Start Your New Year With an Art Class

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 12/29/2017 - 15:57
Salt Valley Arts offers a number of art classes for any skill level

January is known as a time of restarts, renewals, and resolutions, and setting goals that we sometimes forget by the beginning of spring.  A new year is a good time to challenge ourselves to try something new, or return to something we haven’t tried in a while.  This year, why not dust off those art supplies, or order some new ones, and take an art class?  Good news, you don’t have to go very far to find one.

Salt Valley Arts, located in the former Saline Hospital Emergency Room Entrance (400 W. Russell St, Saline), is packed full of great classes for anyone, whether you’re a life-long artist or a brand-new one.  There are also many opportunities to gather with fellow artists and creators to work on projects, get feedback from teachers and classmates, and start off 2018 with a creative leap forward.

Beginning January 22nd, you can join others in SVA’s Art Club (Mondays from 6:30-8:30, no classes 2/19 or 5/28), which includes a host artist and space for you to work on projects you may have neglected in 2017.  Are you a weaver?  Head to SVA on the third Sunday of the month from 2-4pm (free!) to join fellow followers of Arachne at the Third Sunday Weavers (TSW) - new and experienced weavers are welcome!  

There are a plethora of ways to beat the winter blues by creating vibrant art with a number of SVA’s art classes.  Take a watercolor class (Thursdays, 10-1) with watercolorist Keith McGuire or learn how to draw (Tuesdays, 10-11:30) from master drawer Keith McGuire (same guy, different talents).  Learn about color theory in a workshop with the talented and versatile Valerie Mann (January 20th or March 18th - see catalog [link below] for more details) or take one of her watercolor workshops, offered once a month on Tuesdays.  You can also learn from both artists at once in their April classes titled “Get out!” where they will be exploring nature, and then bringing nature back into the art classroom.

For those who are looking to work with their hands and some intense heat, join Sue McDowell’s Glass Fusing classes - for both beginners and more experienced fusers - and create beautiful works of art that can be framed, hung in windows, or used in your home!  (Many options available on Thursdays evenings from 6-9pm beginning at the end of January.)

If you like working with your hands but are not a fan of the heat, sign up for Cindy Baxter’s knitting classes in January or March, and learn how to make a scarf or sampler squares that can be made into a number of creative and useful items (blankets, pillows, etc.).  Baxter can also teach you how to make the most out of your phone camera, by setting up powerful compositions, learning the various camera modes you may not have realized you had, and editing them to make your photos truly shine!  She also teaches digital photography classes for those looking to use a camera without a pesky phone attached to it (1/10 & 1/28 - see catalog for details).

If New Year’s resolutions are already stressing you out, try unwinding with one of Daniele O’Brien’s Zentangle classes.  No experience necessary, you can come and put all of your stresses into intricate designs and doodles that can become lovely art pieces.  You can also come to O’Brien’s workshop in April, where you can use some of those Zentangle designs to create a cloth wall hanging for your home.  If your kids are stressing out (or stressing you out), send them to O’Brien’s Saturday classes in February, where they can learn the same techniques and unwind on cold winter days!

Stacey Harper is also there to help you unwind by creating painted Mandala Rocks (January 28th, 2-4pm), or creating batik-like Peace Flags using a creative glue-resist technique (January 14 & January 21, 2-4pm).  And if you want to just paint your blues away, come to Oil Painting with Dixie, where beginners and experienced painters alike can come explore this ages-old medium and learn/get feedback from an experienced painter (Mondays in February).

If you just want to hang out, nibble on some yummy treats, and talk about art, make sure you come to SVA’s Cake Eaters, Fridays from 9-10:30am.  It’s a great chance to get out of the house on these cold, wintry days, and to learn more about the artsy happenings in and around Saline!

If you’re looking for ways to get your kids out of the house, sign them up for The Art of Drawing Manga, Saturdays from 11am-12pm, taught by the multi-talented Keith McGuire, or his Basic Drawing for Kids, Saturdays from 9:30-10:45am and Kids Watercolor Class, Saturdays from 12:30-2pm.  McGuire has your home schooling needs answered with his Drawing Class for Home Schoolers, Thursdays from 1:30-2:45pm.  You can also bring the whole family out to Create a Peace/Prayer Flag with Daniele O’Brien, Saturday March 24th, 12-2pm.

For more details on these and more classes, please go to and sign up on Saline Community Ed’s website.


Katherine Downie's picture
Katherine H. Downie
Katherine Downie is a local artist and art educator. She serves on the executive committee of the Saline Celtic Festival, on the board of the Saline Area Players, and on the Saline Library Art Exhibit Committee.

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