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Adult Art Program

The mission of the Adult Continuing Education program is to inspire exploration and experimentation, connect community through art, and to harness artistic curiosity, and turn it into artistic confidence with work and practice.  

We believe that whether you are honing an old skill or learning a new one, you will find inspiration

and community here.  

Courses are four weeks long, with the mission to exercise or hone techniques, where students focus on both process, techniques, and product-based work.  Students learn the techniques or materials, and are encouraged to brainstorm, problem-solve, research, explore and experiment to make individual and innovative works of art.  Instructors provide careful guidance and support as students use the tools and lessons that they have learned to create their own art. Teachers may provide visual prompts or thought exercises to inspire ideas.  What emerges from the courses is a technical skill, but also a confidence in their own art-making and creativity.  

We end each class with a “group share” or critique experience. Here students practice the language of art and design, have a sense of community, and receive positive reinforcement for their work. Students may share a larger piece they are working on, a piece from home, or a sketchbook exploration.   

Sketchbooks are encouraged for each student to collect and store ideas that will become starting points for works of art in the future. These visual journals allow students to enhance their skills of observation and image-making in order to process more detailed information. Some examples of sketchbook activities are illustrating poems and short stories, designing and illustrating commercial advertisements, observational drawings, photo collages, and mixed media experimentation.

Occasionally, a guest artist will come to visit the classroom to demonstrate a unique craft or skill. Some ideas of artists may include a video game designer, regionally exhibited printmaker, interior designer, museum curator, or fashion designer. This experience further develops their understanding that art is everywhere, connects the student to the art community, and expands their horizons of art as a career.   

 

Adult art classes are two hours long, run for 4 week sessions, and are weekly. 

How is Cultivate different from other spaces?

Meet our Teachers

Student Gallery of Work

Current Courses for Adults

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Charcoal Drawing for Beginners

 

In this class, we will explore and practice elements of charcoal drawing.  We will begin each session with warm-ups to get a feel for the materials, then move into longer work with objects, a simple landscape, and ending with a basic portrait. 

Schedule: Thursdays, 6-8pm

Course Starts: January 12, 2023

Course Ends: January 26, 2023

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Introduction to Painting

 

This adult continuing education course shares an introduction to painting practices. Students in this course practice, or hone, skills with a variety of materials, explore methods, and tools of painting. Students will develop observational skills, practice color theory and paint application techniques, see and understand elements of painting practices including, but not limited to stretching a canvas, priming and preparing for work, laying out a palette, and color mixing. 

In this comprehensive class, we will begin each session with warm-ups to get a feel for the materials, then move into longer work with objects, a simple landscape, and ending with a basic portrait. 

Schedule: Thursdays, 6-8pm

Course Starts: February 2, 2023

Course Ends: February 23, 2023

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Oil Painting from Observation

 

In this class, adult students will exercise skills and elements of observational oil painting.   Explore oil paint as a medium and understand its distinction from descriptive line drawing. An emphasis will be placed on the use of oil paint, varying consistency and usage, mixing and color theory.  Students will gain confidence and fluency in skill as they come to understand tone, volume, color relationships, and creating accurate representations of light on objects. This course will include informal, warm-up exercises, guided demonstrations and instruction, and inspiration from contemporary artists. 

Schedule: Thursdays, 6-8pm

Course Starts: March 2, 2023

Course Ends: March 30, 2023

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Portrait Drawing

 

In this class, adult students will learn fundamental skills of portrait drawing.  This course is a great foundational skills class, as students can apply these skills to many other art mediums, as drawing is learning to see. Students will learn to draw portraits realistically from direct observation - transporting your vision with techniques of perspective, form, value, and other mark making. Students often report that this is the class that changes how they use materials, how they see, and improves their art making overall.  This course will include informal, warm-up exercises, guided demonstrations and instruction, and inspiration from contemporary artists.

Schedule: Thursdays, 6-8pm

Course Starts: April 6, 2023

Course Ends: April 27, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions 

Field Trips and Student Groups

Scholarships and Financial Aid

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Art Classes at East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation

 

We are proud to share fine art classes at East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation.  

Sharing our courses for ages three to adult, we offer easy going introductions to art for preschoolers, lower elementary, upper elementary, teenagers, and adults, including month-long courses, spring and summer camp opportunities, and more.  Young Artist Series, art classes for

Registration for the East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department classes is done so through their website.  If you would like to see, or register for our courses there, please follow the link below.  If you have questions in the registration process, please email education@cultivategrandrapids.org 

"These classes are so inspiring!  When I feel like I need more structure or a push creatively, I sign up for a new class with Cultivate.  It helps me with my whole art practice and pushes me to think in new ways.

- Adult student 

"I love these courses and have been signing up for all of them.  I find that it's "me time" in my week -and it's so relaxing to sit down with the group and make art together."

-Adult student 

Stories and News 

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