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BIG ARTS taking sign ups for 2019 workshop season

By Staff | Sep 26, 2018

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From fine crafts and dance, to lecture series and discussion groups, the 2019 season’s workshop offerings at BIG ARTS have something for everyone and registrations are being accepted.

Marina Dowling, coordinator the programs, explained that sign ups formally opened up earlier in September. Most of the workshops run Monday through Friday in the mornings and afternoons.

“We have a couple things that might happen on the weekend, on Saturday,” she said.

As for hands-on activities, there are drawing and painting selections using pen and ink, oil, acrylic, charcoal, pastel, mixed media, watercolor and palette knife painting. There is Instructed Life Drawing, Understanding and Drawing Drapery and new painting course WOW, or Wet-On-Wet, Boot Camp.

“Some of them are for beginners, some intermediate and some for advanced,” Dowling said.

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Under the fine crafts category, there is a basket class, working with polymer clay, glass fusing and keepsake art journal. One of the new offerings is the Shells 2 Share/Seashell Decorating course.

“It’s a one-day, but it is offered several times throughout the season,” she said.

Dowling noted that the season generally runs from November to March.

“There’s different courses going on five days throughout the week,” she said, adding that some offerings take place over six weeks, others are for four weeks and some are just a few days.

“We try to have something for everybody,” Dowling said.

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There are also workshops on photography, software like Adobe Photoshop and pottery.

For those who love to move their feet, there is tap and the new jazz-hip hop to try.

“We also have dance classes,” she said. “We try to do a variety.”

A handful of offerings combine group discussions and writing. There is Learn to Write a Beach Style Mystery Novel or a Thriller Novel, Contemporary Play Reading, The Joy of Writing and more.

People can even sign up for Spanish I and II and learn another language.

“We offer a Spanish class,” Dowling said.

One of the highlights of the workshop season is the Winter Academy at BIG ARTS.

“We’ve offered that type of lecture program for several years now,” she said.

This year’s selections cover Visible Signs of Immaterial Truth: The Art and Architecture of the Spirit, Masterpieces of Western Music, Intro to Opera, The Global and U.S. Economy in a New Political Era, The Science and Philosophy of Psychic Phenomena and the Continuation of Consciousness, Dynastic Political Families: Adams, Kennedy and Bush, and The Roosevelts.

Dowling pointed out a new series, HD Live from the Met Lectures. Featuring Florida Gulf Coast University Associate Professor of Musicology Thomas Cimarusti as the instructor, the discussions will be based on the award-winning “The Met: Live in HD” that begins in October at Regal Cinemas.

“There’s a variety there,” she said of the Winter Academy.

“They usually meet for four weeks, most of them three hours per week,” Dowling added.

The instructors for all of the workshops are independent contractors.

“A lot of these instructors have been teaching for many years here and they have a strong following,” she said.

The course costs vary depending on the program.

“It’s really all different,” Dowling said. “The instructors set their own fees, but they try to stay consistent.”

She noted that some fees include supplies and others require participants to bring them.

“I think the instructors really try to keep it very affordable,” Dowling said.

Preregistration is required.

Residents and visitors are invited to check out the schedule.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue what you’re doing, or if you’re an artist, you can learn something new,” Dowling said. “If you’re new to the area, you can meet some new people – make friends.”

“It’s a fun way to do something different if you haven’t done something before in the arts,” she added.

To view the offerings, visit bigarts.org/education or stop by the main office.

There is registration form online that can be downloaded and mailed or call 239-395-0900.

The main office is at 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel.

For more information about BIG ARTS, visit online at bigarts.org.