RDC’s Series has been offering summer art camp for adults for 25 years

Summer camp isn’t just for kids. In fact, Red Deer College has been offering Series for the past 25 years so adults can take a break from the daily grind and revel in a week-long art workshop.

New Zealand artist Katie Brown

New Zealand artist Katie Brown

Summer camp isn’t just for kids.

In fact, Red Deer College has been offering Series for the past 25 years so adults can take a break from the daily grind and revel in a week-long art workshop.

“You always take something home with you, like a new skill or new friends,” said Janice Moore, who has attended the summer school of the arts for the past eight years.

“It’s like summer camp for adults.”

Series runs for five weeks over July and August and during that time, it offers courses that cover a broad range of mediums — ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, jewelry, woodworking, fibre arts, glassblowing and more.

Classes also range in skill set, as some are more suitable for beginners while others cater to advanced levels.

Series provides participants with the opportunity to immerse themselves in art, under the guidance and expertise of renowned instructors, all day long for five consecutive days.

Moore, a Grade 2 teacher from Hinton, said she keeps coming back because she likes the intensive week-long workshops and small class sizes that result in more one-on-one interaction with instructors, some who travel from around the world to teach at Series.

The teachers aren’t the only ones who hit the road destined for Red Deer to participate in the art event.

Many of the students come from out of town to attend the annual summer program, many saying they can’t find such an educational experience in cities closer to them.

None of the seven students, including Moore, instructor Isabelle Hunt-Johnson or even the model participating in The Versatility of Watercolour course this week lived in Red Deer.

All travelled from across Alberta, many having come to the program numerous times in previous years.

Out of town students also enrolled in the 11 other workshops offered at Series this week.

Anny Vanderveen travelled from Okotoks to take part in the program nearly 20 years after graduating from Red Deer College with a visual arts degree.

“If you don’t do this for ages, a refresher course certainly doesn’t hurt you,” she said while participating in the bead camp.

“I came here specifically because it’s a very intense course and you get constant instruction. It’s really helpful, especially if you let some of your little bad habits catch up with you.”

Vanderveen was quick to note that coming to Series includes the additional bonus of receiving instruction from artists from around the world who specifically come to Red Deer to offer their expertise at the adult summer art school.

One such artist was Katie Brown, who came from Wanganue, New Zealand, to teach an intermediate glassblowing class.

It’s the second year she’s taught at Series.

“I enjoy passing on the passion, really,” she said before demonstrating to an audience the glassblowing craft she’s been mastering for the past 14 years.

“I enjoy teaching what I’ve got to give back. It’s nice to be able to give back what I’ve been given.”

Alan Watt from Australia and Sarah Jaeger of Montana also travelled to Central Alberta to teach at Series during the second week of the program.

Such diversity, Brown noted, provides students with the chance to learn about the different ways and techniques each country uses to create art.

“We do attract people from everywhere,” said Brenda Munro, director of continuing education at Red Deer College.

“But sometimes it’s the best kept secret here in Red Deer.

“Sometimes you don’t notice what’s in your own back yard.”

Series runs for three more weeks, with the last group of courses being offered from Aug. 2 to 6.

Registration is still available for the upcoming workshops.

To register for Series, visit www.rdc.ab.ca/continuing_education


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