Continuing Education offers art classes to all ages
IOWA FALLS – Iowa Valley Continuing Education (IVCE) teams with Ellsworth Community College to host a Beginning Drawing art course.
IVCE has offered up another helping of fun and valuable artistic techniques in this fall’s Beginning Drawing class, which has allowed passion for art to unleash some creative juices.
ECC Alumna, Chris Slauson, once again has had the opportunity to do what she loves most, teaching art to eager students. This time she is teaching to a variety of ages with her youngest student at the age of 10.
Slauson has loved drawing since she was a child. “That’s how my mom kept me happy; I just doodled for hours,” she said. As she got older, life kept her busy, and she wasn’t able to pursue her passion for art. She married and started raising children before she decided to go back to school to become an art teacher. “We all have little bucket lists in life, and I just got to a point where it was time to make this happen.”
The Beginning Drawing class only meets for three evenings, but lots of art is jam-packed into the two and a half hour course. The class covers value and the different ways to show it, light sources, different grades of pencils, how to shade, and drawing still life structures. Slauson wanted to provide an opportunity for people to take the class without it being too out of reach for their pocketbooks, so she has made an inexpensive supply list, and she even buys the five dollar drawing boards for each of her students. She enjoys having a wide age range in her class and says that makes for a fun classroom dynamic.
The classes that Slauson teaches at the College through (IVCE) include Beginning Drawing and Portrait Drawing for beginners. Aside from her courses she is a substitute teacher and makes it a goal to take annual workshops to improve her art skills. She feels that people are more willing to try Continuing Education courses if the subject is new to them and the cost is low. “I enjoy teaching these classes as long as I have students who are willing to take them. To me, it’s not about the money; I just love teaching and it’s a way to keep up on my art skills,” she said.
Three of Slauson’s art students this year include Glenice Miller, Glenice’s daughter-in-law Tasha, and her granddaughter Haydn. Haydn is 10 and enjoys working on crafts and painting. One of the things she’s enjoyed most in the class so far is learning how to draw spheres, and said she’d be interested in taking another art class through the college again. “It’s really fun and you can learn a lot.”
Haydn’s mother, Tasha, has always wanted to pursue art and felt this was the perfect opportunity to spend time with her daughter and mother-in-law. Her favorite pieces she’s taken from the class so far include shading, looking at where the light hits an object and using that to make it look more like a sphere, drawing with pencils, and just learning to look critically at something. She said she would definitely be interested in taking another art class in the future. “ I just like to dabble. I like painting, crafting jewelry, and making things.” Her advice to anyone thinking about pursuing an art class: “Pursue it because you always think you’ll do something later on, but sometimes you just don’t get to do it. It’s nice to have the time to do something like this.”
Glenice Miller always thought it would be fun to doodle, and never had any training. She just wanted the chance to draw and do something interactive with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. In the class, she has enjoyed learning how to study something to see where the light comes from and where the shadows are. “This class is a relaxing thing for me and something totally different than what I would usually do.”
The Beginning Drawing art class has been taught for three Tuesday evenings between November 6-20th. “This is Continuing Education providing fun and educational classes to all ages,” said Deb Sabin, Iowa Valley Continuing Education Program Assistant. Slauson will be teaching a Watercolor Painting class for IVCE this spring in April, and the program is hoping to keep including more of these courses in the catalog.
Photo Caption: Three generations of art students. Glenice Miller, daughter-in-law Tasha Miller, and her granddaughter Haydn Miller.