Fall 2011 continuing education

photo courtesy of The Arnold Arboretum websiteRecommended New England course in tree identification

When moseying New England byways, I often ask my strolling companion to confirm the identities of trees on our path. More often than not, my strolling companion is my husband. More often than not, he looks at me quizzically in response. Not because he can’t identify the trees (He generally can’t.), but because he knows I know he generally can’t, yet I ask anyway. I simply wish to know. Finally, a solution: a free tree-identification workshop. I can think of one person who hopes I’ll sign up.

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

I’ve taken a couple of plant identification courses at The Arnold Arboretum before. Looks like it’s time for a refresher. According to their website, “The Arnold Arboretum's continuing adult education program offers one-day and multisession horticulture, botany, and landscape-related courses for the beginner, avid amateur, and professional.”

The Common Trees of Boston

Instructor: Ajay Sequeira, Arboretum Docent
Saturday: October 1, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Location: Hunnewell Building
Free

“Have you noticed a tree as you walked through the city, wanted to name it, but didn't know where to start? Join us for a walk through the Arboretum landscape. We will learn how to identify some of the trees commonly found in the Boston area. We will note some of the characteristics common to families of trees and learn about the differences that occur between species.”

Class and schedule are subject to change so check program websites for updates.
 
Take a look at my continuing-education posts from
previous seasons to get a sense of the many quality continuing education programs operating in the region. Enroll in a workshop, demonstration, or presentation on a lark, and get your creative juices flowing.  Experience continuing-education bliss.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast

Summer 2011 continuing education

photo courtesy of RISD Continuing Education websiteRecommended New England course in the creative arts

After visiting the Dale Chihuly exhibit (Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass) at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, it dawned on me that glass blowing is one of the few fine arts I never experimented with while at RISD (one of Chihuly’s alma maters, too). If you’ve been to the MFA show or seen Chihuly’s work elsewhere, you can’t help but be impressed by the scale, color, and free-form shapes he creates with blown glass. If you’re unable to attend the show (or even if you're able), you might want to watch the engaging PBS documentary Chihuly: Fire & Light about his work and unique multi-disciplinary process.

Interestingly, Chihuly studied interior design early on. It’s not hard to imagine his work inspiring decorative lighting fixtures, architectural glass panels/walls/windows/enclosures, even architectural facades/massing/roofs, etc… I fully expect a future Chihuly exhibit in which visitors inhabit Chihuly's glass.

RISD Continuing Education
Now’s your chance to discover your own multi-disciplinary inspiration by taking an introductory glass-blowing class. Of course, I can’t say enough to recommend my alma mater. In fact, my first exposure to RISD was as a continuing education student. I was considering making the leap from magazine publishing to architecture and thought it best to sample an architectural class first. It was an architectural model-making workshop that bridged the gap for me. What about you? Might glass-blowing offer the catalyst you crave? In any case, it sure looks fun.

Introduction to Hot Glass

Instructor: Bill Riker
Tuesdays 06/14/11 - 07/19/11, 6-9pm or
Wednesdays 06/15/11 - 07/20/11, 6-9pm
Tuition [Non Credit]: $445.00
Lab Fee: $45.00
Course total: $490.00

“The art of glass blowing is enjoying a lively revival in specialized facilities throughout the country. Join us at a professional glassblower's studio to learn the basics of working molten glass, and see how this transparent medium both accommodates and challenges the imagination. Through demonstrations and hands-on experience, students explore contemporary glass-working techniques under the guidance of a skilled artisan, with historic and modern examples of glass works providing inspiration and perspective. As the course progresses, students are encouraged to experiment as far as their newly acquired skills take them. Note: Space is limited in this course, which meets at an off-campus studio, so early registration is encouraged. Directions are sent to registered participants.”

Class and schedule are subject to change so check program websites for updates.

Take a look at my continuing-education posts from previous seasons to get a sense of the many quality continuing education programs operating in the region. Enroll in a workshop, demonstration, or presentation on a lark, and get your creative juices flowing.  Experience continuing-education bliss.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast

The secret behind continuing ed. bliss

I remember an architectural coworker teasing me about my needing time to “take calligraphy classes or whatever”. I wasn’t taking a calligraphy class, and he knew it, but what struck me as so spot-on and funny about his dismissal of my extra-curricular pursuits is that I would have loved to have taken a calligraphy class then or now.

I’ve often pondered what it is about my “non-essential” creative endeavors that captivate me so. I look forward to them the way many anticipate a vacation on the beach or poolside. I find myself completely blissed out in a pin-hole photography class, a creative non-fiction workshop, or a plant-identification field-visit primer. What’s it all about?

mystery-of-being-human books
For a while now, I’ve been turning to books for the answer. There’s been a series of what I’ll call mystery-of-being-human books taking up space on my nightstand over the years, starting first with Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. Then, moving on to My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, This Is Water by David Foster Wallace, The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely,  A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink, and most recently Happiness at Work by Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D.

Of course, I read other books in between these, but it wasn’t until finishing Happiness at Work a couple of weeks ago that I realized how much overlap there had been in the books cited above, to which I had gravitated. For me, they all seem to support an aspect of some inescapable truths; we all long for sublime connections to people, experiences and/or entities outside ourselves, and it is within our power to realize those connections. David Brooks describes such a drive, identified by current research in neuroscience, psychology, sociology and behavior economics, as “limerence”.  Brooks explains in The New York Times that “… the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God”.

choosing how to perceive
Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist, had a transcendent experience in the midst of a stroke, which struck the left hemisphere of her brain. In My Stroke of Insight she writes,

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Fall 2010 continuing education

logo via Truro Center for the Arts at Castle HillRecommended New England course in the creative arts

Last week I thought I smelled fall in the air. Then summer came bounding back, but I can still sense fall beckoning. I was one of those kids who looked forward to the start of school every fall, the new notebooks and pens, the hint of possibilities. 

Today, the prospect of a fall continuing education class in the arts has a similar effect on me. Can’t wait to stock up at the art supply store.

Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill
Thanks to a prompt from a guest post on the KHS Facebook Page, I visited the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill online and found a number of intriguing fall workshops to consider. According to their website “…Castle Hill holds exhibitions, lectures, forums, concerts and other similar activities in order to promote social interaction among artists, craftsmen, laymen, and the community at large.” Plus they do so in a wonderful Outer Cape setting.

I have long wanted to experiment with encaustic. I worked with wax as a RISD architectural student and found it captivating. Something about its translucence, ability to change its state, and, of course, its three dimensionality appeals to me. If only I could find a way to beam myself (via a change of state) to Truro for four consecutive Thursdays this fall. Here’s hoping they offer a weekend workshop in the future.

Encaustic Workshop
Instructor: Cherie Mittenthal
Thursdays: October 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 1:00 – 4 pm
$225

“This course is designed to help participants learn about the various ways to work with hot wax. The basics of traditional encaustic painting will be presented, including an introduction to equipment and materials, and a thorough discussion of health and safety issues.”

Class and schedule are subject to change, so check program websites for updates.

Take a look at my continuing education posts from previous seasons to get a sense of the many quality programs operating in the region. Enroll in a workshop, demonstration, or presentation on a lark, and get your creative juices flowing.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast

Spring 2010 continuing education

Recommended maritime event and presentation

I’m expanding my seasonal recommendation of tempting, regional, adult-education workshops, demonstrations, and presentations to include maritime as well as home, garden, and art opportunities. Take a look at my posts from previous seasons to get a sense of the many quality programs operating in the region. Enroll in a workshop, demonstration, or presentation on a lark, and get your creative juices flowing.

Lowell’s Boat Shop

“Established in 1793 and cited as the birthplace of the fishing dory, Lowell's Boat Shop [located in Amesbury, Mass.] is a non-profit working museum and National Landmark that is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the art and craft of wooden boat building,” according to their website.

Boats and Bagels
Instructor: Graham McKay
Saturday, June 5, 2010, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
$45.00 (10% discount for members) ($25.00 non-refundable deposit required)

“A Morning at Lowell's Boat Shop.  Come Row! Join boatbuilder and maritime historian Graham McKay for a morning at Lowell's Boat Shop.  The morning begins with bagels and coffee. This is followed by a presentation of historic photographs of Point Shore, demonstrating a rich history of schooners and boat shops on the Merrimack River.  Participants will be given an opportunity to row one of our renowned Lowell dories or skiff, with rowing instruction provided for the inexperienced. More competent rowers can join us for a rowing tour of Point Shore.”

(Events and schedules are subject to change so check program websites for updates.)

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast