FIA Art Classes Broaden Horizons and More!

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Flint Institute of ArtsThe Flint Institute of Arts, located at 1120 E. Kearsley St. in Flint, offers art classes year round for children and adults.   Although
summer classes at the FIA are winding down, fall art classes will begin September 12.  Donovan Entrekin, Director of the FIA Art School, age 40, said there are many benefits to these classes.  Classes are offered in painting, drawing, ceramics and sculpture in state of the art studios that will continue to improve in the future.  Some of the specific classes to be offered this fall are Beginning Drawing, Figurative Sculpture and Printmaking.     “Some people want to become artists and they begin their education at the Flint Institute of Arts.  I started my education here and went on to a career in art.  There are people who like to make things.  They come and enjoy the facilities and instruction here.  At any level we’ll help them do what they want to do with art,” Entrekin said.      For children, taking art classes encourages creativity and builds interest in art.  It helps them understand the world from different perspectives.  It helps build problem solving skills and increases empathy.  Entrekin even said he considers it part of a well-rounded education.  Learning to draw is linked to developing memory and concentration, as well as the ability to look at items carefully.     For adults, studying art also improves memory and concentration.  “I believe art making is one of the things that makes us human.  It gives us the opportunity to discover things about ourselves and to do that we didn’t think we were capable of doing,” Entrekin said.     Beginning Drawing will be offered this fall for people with no art experience at all.  “Anybody with a curiosity will find value in it,” Entrekin said.  Alla Dubrovich will teach the class.  Dubrovich studied art in Moscow, Russia.  She is a freelance illustrator, and teaches art at Mott Community College and University of Michigan-Flint.    Flint Institute of ArtsFigurative Sculpture will be offered by the FIA for the first time this fall.  In it, students will be able to work from a live human model to create a sculpture with clay.  They will be creating head and shoulder sculptures.  “If the public responds well we will be expanding our offerings to include full figure sculptures next fall,” Entrekin said.     Printmaking will also be offered this fall.  In it, students will learn about the processes behind printmaking and make their own original prints.  The class will be taught by Bill Stolpin.  Stolpin is a nationally known artist with art displayed at the Smithsonian and The National Trust in London.     An exhibit called “Pressed for Time: The History of Printmaking” will be displayed from September 10 until the end of the year.  The exhibit will be displayed in the Hodge and Temporary Exhibition Galleries.  “The fact the printmaking class will be offered in conjunction with the exhibit is an example of the benefit from having the museum in conjunction with the art classes.  People taking the class can also see the exhibit.  That deepens the experience,” Entrekin said.     Although Entrekin said most people go to the FIA art school because they have a particular interest, the FIA staff offers counseling for students.  “We can find what their interests and skill level are and recommend a class,” Entrekin said.  He said the staff in the art office know all the instructors well, which is helpful when suggesting a class.  The art office is open Monday to Friday,Flint Institute of Arts9 a.m. to 5 p.m.       The studios are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and classes are held seven days a week.  Approximately 200 children per year take FIA art classes, as well as 500 adults per year.  In both children’s and adult classes lots of individual attention is offered, with class sizes averaging around 10 students per class.       Opportunities for FIA art students to display their art are abundant throughout the year.  The FIA has a gallery devoted to faculty and student artwork, called the Bishop gallery.  The gallery is located in the school/studio wing and is open to the public.  Museum visitors look at art in the gallery, as well as art students and their friends & families.  In mid-September there will be an opening reception in which students will be able to share their artwork.  The reception will be announced on the FIA’s website.  “We have student shows approximately four times a year, which gives students an opportunity to submit their work for the gallery,” Entrekin said.     Other FIA facilities include eight studios in which classes will be offered this fall, as well as support spaces.  Support spaces include a glaze lab, a kiln lab and a welding lab.  “We are also building and adding new facilities that will include glass blowing, foundry and flame working,” Entrekin said.     To register for fall classes at the FIA, call the FIA directly, visit the FIA office or go to their website at www.fia.com.  The full fall catalog will be posted online around the first week in August, and will be mailed to those on the FIA mailing list.  Registration begins August 5.      “Everybody comes to get better and be with other artists.  There’s a wonderfully rich sense of community and learning from each other.  Some students have been coming to classes 40 years or more.  That’s the biggest testament to the work we do here,” Entrekin said.Flint Institute of Arts

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