Art is active. At its best it takes discipline, organized into skills, and a little problem solving, often called creativity. The choice of material is limitless. Use the body and we have sports. Use multiple bodies and we have dance. Use words for poetry. Use clay for objects. Use plants for books. As consumers we usually focus on the material, but the activity of the artist is where the magic really happens. What goes on in the mind and how is that translated to the hands? It can empower our sense of self. It can give us focus, and in the excitement of making something happen, it can release us. We relax. We celebrate.
Classes at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design:
Summer Painting Class - This is a chance to come together to paint under the guidance of an experienced teacher/artist, one of the faculty at MCAD. Whether you are a beginner or advanced painter there will be opportunities to explore color theory and mixing and painting techniques with brush and knife. There will be ample time to work on your own projects as you take advantage of summer and move from inside to outside. All materials will be supplied.
Fridays June 7 through August 2 (9 weeks total) 9:30 am – 12:20 pm Registration/Materials $70
Classes at the Northern Clay Center:
Working With Clay - This is an ongoing class that welcomes the beginner as well as the experienced clay artist. Learn from an outstanding teacher about hand construction and the wheel, glazing, and firing. Be inspired by the veterans working around you to create objects with strong personal significance. Some have made bowls, the most ancient of clay forms, or cups, plates, boxes, houses and helmets. The limit is your skill and imagination. The challenge is to take on more than you thought you could and then accomplish it. Believe in yourself.
Wednesdays September 2013 (dates to be announced) 9:00 – 12:00 noon Registration/Materials $70
Classes at Highpoint Center for Printmaking:
Classes at Minnesota Center for Book Arts:
Classes at Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts:
At its most basic level taking a picture produces a record of an instant in time. It’s not a complete action, it can barely record what we are seeing, but it’s quick and easy. The art of photography is the preparation that comes before the image is taken, and the processing that comes afterwards when it is chemically developed or digitally edited. These actions alter the image to effect certain viewpoints and emotional reactions. A good photograph becomes its own memory. It gives us permission to look and re-experience. We welcome you to take one or more of the following classes.
Classes at Photography at the Center:
Photographic Memorials - What conventions do you follow when you want to honor the memory of someone or something? How do you compose the image to convey integrity and loss? With the aid of your photos and mementos you will create a still life composition in the studio and print it for framing.
Snapshots to Portfolio - Bring to class the photos you took of your time in the military. Talk about what they mean to you and what you would like them to really say. Select the strongest images and work with various editing techniques to prepare them for printing into a portfolio collection.
Exposing Contrasts - The juxtaposition of contrasting images can be very powerful and can present ideas that would be hard to put into words. For example, take meal time. One photo shows you eating an MRE in the field, the contrasting image shows you eating spaghetti with the family. For this class, you will be helped to select some of your military photos, and then be challenged to take contrasting photos of your life in Minnesota. The goal may not be to say something is different, but to be able to express something that is constant throughout.
Finding Your Voice - This is a wonderful opportunity to begin to understand what it is to have a personal vision and how you make it happen through your photographs. You will study the work of several well known artists, summarize some of the decisions they are making, and then go out take your own images. Week by week your efforts will be shared with the class and your knowledge expanded.
Veterans Play Project
Produced by Footprints Collective, Mixed Blood Theatre, and Bedlam Theatre with help from MN Humanities Center, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Women’s Veterans Initiative, Coming Home Collaborative, Veterans for Peace, Veterans in the Arts, and MN Dept. of Veteran Affairs.
This is a unique opportunity to shape the discussion in Minnesota about the veteran experience. In 2012 many veterans participated in story circles. From this material a playwright is writing a script. When it is ready in 2013, new opportunities to help with the production will be advertised.
For RSVP and/or more information, call Leah Cooper 612-227-2046 or write firstname.lastname@example.org
Music powerfully connects us to our feelings. We are all rich with a wealth of styles and performers from which to choose. It’s hard to imagine there is another dimension, but playing music, creating the rhythms and melodies ourselves, is just that. Learning to play music takes us into the calmness of our own heartbeat. We begin to feel new things and we begin to listen with new ears. It’s a true commitment, but the process itself is filled with rewards.
Classes at MacPhail Center for Music:
Percussive Rhythms - You’ll join a small group of veterans who meet weekly with a wonderful teacher. You’ll be shown different ways to construct a beat on a drum, until your whole body gets into the motion, and you play together. Drums and other percussion instruments are supplied. The class welcomes beginners as well as those with prior experience.
Acoustic Guitar Class- If you have come out of the Guitar for Vets program, or if you already have an acoustic guitar, come join this small ensemble. Your teacher will be Matthew Griswold, an Iraq veteran, and professional musician. One by one, he can lead you to advance your skills and pleasure.
Writing is natural for some, but today we are more likely to communicate our absence by phone and text. So, how do we break that pattern and begin to order our thoughts on the page? It’s habit. Begin by writing for 15 minutes every day. Don’t cross out or delete, don’t judge your words, just get the basic thoughts on paper. Overtime, it will become easier. The next step is to read. Find out what kind of writing you admire. Look at stories, poems, plays, novels, and journalism. These forms have been with us for centuries and there is something to suit every taste.
Classes at the Playwrights’ Center:
Creating Conversations - The building block of theater is dialogue, two people talking. From that you can create character and plot. You’ll find it’s fun to write dialogue. But you’ll also look at how you can begin to exert control over a character through the words you have them speak. Lots of writing and shared discussion. The class will also consider examples from several contemporary plays.
A Sample of Contemporary Plays About Soldiers/Veterans
Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue by Quiara Alegria Hudes, New York, NY
The Great Game: Afghanistan by Tricycle Theater, London, England
Black Watch by Gregory Burke, Glasgow, Scotland
Ajax in Iraq by Ellen McLaughlin, Boston, MA
Trajectories by Chris Mandia (US Marine) Chicago, IL
Spark by Caridad Svich, Los Angeles, CA
Woodworking ranges from functional cabinetry to turned objects, carving, and sculpture. Most of us have tried one or several of these skills on our own because wood is an exciting material. It suggests the grandeur and beauty of nature itself through its grain and color. It is easy to work with. We only need to give it form and it serves a myriad of uses. We build with it for our houses, we walk on it, we sit on it, we store treasures in boxes, and we eat with chopsticks. Wood might be the ultimate artists’ material.
Classes at America’s Woodshop:
Introduction to Woodworking Art - In this, our first class we will go over the basic tools available in the shop to include saws, router, planer, and lathe. Everyone will construct a cutting board. From there we will look at examples of wood art and get inspired to work on our own projects. We expect these to be wide ranging from cabinets of curiosities to found wood constructions, from small tables to abstract sculptural forms. An accomplished woodworker will be on hand to advise on technical issues. Wood scraps will be available for your use, but you are also welcome to bring in your own stock.
Fridays September 20 through November 15 (9 weeks total) 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Registration/Materials $70