The Moab Arts and Recreation Center is offering a range of visual and performance art classes this winter, from hoop dancing to jewelry making to silkscreen printmaking.
“Since we’re geared toward locals, we try not to offer too many of the same classes year after year,” said Makeda Barkley, assistant director of the MARC. Of the 18 classes on offer this season, she said that Intro to Drawing, Oil Landscape Painting and Pretty Paste Paper are the only repeats from previous years.
The new courses include Intro to Mosaics, in which instructor Anna Weimholt will guide students through creating mosaic address plates and indoor pieces during a three-class series in January.
Another available class in just a single evening is learning Alcohol Ink Art with Bitsy Tatera. The course description promises “nothing but fun, no art experience necessary.”
Barkley explained that the winter class schedule is a combination of offerings proposed by skilled artisans who approach MARC staff with an idea for a class and professionals contacted by the MARC with a request that they will teach a skill or technique.
“I generally reach out to people that I know in the community that are professional or experienced artists to gauge interest in sharing their knowledge and craft with the community, and then we go from there,” Barkley said. “Oftentimes, even if those artists don’t want to teach a class they will tell me about someone else in the community who might.”
One of this winter’s instructors is Sarah Osgood, who will be teaching both a four-class series called Intro to Observational Character Design and a one-night class in February called Cyanotype Printmaking.
Osgood developed interests in cyanotype printmaking and character design during her time at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Osgood majored in geology but took community figure drawing classes once a week, developing her drawing skills. She was also inspired by a graduate student named Emily Tareila who was making cyanotype prints of plants. A cyanotype is a printmaking technique in which light-sensitive paper is used to capture negative images of objects.
“After seeing her work, I went to Mt. Rainier and worked there for that summer, and there were so many plants that had such interesting character,” Osgood said. “I wanted to find a way to capture those plants, but I didn’t want to rip them out of the ground and press them or anything. So I thought that cyanotype would be a cool, non-invasive way to capture the shapes and character of these individual plants.”
“Winter isn’t usually a season that people do cyanotyping because there’s less light and you don’t get as much sun, and flowers aren’t blooming,” she noted. “But this would be a cool class to take to learn the skill, and then go out, collect plants and make prints.”
The Observational Character Design class is informed by Osgood’s self-taught drawing practices and by her collaboration with her sibling, who is a professional animator. Class participants will take turns serving as live models while students study how to use shapes to design characters from their imaginations.
“Each person will be able to develop their own style and they’ll be able to hone that style,” Osgood said. “Some people might be more realistic and some people might be more cartoony.”
Barkley said she’s looking forward to the winter class schedule and plans to attend Osgood’s Observational Character Design class as well as Contemporary Embroidery, taught by MARC staff member Sascha Steinberg. Barkley will also be teaching a class herself, Linocut & Woodcut Printmaking, on Feb. 26.
“I think everyone on staff is excited about something different in our class offerings this winter and plans to take something,” Barkley said.
Another class on the schedule is called Storytelling On Stage, taught by Celia Alario. Alario is a communications strategist who has been helping people effectively tell their stories for thirty years. She said those stories were “most often about a critical issue that’s important to them—an environmental, social justice or a human rights issue.”
“In the last five to ten years I’ve started to focus more on narrative live storytelling—people telling non-fiction stories about their own lives,” she said.
The class will help anyone gain confidence in telling their stories, whether on stage, to a small group of listeners, or in a one-on-one setting. The class is a three-part series, concluding just before the Feb. 14 local story-telling event The Storied Self. As one of the event’s organizers, Alario is hoping students will participate in the final event.
“Everyone in Moab has a story to tell, so the hope was by offering this class, that it would encourage more people to participate in the Storied Self in 2020,” Alario said.
In addition to the classes mentioned above, the schedule includes Poi for Beginners, Paper Mache Mobiles, Garden Art and Fairy Houses, and Figure & Movement Drawing. The MARC’s website (www.moabarts.org/classes) lists pricing, schedules, and descriptions for each class.
“Classes will be canceled if we don’t have enough people signed up,” Barkley warned. “So it’s important to sign up ahead of time!”
“I think everyone on the staff is excited about something different in our class offerings this winter.”
– Makeda Barkley
When: Throughout January and February; first class is Jan. 8
Where: Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North
Cost: From $10 to $150
For more info, go to www.moabarts.org/classes
Moab locals explore their creativity during the slow season