August 31, 2011
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A Time-Honored Tradition in the Arts

In 1866 the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) was founded. The rest of the story is a well-known history of a world-class museum of art and school of art established together in 1882. SAIC is among a handful of professional art schools that continuously produce professional artists who very often are the movers and shakers of today’s art world.

As a practicing artist and art educator, I would offer that the key to the success of students from institutions such as SAIC is their relationship to the museum mixed with a particular drive and rigor that is lived by faculty artists.

In April the Visual and Media Arts discipline at Front Range’s Larimer Campus created a partnership modeled after the time-honored SAIC tradition of art classes taught in cooperation with a museum. The program is known as the Community’s Studio. It is located at the Fort Collins Museum of Art (FCMOA) in Old Town.

Classes will start in September. The classes are taught by FRCC faculty and other professional artists. Everyone involved is committed to the philosophy that this special partnership offers. Faculty are able to use the original works of art exhibited at the museum to teach about concepts in art and design and also to explore the world of the practicing artist. The quality of exhibitions offered at FCMOA provides a rich opportunity for students to study important works of art and to make their own work in the downstairs studio.

All courses offered are non-credit and for all ages. You are welcome to enroll through Continuing Education. Programs range from Open Studio classes for adults and portfolio preparation for high school students to contemporary studio practice for middle schoolers. A range of interactive lectures are also offered that focus on the Museum’s exhibitions with topics such as the influence of art on the history of jazz.

Please take a look at our course offerings and see what fits your fancy. We have created programs based on community input. We look forward to seeing you soon.

About the author:

Jennie Kiessling is program coordinator of the Community Studio and is an adjunct faculty member at FRCC. She is a practicing/exhibiting artist and teaches Art Appreciation, Museum Studies and Contemporary Issues in Art. She received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she served as administrator and an adjunct faculty member of the Art Education and Art Therapy Department from 1985 to 1996. She holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago.

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