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Art Saturdays in Berkeley Springs offer chance to learn

October 16, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Ever wanted to learn silkscreening techniques? Take acting lessons? Or learn how to bind a book?

Those are just some of the wide variety of courses offered by Art Saturdays, a new program at the Ice House.

Pat Springer, coordinator of Art Saturdays, said two classes are taught each Saturday - one for adults and one for children, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The adult classes offer fabric arts, ceramics, book arts and theater arts, and the youth classes offer actors workshops plus visual arts projects, including mask and puppet making, and other 2D and 3D projects, Springer said.

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"Each class is a make-and-take-experience," she said. "And it gives people an idea of artistic venues they might wish to continue."

On Saturday, Berkeley Springs artist Jill Moran taught 10 people the basic techniques of wire jewelry making. Moran is a jewelry maker with about 30 years of experience, she said.

Local resident Sally Marshall said she was enjoying the class.

"I love it. I'm so excited to take a class from one of our local artists," she said.

The 35-week program that began last month and ends June 28 is sponsored by the Morgan Arts Council (MAC). People can walk in and sign up for the class or preregister, she said.

"We are trying to build the program, and we are in the experimental stage. We will learn what classes are the most popular and will have a sense of that by the end of the year," Springer said.

For example, "learning the basics of silkscreening was offered the first week and was very successful, and several students came back the next week for clay arts and registered for similar courses that are offered throughout the year, so we're getting off to a good start," Springer said.

"We may offer more in-depth classes based on the interest level this year, she said.

Special holiday classes will be held Dec. 8 and 15 and will be devoted to holiday gift-making and ornaments, Springer said.

"Out-of-town students visit Berkeley Springs and come to the Ice House to take a class, and weekenders who have cabins here put Art Saturdays on their schedule," she said.

The cost is $15 a course or $100 for 10 classes.

"We want to build a well-rounded school of the arts, and Art Saturdays fits well with our local economy and our tourism," said Mary Hott, MAC executive director.

A full list of courses offered throughout the year is available at www.macicehouse.org.

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