More kids' classes at Ashland Art Center

The Ashland Art Center downtown is best known for its exhibits, working studio spaces and classes for adults, but it also has a bounty of classes and events for children and teens.

The center is continuing several classes that were popular in 2013, while adding new activities for the new year.

On every first Saturday of the month starting this week, multimedia artist Jo Ann Manzone will lead a "Free Expressions!" art class for kids of all ages from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Participants will experiment with painting, fabric, jewelry making, assemblage and more. The class is free and includes materials.

All ages are welcome, although children age 6 and younger need a supervising adult present.

Manzone also will lead a "Kids Create" class for children and parents from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Project ideas include assemblage sculptures, collages, painting and jewelry making. The drop-in sessions cost $10 each and include materials. Scholarships are available. Kids ages 5 through 12 are welcome. Those age 5 or 6 should have a supervising adult present.

Teens and young adults age 17 and older are invited to "Drop & Draw" with its young artist founder, Beth Reninger, from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Participants should bring their own materials and snacks to the free sessions, which involve working independently or collaborating with other young artists on drawing, painting and crafting projects. Bring an existing project or start a new one during a session.

Keeley Bittner will lead "Kids Clay" classes for kids age 5 through 12 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays. The drop-in classes cost $10 each and include clay and firing. Children age 5 and 6 must bring a supervising adult.

Cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer Curt Evans promises to get students of any ability drawing fun cartoon characters in his "Kids Cartooning" classes from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays (no class on Jan. 4). The drop-in classes cost $10 each and scholarships are available.

The recommended age for participants is 8 to 16 years old.

According to Evans, students will learn simple techniques to get started and find out how to enhance their current cartoons. There also will be advice for getting through those "I don't know what to draw" phases.

New for 2014, the Ashland Art Center will offer Preschool Art School, taught by Jenay M. Elder.

The classes are from 11:15 a.m. until noon on Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 5. Caretakers and their busy little ones can be creative together in the classroom studio. Each week, they will create a keepsake craft or art project to take home.

Monthly tuition is $25 for the first child and $8 per additional child. All materials are provided. Single drop-in sessions cost $8 each. Scholarships are available.

The nonprofit Ashland Art Center is located at 357 E. Main St. For more information on classes and other activities, call 541-482-2772, send an email to or visit

Reach reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-479-8199 or

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