Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#57: Art Classes at the South Bend Museum of Art

The itch to create something took hold of me the other day.  I never took an art class in school, but I was always envious of students who had "studio" and something other than Word documents to show for their time spent in class.  I would tell myself, Take an art class in your spare time, some other time. Don't waste your time now.

Little did I realize how much an art class is not a waste of time.  It's a fully enriching experience, which I discovered when I stopped the procrastination and finally signed up for a pastels class at the South Bend Museum of Art.  The class is composed of beginners like myself and accomplished artists looking for another opinion on their work.  The most unexpected and most wonderful element of the class is the community -- most people know each other but they are most kind to me, the newcomer.

It's eye-opening to take an art class.  You begin to see things you didn't before.  After I had drawn tree after tree, struggling to figure out how to make branches look realistic, I started to notice the branching patterns of the trees around me.  Then I began to realize where there were trees (St. Joseph Street, of all places) and where there were not (Grape Road, for one).  In class, it was fascinating to observe the more advanced students work on their pieces.  Each person took a different approach to the same medium; some used pastels to depict ephemeral landscapes, others used its blendable color to recreate vivid flowers and faces with startling accuracy.

While this post may seem tangential and personal, I want to convey to you that art class fosters an appreciation of the world around you, both in regard to other people and the environment.  And this mindset of loving where you are, dear readers, is kinda what this blog is all about.

Where: South Bend Museum of Art, 120 S. St. Joseph Street
When: A 4-week Winter session is now open for enrollment; classes are offered year-round
Website: http://southbendart.org/index.php?lt=03

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