Bemis School of Art

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Upcoming Classes

FREE! Community Print Shop Open House: Watercolor Monotype Workshop

FREE! Calling all community printmakers! Interested in learning about the new Bemis Community Print Shop? Join us this Saturday, June 22nd for a free hands-on open house workshop with Printmaker Kate Leonard. We will be creating a collaborative watercolor monotype prints while discussing upcoming programs and facility access. The workshop includes an orientation to the shop, presses, materials, and safety procedures and certifies attendees for fall Community Print Shop access. Supplies will be provided. Ages 16-Adult

FREE! Community Print Shop Open House: Type High Printing

FREE! Calling all community printmakers! Interested in learning about the new Bemis Community Print Shop? Join us this Saturday June 29th for a free hands-on open house workshop with Printmaker Kate Leonard. We will be creating a collaborative poster on type high blocks while discussing upcoming programs and facility access. Supplies will be provided. Ages 16-Adult

Food + Function: Biscuits, Jellies, and Jams

Join us for another class in our "Food and Clay" series! In this culinary experience, you will learn the art of making jellies and jams alongside perfect biscuits. Our expert Bon Appetit chef, Ed Salazar, will guide you through each step, sharing his best tips and tricks to create these classic treats. In this hands-on class, you will learn how to turn fresh fruits into beautifully set jellies and jams and the secrets to achieving flaky, tender biscuits. As a special bonus, each participant will receive handcrafted pottery created by CC artists to take home. Ages 9+

Food + Function: Pasta, Tiramisu, and Wine Tasting

What could possibly be better than pasta? How about homemade pasta with tiramisu and wine pairings! In this edition of our Food + Function series, learn how to create an array of different pasta shapes from a homemade dough, whip together a decadent tiramisu, and enjoy it all together with a few wine pairings. Expert Bon Appetit chef Ed Salazar will walk you through every step of this culinary journey. When it’s time for the taste test, you’ll get to pick out a custom dish made by CC clay artists to eat your pasta out of and take home. Ages 21+

Food + Function: Dumplings

Dive into the delicate art of dumpling making! This Food + Function hands-on course will teach you how to craft dumplings from scratch, create delicious fillings, and master the dumpling folding technique. When it’s time for the taste test, you’ll get to pick out a custom platter made by CC clay artists to eat your dumplings on and take home. Ages 14+

Enchanted Textures of Taos, New Mexico

Taos’ light, color, and culture have inspired modern artists for over 125 years to create inspirational and memorable paintings. Taos is especially stunning in the autumn with glorious textures and colors. Professional artist and instructor Martha Mans will concentrate on water media and gouache painting with a special small presentation about how she creates her casein paintings, which is becoming an increasingly popular medium. She welcomes acrylic, oil, and watercolor painters to join in this fabulous adventure. Adults

Tuned-In: The Soundtrack of Your Life

Tuned-In... where psychology meets the music you love. Discover what really happens when music crawls inside your head. Two wildly fun, life-changing days with very cool people and intriguing dialogue offer life-altering insights and deep music listening from Bach to Rock. Explore how six human behavior patterns (archetypes) –the victim, wanderer, warrior, caregiver, innocent, and magician–aim to run your life's show. Discover how to choose music to positively direct that show to the outcome you desire. Lunch, refreshments, and supplies are included. Adults

Drawing for Beginners

We will explore the basics of drawing using charcoal! You will learn how to effectively use line, value, composition, linear perspective, and negative/positive space through understandable lessons to train both your eye and hand. With both practice and looking at contemporary artworks, you will leave this course with a strong understanding of how to begin to translate your world into two-dimensional drawings. Ages 16-Adult

The Human Head: Front View

While drawing the human head may pose challenges initially, mastering it becomes effortless with the right techniques and proportions. Join this foundational drawing class focusing on rendering the head from a frontal perspective. We will explore both the oval and ice cream cone methods, along with invaluable tips and tricks for capturing the nuances of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Ages 16-Adult

Water Marbling Workshop

Learn three different traditional techniques in water marbling. Throughout this process, learn how to let go of artistic control and find beauty in the creative process. You will create three unique works of art and take them home that day! Ages 16-Adult

Handbuilding Clay Works

Learn fun ways to hand build ceramics. Using the slab roller, the extruder, templates, and found forms, we will be able to make imaginative and useful works highlighted by textures and our own personal touches. Final decoration will be from a choice of glazing techniques to finish your pieces to enjoy and use. Ages 16-Adult

The Secret Garden

Using inspiration from the classic book, The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett, you will learn to draw the main character Mary Lennox, build the graffiti garden with collage and paint, blend colorful art tissue with acrylic paint to make the blossoming garden, and design a keyhole peeking into the garden. A floral headpiece will be supplied for each student to wear for a tea party hosted by the instructor on the grounds of the Fine Arts Center. Ages 7-11

Teen Handbuilding Ceramics

Join us as we offer some new perspectives on ceramic handbuilt works! The extruder, the slab roller, textures, glazes, and construction methods will be explored and open to all levels to explore according to individual interests. Final works will be glazed and fired for lasting pieces to enjoy and use. Ages 12-16

The Body: Stickman to Figure

Are you looking for tips and tricks to make drawing the human body easier? Join us and learn how to go from a stickman to a figure in motion! You will learn how to proportion the body, foreshorten legs and arms, as well as how to put all the pieces together. Ages 16-Adult

Paint, Print, Collage

We will begin with making faux rice paper, Mami Gami (paper fabric), and fabric paper, along with various handmade, mulberry, and tissue papers for your Gelli® Plate prints. Layer your paper with stencils, stamps, inks, paints, glazes, metallics, and more. Create compositional collages on various boards and paper. Adults

Exploring with Gelli® Arts Printing Plates

The Gelli® Plate is the perfect art tool when you are unsure about what to create or you want a bit of mindless creative fun. It is the perfect place to experiment with pattern and paint, and you end up with endless awesome papers for future creative play. You will be shown how to make fine-art quality prints with inexpensive materials and by the time we finish this course you will be equipped with the skills to confidently print on your own! Ages 16-Adult

Art & Movement

Join us as we learn about incorporating movement into our artistic practices! We will learn various techniques involving moving the body to inspire new processes and ways of making. All bodies/expertise welcome! Adults

Painting Big

For the artistic kid that wants to go big, we will each create one large painting using acrylic paints. We will learn how to plan a composition and color scheme, execute a sketch, use acrylics appropriately, and refine your final piece. On the final day, we will have an “art show” of our works of art for the parents. Ages 6-9

Partner Wheel Throwing

This workshop is meant for a pair to enjoy a unique evening of creative clay constructions! You and your partner will learn the basics of pottery wheel throwing as you create and decorate your very own clay vessels to cherish for years to come. Your handmade creations will be clear-glazed and fired for you after the workshop and can be picked up to take home three weeks later. Please note the differences in the workshops. Adults

Make Your Own Zines!

Zine-making came about in the 1930’s but quickly became its own subculture of artists wanting to share their ideas in cool, easy ways! We will learn about the history of zine making, see examples from Skateboard Zines of the 80’s to today’s contemporary political Zines plus we will make three distinctive styles of Zines to tell our very own stories. Create your very own booklets and learn about a culture of collaboration! Adults

Watercolor in Nature

This immersive painting experience allows us to capture the beauty of the natural world through observation. Each session introduces a new facet of nature painting, followed by outdoor sessions where you will apply newfound techniques to depict the wonders of the environment firsthand. Ages 9-12

Intro to Watercolor

We will embark on an artistic journey through the captivating world of watercolor, delving into its mesmerizing techniques and endless possibilities. From mastering the art of resisting to experimenting with the dynamic interplay of wet-on-wet and dry-on-wet methods, we will unlock the secrets of this versatile medium. Ages 6-9

Surrealism One-Point Perspective

Let’s unlock our inner Salvador Dali as we delve into the world of surrealism. Through mastering one-point perspective drawing, we will transform our sketches into captivating surrealist watercolor paintings. Embark on a journey of artistic exploration, discovering the boundless possibilities of merging perspective with surrealistic imagination. Ages 9-12

Plant & Animal Platters

Learn basic slab construction techniques to handbuild plant or animal themed platters using templates, texturing tools, and textured leaf molds. We will create our own exciting animal patterns. Under-glazing, staining, and overglazing will be taught to complete this project. Ages 16-Adult

Mountain Landscapes & Watercolor Techniques

We will examine and practice the style of contemporary artist Jen Aranyi, known for drawing simple, abstract mountain ranges, and painting skies with watercolors using special techniques. We will also explore the diverse ways to finish the foreground. This will require some drawing skills with pen and ink but do not let that intimidate you, this class is for everyone! Ages 16-Adult

Paper to Book: Handmade Journals

Do you enjoy getting wet and working with your hands? Join us for a fun two-day workshop where you make your own paper then sew it into a book! On the first day of class, we will gather plant materials to add into a pre-made pulp, then you’ll learn how to make, press, and dry your own sheets of unique paper. On the second day, we will use our dried sheets of paper to sew and glue two different types of journals you can take home. Ages 9-12

Partners in Art: Plowshare Vessels

RAWTools is comprehensive in its efforts to move communities away from violence. Join us on a journey from destroyed firearm parts to new artistic pieces in this Partners in Art class. Through a combination of clay sculpture and the wood/metal/fabric parts of non-working rifles, pistols, guns, and accessories, you will create non-violent sculptural containers. Ages 9+ with participating adult

My Art Story

Narrate an epic journey using paper, paint, and clay! Craft a personalized booklet filled with your vibrant paintings and sketches. Dive into the realm of clay sculpting to breathe life into your painted stories. Finally, conclude your artistic odyssey by adorning your sculptures with colorful paintwork and glazes, bringing your tale into a vivid piece of sculpture. Ages 6-9

Thrift Painting Makeover!

Upcycle a dated and drab thrifted painting into a stellar new piece of original artwork! We will take found thrift paintings and add our own unique stories to them with acrylic paints and mixed-media techniques in a fun and laid-back environment. Thrift paintings will be provided. Ages 16-Adult

Beading on a Stick

Learn two different tubular beading stitches by beading on a stick. You will be encouraged to explore a sampling of designs using the tubular peyote stitch, and tubular netted stitch on a stick. We will explore creative ideas that will inspire and empower you to create your own beading art that will last a lifetime. Ages 16-Adult

Ceramic Fun House

We will build the fun and wild houses of our dreams! You will be guided through learning how to sculpt using the slab building technique and to use your limitless imagination. The result will be playful, colorful ceramic sculptures that will last a lifetime. Ages 6-9

Whimsical Monsters

Create fun and expressive monsters using simple handbuilding techniques of pinching, adding elements and textures. Exaggerate facial expressions and body parts on your monster to express emotions. This process will use air dry clay and acrylic paints. Ages 12-16

Introduction to Letterpress Printing

Join us at The Press at Colorado College for a hands-on, intensive letterpress workshop for beginners. This workshop will provide a complete overview of the process of letterpress printing, including setting metal type by hand, playing with wood type, and pressure printing on our antique cylinder presses and provisional presses. You’ll come away with a variety of postcards and broadsides that we’ve designed and printed as a group, as well as some experimental pieces of your design. Ages 16-Adult

Inspired Postcards

Inspired by Mary Chenoweth, iconic Colorado College professor of art and the woman who carved the wooden doors into Bemis School of Art, let us explore collage through a playful expression of making small postcard sized art influenced by Mary's, Matisse's, and Picasso's work. Gather your stash of ephemera from travels, or precious papers you have been hanging onto, bring them to the workshop, and transform them into small pieces of art. Ages 16-Adult

Pastel Flower Workshop

Experience the beauty of the purest color medium in the art world. Delve into the vibrant world of pastels, where you will have the option to work from a real, still-life flower arrangement, examples provided by the instructor, or your own pictorial source—explore your creativity and try them all. There will be an hour-long lunch break, so please bring food and drink. Ages 16-Adult

The Natural World

The imagery of the natural world will serve as our inspiration for this class. Think science colliding with art and where this can lead the imagination! We will explore butterfly wings, sea creatures, bugs, galaxies, and more. By looking up close at nature's gifts and using pastels, gel pens, colored pencils, and acrylic paint we will discover how the world around us is full of ideas for making colorful art. Ages 6-9

Water Marbling Workshop

You will learn three different traditional techniques in water marbling. Throughout this process, learn how to let go of artistic control and find beauty in the creative process. You will create three unique works of art to take home the same day. Ages 9-12

Comic Book Collage Box

We will explore the technique of collage by using a single comic book to tell a continuous story. We will each choose a wooden vessel to carefully glue hand-selected sections of comic book to every side. The goal of this class is to understand deco podge techniques and use collage to convey a message. Ages 16-Adult

Mythology & Monsters

We will be exploring our imaginations through storytelling and art. Beginning with several mythological stories told by the instructor and following up with a creative drawing game called "exquisite corpse" played by surrealist artists. Afterwards, you will be encouraged to focus on handbuilding and sculpting clay mythological creatures or a monster of your own creation, and finish painting with underglaze. Ages 6-9

ArtTrax: Painting

This course covers the basics of using watercolor and acrylics including going over supplies and materials, mixing colors, creating texture, and basic painting techniques.  Bemis ArtTrax is a curriculum created to provide equitable and accessible pathways to the arts. ArtTrax courses introduce the fundamental concepts of painting and drawing through a series of engaging exercises. Emphasis is not on producing finished works of art but rather on developing a basic skill set through practice and repetition. No prior knowledge or experience in the medium is needed or expected. Ages 16-Adult

Ski Paintings

Utilizing palettes crafted from authentic skis provided by the Colorado Ski Furniture Company, we will fashion our own painting. Dive into the creative process with enamel paint, allowing for vibrant and dynamic artwork. Let’s immerse ourselves in this innovative painting experience, blending artistry with the spirit of skiing culture! Ages 16-Adult

Florals Up Close

Painting with an up-close view allows us to work creatively with a very traditional subject. Fill the paper, take the petals off the edge, be creative with design all while incorporating atmospheric techniques and embellishments. The possibilities in watercolor painting are endless! There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring food and drink. Ages 16-Adult

Watercolor Skies with Mountains

Discover the art of Jen Aranyi, known for drawing simple, abstract mountain ranges, and painting skies with watercolors using special techniques. We will explore the diverse ways to use pen and ink for the landscape and mountains. This will require some drawing skills, but do not let that intimidate you, this class is for everyone! Ages 9-12

Geometric Plates and Mugs

Explore the exciting possibilities of building various geometrically shaped plates and mugs. Learn to handbuild with pre-textured clay slabs using flat patterns that fold up into 3-D forms. Design your own flat patterns and texturing tools to build geometrical and self-expressive pottery. Ages 16-Adult

Image Transfers with Gelli® Arts Printing Plates

You will have the opportunity to discover the best method for creating image transfers on the Gelli® Arts Printing Plate! You will explore the basic Gelli plate techniques, then move on to more advanced methods for image transfers. Have fun printing and learn new skills that you can continue to explore long after the class ends. Ages 16-Adult

Paint, Print, Collage Express

Begin with exploring Gelli® Plate printing on handmade papers: rice, mulberry, tissue paper, and more. Create designed papers with applied stencils, stamping, inks, and paint techniques. Finish by collaging your gems on various surfaces to create fabulous compositions. Adults

Paint an Oil Portrait

Join us as we bring our knowledge of the basics to a new level! You will have the opportunity to walk through the basics of oil, sketching, layering, value, and detailing and apply it all to one painting to see how all these elements work in unison. Adults

Beading on a Loom

Be introduced to bead weaving using a loom, where you will receive comprehensive instructions and all necessary materials. Dive into the creative process with guidance and explore innovative ideas to spark your inspiration for future loom bead weaving endeavors. This immersive experience will equip you with the skills and confidence to continue crafting your own unique bead weaving projects independently. Ages 16-Adult

Dare to Oil Paint

Join us as we develop skills and begin painting in oils with confidence! No matter if you are a beginner or ready to freshen up your painting skills. You will learn how to approach painting a monochromatic still life set up in a clear logical progression. Dare to paint in oils and you will leave this class with your best painting yet! Ages 16-Adult


Join us on an underwater adventure to meet and paint some fishy friends along the way! You are going to learn painting techniques with acrylic medium. We will practice expressive brushstrokes, how to apply value, color mixing, and more artistic ways to complement the sea and its wonderful sights! Ages 6-9

The Sky is the Limit

For a truly inspirational landscape, the sky is optional. We will learn to create powerful skies that will affect the mood of the day—or night. Experiment with color, shape, and value transforming your watercolor paintings by using simple, fun techniques. There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring food and drink. Ages 16-Adult

La Foret – Art and Acting in the Forest

Enjoy an outstanding arts education with instructors from the Fine Art Center’s Bemis School of Art set in the lush forest at the 400-acre La Foret Conference and Retreat Center. Stretch your imagination! Experience a variety of artistic styles and techniques, including painting, printmaking, and mixed-media art while exploring elements of composition and design. Cultivate your acting skills, voice, movement, and characterization with theatre games, mime, and improvisation. Art and acting will come together on Fridays with a special showcase performance and art exhibit for friends and family. Ages 6-11

Fundamentals of Drawing

A meaningful way to build our confidence in drawing is with this explorative journey into the fundamentals of drawing. We will be exploring ways to turn a flat two-dimensional drawing into a drawing that looks three-dimensional and realistic. We will be training our eyes to see in this explorative course, from some advanced ways of working with color, creating a light source in your drawings, perspective, color theory, exploring different mediums, and more! Ages 9-12

Trolls in the Garden

Come dive into the magical world of fairyland creatures. We will learn clay handbuilding skills while making a toadstool house, a rock troll, and other magical objects. Our projects will be enhanced with various glazing techniques. Ages 6-9

Fundamentals of Drawing

Let’s embark on an insightful exploration of drawing fundamentals designed to bolster your confidence in artistic expression! Discover techniques to transform flat, two-dimensional drawings into lifelike, three-dimensional renderings. Hone your observational skills, explore advanced color application, light source integration, perspective mastery, color theory, experiment with diverse mediums, and beyond. Ages 12-16

Teen Wheel Throwing

Join us to experience the ancient art of throwing on the potter’s wheel. We will learn basic wheel throwing techniques and skills, making bowls, mugs, and more. We will explore various glazing techniques to enhance your projects. Projects and demonstrations can be tailored to a variety of interests and abilities beyond the basics. Ages 12-16

In-Person: Military Artistic Healing

There are many benefits to using art to express emotions—art can offer a healthy outlet and an alternate way to communicate something that one cannot always put into words and provides a safe containment for emotions that are expressed. Reflecting on art can supply healing and connection. Increase personal management of life stressors by practicing artistic exercises outside of class to help with trauma. Together, we will practice for progress, healing, connection, retreat, creativity, confidence, clarity, and calm. This class includes a bi-weekly visit to the Fine Arts Center Museum. Adults

Beginner’s Pottery

Have you always wanted to learn how to throw on the potter’s wheel, but were concerned about how the pieces will look? With a little manipulation and alteration, your “first try” creations will look amazing! Learn basic wheel throwing and handbuilding skills in this course and enhance your projects with various glazing techniques. Ages 16-Adult

Wheel Throwing: Wolfe Approach

Where do you draw the line between practice and finished product? What makes your pieces exceptional? Join us as we explore the differences between learning how to throw and deciding what to make. Design, plan, and execute pieces that you are happy to show off. Ages 16-Adult

Exploring Watercolor

Discover the unrivaled and endless possibilities of watercolor. Build a repertoire of skills from choosing materials to creating brilliant colors, radiant blends, shadow, and light. No need for natural talent, just the desire to learn the limitless possibilities while incorporating traditional and experimental methods and having tons of fun in the process. Ages 16-Adult

Trolls in the Garden

Step into the enchanting realm of fairyland creatures as we delve into the art of clay handbuilding. We will craft our own whimsical toadstool house, fashion a mystical rock-troll, and bring other magical objects to life through hands-on instruction. We will also practice elevating our creations with a variety of glazing techniques, adding depth and charm to our fantastical projects. Ages 9-12

Virtual: Military Artistic Healing

Discover the techniques to inspire creative skills and gain greater self-awareness. Explore possibilities, develop your creativity, and gain personal insight through working with a variety of controllable mediums. Learn therapeutic techniques to heal from past trauma issues. All classes will be virtual. Adults

Let the Clay Speak

We will learn new techniques to create more advanced wheel thrown forms. Also, we will have the chance to pursue hand building, sculptural work, or a combination of these methods. The class is open to intermediate and advanced level students. Ages 16-Adult

Macramé Farmers Market Bag

Delve into the intricacies of macramé while mastering various knots and techniques to craft stylish knotted bags and purses. Gain expertise in creating diverse styles just in time to show off your creations at farmers' markets. Unleash your creativity and elevate your crafting skills with this engaging macramé workshop. Ages 16-Adult

City Lines in Watercolor

Come along for a guided “plein air” watercolor class focused on architecture! You will learn the basics of watercolor, how to work plein air, plus techniques for painting architecture quickly and beautifully! This class will involve up to 45 minutes of walking between painting locations on the Colorado College campus each day. Adults

Create Your Own Tarot

Interested in tarot? Are you a beginner or a seasoned reader? We will learn about the art history of tarot cards, their various systems of symbolism and interpretation, as well as basic image making techniques to create your own deck of tarot cards. By the end of this course, you will have learned the basics of tarot and created the first 22 cards (the major arcana) of a tarot deck, or the full 78 cards (the major and minor arcana), if desired. Ages 16-Adult

Creating with Calligraphy

With pen in hand, join other beginning or continuing calligraphers in exploring the world of hand-written letterforms. You will develop and refine your skills using the chisel-edged pen, experiment with historic styles, and investigate letterforms. You will design and create a finished piece reflecting your unique interest in lettering and calligraphy. Ages 16-Adult

Whimsical Boxes

Join us in building something unique! Learn slab construction to handbuild whimsical boxes from textured clay slabs. Move from flat to free-standing using simple measurements and your own handmade flat patterns! Glazing on textured surfaces will be taught. Ages 16-Adult

Gesture Drawing

Do you love drawing human figures, but have difficulty drawing them in complex poses or showing movement? Join us as we practice sketching proportionate people in more natural, action poses. These classes warm you up with quick gesture drawings, then ease you into longer times. Come ready to pose yourself and have fun! Ages 12-16

Fun with Toy Cameras

Come explore the excitement of capturing the world around us using black and white film and inexpensive, plastic toy cameras, or antique/vintage cameras. This will be a darkroom course too, so some experience in black and white film processing and printing is a plus but not required. You will learn to creatively compose photographs without the aid of today's digital technologies. Ages 16-Adult

Enameling: Expression and Interpretation

Let’s apply our skills with the materials and techniques of enameling toward conveying emotion or interpreting an idea! We will develop ways to communicate our visions via the qualities of glass on metal—transparent, opaque, bright, or subtle colors; texture; reflectance; and others. You may complete the course with a single finished piece or various explorations—wherever the Muse takes you. Ages 16-Adult

ArtTrax: Drawing

In this course, you will be provided with an overview of techniques to learn the basics of drawing from life. Using graphite pencil, subjects covered will include line control, drawing from observation, and shading.  Bemis ArtTrax is a curriculum created to provide equitable and accessible pathways to the arts. ArtTrax courses introduce the fundamental concepts of painting and drawing through a series of engaging exercises. Emphasis is not on producing finished works of art but rather on developing a basic skill set through practice and repetition. No prior knowledge or experience in the medium is needed or expected. Ages 16-Adult