Time to learn
Courses start in January at Currier, NHIA with expanded art instruction choices
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
January, February and March are good times to find indoor things to do, like pick up a few art skills. Both the New Hampshire Institute of Art and the Currier Art Center in Manchester have expanded their course offerings for the spring term that starts in January.
NHIA’s continuing education program offers courses and workshops for non-credit students and for students seeking certificates in interior decorating, photography, ceramics or painting and drawing.
Two new Saturday classes are in ceramics. “Beyond Coils” is for functional or sculptural hand building pieces, and “Using and Designing for the Extruder” is another hand building class.
Alan Perry, a well-known metal smith, is teaching for the first time at NHIA. His new course is the 12-week “Vessels that Pour.” He’s also teaching a weekend workshop on spoons, said Karen Francis, director of continuing education at NHIA. NHIA has added a new wax carving and casting class and precious metals clay workshop, and a new faux finishing class for interior design. Colin Berry, who is also well known, will offer a new “Portrait Painting Boot Camp” for 12 weeks, Francis said. A new 15-week course has been added in “Creating Artwork with Photoshop,” and there’s a one-day workshop called “Retouching People Using Photoshop.”
NHIA tries to vary its courses by semester. Most high school students qualify for tuition discounts. Art educators can use some courses for professional development and can get discounts, as can members of the New Hampshire League of Craftsmen.
The Currier Art Center is quite open although the Currier Museum closed for expansion in the fall.
“We’re beginning to fill in some of the holes that existed in our curriculum historically,” said director Bruce McColl. In the year he’s been director, McColl said, part of his mission has been to take on the review of the curriculum at the Currier Art Center to develop it in new ways. It’s part of the center’s long-term mission to reach out to the community and be more available. That includes diversifying class offerings and accommodating students of all ages.
There had only been two courses for 7- to 10-year-olds. The Currier Center started losing family interest when children turned 9 or 10, they learned. New courses are specific to certain kinds of media like fibers and collage so kids can explore more instead of just taking general art classes. There had been only one class for 5- and 6-year-olds, but the curriculum has changed. Now, each term focuses on a different region of the world in “Exploring Art,” with Italy as the spring focus. “Lives of Great Artists” is a new class. “They love that stuff,” McColl said. McColl is also concentrating on building up programming for pre-teens.
The Currier Center has added more flexibility in scheduling. Adult courses were previously only offered in the mornings; now the Center offers several new adult and teen courses including one on fibers and a found object and recycled sculpture class. They’ve expanded drawing classes past foundation and mid level with an advanced class with modern methods. They’ve also added intensive one-day workshops on Saturdays for adults including fused glass, mosaic, and Japanese character writing. Museum members get discounts; the Currier Center provides $10,000 each year to families and students.
Find the teachers
· New Hampshire Institute of Art, 148 Concord St. Catalog at nhia.edu, or call 623-0313. Classes start Jan. 8.
· Currier Art Center, 180 Pearl St. Catalog at currier.org, or call 669-6144 ext. 122. Classes start Jan. 16.
· Also: New Hampshire Technical Institute in Manchester, 1066 Front St., Manchester, 668-6706, has a few art courses, including “Welding for the Artist” starting Jan. 16 ($595), which can be tough to find elsewhere. There are also individual artists and studios that offer lessons. Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., langerplace.com, houses many of them, including East Colony Fine Art. Also try 21 West Auburn St., which houses Queen City Lampworks.
· Several studios and artists are located in 99 Factory St. Extension and 5 Pine St. Extension, including places where you can learn pottery, glass work, jewelry-making, painting, drawing and other disciplines.
· Kimball Jenkins Estate School of Art, 266 North Main St., 225-3932, offers adult, teen and kids’ workshops and classes starting Jan. 22. Photography, stained glass, pottery, drawing, jewelry, monotype and painting are offered.