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McKinney Center announces diverse lineup of classes

Cameo Waters, community contributor • Jul 20, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Kicking off their sixth year of offering arts education classes, McKinney Center and Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts announced the 2019 fall lineup. It features a full slate of creative offerings with hands-on classes teaching various skills led by experienced instructors and fitting for various ages and ability levels.

The Art Adventures program offers instruction for young artists who are ready to explore the world of art. Students receive an introduction to art skills where activities and projects are organized to develop their understanding and experimentation with a wide variety of media, techniques and processes. Over the course of their classwork, students will get to take home paintings, drawings, sculpture and more. For older elementary-aged students, the Creative Construction courses are taught to build the artists' skills including drawing and painting skills which will be taken to the next level. Students will work with clay, paper mache, learn to draw 3D images, and try watercolor and acrylic paint. There are daytime options for homeschool families and co-ops. New to this year’s lineup is Sensory Art for toddlers ages 18 months to 4 years old, which is a parent/child class that introduces young children to art processes, materials and creative exploration.

Ceramics is one of the most popular offerings at the McKinney Center. There are clay classes for young and old alike. Kids N Clay is geared for grades K through 3 with Young Potters for grades 4 through 7. Both of these classes provide basic instruction and students will get to take home 3 to 5 projects they make themselves. Teens and adults have the choice of Hand-Building or The Potter’s Wheel Series. Hand-building is a great way to start working with clay and learn the foundational elements of the medium, glazes, and terminology while making beautiful functional and decorative pieces. The Potter’s Wheel Series is a two-part class that starts with the Level I for beginners and is designed to develop your skills on the wheel. After the Level I class, the Level II class is a great choice to continue working on skills.

New to the curriculum this semester is a generous assortment of dance classes for children, teens and adults. Ballet Level 1 for grades 1 through 4 will be taught by Mauren Pickle. Zoe Hester will be teaching grades 1 through 5 in jazz and tap. Teens can enjoy beginning ballroom taught by Emily Matney. Teens and adults can choose from jazz, ballet and ballroom, all beginning level courses.

Music selections include the all-time favorite bucket drumming class for grades 5 through adults. Guitar is also on tap. For beginners, the group classes are a great option. Group classes for guitar include a kid and teen class on Tuesday nights and an adult group class during the day on Tuesdays. Private guitar lessons will also be available this semester, but times are limited so interested students are encouraged to register as quickly as possible. Heidi Ehle will also offer private flute lessons for students of all ages.

Drawing skills are a fundamental aspect of the visual art world and there are several options this semester for teens and adults. The Basics of Drawing class is for beginners interested in learning the fundamental skills and techniques for making drawings of simple subjects. Mixed Media Drawing for grades 6 through adults will be a guided class in learning how to create a finished composition utilizing various mediums. Anime Art Club, which focuses on the Japanese originated comic style of Manga and Anime drawings, is back for grades 5 through 12. All the drawing classes are small in size and can be adapted to any level of experience!

Adventures in Watercolors is a great way to start your painting journey as you get to experiment with techniques that create amazing masterpieces. For adults who prefer a daytime class, there is also a Beginning Watercolor Technique class and an Intermediate Watercolor class on Monday mornings. New to the painting curriculum this semester is Sharon Squibb’s Basics of Oil Painting. Allison Parker’s Plein Air Painting will include discussion of trends found in art history and contemporary landscape paintings, as well as exploration of strategies for simplifying the process of painting outside.

Mosaics by artist Beverly Thomas Jenkins is another popular class available at the McKinney Center. The fall offerings include a Mosaic Abstract class and/or the Pet Portrait class. Both of these fun classes demonstrate the basics of mosaics as students design their own pieces. Students will work from a drawing or photo and work step-by-step on how to create a beautiful work of art.

Students in grades 8 through 12 can take part in “Let’s Make a T.V. Show” to learn how to write a script for their show, how to operate a video camera, work with lights, green screen backdrops, and learn the basics of acting for television.

Writers are also encouraged to participate in the Creative Writers Group. The purpose of this group is to allow members to share their work, explore ideas, feel supported, and build their portfolio. This is an intergenerational group starting with young writers as young as 15 years old through senior adults.

New this semester is a Shadow Puppet Theater class for grades K through 4 and Homeschool Story Collecting for grades 5 through 8. The Shadow Puppet Theater class will learn traditional folk tales and create their narrations and puppets working toward a final performance. The Home School Story Collecting class is a daytime experience that teaches young people the art of interviewing their family and friends to capture stories of culture and heritage. Some stories may be chosen for the McKinney Center’s annual community play or monthly radio show.

If time is a challenge, the fall semester will also feature one-day workshops including making clay jack-o-lanterns, alcohol ink, 2D paper composition, making a clay toad house, pottery glazing, Zentangle, and several glass fusion workshops.

Register before Aug. 11 to take advantage of the early bird discount. All classes are $10 off during this time. You can also save money if you bundle certain classes. A fall open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 10. Faculty will be present for questions and demonstrations. The last day to register for fall classes is Aug. 17.

Check the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School Facebook page throughout the year for information about programs and events. Full descriptions of class offerings can be found online at www.mckinneycenter.com or in the catalog available at the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. To learn more, contact the McKinney Center at (423) 753-0562.

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