Adult Education Art Classes Will Be Offered in Harlem

 

April 6, 2022

"Blue Dog," painted by Daniel Lawrence, a senior at Harlem High School and a student of Mary-Kate French, is an example of an expressive pet portrait.

Mary-Kate French, an Art Instructor at Harlem High School, is offering Adult Education Art Classes this spring. She invites all who are interested in participating to join her for one of the four classes. Each session will be held in Room 309 at Harlem High School beginning at 6:00 p.m. Sessions begin on April 20.

The idea to hold classes stems from Superintendent Dr. Arlene Bigby's recent question about whether any teachers in the Harlem School District were interested in offering Adult Education courses. French, who has taught them before and enjoyed the experience, responded.

Explaining her rationale, French stated: "Adults don't often get opportunities in their busy lives to be creative. I love to see people relaxing, and making art gives them an opportunity to take their minds off the stressors of life for a while. I am always amazed by the hidden talents in those around us, many of them claiming they are "not artists." But they are! I have been working with members of our school board who have spearheaded the effort to bring adult ed to the community."

The first session, Monochrome Watercolor Landscape will take place on Wednesday, April 20. During this workshop, artists will employ watercolors to paint a mountain scene using tints and shades of only one color. According to French, the monochromatic landscape class is ideal for beginners and those who have never painted with watercolors since monochrome eliminates the distractions of color and allows the viewer to concentrate on the mood or the main subject more easily.

In the second session, which will occur the following week on April 27, the focus will be Faux Stained Glass. Participants will create a project using tinfoil and transparencies to create the illusion of stained glass.

"The faux stained glass class will be a fun way to simulate the look of stained glass without the time or cost of glass," French stated.

Expressive Pet Portraits are on the agenda for the third session, which is set for Tuesday, May 3. Individuals wishing to create one of these acrylic-on-canvas portraits will need to text their photos to French at 406-531-7372 prior to class. The expressive pet portraits will then be painted in wild colors.

The final project, Succulent Face Planters will involve two sessions: May 10 and May 17. Participants will create small vessels with faces so that when a plant is inserted, it will resemble hair. About this project, French said: "Succulent face planters are a fun way to add more 'life' to our plants."

All sessions begin at 6:00 p.m., and each course has a materials fee. Because space is limited, interested makers are encouraged to call 406-353-2289 to sign up and reserve a spot. Anyone seeking additional details about any one of these courses should contact French by calling 406-531-7372.

French believes in using art as an outlet for one's thoughts and feelings. "Sometimes we forget how therapeutic and healthy art can be in our lives. Art gives us a way to talk about life; it is a tool for communication."

 
 

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