By Kristen M. Foley
It’s a common holiday phenomenon: first there are the long lines, then the hastily ripped open packages, and finally the gadget/toy overload and burnout. Some savvy shoppers have opted out of such exhausting holiday trends and are instead buying experiential gifts, such as art classes.
At CCAD the Saturday Morning Art Classes (SMAC) program explores every genre of art a kid could possibly fathom. Imagine giving kids the opportunity to participate in classes that include animation, drawing, digital art, ceramics, comic book drawing, printmaking, photography, and more. The classes are also broken down by grades; therefore, students learn with others in the same age group.
“This is a gift that could effectively change the path of or broaden a child’s horizons,” said Cat Sheridan, director of continuing & professional studies. “To give education is more than a simple, one shot-deal; it’s something that will stay with the student for life. It’s a great thing to give.”
Children as young as first grade can experiment with pencils, crayons, pens, paint, clay, and a variety of other materials. They have the opportunity to be part of something outside their normal learning community and are able to express themselves in creative ways.
“We have many families who have been part of the program for years and years. This is their child’s artistic outlet,” adds Sheridan. “They may get to do art in their grade schools or high schools and come to CCAD to have the unique opportunity to be around other kids who are there because they love art. They want to grow their passion and their abilities.”
Sheridan is no stranger to this concept. She is not only a graduate and now employee of CCAD, but she also participated in Saturday Morning Art Classes—starting when she was in the first grade. There are many other students who, just like her, started out in these classes and decided not only to pursue a fine arts degree, but to continue on at CCAD.
“As a non-degree student in these programs you still get to be part of the CCAD family,” said Sheridan. “Sometimes it ushers them into the degree program and sometimes softly into a life of art in other ways.”
Adults aren’t left out of the educational gift opportunities either. Adult programs are offered at a variety of times and days of the week and include ceramics, fashion design, Photoshop, jewelry, website design, painting, welding, and more.
CCAD’s Continuing & Professional Studies office offers gift certificates, which can be purchased by contacting the office at 614.222.3248. But with the college’s winter break fast approaching, Dec. 20 is the last chance to order a gift certificate before the new year.
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