Kimball Art Center summer classes run the gamut |

Kimball Art Center summer classes run the gamut

Children are engaged in a summer painting class at the Kimball Art Center. Summer sessions will run through the end of September and cover an array of art and mediums for ages tot to adult. (Photo courtesy of the Kimball Art Center)

Summer is a busy season for the Kimball Art Center.

Not only does it continue showing local, national and sometimes international exhibits, it offers more than 115 art classes that run through September to the community, said Jenny Diersen, education director for the Kimball Art Center.

"We break the classes down and make them appropriate for five different age categories — tots, kids, tweens and teens and adults." Diersen said during an interview with The Park Record. "We also offer family classes so they can come spend some quality time together doing various art projects."

The classes, which are usually offered Mondays through Thursdays, are held in time frames.

"The first is in the morning from 10 a.m. until noon," Diersen said. "The second is in the afternoon from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and then we offer a late-afternoon session from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. depending on the class."

Although the classes touch on a variety of mediums, Diersen, who programs the schedule, finds ways to tie in the projects with whatever exhibits are being shown at the KAC.

"When the exhibits come up, we try to do programming that will allow the students to experience the medium that the artists in the exhibits use," she said. "That way, the classes can understand more deeply about the art form and what the mediums can do."

Currently, the KAC is showing an exhibit through July 28 called "Ink Paper Scissors" that features paper-based art such as lithographs, prints, handmade paper, manipulated posters and photos, Diersen said.

"Some of the summer classes will correspond with the exhibit and focus on paper crafts, including making paper and making paper sculptures," she said. "Those will be offered with the other painting, drawing and sculpting classes we regularly have.

"We also offer welding classes, and we will have an artist named Katherine England who will come in from California to teach separate glass-mosaic classes for kids, teens and adults."

The schedule also includes classes that are a little unexpected for an art center, Diersen said.

"For example, local Ian Guy Leinbach, who is an artist and an avid snow and skateboarder, will teach his annual ‘skate and create’ class again for kids and teens," she said. "The classes will design their own skateboard and then they’ll put their skateboards together and roll down to City Park and hang out at the skate park.

"It’s super fun," Diersen said. "Ian is an awesome teacher and a great mentor for the kids."

Even the tots classes have enough activities to keep participants interested and busy.

"These are specially designed for ages three to five," Diersen said. "Most of the classes require parent or adult participation, so both the child and adult can experience the art-making together.

"In the beginning of the tots’ classes, we have an instruction period, and then during the remainder of the time, the little ones, with the help of the adults, will work on creating the projects," she explained. "These classes are more about the students exploring their own mediums, and sometimes the finished product will not look like the display."

Sometimes they’re just about teaching art fundamentals such as mixing paint.

"When they mix the paints themselves on their little palates and make green out of blue and yellow or purple out of red and blue, these kids get very excited, because they have created their own colors, Diersen said. "Then they go and use those colors to make handprints or flowers or something like that."

One of the new classes in the tots’ category is designed for four- and five-year-olds.

"It’s a week-long session that doesn’t require adult participation," Diersen said. "The kids can be dropped off and participate in a project by themselves with other kids their own age."

It takes special artists to be able to teach the summer classes, so the faculty is comprised of local, regional and national artists.

"During the year, I have many artists who submit their resumes and information about the works they do," she said. "I interview with them and also have students who have worked with or know artists from around the country and I will reach out to those artists.

"We want to make sure the students enjoy creating art, but also learn something from these programs," she said.

For more information about the Kimball Art Center summer classes and full schedule, visit .

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