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PCCA winter classes offer artful start to the new year

December 12, 2012

» click to enlarge «
Paint Creek Center for the Arts instructor Lois Konopnicki works with a student during a class.

ROCHESTER — Those plagued with cabin fever can add some creativity to their winter with new classes from the Paint Creek Center for the Arts.

Ellen Hughes, marketing director for the PCCA, said the center’s gift certificates make a great little present for under the tree.

“We have gift certificates available for classes, so people can buy one for a young student in their life or someone who maybe hasn’t taken an art class in many years, because we have many levels and lots of options available,” she said.

Children age 6 and older and adults of all skill levels and interests can choose from a lineup of 43 classes in a variety of media, including painting, watercolor, fiber, ceramics, figure drawing, photography mixed media and more.

“The nice thing about our classes is that they are meant to be taken more than once, so it’s not just a one-time thing,” Hughes said. “Many of our students end up taking a class in one craft for multiple terms because they get something different out of it each time.”

PCCA Art School Manager Ed Duff said art can be very fulfilling for students, from an educational standpoint.

“Our students come for a variety of reasons. They come because they want to unwind at the end of a workday or they are really curious about art in general and wanting to learn about a specific medium,” he said.

Because the classes — which begin the week of Jan. 14 and run through March 16 — have been growing in popularity, Duff decided to add a few new classes this winter.

“Each of the new terms, I have been trying to get a feel for what students are interested in, so I have been creating new classes that would be a good addition to the core classes we already have,” he said.

This term, one of the new classes Duff decided to add is Advanced Concepts in Art Making.

“That’s a class for students that are a little bit more advanced and are really serious about their work and are interested in developing a cohesive body of work, whether it be drawing or painting, kind of thinking on a larger scale and taking a more personal direction with their art-making,” he said.

Another new offering is the Art Sampler class, held Thursday evenings.

“The nice thing about that class is, each week, the students get their chance to try their hand at a completely different media. They get a chance one week to learn some basic concepts of drawing. The next week, they might learn about basic photography, then the following week, they will learn hand-building with ceramics, so each week, it’s constantly changing and they get a chance to meet all of our different instructors. That way, if they find a media that really appeals to them, they can hopefully sign up for the next class the following term,” he said.

The PCCA has also decided to expand its photography program this winter, from two to four classes.

“People are really getting very interested in that,” Duff said. “Now we have basic photography, advanced photography, a Photoshop class, and a photography and mixed media art class.”

Many PCCA faculty members hold advanced degrees in fine art, art education and more from institutions such as Wayne State University, Cranbrook, the College for Creative Studies and Oakland University, and Hughes said they work with students on an individual basis to encourage growth and strengthen artistic talents.

The Paint Creek Center for the Arts, 407 Pine St., is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. For a complete list of classes, stop by the PCCA to pick up the Winter 2013 Art School Catalog or visit to view and register for classes. To register, call (248) 651-4110 or visit

About the author

Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond covers the city of Rochester, Rochester Community Schools and Avondale Schools for the Post. Almond has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2005 and attended Michigan State University.

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