IF YOU’VE GOT A CREATIVE ITCH YOU NEED TO SCRATCH
Arkansas Arts Center
If there’s ever been an artistic endeavor you wanted to try your hand at, it’s very likely you’ll find a class for it at the Arkansas Arts Center. Glass-blowing? Check. Photography? Check. Oil painting? Check. But aside from these core classes that are offered every year, the Museum School plays host to a series of one-off workshops and brings in a slew of guest lecturers to shake things up every so often. Like, say, Jack Lloyd, who teaches a leather-tote-making class, covering construction, sewing techniques and tools of the trade. The real draw: You get to take home the final product, a luxurious leather tote made by your very own two hands at a very nonluxury price.
Fine print: Workshops typically last one to two days, focusing on just a few skill sets. Core classes, on the other hand, span 10-ish weeks. Prices vary for members and nonmembers. (arkansasartscenter.org; (501) 372-4000)
IF YOU WANT TO CARRY A TUNE
UCA Community School of Music
Perhaps you’ve always loved the raw, powerful sound of acoustic guitar but never sprung for lessons. Or maybe the urge is fairly new, an idea you’ve been kicking around for a few weeks now. Don’t, um, fret. The Community School of Music at UCA hosts weekly private classes designed to help you get started or hone your existing skills. And if guitar isn’t your thing, you can pick from a wide variety of band and orchestral instruments such as piano, mandolin, fiddle, and yes, even an instrument you don’t have to splurge on at all—your voice.
Fine print: Although the 13-week semester starts in late August, you can register and pay a prorated price based on the number of classes you want to take, with tuition costs determined by the instructor’s level of experience. (uca.edu/com; (501) 450-3672)
IF YOU WANT TO PUT PENCIL TO PAPER
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Are the only pieces of original artwork on your walls your kiddos’ stick-figure renderings of the fam? That’s totally fine, but you need to get your work up there, too. To get you started, Crystal Bridges offers figure-drawing classes designed to teach you the basics of the human form. In this two-hour session, you’ll take your drawing cues from a live model and spend much of your time at the easel honing your sketching skills. (Drawing materials are provided.) The class is for beginners and up, meaning you’ll be in good company, even if it’s your first foray into figure drawing. And if you’re already a pro at this drawing thing, there are other classes, such as a paper-flower workshop and a floral-jewelry sesh, that might tickle your fancy.
Fine print: Classes for both regular figure drawing and nude figure drawing are offered year-round, typically twice a month. Participants planning to attend the nude figure-drawing class must be 18 or older. (crystalbridges.org; (479) 418-5700)
IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN OLD-FANGLED THINGS
Arkansas Craft School
You’ve done the soap-making thing and the candle-dipping thing. Now it’s time to try something different. Something offbeat and quirky. Something even your grandparents will raise their eyebrows at (in a good, but also somewhat surprised, way). Like forging hunting knife blades. Or working with polymer clay. Or something you probably never knew there was a class for, like a workshop on “faux finishes,” aka painting techniques that are meant to mimic marble, granite and even gemstones. All of these oddball crafts and more are offered this fall and winter by local artisans at the Arkansas Craft School in Mountain View.
Fine print: Locations and tuition fees vary, so make sure to check the website for more details on class schedules. Some instructors charge a “materials fee,” which is typically due the day of the workshop. (arkansascraftschool.org; (870) 269-8397)
IF YOU’RE DYEING TO TRY A NEW CRAFT
Every month, the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub teams up with the Arkansas Society of Printmakers to bring a “featured” workshop to the table, treating the community to an unexplored craft that might not otherwise be available. September’s class—a basic relief printing and shibori workshop led by Hendrix College art professor Melissa Gill—is no exception. By the end of the class, you’ll walk out with a set of indigo-dyed pillowcases, silk scarves, linen dish towels or shibori-dyed garb—your choice.
Fine print: The two-day class runs Sept. 14 and 15. You’ll have to register for both classes ($40 total), which you can do online. (arhub.org; (501) 907-6570)
IF YOU LOVE THAT ETSY AESTHETIC
May We Fly
If you’ve ever tried your hand at watercolor, you know that this hard-to-control medium can be a bit overwhelming at first. To really get a feel for it, you’ll need someone with heaps of expertise to teach you the basics. Someone like Fayetteville’s Leana Fischer, who’s made a name for herself as the artist and designer behind May We Fly—purveyor of the loveliest watercolor artwork and cards. By signing up for her beginner watercolor workshop at South Main Creative in Little Rock, you can learn her tried-and-true techniques, too. Not to mention, painting with company is a helluva lot more fun than doing it alone.
Fine print: The three-hour beginner’s workshop covers basic techniques, with a focus on autumn botanicals, and costs $65 to attend. Looking for a more immersive experience? Leana’s teaming up with four other local artists for The Creative Social (creativesocialretreat.com), a three-day creative retreat on Table Rock Lake. (maywefly.com)
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