Painting Class at On the Rocks Art

They say art imitates life. Like a chameleon, it also imitates its surroundings. It is no wonder that a beautiful town like Duluth is home to so many artists. If you are visiting Duluth, maybe the hills, rocks, streams, and lake will make you want to try out being an artist for a day. Or, you might be an artist already. Then, you can try being an artist in a different location. Duluth has a number of places you can take classes in a sort of tour of beauty. These particular three studios have short-term classes that a visitor could complete during a weekend or afternoon.

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“An art class calms people and then it takes them out of their comfort zone,” said Chelsey Wingness at On the Rocks Art Studio. “Usually, by the end of the class everyone is excited that they can paint and that they created something on their own.”

The location of On the Rocks is calming itself, as you try your hand at creating. The studio is on the top floor of a building in Canal Park overlooking the lake (just a few minutes from Beacon Pointe). From here you can take in the beauty of Duluth, from the buildings clinging to the hills to the rocky shore hugging the lake. The studio normally offers $35 instructed courses twice a day and an open studio time when you can just have fun with their supplies for $25. The instructed courses are 2–3 hours including a show and tell time where you share your project with your fellow students.

While On the Rocks focuses on painting, Lake Superior Art Glass works on being transparent. From downtown Duluth, they teach many ways to shape refined sand into objects like wine goblets, marbles, pendants, and items made with torches. They are open Monday-Wednesday from 10AM to 6PM and Thursday-Saturday 10AM to 7 PM. Their classes are taught at various times on those days.

Also in downtown Duluth, The Nordic Center mainly teaches crafts from the Scandinavian countries many of Duluth’s residents have ancestors from. Their class schedule varies based on the availability of grants. The classes they have are often world class.

“We have internationally known teachers that are presenting these. Both of the teachers in those classes [onsite adult April classes] have taught in Norway and here and they are well-known,” said Kris Eide at the Nordic Center. “The woodcarving guy is a well-known woodcarver. He has written books and been on TV.”

From April to the beginning of May, the Nordic Center is offering three classes on Nordic Folk Arts. There is Scandinavian-Style Figure Carving, Sewing a Busserull Shirt, and Sami Jewelry Making. Some upcoming free events are Folk Art for Kids: Sami Art Class on April 23, the Folk Artists Reception on April 22, and an Evening of Sharing: Student Folk Art Projects on June 4. Both the adult and child Sami classes are taught offsite at the Sami Cultural Center in East Duluth.

Probably as important as the classes taught are the people you will meet at these events. A way of getting to know a different area is to get to know some of the locals. The classes at these locations often have tourists and area residents. You talk with them and hear stories and see how they see the region different with eyes more accustomed to this part of the country. You can unite in a shared love of Duluth and a love for art.