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ACC visit to Summer Series at Red Deer College

Red Deer College’s Series of summer art and fine craft workshops always provide a wide array of classes and talented instructors.  From bronze casting to wheel throwing as well as numerous hot glass workshops you can find a class for any skill level.  I drool over the Series class brochure each spring…. highlighting workshops I wish to attend, noting which instructors are teaching that year, and dreaming about a time when I too can be a Series participant.

Yesterday I was so happy when Laura and I were able to go down to Red Deer College (RDC) to check out the Series program as well as the brand new Centre for Visual Arts.  Joyce Howdle, RDC Program Coordinator Performing Arts, was gracious enough to give us a tour of this week's workshops.  We began the tour with a look at a display of workshop participants' work.  Series participants were asked to express their artistic talents on a small canvas to be sold at $20 apiece as a fundraiser for the program.  The instructors are also in the mix with a silent auction of their work.  Be sure to stop by Red Deer College to pick out your favorite piece and support a fantastic program!

The first stop on our tour was at Meira Mathison's class focusing on functional altered vessels.  All the participants were having a fantastic time creating their vessels in the wonderful new addition to RDC.  Wheels lined the space while worktables were located in the centre of the room and windows allowed the natural light to come through.  Laura and I could not get over how well-designed the space was for ceramics and Joyce was happy to share that Trudy Golley, of the Ceramics Department, was instrumental in bringing this space to life.

Talented metalsmith and ACC member, Crys Harse, was also teaching this week on fine craft of metal work.  Crys uses the fantastic facilities in the RDC sculpture workshop to help her students create their own sculpture or vessel.  The expansive space holds numerous metal and woodworking tools, a welding area as well as a smelting shop which was used for Ian Cook’s bronze casting workshop early this summer.

This week's Series students must have had a difficult choice to decide between a workshop from ACC member Lynette Pflueger teaching devoree, cloque, fulling and felting and Marjolein Dallinga, of Bloomfelt, teaching students how to push felt to the limits in her felting and dying workshop.  Workshop participants are on their way to learning so many new techniques.... so lucky!

As always, Series offers a number of Hot Glass workshops.  We were also able to stop in on ACC member, Jamie Gray, during her glass casting workshop.  It was fantastic to see the process of turning an object to a cast piece of glass.  See what Jamie and her class were creating made the inspiration wheels start turning… ooo glass barn yard.  Students are not only encouraged to develop their glass blowing skills but to have fun in the process in the "Glass Cha Cha Cha!" workshop (Laura Donefer's class but being taught by Benjamin Kikkert this week).  If you are interested in learning how to work glass but missed out this summer, don't worry!  Series always strives to have a fantastic hot glass component each year.

After the tour of RDC we were off the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery (MAG) for the "Summer Series Mingle" (co-sponsored but the ACC and MAG).  The mingle began this year as a night for Series participants and instructors to meet outside the workshops as well as see who else is attending the week’s workshops.  We had a wonderful time chatting with everyone at MAG as well as taking a chance to see all the exhibitions such as “Prairie Excellence” and Matt Gould’s “Uncommon Threads”.  We must thank Lorna Johnson, MAG Executive Director, and the MAG staff for hosting such a delightful evening.  Are you at Series next week?  Be sure to join everyone at the MAG on July 31st for last series mingle of 2012.

We had such a fantastic time seeing the workshops at the RDC and a wonderful night of wine and conversation at MAG… thank you everyone!

Series 2013 participant – Annette Aslund

Learn more about the RDC Summer Series

Learn more about MAG

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