10 Best - November 2010

By Hannah Wallace November 1, 2010


Ted Camp, chair of State College of Florida’s fine and performing arts department, leads ceramics and wheel-throwing courses in the school’s Bradenton studio (complete with gas, electric and soda kilns). Beginners will learn the basics, but advanced students have a bigger goal: SCF’s holiday ceramics sale, a 25-year-tradition featuring student and faculty works. To get inspired, check out this year’s sale Dec. 2 and 3.


See you in the funny papers? We might, if you take Michael White’s comic strip courses at Ringling College of Art and Design. White, who completed his first comic book series at age 14, leads three continuing studies courses that take you frame-by-frame through the finer points of drawing, inking and producing comics—including developing storylines, concepts and characters. Sign up now for sessions beginning the last two weeks of November. (941) 955-8866,


How’s this for a natural pairing: ikebana, the Japanese art of floral arranging, and Selby Gardens? Selby instructors teach the Sogetsu School of ikebana, which combines modern trends and local materials with historic ikebana principles. The one-day workshops take students through two separate arrangements in distinct, traditional styles (moribana and nageire). Take the Dec. 18 class and create your very own holiday-style ikebana masterpiece. (941) 366-5731,



This February, renowned portrait artist and oil painter David Leffel returns for his annual weeklong workshop hosted by the Longboat Key Center for the Arts. In the workshop, which coincides with an LBKCA exhibit of his works, the 79-year-old master offers a week of expert guidance in still-life and figure oil painting. Sign up now—his Longboat classes have been known to attract fans from around the state. (941) 383-2345



Master the art of the human body at Art Center Sarasota’s popular sketch nights. The open, go-at-your-own-pace sessions feature costumed models embodying bold visual themes: One night they’ll show off their tattoos, the next week may feature burlesque tableaux. “Adonis night” invites you to turn your artistic eye toward body builders. Look for a new session starting this month. (941) 365-2032



When you’re combining glass and fire, you probably shouldn’t skip the basics. That’s why Two Lasses Glass Classes offers intensive day-long workshops on warm, fused-glass techniques. Instructor Pippa Cosette can even sell you the appropriate equipment to start your own home glass studio. And TLGC’s Monday-morning workshops focus on creating beautiful glass crafts without the nuts-and-bolts instruction. (866) 225-0883,



Wildacres Art Workshops, a long-running Ringling College program, is one part artist’s boot camp, one part dream vacation. Students of all ages spend a week studying art and drawing inspiration from the scenery at Wildacres Retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You attend lectures, visit studios and galleries, and take classes in your choice of a variety of media—all taught by Ringling faculty. Registration begins in March for summer and fall sessions. (941) 955-8866,



Sarasota’s famous Pinecraft Anabaptist community is a treasure trove for those in search of authentic American crafts—including beautiful, handmade Mennonite quilts. Alma Sue’s Quilt Shop is your bridge to that sizeable (but reticent) Mennonite quilt-making community. Their expert craftspeople host regular quilt-making workshops to share the secrets of the community’s sewing prowess. (941) 330-0993



“Anybody can photograph a bird on a stick,” says wildlife photographer Bob Salyers. He prefers to capture animals in action against a backdrop of Southwest Florida scenery. Salyers leads four-week photography workshop sessions and field trips that reveal extraordinary scenes right in our own back yard. Salyers also leads travel photography tours. (Upcoming trips include the Smoky Mountains and Costa Rica.) (941) 302-0707,



Jewelry maker and lapidary Colleen White teaches precious metallurgy using the newly available (and affordable) bronze variety of precious metal clay, which can be molded, dried, glazed and fired like clay, but turns back into a metal after a trip to the kiln. White, who owns Village Gem Shop in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, offers a number of classes in the area, along with private instruction in silversmithing and stone cutting.

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