By Ann McCreary and Marcy Stamper
Roll up your sleeves and let your creative juices flow. The approaching summer is filled with opportunities to get involved in all kinds of art and creative growth through classes, workshops, camps and performances.
Following — with offerings listed in chronological order — is an overview of upcoming arts-related activities.
How-to-Draw-a-Leaf Drawing Essentials: Artist Perri Howard will teach beginning and experienced artists to use a variety of materials and develop artistic techniques through simple exercises based on drawing a leaf. Howard, who was an artist-in-residence at Confluence Gallery last year, sees teaching as a collaborative venture between instructor and student. The class will start with indoor exercises and then migrate outside to “draw the very essence of a leaf.”
- June 11, 1 – 5 p.m., in Howard’s studio in the Tree Cooler building at TwispWorks. $50, pre-registration is required at 997‑3300 or Register@TwispWorks.org.
Elderberry Containers: An ancestral-skills workshop led by Eric Wittenbach.
- June 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Pit House at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center garden. $10 suggested donation for materials. For information call 997‑4904.
Buckskin Pouches: An ancestral-skills workshop led by Xavier de la Fôret.
- June 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Pit House at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center garden. $10 suggested donation for materials. For information call 997‑4904.
Fire Starting Skills: An ancestral-skills workshop led by Eric Wittenbach.
- June 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Pit House at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center garden. $10 suggested donation for materials. For information call 997‑4904.
Comics and Zines! Bryan Putnam, the artist-in-residence at Confluence Gallery this spring and summer, offers a free workshop for seventh- through 12th-grade students in which they will create a six-page, handmade comic book. Participants will be able to take home 10 copies of their book. Their comics will also be exhibited at the gallery this summer. Putnam specializes in drawing and printmaking and incorporates paper, wood and materials gathered from nature in his art.
- • June 28, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., at Confluence Gallery. Free, registration at 997‑2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Community of Collectors: Art Collecting 101: People interested in collecting, rather than (or in addition to) creating art, will learn about supporting the arts from Jody Bento, curator of the gallery at the Seattle Art Museum. Among the topics covered in this free lecture are “Why do people collect art and how do they go about doing it?” and “Why buy original artwork instead of reproductions?”
- July 2, 11 a.m. – noon, at Confluence Gallery. Free. 997‑2787.
Knife-Sharpening Essentials: Bob Kramer is one of only 120 master bladesmiths in the United States, a certification that requires, among other feats, building a knife with more than 300 layers of steel that can cut through a 2-by-4. Kramer says he has devoted his life to the single-minded pursuit of crafting the perfect kitchen knife. Kramer will give a lecture and a hands-on workshop on caring for kitchen knives and the use of Japanese water stones for sharpening.
- July 2, 1 – 5 p.m., in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $90, pre-registration is required at 997‑3300 or Register@TwispWorks.org.
Draw, Build, Paint: Landscape painter and arts instructor Margaret Kingston leads summer camps for kids through Confluence Gallery. Kids will explore different ways of creating two- and three-dimensional works of art. Kingston believes that art-making not only teaches kids creative expression, but also helps them develop original ways of thinking and problem-solving.
Kingston will offer two sessions, for ages 5 to 8 and 8 to 11.
- July 5 – 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (ages 8 to 11), in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $150, pre-registration is required at 997‑2787 or email@example.com.
- July 12 – 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (ages 5 to 8), in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $150, pre-registration is required at 997‑2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natural Art Materials: Make natural binders, pigments, watercolors and charcoal for art projects in an ancestral-skills workshop led by Eric Wittenbach.
- July 9, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Pit House at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center garden. $10 suggested donation for materials. For information call 997‑4904.
Performance Intensive: Working with Seattle actor Kate Wisniewski, students age 8 and up (adults welcome) will learn specific techniques in acting and stagecraft, improvisation, voice and movement. Concentrating on the texts of Shakespeare and other great poets, the camp will explore the craft of acting and will develop life skills such as ensemble building, self-confidence and public speaking. The workshop will culminate in shared experiences for an invited audience of family and friends.
Kate Wisniewski is a professional actor and acting instructor at Seattle University. She has appeared in Seattle-area theaters including Seattle Shakespeare Festival, Intiman, ACT, Book-It Repertory Theater and Empty Space.
- July 11 – 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at The Merc Playhouse. $275, registration forms at www.mercplayhouse.org. Call 997‑7529 or email email@example.com.
Easy-Start Watercolor: Local watercolor artist and teacher Paula Christen will offer her “easy-start” techniques for painting with watercolors for beginning painters. Through step-by-step instruction, Christen will demonstrate basic brush techniques and how to mix fresh colors. Participants will leave with their own painting and handouts with Christen’s tips, supply list, worksheets and starter sketch kit.
- July 16, 1-5 p.m., in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $90, plus $30 materials fee, pre-registration is required at 997-3300 or Register@TwispWorks.org.
Print Fun in the Sun: Print artist Laura Gunnip leads kids ages 5 to 8 in a sun-printing extravaganza in the studio and at the park. Using objects found on nature walks, students will print cards, bookmarks and flags.
- July 19-21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $150, pre-registration is required at 997-2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write Your Story: Author Shannon Huffman Polson covers the basics of memoir writing in this three-hour workshop for the aspiring writer. The course will examine different forms and pieces of work, different ways to address hard topics, and use writing prompts and creativity exercises. Participants should come prepared to read aloud and to write, and will leave with direction and inspiration for writing their own stories.
Polson earned her MFA in creative nonfiction at Seattle Pacific University. She is the author of North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey and The Way the Wild Gets Inside: Field Notes from Alaska.
- July 23, 1-4 p.m., in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $60, pre-registration is required at 997-3300 or emailing email@example.com.
T-Shirts, Buttons & Stamps: Learn how to make cool things with recycled and found materials — aka upcycled tweenager fashion for students ages 8 to 11, led by print artist Laura Gunnip.
- July 26-28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Education Station at TwispWorks. $150, pre-registration is required at 997-2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pipestone Summer Music Camp: Musicians of all ages can get one-on-one pointers and work on chamber music at this music camp for strings, winds, brass, guitar and piano. Because the camp is scheduled in conjunction with the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, participants will have the opportunity for coaching from and will play alongside the festival s teaching quartet. Faculty include local musicians Pam and Terry Hunt and string players from the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra. The week culminates in a recital.
Aug. 1-5, at the Methow Valley Community Center, in two sections:
- String orchestra, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., for beginning and intermediate string players ages 8 and above.
- Chamber music, 12:15-5 p.m., for intermediate and advanced string, wind, brass, guitar and piano players.
$250 for either morning or afternoon section; $350 for full day. Registration by July 1 at 997-0222; more information at www.cascadiamusic.org.
Summer Musical Theater Camp: A fun-filled camp focused on theater performance with training in acting, singing and dancing. The camp is for ages 8 and up and requires no previous experience. Campers learn backstage fundamentals such as set building and costuming. Campers will all earn a part in Disney’s The Jungle Book, Kids while polishing their skills for two performances at the end of the week.
The camp is directed by Megan Hicks and Kathryn Stahl. Hicks returns for her fourth Merc summer camp. She is a director, choreographer and actor from the Puget Sound area and teaches junior high drama and English. Stahl has worked as an actor and director for several theater companies in the south Puget Sound area. She has spent the past two years in Nebraska, working for The Omaha Children’s Theater Company and focusing on students from at-risk middle schools, students on the autism spectrum and other diverse populations. She is currently earning her MFA in acting at Michigan State University.