Arts classes are for masters " and for beginners as well |

Arts classes are for masters " and for beginners as well

Howls of laughter emanate from the art room and mix with the steady beat of the piano from the music class.

A thread of classical music drifts up from the ballet studio below and wends its way through my window on the thick summer breeze.

Toward evening, the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts comes alive with African drumbeats or the tinkling of zils from the Middle Eastern dance class. Students from our special-needs arts class walk out cradling the most stunning paintings in their hands, their parents commending their use of color. They beam with pride.

We nurture emerging artists. We specialize in helping people realize their dreams. We believe if you can throw a tantrum, then you can throw a pot. If you can draw a stick figure, you can paint a primeval forest or let an ocean flow onto your paper. If you know “Chopsticks,” you can learn to play Chopin. And if you learn a few basic ballet positions, you can go on to dance “Swan Lake.”

From a single step, a dance is choreographed. Even if you drag a swath of black paint across a white page to express your frustration, anger or grief, then you have created. Art is therapy. And as with any journey, it is not the finished product that matters, it is the path to creativity and fulfillment that counts the most.

We like to dispel the myth that you need to be proficient to be creative as being outmoded and exclusive. We think collaboration is more powerful than competition. The theory that only certain people can express themselves through dance is lost when you see a group of young dancers imagine they are birds in flight. A well-known song takes on a sweet turn when a budding musician plays it. And the notion that artists are poor is discounted by their rich personalities and generous hearts.

In one artist’s words: ” … My art teacher has taught me so much and brought out of me a creative side I never knew I had. I owe her and this class so much because through it, I have begun to find out more about who I am, the beauty around me and my capabilities. And I have talent!”

The Center for the Arts is a place for beginners and masters alike. We encourage people to nurture their inner artist. Providing a safe atmosphere for all members of our community to come and add the arts into their lives is essential. Believing the arts are vital to cultural fulfillment, the community looks to us to provide artistic opportunities for all residents. We give scholarships, write grants and seek sponsors or mentors for students who want to learn but may not be able to afford classes. Art accessibility is the key. The slogan we use is, “The arts are for everyone.” Art transcends barriers caused by differences in language, lifestyles and culture. Art improves the quality of life and provides a sense of community that is so necessary as our world grows more diverse.

We invite and challenge you to learn something artistic and creative this year just for the fun of it. Pre-registration for classes at the Center for the Arts extends through Sept. 8. Register by then and receive $20 off fall tuition. This year, we are offering more than 70 classes in various art disciplines. Classes begin the week of Sept. 12, and you can drop in to any class you desire, just to try it out. We reach far out into the community to find teachers and students who create a thriving artistic culture.

And remember, if you can put one foot in front of the other and turn your self around, then you can dance the hokey pokey, and that’s what it’s all about.

Sinda Wood is program assistant for the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. Call the center at 945-2414 for applications, tickets or information.

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