“Kentuck has a variety of workshops for people of all ages,” said Ashley Williams, Kentuck’s Marketing Manager. “We’re so excited to be able to offer educational opportunities and new experiences to the community.”
For the younger artists, Kentuck offers classes for students ages 6-12. Currently, these include Clay Play and Imagination & Enrichment.
“We’re just dipping our toes in the realm of after-school art classes,” said Williams. “These aren’t usually federally-funded activities, so we’re trying to make them available to students in our area.”
“Clay Play” typically occurs in the summer, but the workshops have been so popular that the instructor, Hayes Dobbins, decided to offer after-school classes so she can accommodate more students. In these classes, Dobbins leads the students as they explore creative expression, hand building techniques, and glazing with kid-friendly colors. She holds a class for students ages 6-9 and another for ages 10-12.
“Imagination & Enrichment,” led by Sydney Gruber, also continued into the spring because of the success of the January classes. In these classes, students ages 8-12 celebrate self-expression using visual arts with a different activity each week.
“Art is the exploration and release of the internal into the external,” said Gruber. “It is a process of finding and losing yourself; and working with your hands is rewarding—it is good for the nerves, the mind, and the soul. This is the foundation of the Imagination & Enrichment Summer Camp and After-School Program at Kentuck.”
For those 18 and older, “Creation Vacation” offers a creative mini-vacation each week. This workshop series will feature fun projects to get your creative energy flowing. Under the instruction of Sherri Warner, “Vacationing” students will tackle wire sculptures, printing on fabric, polymer clay necklaces, and sock monkeys in February. March sessions will offer projects in hand lettering, polymer clay sculptures, hand quilting, and introductory watercolor. Warner’s classes have students follow her step-by-step to reach the finished product, similar to the setup of the popular Sips N Strokes. Classes are designed for all levels, too, so anyone can enjoy them.
Remember the infamous “underwater basket weaving” class in college – the one that never made it on any class schedule? Kentuck is covering that, too. Jill and Mickey Miller guide students of all levels through the techniques and materials needed to make three different types of baskets (though not under water). In just four classes, participants will craft one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art.
Kentuck also has opportunities for seasoned artists, including studio space for rent and a “Get ZAPPed” workshop that walks artists through the process of applying to festivals and how to make their applications stand out. To top it off, Kentuck has tapped into the digital retail space with their online market, allowing them to feature and sell one-of-a-kind items from local artists.
“We had an order come through from California,” Williams said. “And it was so exciting to know that we were sending something from one of our artists across the country.”
Kentuck continues to expand its opportunities for local residents to exercise artistic skills and self-expression. These classes are currently on the schedule, but there are still more to come. In coming months, instructor and artist/graphic designer Diane Marie Norris will offer a variety of adult classes. Topics will include alcohol inks, acrylic pours, and more.
“Educational experiences fall right in line with our mission—to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist,” said Williams. “Learning and trying new skills should never stop, no matter if you’re 8 or 88 years old.”
Aspiring artists of all ages can find information on upcoming classes on Kentuck’s website, kentuck.org, including class instructors, location, days and times offered, course fees, and how to register. All class sizes are limited and fill up quickly, so make sure to register as soon as you decide which class is best for you.
“Everybody is happiest when they’re making something with their hands,” said Warner. So, take advantage of one of the many opportunities Kentuck has to offer and experience the happiness that comes from making something with your hands.