Senior Studio Courses

Lifelong Learning Through the Arts

Creative Aging‘s Senior Studio courses offer lifelong learning through the arts. Lead by talented teaching artists, these multi-session art-making courses offer opportunities to learn and socialize. Being creative adds a sense of purpose and control to your life, and helps improve physical functioning and overall outlook. 

Senior Studio courses are free. Classes meet over 4 to 8 weeks at community based locations; some virtual classes are available. Call Creative Aging to learn more about options for Senior Studio courses at your community. 

UPCOMING COURSES

August 2022-November 2022

Blues Songwriting @ North Branch Library Oct. 4 - Nov. 8

Description:

In this 6-week course, taught by renowned blues musician and instructor Kenneth Jackson, students learn about the development of the Blues and its musical, social and cultural impact. Participants consider the most common Blues song structures and work together to write Blues verses, telling their individual stories, exploring rhythm patterns used in Blues music, and creating homemade instruments to accompany them as they play their own Blues piece. This Senior Studio Course is offered by Creative Aging in partnership with the Memphis Public Library system. 

Date & Time:

Tuesdays from 1:00pm to 2:00pm ofr six weeks, October 4-25; November 1-8, 2022

Location:

North Branch Library, 1192 Vollintine Ave.

Register Here:

https://BluesSongwritingNorthBranch.eventbrite.com

Questions? Call Creative Aging at (901)272-3434.

Print Making @ Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Oct. 4 - Oct. 25

Description

Dive into the world of linocut printmaking in this beginner’s class, and you’ll soon be channelling Picasso or Escher. Linocut burst into popularity in the early 20th century as a printmaking technique. It is preferred over wood by many as it lacks a directional grain and doesn’t split. It’s also extremely satisfying to slice and cleave at a supple block of lino, creating a mirror image of your final image .

This class will cover designing and drawing your image, how to transfer it to a lino block, and best methods for proper carving. Please bring ideas and visual references as source material you’re interested in working with. Images should ideally be simple, bold designs, not too detailed on a 4x6 size.

Supplies provided.

Location

Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Ave.

Date & Time

Wednesdays 10am-11am, October 4, 11, 18, 25

Registration

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creative-aging-senior-studio-print-making-the-dixon-tickets-389653152067

Questions?  Call Creative Aging at (901) 272-3434

Abstract I @ Cordova Library Oct. 6 - Nov. 10

Description:

Students will explore varying modern abstract art movements and select artists from each movement. Students will create small paintings in the style and point of view of the artists studied.

This FREE course for seniors is offered by Creative Aging in partnership with Memphis Public Libraries.

Date & Time:

Thursdays from 1:30-3:00 for six weeks; October 6-October 27; November 3-10.

Location:

Cordova Library, 8457 Trinity Rd.

Registration:

AbstractOneCordovaLibrary.eventbrite.com

Questions? Call Creative Aging at 901-272-3434.

Creative Dance Mix @ Bartlett Library Oct. 6 - Nov. 10

Description:

Engage your mind, body and spirit in a truly fun, all-levels, experience. Students will learn a variety of dance styles and dance fundamentals, creating opportunities for skill mastery and creative self-expression. 

This FREE six-week course for seniors is offered by Creative Aging in partnership with Memphis Public Libraries.

Location:

Bartlett Library, 5884 Stage Rd.

Date & Time:

Thursdays from 1:30pm-2:30pm for 6 weeks; October 6-27; November 3-10, 2022

Register Here:

https://CreativeDanceMixBartlettLibrary.eventbrite.com

Questions? Call Creative Aging at (901)272-3434

Mixed Media Memory Collage @ Poplar-White Station Library, Sept. 20 - Oct. 11

Description

Join artist Cindi Ledger to create a collage of your favorite memories. Students use basic art supplies to create a memory collage from pictures and pieces of paper saved from special events. Students learn basic skills involving pleasing compositions, collage layering for artistic depth, use of texture and color for interest, and greater creative expression.

This FREE course for seniors is offered by Creative Aging in partnership with Memphis Public Libraries.

Location 

Poplar-White Station Library, 5094 Poplar Ave.

Date & Time:

Tuesdays, from 1:30pm-3:00pm, September 20, 27 and October 4, 11

Registration: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/senior-studio-mixed-media-memory-collage-poplar-white-station-library-tickets-389646161157

Questions?  Call Creative Aging at 901-272-3434

Beginner Ballet @ Collage Dance, Sept. 21 - Nov. 9

Description

Join professional teaching artists from Collage Dance for Beginner Ballet.

Location

Collage Dance Center, 505 Tillman St.

Date & Time

Wednesdays 10am-11am, September 21, 28; October 5, 12, 19, 26; and November 2, 9 

Registration 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/senior-studio-beginner-ballet-collage-dance-collective-sept-nov-1000am-tickets-384278396027

Beginner Jazz @ Collage Dance, Sept. 21 - Nov. 9

Description

This Intro to Jazz for Seniors series is taught by Collage Dance, a dance company in Memphis. It provides absolute beginners with an introduction to the basics of broadway style jazz movements in a fun, welcoming, non-competitive environment. This course promotes mind and body wellness and aims to increase muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. It also increases cognitive functions such as coordination and concentration. Dancers are encouraged to participate in all eight weeks of course to benefit from the full course curriculum. New and returning students are welcome.

Location

Collage Dance Center, 505 Tillman St.

Date & Time

Wednesdays 10am-11am, September 21, 28; October 5, 12, 19, 26; and November 2, 9 

Registration

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/senior-studio-beginner-jazz-collage-dance-collective-sept-nov-1115am-tickets-384280893497

Questions?  Call Creative Aging at (901) 272-3434

Senior Stories Project @ Theatre Memphis, Sept. 6 - Nov. 1

Description

Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to see that story take shape before your eyes? Join facilitators from Theatre Memphis for an untitled “Stories Project” where you create the script by recounting your most treasured tales. Join other storytellers to recount memorable life moments, then help turn those cherished memories into a scripted performance. The group will work together over 8 weeks to find connections in their stories and develop an original storytelling performance piece. Join us and share your story with the world.

Location

Theatre Memphis, 630 Perkins Extd.

Date & Time

Tuesdays 10:00am-11:30am, September 6, 13, 20, 27; October 4, 18, 25; and November 1

Registration

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/senior-studio-stories-project-theatre-memphis-sept-oct-2022-tickets-379900872737

If you have questions, call Creative Aging at 901-272-3434

Faces and Spaces- Paper Mache Clay Sculpture @ Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Sept. 7 - Oct. 12

Description

After touring the exhibit "Art in Motion" at the Brooks, and learning about various works of art, students will form, sketch and discuss ideas with classmates. We will explore how to take your ideas from sketch into 3-d form. Students will create an armature (understructure) of wire, cardboard, foil, tape, paper and various materials. Then we will apply paper mache clay over that form, then mold, shape and refine details. Once dry, final pieces will be painted and prepared for presentation. Each student will have the opportunity to take your art in a unique direction (abstract or representational) specific to the content you choose as a starting point. Direction will be provided to help navigate the process of both establishing and applying concepts to create a final sculpture.

Brooks will hold on to the artwork at the end of the class to feature at a special exhibit within the Brooks Museum.

This FREE course for seniors is supported by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and is for residents of Memphis and Shelby County.

Location

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave.

Date & Time

Wednesdays 1:30pm-3:30pm, September 7, 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 12

Registration:

REGISTRATION LINK COMING SOON

Questions?  Call Creative Aging at (901) 272-3434

Senior Studio Catalog for Communities

This is a catalog of courses available for museums, libraries, and other senior communities to request. Courses are scheduled through Creative Aging upon the mutual agreement of the location and the instructor.  Program length and number of participants varies. Basic course descriptions are below, but most courses can be modified to meet your community's needs. Contact Mia Henley for more information or to schedule a Senior Studio course!

Abstract Acrylic Painting

Instructor: Judith Weintraub

This 6-week painting course offers students an opportunity for fun, outside-the-box creativity while painting with color, play and movement. Maximum 10.

Acting, Screenwriting, and Improvisation

Instructor: Julia Hinson

Intro to Acting (no memorization required): The stage is calling you! Now is the time to explore that childhood dream of becoming an actor. This eight-week course will teach the fundamentals of acting by working with a scripted monologue. Each student will have an opportunity to perform their monologue in a final showcase for the last class. No memorization required.

Advanced Acting: Did Intro to Acting leave you wanting more of the stage? Take your acting skills to the next level! This eight-week course will include further development of acting skills including acting with a stage partner. Students will perform their scene in a showcase for the final session.

Film Screenwriting: Learn the basics of story structure, character development, screenwriting format, and cinematic techniques. In this eight-week course, students will work with the instructor to write a script intended for a 3-5 minute film. Students will also learn about ways to submit a script for possible production.

Improvisation: Have you always been curious about performing and didn't know where to start? This course will use theatre and improv games to introduce students to core techniques used while performing; without the pressure of memorizing lines and movement! This is a six-week course, but can be extended to eight-weeks to include an improv performance by the students that others can attend.

Art & Wellness:  Mindfulness and Meditation

Instructor:  Paige Sheinbergin partnership with Memphis Brooks Museum

This four-part series focuses on well-being, meditation and art; self-compassion and loving kindness; positive emotions and gratitude, and self-care and strengths. In each session, participants view and work with art pieces from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art's collection or visiting exhibitions. The course offers basic mindfulness and meditation techniques and helps identify personal benefits related to a meditation and mindfulness practice. Students create a series of mandalas that explore a theme, emotion, and/or experience. 12 maximum.

Beginner Ballet 

Instructor:  Collage Dance Collective Dance Instructors

This Intro to Ballet for Seniors series is taught by Collage Dance, a Memphis ballet company. It provides absolute beginners with an introduction to the basics of classical ballet in a welcoming, non-competitive environment. The course promotes mind and body wellness and aims to increase muscle strength, joint support and mobility. It also increases cognitive functions such as coordination and concentration. Dancers are encouraged to participate in all six weeks of the course (1 hour/week) to benefit from the full course curriculum.  Classes at Collage Dance Collective, 505 Tillman St., or at your location.  20 participants maximum. 

Beginner Tap

Instructor: Collage Dance Collective Dance Instructors

In this high-energy weekly tap program, students learn the fundamentals of rhythm tap, tap terminology and short combinations to prepare them for intermediate and advanced study. The program will focus on strengthening each student’s musicality, rhythm, timing, speed and coordination. Students learn how to hear and interpret music in a more advanced way through combinations that employ syncopation and dynamics. Students also learn the history of tap, one of the oldest American forms of dance that dates back to the mid-1800s and has significant roots in the African American experience. Students supply their own tap shoes.

Calligraphy

Instructor:  Maggie Naylor

In this 4 week calligraphy course led by local calligrapher, Maggie Naylor, students will learn a style of writing called Copperplate. Students will use a sharp pointed nib instead of the flat nib used in most calligraphic writing.  Maggie teaches students about the tools and materials needed, preparations-how to hold your pen and how to sit, sizing and angles of the script, writing rules and basic strokes, and a few extra tips and additional resources.  4 sessions, 1.5 hours per session.  Maximum 12 students.  

Collage & Memories

Instructor:  Cindi Ledger

Students use basic art supplies to create a memory collage from pictures and pieces of paper saved from special events.  Students learn basic skills involving pleasing compositions, collage layering for artistic depth, use of texture and color for interest, and greater creative expression. 4 to 6 weeks, up to 10 participants.  

Colorcopia

Instructor:  Shawna White, in partnership with The Dixon Museum & Gardens 

Choose from a range of varying class themes--there is always something new to try! Students work with dynamic art instructor Shawna White to create their own masterwork from either supplies that are provided or from basic materials available at home. Up to 12 participants. 

Creative Journaling: Keeping an Artist’s Sketchbook

Instructor: Jimpsie Ayres

During this 6-week course, students develop an artist’s sketchbook, learning techniques including photo manipulation and alteration, collage, calligraphy, printmaking and image transference. Maximum 10.

Creative Movement

Instructor:  Kristen Lucas 

Engage your mind, body and spirit in a truly fun experience.  Students will learn a variety of dance styles and dance fundamentals, creating opportunities for skill mastery and creative self-expression.  Up to 20 participants.

Creative Writing Memoir

Instructor: Susan Cushman

Have you considered writing a memoir to save and share important memories from your life? Do you have an idea for an essay, short story, or novel? Learn more about the craft of writing in this 4-6 week course. Susan has published five books and is also editor of three anthologies of essays by other authors. Up to 12 participants.

Creative Writing & Storytelling

Instructor: Elaine Blanchard

Learn to tell a good story with renowned storyteller Elaine Blanchard. In this 6 week course (meeting 2 hours per week), participants learn various components of storytelling. Maximum 12.

Dulcimer Instruction

Instructor: Lee Cagle

In this 6-hour course, taught over 4 weeks (1.5 hour sessions), students learn basic dulcimer playing skills from acclaimed dulcimer artist Lee Cagle. Advanced beginner courses also available.  Maximum number of students varies. Instruments provided.

Film History, Literature, and Writing Courses: The Twilight Zone Studies;  Literature:Then and Now;  Creating Poetry  

Instructor:  Aaron Brame

The Twilight Zone Studies: "You are about to enter another dimension." In this six-week course, students will examine the literary, film, and thematic elements of Rod Serling's classic television series, The Twilight Zone. During the 90-minute session, the class will watch an episode from the series and explore the script from the episode. The class will be discussion-based, featuring conversation about the show’s social commentary and Serling’s influence in pop culture of the current day. Maximum: 20

Literature:Then & Now: In this six-week literature class, Brame will pair well-loved works of classic fiction from the American literary canon with newer works from the next generation of classic American literature. In this class we will see how certain themes in our stories and struggles continue to stand the test of time. Students are encouraged to dive into the reading so we can engage in lively discussions, debates, and thinking routines. Maximum: 20. 

Creating Poetry: This six-week class is for writers of all levels. Students will be guided through various writing activities and poetry prompts. They will learn different revision techniques, share ‘close read strategies,’ and discuss different ways to pursue being published. Students should expect to have at least four poem drafts by the course's end, as well as a renewed love for poetry and a new sense of community with like-minded writers. Maximum: 10

Jewelry Making

Instructor: Debbie Lovett

In this 6-hour course, taught over 4 weeks (1.5 hour sessions), students learn basic jewelry making skills using simple and found materials.  Enjoy the instructor's collection, or bring your own items to work with.  Artist Debbie Lovett leads these creative classes.  Maximum number of students 12.  Basic supplies provided.

Mosaics

Instructor:  Kristi Duckworth

Students learn basic skills needed to work with the art of mosaics from local mosaic artist Kristi Duckworth, including drawing and coloring a mosaic piece pattern, cutting the piece out of clay, glaze, adhering mosaic pieces, and grouting. Up to 8 people. 

Music in America

Instructor: Christian Stanfield

Learn about the development of American musical genres and be able to recognize their characteristics by ear. This 4-6 week course explores music from 1900 to 1960, including Ragtime, the Blues, Jazz, Big Band, Swing, Country, Rock & Roll, Soul, and others. Courses in other topics also available, including courses focused on African-American music, Jewish Music, and more.  Up to 20 students.

Painting:  Abstract Art, Landscape, and Drawing Techniques 

Instructor: Sarah Nowlin

Participants in Abstract Art classes experience the joy of creating art in the style of artists such as Van Gogh, Miro, Matisse, Kandinsky, Monet and others. Students study abstract artists' unique styles, then use their observations as a jumping point from which to create their own piece. Many students find abstract art classes a delightful break from realism and trying to make a piece look exactly as we see it. The Women in Abstract Art course focuses on female artists who created fresh approaches to abstract art. 

Landscape Painting and Drawing Techniques courses encourage students to observe their surroundings more intentionally. Noticing over arching shapes, blocks of color and the variations of hue (pigment of color) and value (light and dark) are all important when drawing or painting landscape, still life or portraits. Students develop drawing and landscape skills through samples, discussions and exercises on perspective, underpainting, over painting, types and techniques of brushes and more. 

All classes are interactive. Sarah creates art herself while students are invited into the process. Most classes enjoy music that accompanies students' creative process. Students use water based paints including acrylic, watercolor, gouache and sometimes other mediums. Class meeting times range from 4 to 8 weeeks, with sesssions of 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the community's goals. Maximum 12 students. Supplies provided.

Pottery Making

Instructor: Debbie Lovett

In both of the courses offered by Debbie, taught over 6 weeks (1.5 hour sessions), students practice basic clay skills or create a clay wind chime. In the basic clay class, students learn to roll out clay and form it into fun but functional shapes, creating 2 to 4 finished pieces (pieces are fired off-site and returned to the site for glazing). In the wind chime class, students create, glaze, and assemble a wind chime from pottery and wire. Maximum number of students 8.  Supplies and tools provided.

Pottery Painting

Instructor: Adam Loeffel

In this 6-week course, participants paint ceramic pieces, exploring aspects of the pottery making process including color theory and principles of design; application processes; and how paints and glazes work together to create different effects, patterns and colors. Maximum 30.

Printmaking 

Instructor:  Maritza Davilla-Irizarry

Various printmaking courses are available, as described below. Most printmaking courses meet for 2 hours/week for 4 weeks, but different arrangements are possible. Supplies provided.  Up to 12 students. 

Drawing through print: Introduction to Monotype Explore the use of printmaking as an open and immediate medium—an extension of the artists’ own hand. Create unique pieces that bridge the gap between print, drawing, painting and reductive processes.

Relief printmaking: Linocut, or linoleum printing Explore relief printmaking (carving into a surface) using linoleum to create dynamic water-soluble relief print. Learn how to prepare a block, draw, carve, and print.

Relief printmaking woodcut: Explore relief printmaking (carving into a surface) using wood to create dynamic images. Learn how to prepare a block, draw, carve, and print.

Dry point: Explore “intaglio” printmaking and get a sense of this historical technique. Learn to make marks to develop an image using sources or sketches that create printable images, producing a small edition or series of prints.

Single page books: Learn to create a book using a single piece of various-sized paper and origami-like folds. Begin with unique drawings/coloring, add your own text, and fold.

Color mixing into painting:  Uncover the mystery of color mixing while making a series of three small paintings on various surfaces. 

Scrimshaw

Instructor:  Rich Williams

Learn the basic steps of Scrimshaw, often known as the "Art of the Whalers". Students will learn the history, basic cutting, inking, and shading techniques and will apply them to increasingly more complex and demanding projects on different materials as the class progresses. Drawing skills are not a pre-requisite; however, patience is a plus. All in-class work will be under the guidance of the instructor with some projects provided for students to work on between classes.  All material used complies with all state and federal laws. Limited to 10 students. 

Songwriting-Blues from the Heart and Soul

Instructor:  Kenneth Jackson

In this 6-week course, award winning R & B musician and acclaimed instructor Kenneth Jackson teaches students the art of writing the blues. Working first as a group and then individually, students learn the history and cultural impact of the blues, common blues song structure, how to write their own blues song, and how to accompany themselves on homemade instruments.  Up to 15. 

Spanish 

Instructor: Brigitte Ebel

Brigitte Ebel is an experienced Spanish teacher and enthusiastic educator who makes Spanish lessons fun.  Lessons focus on conversation, role plays, music, and cultural information. Brigitte also offers cultural insights from her extensive travels.  Field trips to restaurants are also possible. Handouts are provided. Up to 10.  Classes occur one time each week and may be 1 or 1.5 hours.  8 week sessions.

Stories Project:  Theatre Memphis  

Instructor:  Theatre Memphis Staff

Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to see that story take shape before your eyes? Join Theatre Memphis' talented team for an untitled “Stories Project” where you create the script by recounting your most treasured tales. Be a part of a group of “storytellers” that will join together to recount memorable life moments in an effort to turn those cherished memories into a scripted performance. The group will work together to find connections in all of their stories that can be woven together into one cohesive performance piece. This opportunity to share, reminisce, and connect will culminate with a performance of the interpreted stories that will showcase the world premiere projected created by Theatre Memphis facilitators and the brave members of the storytelling group. Join in and share your story with the world! Classes occur one time per week for 6 weeks, followed by a culminating production. 

Watercolor Painting 

Instructor: Susan Maakestad

Join artist and instructor Susan Maakestad to learn the basics of the medium of watercolor. Meeting weekly for 4 weeks (2 hours/session), students learn watercolor’s history and basic methods of applying watercolor to paper, making their own piece. Supplies provided. Class limited to 12 students. 

Enriching Lives Through the Arts

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