As a perpetual student, and lover of learning new creative things, I’m over-the-moon happy to have the Parkersburg Art Center right here in my own town. The Parkersburg Art Center, located at 725 Market St. in downtown Parkersburg, WV, is not just a gallery for impressive and varied rotating fine art exhibits, though. Did you know they also have a great variety of single-day and several-week-long classes for adults, teenagers and children?
Beginning yesterday, lunchtime yoga (yep, the Art Center is offering a yoga series) can start off your week, for six weeks in a row.
If you’d like to explore your creative side, a beginning oil painting class will be offered on Thursdays for six weeks (beginning this 9/17), where you will learn oil painting techniques and make your own, unique work. Saturday, September 18th also offers a Fine Time Clay Class, where you can make a Tree of Life clay tile. It’s also BYOB, according to the class description, as are many of the “Fine Time” classes offered throughout the year. You can also find clay classes and a kiddo art series called “Mini Monets” in this month’s class schedule.
In October, things really kick into full swing for Paint and Fire Jack-O-Lanterns (Friday, 10/2), a four week series for Pottery on the Wheel (Starting Thursday, 10/8), six weeks of drawing from still life to real life (beginning Thursday, 10/15), A floral painting Fine Time (on Friday, 10/16), A class to help you take better pictures with your cell phone (“iPhoneography”, on Saturday, 10/24), as well as children’s “Mini Masters,” whose class descriptions mention the “Mini” classes are for ages 18 mos.-3, with an adult, beginning Halloween Saturday, and the kiddo version of “Fine Time”=“Canvas and Cookies” on Tuesday, 10/13. If you happen to know a middle or high school student who is interested in pursuing an art career, especially focusing in photography and/or mixed media, October also brings a six week mentorship opportunity to work with a professional artist, helping to build a portfolio and seek out ways to make a living with their creative gifts (This time around, that mentor just so happens to be me. Yay! We’ll meet every Monday, beginning on 10/19.)
November is also a great month for art classes, offering watercolor techniques as a four week series (first day, Tuesday, 11/3), a one day abstract acrylics class (Saturday, 11/7), five weeks focused on jewelry design kicks off in November (starting Saturday, 11/7), as well as a Fine Time woven clay basket class (on Friday, 11/13). Right around Thanksgiving, children are also offered a “Gift Workshop”, to make a hand made gift for the Holidays.
Mid-December offers the last of the currently listed classes for the season-a paint and fire Holiday Ornament class, for adults and teenagers, on Friday, 12/12. If you miss the make-your-own Holiday gift classes, you can support local artists with your spirit of gift-giving any time of year at the Zocolo Gift Shop, located inside the main entrance, next to the welcome desk.
If you’re looking for painting, jewelry making, clay, and/or drawing instruction, this is definitely your season. Every half-year brings new offerings and ideas, each one with a variety of instructors from different backgrounds and interests. It’s a great way to nurture your creativity, dig into an artistic avenue you’ve wanted to explore, make some new friends, and bring along your best friends for fun nights out.
Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for? The Parkersburg Art Center also offers Design Your Own classes. Just reach out to them, and they’ll get you all set up. I can’t wait to take several of these classes this fall. I always look forward to seeing what new ideas the Art Center comes up with each season.
To sign up for any of the above classes, or to design your own, head over to their website, stop by in person, or give them a call: 304-485-3859 . Make sure you sign up early! If the class fills up before class day, you’ll be left hoping they’ll offer it again – or, if it doesn’t meet its minimums, it may be canceled. Classes range from around $20 for single-day member rates, to $135 for a six-week course for non-members. Members always get discounts on classes.
If you’d like to check out the art on display, there are several different galleries and often, more than a couple exhibits on display at the same time. The center is open to the public Wednesdays-Saturdays, from 10-5. Wednesday is free admission day; Thursday–Saturday, it’s only $2 for ages 12 and up, with children under 12 and members having free admission.