Surrey's Art Takeout Courses Spark Participants' Imaginations at Home

Drawing in the Field and Hand Building with Clay are available online

The Surrey Art Gallery Takeout Art Kit is a bundle which includes everything you need to stay creative through Covid-19. (Nicole Gonzalez-Filos)

The Feed Your Inner Artist program with Art Takeout Courses hosted by the Surrey Art Gallery enables participants of all ages to try new mediums and artistic techniques from home.

The two takeout courses to choose from were Drawing in the Field and Hand Building with Clay. The six-week interactive hands-on courses included material pickup at the gallery, video lessons, and a live online session where participants shared their artwork.

The SAG offered Drawing in the Field from July 20 to July 24 and is hosting Hand Building with Clay from July 27 to Aug. 31.

Starting Aug. 10, both of these courses will be available any time, either as six video lessons in one week or over several months.

For $15.00, Drawing in the Field teaches participants to learn and practice drawing skills using open-air sketching, which is the drawing of objects surrounding the artist.

“Participants experiment with perspective and composition using viewfinders, contour line detailed observations, creating values and line variation, perspectives and implied lines, and much more,” wrote Alanna Edwards, Engagement Facilitator for the SAG, in an email to The Runner.

Hand Building with Clay, which was inspired by contemporary ceramics, is for participants who don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty. The course also explored the sculptural possibilities of clay.

“Participants learn pinch, coil, and slab construction, as well as surface pattern techniques with tools, wax resist, glaze, and more,” wrote Edwards. “The course includes glazing and firing of artworks too!”

Hand Building with Clay provides a large square slab of clay along with plastic, muslin fabric, paints, and pins for $35.00.

The online YouTube classes were offered every Monday with artist educator Amelia Butcher. Each class had a different topic. Week one focused on the introductions to clay and pinch pots. Week two looked at coil pots, and in week three participants built from slabs, making clay boxes or pieces of cake.

In week four, participants were introduced to tile-making. Week five began the decoration with sgraffito, where the top layer of dry clay is scratched to reveal the underlying layer. And, in the final week, participants start glazing the surface of their creations.

Clay is notorious for being messy. It covers tables, counters, and other surfaces with white dust. Fortunately, the dust can be easily cleaned up with a damp paper towel. In the first week’s video, Butcher says that clay dust should not be inhaled as it can cause respiratory problems.

Hand Building with Clay offers a fun way to release stress and spark the imagination. The medium’s soft, grey, dough-like texture makes it easy to create pots, mugs, and other objects. The course can also be taken in pairs.

“During this time of physical distancing, Art Takeout courses bring people together through remote digital learning. Even though we may be at home working on drawing skills or hand building with clay, we are connected virtually with a greater creative community,” she writes.

Participants must pre-register online or call 604-501-5100 for the upcoming courses.

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