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  • Discover the Art of Doing at the Worcester Art Museum This Summer

    (WORCESTER, Mass., April 9, 2004) - The expanded selection of classes and workshops at the Worcester Art Museum is not what you would expect to find at a traditional art school.

    Spring and summer classes for adults, beginning May 3, include explorations of comic art, fashion design, calligraphy and book arts, stone carving, and writing prose poetry. One-day and weekend workshops provide instruction on buying and using a digital camera, mosaics, desktop publishing, screenwriting, and more.

    “We want to give people different entry points to learning about art and creative expression,” said Marcia Lagerwey, associate director of education at the Worcester Art Museum. “Classes that combine disciplines, like art and literature, enable newcomers to begin with something they feel comfortable with and then build skills and ideas from there.”

    Among the Museum's most popular new offerings is “Wednesday Evenings with Jim,” a series of art history lectures with Museum Director James A. Welu. Each 90-minute session uses the Museum's collection to introduce a particular area of art and includes fascinating behind-the-scenes stories.

    Of course, the Museum remains committed to providing professional-level instruction to students with some art experience looking to build their skills. Multiple levels of drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography classes are offered each season. The Museum provides professional development points for educators, and many classes are eligible for college credit.

    Programs are designed to cater to busy schedules with both short- and long-term classes and evening and weekend options. This spring and summer, adult students of the Worcester Art Museum can choose from seven-week daytime classes, eight-week evening classes, one-day and weekend workshops, and continuing evening lecture series.

    In August, the Museum presents a series of one-, two-, and five-day workshops delving into different areas of art, from hand-coloring photographs to stone-carving the human face. The Museum also offers concurrent workshops for children to simplify families' summer schedules.

    For the serious artist, the Worcester Art Museum's Summer Art Institute, June 21-23 and June 28-July 2, focuses intensively on painting techniques, portraiture, printmaking, and creative writing. New this year, the Institute includes special evening workshops. Guest artist Marc Cote, a printmaker who has exhibited internationally, will work with students during the second week of the Institute. Rosemary LeBeau, a member of the Museum faculty, will share her new work in bookmaking and will offer a two-day post-Institute bookmaking workshop.

    A Teacher Institute, June 28-July2, preludes the Museum's spring 2005 exhibition, Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800. The workshop will immerse educators in the world of early modern Europe using an interdisciplinary approach to explore how science, art, and religion became instruments of healing in the face of the bubonic plague. Connections will be made to modern medical emergencies such as AIDS, West Nile virus, and SARS. The class will include films, gallery visits, curriculum brainstorming, and hands-on studio projects.

    The Worcester Art Museum also presents an exciting two-week travel opportunity to study painting in Greece. Sponsored by the Island Center for the Arts in Skopelos, Greece, the workshop invites students to paint the light, the landscape, and their personal experiences on the Greek island. Museum instructor Elizabeth Ahearn will lead the group.

    For more information about classes at the Worcester Art Museum and to register, call (508) 799-4406, ext. 3129, or visit www.worcesterart.org/Education. All classes and workshops require advance registration. Scholarships are available first-come, first-served, based on financial need.

    About the Worcester Art Museum
    The Worcester Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1898, is world-renowned for its 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings and new media. The works span 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from ancient Roman mosaics to Colonial silver, Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Dedicated to the promotion of art and art education, the Museum offers a year-round studio art and art appreciation program that enrolls over 6,000 adult and youth students each year. Public tours are offered Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., September through May. Audio tours are also available in English and Spanish.

    Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (evening hours sponsored by Commerce Bank), and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and full-time college students with current ID, and FREE for Members and all youth 17 and under. Admission is also FREE for everyone on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.-noon (sponsored by The TJX Companies, Inc. and Massachusetts Electric, a National Grid Company). The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass., easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), Route 290 and Route 9. Free parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406.