With my much anticipated Aunt-money set to arrive any week, I set about looking for the proper painting class to take. I’m a big fan of Community Ed, and Saint Paul’s version has no end of inexpensive art classes, but Aunt-money meant I could go big. University of Minnesota? Maybe not that big. Articulture? Nothing offered for months. Instead, I chose The Art Academy on Snelling, because it was close and because it got good reviews on Yelp and Facebook. I liked the philosophy they espoused on their website:
At the Art Academy we always stress practice over talent. We believe that if students put forth their best efforts during each class their abilities will flourish – unlocking a level of artistic potential that goes well beyond their expectations.
Granted, that wasn’t a high bar — my expectations were pretty low. But the student work they showed on their website was genuinely impressive, and their student-to-teacher ratio impressively low. Although there was a lot of cross-over between class descriptions, with no obviously suggested order, I decided on “The Oil Study,” because it spoke specifically about giving students the skills to start a painting, which made more sense than the other beginning oil painting class that talked about skills around finishing a painting. Oddly, though, while other class galleries showed student work in richly-colored palettes, Oil Study paintings were exclusively in shades of grey. Would I only be painting in black and white? What gives?