their subjects, subjects that most of us may be familiar with but may want a better grasp of initial technique.
And if you want to delve further into different mediums, a five-week Introduction to Screen Printing class is taught by Redux artist Karen Myers Paavola and an Introduction to Monotypes is taught with Katherine Dutremble. Courses begin in September and November, respectively.
Encaustic painting techniques, abstract painting and charcoal drawing are also available as options. The charcoal drawing class is being taught by Paul Cristina, whose recent exhibit and works have made waves all over the Southeast and beyond. This is Cristina’s first class at Redux.
"A lot of our classes have been really formal introductions to different media,” Collier-Bansil says. "(Cristina is) doing something more expressive and truer to his own personal style as an artist. It’s going to be a good experience to learn and medium work with that person, as well."
Different classes are available for varying lengths of time, from two-day workshops to six-week courses. Finding one to fit your schedule is easy — but part of it, too, is making time for yourself.
"If you’re going to go learn something new, art is, I think, the easiest one you can jump into because there are no wrong answers,” Collier-Bansil says. "It’s something that is low risk and you can learn and explore something about yourself. And everyone will get better in some way, in a different way.”
And, in case you’ve forgotten, Redux is a nonprofit organization. So any income goes back into the community in the form of outreach programs.
To see a complete list of course offerings from Redux, visit reduxstudios.org/learn/.