Episcopal Day School offering after-school art class

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  For area teens and pre-teens who wish to further satisfy their artistic appetite, help has arrived.

Episcopal Day School currently is offering a free after-school supplemental arts program open to students in grades 6-12 in the community.

As part of an Alabama State Arts License Tag Committee Grant, “ImPrints” provides a concentrated experience in art making that is centered on the standard learning curriculum principles of printmaking. Topics include composition, elements and principles of design, color theory, spatial relationships, cultural and historical relevance, exploration of materials and develop the skills and craftsmanship associated with the variety of materials, tools and techniques of printmaking.

Taught by EDS art instructor Ryan McRae, the class is offered every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15-4:15 at the Episcopal Day School located at 156 South 9th Street. Classes are ongoing until May 24.

EDS Development Director Melissa Morgan, who wrote the grant that funded the course, pointed out that the program is not just for EDS students.

“I’ve gotten in touch with the other schools in Etowah County to let them know that their students are welcome,” she said. “If we get too big, we can use our lunchroom, so that’s a good problem to have!”

Thirteen students attended the course’s first class on Feb. 7, including three students from Hokes Bluff Middle School. McRae began the class with a course overview slide show that featured introduction to printmaking methods and techniques; elements of design; collograph printmaking; monoprints; relief printmaking; solvent transfers; mixed media methods; and screen printing methods. McRea then had the students create individual collographs, with pieces of cardboard serving as a plate.

McRae earned a B.A. in printmaking from Jacksonville State and his currently finishing his master’s degree in secondary education at JSU. He has taught art at EDS for the past five years.

“Printmaking is an art form that kids really don’t get exposed to in art classes, like painting and drawing,” he said. “Anytime you do an outreach program like this one, you want to get the kids into something they’re not normally involved in, and printmaking is really unique. Hopefully before the end of the course I can take them to JSU and show them a real printmaking lab.”

Morgan is president of the Alabama Museums Association and is a board member of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education.

“When I brought this idea to [EDS head mistress] ? McCartney, she said to go for it,” said Morgan. “Printmaking is a form of art that is not very well-known, but it’s an acquired skill that kids in this age group seem to have a lot of fun with.”

McCrae considers printmaking as the most creative form of art.

“In painting, you’ve got the brush, the paint and the canvas. There’s really no limit to what you can do in printmaking. Basically anything is fair game, so hopefully this class will be a growing experience for both me and the kids.”

For more information or to register, call 256-546-9071.

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