Class encourages artists to find their inner creative animals |

Class encourages artists to find their inner creative animals

Pet portaits and other animal art will be the theme of the Kimball Art Center and Old Town Cellars collaoborative drawing and painting class that will be held Wednesday.
Photo by Heather Stamenov

Kimball Art Center and Old Town Cellars will team up for a drawing and painting animals session from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, at Old Town Cellars, 890 Main St. To register, visit

The Kimball Art Center and Old Town Cellars will help Parkites get in touch with their inner animal artist when they partner for Drawing and Painting Animals on Wednesday, April 25.

The evening will feature pet and animal painting instruction by Michael Calles, who has been with the KAC since last summer, and an opportunity to taste some wines, said Heather Stamenov, the Kimball Art Center’s education director.

“Michael has a wealth of experience painting and drawing animals himself,” Stamenov said. “This is something he has a passion about and he has a lot of training in this genre.”

Calles will cover an array of art elements in the class.

“The idea bring an art learning experience to people in a relaxing environment that outside of the Kimball Art Center…”Heather Stamenov,Kimball Art Center’s education director

Additional pet- and animal-inspired art classes

Bark City Bling: Custom Pet Tags, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, at the Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd

Metalsmith and jeweler Dacia Hesiak will lead students in the basics of metalsmithing, setting stones and personalizing a dog or cat’s pet tag using metal stamps. Non-pet owners are encouraged to attend the class and make a key tag or pendant. The class is $55 and $40 for materials. To register, visit this website.

Animals in Art, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each Friday from July 13 to Aug. 24, at the Kimball Art Center

Renowned animal artist Michael Calles and the students will split their times between the studio and outdoors to paint animal portraits. The cost is $280, with additional costs for materials. To register, visit this website.

Drawing and Painting the Horse will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13, at the Kimball Art Center

Instructor Michael Calles will introduce beginner and experienced painters and drawers to outdoor animal work. He will give presentations and slideshows as well as one-on-one drawing and painting instruction inside and outside that will cover horse anatomy, light and shadow and palette. The cost is $240, with additional costs for materials. To register, visit this website.

“He will discuss painters who are known for animal art, and walk folks through the ‘how-tos’ of drawing pet portraits,” Stamenov explained. “He will also address measurements regarding how wide the faces are and where the eyes and nose fit on the face.”

The instructor will touch on the use of light and shadow, to help the students create more realistic works.

“Michael will also talk a little bit about color theory, and how the colors go together,” Stamenov said. “He’ll do it in a way that it won’t get super heady, so people will be able to walk home with a portrait of their pets.”

Calles is a recipient of the Chapman Foundation Scholarship, the Rhodes Scholarship for New York City’s School of Visual Arts and an Awards Merit from the Wyoming Wildlife Stamp Collection.

He is a member of the Society of Animal Artists and was noted as an Artist to Watch by Southwest Art Magazine, Stamenov said.

“Michael is originally from Utah, although he lived on the East Coast for a time,” she said. “So it seemed like a perfect fit to have him teach the class.”

The session will include one-on-one instruction for students of all levels who will practice drawing and painting from reference material. All of the materials, except for the wine, will be provided for free.

“The idea bring an art learning experience to people in a relaxing environment that outside of the Kimball Art Center,” Stamenov said.

Since the event will be at Old Town Cellars, it’s only open to ages 21 and older.

The KAC has partnered with Old Town Cellars in the past and teach three to four art classes there every semester, said Stamenov, who has taught two classes there.

She enjoys the social atmosphere of the space.

“During the last class I taught there — a Sip and Sketch drawing class last fall — we had a group of neighbors who just wanted to get together and have some fun,” Stamenov said. “We also had some friends who wanted to catch up over wine and art. And there was one person who came alone and made a whole bunch of friends that night.”

The idea to paint animals emerged from that Sip and Sketch class.

“We asked people to bring some images of people they wanted to draw, and we also provided people with celebrity pictures — Beyonce and people like that — to draw,” Stamenov said. “Well, someone showed up with this beautiful framed picture of their pet to draw.”

As the night continued and the wine was consumed, more people began drawing animals, she said.

“They began looking at their phones for pictures of their own pets, and we knew right away that there was an interest in pet portraits,” Stamenov said. “So we took it from there and decided to do more animal art classes.”

In addition to the Drawing and Painting Animals class, The Kimball Art Center is offering other pet-art themes in some of its upcoming classes, Stamenov said.

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