Our pick for this summer’s hottest accessory: a sketchbook! Not only is it portable, but it goes with any outfit. And we’ve got the perfect way to put your fashionable accessory to use – an artmaking course at AGO. AGO Member Donna Flohil has taken six art classes at the AGO and stopped by to tell us about what she’s learned and why she keeps coming back.
AGO: You recently finished City Explorations, a course with instructor Kelly Aitkin. Can you tell us about your experience?
Flohil: It was wonderful – a nice mix of botanical and architectural sketching and watercolour painting – a real skill-building course. As a group, we explored various places in the city. We went to Allan Gardens, the Distillery District, Grange Park and many more locations. There was a range of skill levels and it was a nice size, roughly eight people.
AGO: What has been the greatest lesson so far?
Flohil: The first class I ever did was a watercolour class. The instructor was Kerry Kim. At the beginning of the first class, he walked in and said, “You have chosen the hardest medium”. Then he pointed to an arrangement of objects on the table, and he added, “…which is why you first have to learn how to draw that.” That lesson has stayed with me and given me a new way of looking at things, which was very useful when it came to City Explorations.
AGO: You’ve taken numerous courses at the AGO. What’s next?
Flohil: I will certainly continue taking courses – I am already looking forward to taking Drawing from the Vaults again. The opportunity to work in the Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre and to see so many incredible works up close is such a thrill. The room itself is all glass.
AGO: What is it about art classes that excites you?
Flohil: Watercolour is always something I wanted to learn. I’ve had a variety of instructors in the last few years – all very knowledgeable and talented – and the courses are good value for money. But the reason I keep coming back is because art is so important to being a fully formed human being and to the soul of a community. We are nothing with out it. I think the free access for young people (25 and under) is so good.
This summer, the AGO is offering more than 20 different adult art courses, catering to almost every level and interest. AGO Members receive a discount on courses – only one of the many benefits of AGO Membership. The generosity of nearly 100,000 members allows the AGO to fulfill its mission to bring art, learning and audiences together. For more details on how to become an AGO Member and get access to exclusive previews of special exhibitions, additional discounts, access to the Norma Ridley Members’ Lounge, and more, visit AGO.ca/membership
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