Studies have shown that education in the arts is an integral part of human development. Art classes offer people the chance to learn something new or master a previously learned skill. Many of us have dabbled in art in school and secretly wish to return to it. Many interested students have the mistaken idea that they cannot do well in art because they are not talented.
Art classes offer students the ability to effectively practice art within a open setting. In today's day and age, there is a plethora of art classes available to us to try. From figure drawing to painting to ceramics, there is something for everyone. Michael Smith is one such art teacher.
Smith's Art With Mike offers art classes for adults and teenagers with a focus on painting and drawing. He has been a teacher for 18 years and has been offering his art classes for the last four years. He started with one class on a Wednesday night and in 2015 it grew to two classes. Michael Smith is a practicing artist, arts writer, art teacher and curator. He has exhibited extensively and has works in various collections.
Art classes offer more than only learning an artistic skill. It has been shown that art classes also teaches creativity beyond the arts, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, promote self-esteem and motivation, and improved emotional expression. "Johannesburg is a very hard city. People are caught in so many things that they have to do that art classes becomes something they want to do and get joy from it," says Smith.
Smith welcomes students by discussing what their preconceptions of what the classes are and what they wish to achieve. A complete range of people join Smith's art classes from various ages and styles. The classes have a social and open atmosphere where students often talk to each other about their work, discuss art and philosophies, etc.
"People's creativity is sacred and should be taken seriously", Smith states. Smith offers students the freedom to specialize in which ever medium they prefer. He does not have a specific structure to his classes. Each student is on a different stage, and he assesses each student individually on where their skill level is and assists them in improving their technique, observational skills and understanding of colour and tone.
Good art lessons need some difficulty to be challenging, but need to be easy enough to avoid too much frustration.
With the broad range of experience in the arts, Smith is able to provide his students with the skills, advice and guidance they need should they be interested in moving into the art industry. One of his students is working towards crafting his illustration skills and has enrolled himself into the animation school.
Perhaps the most fundamental element to art classes is the manner in which it provides pleasure and creative inspiration and frees the mind from rigid certainty. It expands the way we see what we look at, hear what we listen to, and feel what we touch. It stretches our minds beyond the confines and rules of the urban society we live in. Classes such as Art with Mike offer students the ability to be learn artistic skills within an open and encouraging environment.
Art with Mike classes are offered in Linden every Wednesday from 16:00 - 18:00 as well as from 17:30 - 19:30. Students must supply their own materials, but an equipment list is available on request.