Allison Gourley can give you a litany of reasons why we need the arts.
The young, vibrant, teacher-by-trade, interim-programs director at Two Rivers Art Gallery says expanding a child’s artistic horizons can often lead to improved marks in school.
“Let’s face it, not every kid can play hockey, or wants to,” said Gourley, who has created a fall slate of classes, workshops and seminars to fill every creative urge.
“We’re especially excited to have Gene Bricker with us, teaching Figure Drawing,” Gourley said. “He’ll talk about proportion, which is such a difficult thing to master as well as tone and contrast.”
“We also have a studio, or lab, where the coffee is on, or the tea and people can just come in and it’s not competitive, with people just working on their own thing.”
Other adult and youth programs include glass etching, which Gourley teaches, as well as digital photography and Photo Edge – where participants get to make a pin-hole camera, and holiday cards.
“Why buy your cards when you can make them,” said Gourley. “Everybody loves to get homemade things at Christmas.”
Christmas gifts will also be a product from the etching class, with Gourley saying participants can make beautiful etched globe ornaments or even special holiday serving plates.
New this year to the offerings is an after-school program catered to artfully occupy younger kids until an adult is home. Three different after school sessions are offered including Meeting the Masters 1, Exploring Painting Techniques and Amazing Adventures in 3D.
The ever popular Picasso’s Playgroup is back beginning Sept. 1 with Jennifer Krawczyk helping preschoolers and caregivers engage in singing and art.
Perhaps the most spectacular session, says Gourley, will be the Wacky Winter Art Camp.
“Parents can just bring their kids to the Gallery and they’ll spend the day having fun here,” she said. “They’ll also make gifts for their parents and watch videos, go swimming.”
Every age is covered by classes offered at Two Rivers, said Gourley, with new offerings for older teens as well.
“We have some absolutely stellar classes for teenagers,” she said. “We have a youth Sculpture Culture class where they can create a sculpture and then talk about popular culture, things that are going on in their everyday lives. They will be using a variety of materials from carving, to plaster, to soft sculpture.”
Some may prefer to think of art classes as extracurricular, however Gourley says it’s expected jobs in the arts will increase by 130 per cent over the next few years. From graphic artists to marketing experts to administrators, the trend is for an ever-growing arts trust. Gourley says exploring classes at Two Rivers may help to stimulate a future career as an artist, or in the arts.
For more information about Two Rivers Art Gallery and its fall programming call 614-7800.