Have a little extra time on your hands this summer? That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a great time of year to hone in on your talents, or even take on a new craft. And luckily, there are plenty of art workshops happening all around the Valley to facilitate those creative urges. Ranging from one-off classes and courses that meet regularly to some that provide a forum for creativity with no instruction at all, metro Phoenix has a plethora of great summer art programs. Here are five places where you'll find art classes this season.
Tempe Center for The Arts
Tempe Center for The Arts offers a variety of different classes year round. But with no instruction at all, July's Art After Work event on July 15 is the most laid back and gets right to facilitating the creative process. With a canvas, easel, paints, and even a drink voucher awaiting each attendee, the event leaves the entire time open to working on art. They'll even take care of all the clean-up. For those who don't have the space or want to make a mess in their own house, there's no pressure, and the open studio environment is an excellent way to wind down after a work day. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Admission is $25, and includes a canvas, art supplies, and a voucher good for one drink or one buffet wristband.
Phoenix Center for the Arts
Conveniently located both downtown at 1201 North Third Street and at a new Thunderbird Arts Center location off of Bell Road at 1106 East Grovers Avenue, Phoenix Center for the Arts is a valuable community center dedicated to art education. It offers a variety of classes in media such as ceramics, oil painting, drawing, glass blowing, print making, and photography. Classes range from one-off meetings to several months-long programs, and cover all skill levels. They even have online programs at you can build your own schedule around. For a look at upcoming courses, visit Phoenix Center for the Arts online.
Shemer Art Center & Museum
Set at the base of of Camelback Mountain at 5005 East Camelback Road, the Shemer Art Center & Museum is a beautiful facility in Central Phoenix. In addition to being a museum we highly recommend spending an afternoon at, it offers a fantastic selection of summer courses ranging from single-day to monthlong sessions, covering nearly all skill levels. With their classes focusing on very specific styles of painting, drawing, ceramics, and glass blowing, there's plenty to choose from. It's an excellent opportunity to study under talented, well-known Phoenix artists such as Elliott Everson and Julie Gilbert Pollard, among others. Available spaces for each class is often limited to 10 or less, which allows for plenty of one-on-one time with each instructor. For the complete course schedule, see the Shemer Art Center website.
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Creative Catalysts, an initiative of Mesa Arts Center, is a relatively new organization with the belief that creative awareness and artistic expression is essential to the growth of a city. Over the past year, it has spotlighted everything from small backyard art openings to large exhibitions at the Mesa Arts Center. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, esteemed artist Kyllan Maney will host a single-day workshop on silk screening, shrinky dinks, and T-shirts at Mesa's HeatSync Labs, 140 West Main Street. It's a fairly mellow BYOB event with snacks provided, and you'll get to walk away with an original piece of your own creation. View the Facebook event, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The TechShop Chandler at 249 East Chicago Street offers a wide array of classes for the more industrial-minded artist. With courses in textiles, laser cutting, fabrication, blacksmithing, and welding (to name just a few), the programs appeal to those interested in anything from computer art to large 3D design. Since most of us don't have any of this equipment in our own homes, a monthly membership is available so that you can continue to use their professional facilities after you've completed the courses. See the complete course schedule at TechShop's website.