College Students

How is Cultivate different from other art programs and classes?

It's important to note that no art schools or programs are exactly alike. 

They all have something valuable to offer!

But what makes Cultivate different from other in-person or online art learning experiences?

 

We have ongoing, longer format courses.

A deeper dive into a medium or subject, our students want to really understand something more.  

We invite and encourage experimentation.

We want our students to learn the basics, and then stretch their thinking, make connections across disciplines, and bring their own ideas to the table.  We often ask "what happens when -" because that's when creativity kicks in.  Creativity is useful in all jobs, fields, and everyday life. 

We operate like a school.

Understanding planes of development and curriculums, we actively teach grade level and social and emotional learning skills that support people outside the art classroom. Art is the lens through which we understand the world. 

We teach to different learning styles. 

We know (and love!) that every person has multiple learning styles.  Some people may be visual learners, others are movement learners, while others are auditory learners.  We believe and follow Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences when we create our curriculums, so every student is seen and respected. 

We have high-quality materials and provide them for all of our courses.

The difference in art materials means access, but also quality control and understanding of materials. We do offer material lists, should students also want to purchase their own as well.  

We actively teach language of art and design. 

Moving through a lesson, we will explain the "why" and "how" of a technique or practice.  We refer to these as "tools of a toolbox" where students can take these practices and apply them to a piece at home, another class, but most importantly to develop and love their own style. 

We actively teach art history to all of our classes. 

In our art history teachings and gallery work, we actively teach contemporary (and mostly living) artists.

 

Why?  Because we want to connect the public with artists that are working today.  So that our audience can buy from artists today, develop relationships with them, and it furthers the idea that art is a career path that is viable and valued. 

 

We seek to actively decolonize the art canon.

What does this mean?  We know the art "masters" - Monet, Picasso, etc, and we know how often they are taught.  Students and people will learn of their work.  However, we want to provide representation of ALL the voices and stories.  We actively choose to teach artists that are Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, womxn, LGBTQIA+,  and so much more.  This does not mean that we omit movements of art, it means that when we want to teach Impressionism, for example, we find an artist that provides a different model and example. 

 

A personalized experience - We deeply love our friends and community. 

We get to know the people who come to open studio, events, parents/guardians at classes, adult students, and community supporters. We get to know your names, ask questions, and truly get to know you.  

 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email education@cultivategrandrapids.org
 

Examples of Social-Emotional Learning in the Young Artist Series: 

Taking turns

Sharing language and positive reinforcement

Encourage Empathetic Thinking  

Creativity

Problem Solving

 

"I wasn't sure what to expect, but always wanted to learn watercolor.  What I found was a community I loved and a newfound passion for the arts.

- Adult student, in Watercolor Botanicals class

"It's the teacher that makes the difference for me.  I can take a class anywhere, but I want a sense of community. The teacher facilitates conversation while we work, so I've gotten to know the other students so well and made new friends."

-  Adult Student, in Artifacts class

"I have learned about so many artists! I made an artsy account and now follow a lot of artists and am even finding new ones!  It's so cool!"

-Teen Student, in Modern Collage class

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