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Workforce Development & Continuing Education

Art and History Courses
Painting of a lavender flower    Pencil drawing in perspective of a city    Watercolor painting with ducks
Lifelong Learning  Class Schedule How to Register

Lifelong Learning Art and Art History Courses

Lifelong Learning courses are designed primarily for students age 50 and over. Not all listed courses are offered each semester. See schedule of Lifelong Learning classes to find current schedules, location, dates, and costs.

Barbara Evans, Faculty Outstanding Service Awardee

Barbara Evans, Lifelong Learning Art History Professor, was presented with the Faculty Outstanding Service Award. This award is given in recognition of Prof. Evan's exemplary contribution to the Lifelong Learning Institute.

Natasha Sacks, LLI Program Director stated "What distinguishes Barbara's teaching is her in-depth knowledge of the subject that includes the social and historical context of the art period she covers, an artistry in presenting the topic in a very engaging manner, superb skills in utilizing technology to make paintings come alive with her stories and ability to engage students into active learning."

This Fall, Barbara Evans will be teaching: The Great Masters of Post-Impressionism, and Getting Ready for Exhibit: Degas and Cassatt.

Drawing with Pencils, Charcoal, or Pastels, LLI-698 - Hours:  12

Are you an artist who would like to master the art of drawing in 3-D? This course teaches linear perspective, that powerful technique used to create drawings showing 3-D space. Master artists such as Giotto, Raphael, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Leonardo da Vinci have used this technique to successfully create the illusion of 3-D space in their drawings and paintings. Five other techniques (size, position, overlap, shading, and aerial perspective) will be covered. You will ex- amine these techniques using a variety of drawing exercises, subjects, and media (pencil, color pencils, pastel, ink, markers, charcoal, and water-based paint). This class is designed for students of any skill level. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Everyone Can Draw—Level I, LLI-050 - Hours:  20

Learn basic drawing fundamentals—negative space, proportions, perspective, composition—through practicing seeing and drawing what you see. Draw from still life and live models. Textbook: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards, is available at the Rockville Campus Book- store. Bring a 14” x 17” sketchpad, 4B or Ebony pencil, and pencil eraser to first class. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Oils and Acrylics I—Introduction, LLI-653 - Hours:  12

Beginning with basic instruction, you will explore shapes, shading, and perspective. Painting in oil or acrylic from still life and photographs, you will learn composition, shading, texture by blending colors, and using different brush strokes to create an individual style. Bring a #2 pencil, a 12-inch ruler, and two sheets of 11x14-inch paper to first class. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Landscapes and Seascapes, LLI-705 - Hours: 12

Learn to paint exquisite landscapes and seascapes using photos! By incorporating fundamental principles such as composition, value, color, and texture we will create lively and expressive landscape paintings. Rather than simply “copying a photograph” we will learn to interpret our reference material to express our artistic voices. You can use watercolor, acrylic, or oil. For inspiration, we will analyze the work of the French Impressionists and Post Impressionists such as Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh, and Cezanne. By the end of the course each student will have developed a portfolio of landscape and seascape paintings. Students of all levels are welcome. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Watercolor Techniques I, LLI-609 – Hours: 12

Explore the beauty and magic of watercolor painting through a structured series of exciting classes that focus on basic watercolor techniques. You will have a chance to learn techniques of various washes, “wet-in-wet,” and dry brush on wet and dry paper by watching the instructor demonstrate before performing the technique yourself. Basic drawing will be re- viewed as needed. After the basic sessions, you will have an opportunity to practice the techniques, painting from a still life or photo. Creation of an individual style is encouraged. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Watercolor Techniques II, LLI-514 – Hours: 12

Students will learn how to paint watercolor landscapes and seascapes using various washes. “Wet-in-wet” and dry brush on wet and dry paper will be demonstrated by instructor. You will have the opportunity to practice the techniques for several sessions after the demonstration. A materials list is available at learning/arthistory.html. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Advanced Watercolor, LLI560 – Hours: 20

This course is designed to expand the knowledge of water- color techniques for people who have experience painting watercolors. Learn to apply a variety of techniques such as dry brush, wet-on-wet, stippling, controlled spray, lifts, and graded wash to create textural effects in a realistic or abstract painting. You will also learn the John Pike technique for “layered” watercolor painting using many glazes to achieve dark areas and bright colors. Prerequisite: Watercolor Techniques I and II. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

How to Paint Like an Impressionist, LLI-652 - Hours: 12

This course will introduce you to the Impressionist movement and explain how it came about. The historical context, style, and inspiration for the movement will be discussed. Techniques such as pointillism, impasto, use of palette knife, layering, and Impressionist use of color will be demonstrated and explained. You will then apply these methods with individual instruction to create your own Impressionist painting with watercolor or acrylic. Tuition waiver applies; seniors
pay fee only.

Sculpture, LLI-557 – Hours: 30

This course will provide opportunities for experience in the studio area of sculpture. Beginning students will be introduced to the basic techniques involved in additive and sub- tractive methods in both relief sculpture and sculpture in the round. Advanced students will further develop proficiencies with materials and techniques of sculpture, and expand their understanding of the field. Materials may include clay, wood, stone, modern plastics, plaster, and metal. The course will include individual and class criticism of work, with integrated references to art history and to traditional and contemporary concepts of aesthetics. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Italy in the Age of the Renaissance, LLI-612 – Hours: 8

This course provides an overview of Italian history for anybody wishing to broaden their understanding of the Italian Renaissance. Explore the late medieval commercial and political history of major Italian territories and centers of the Renaissance. Analyze the status and influence of the Papacy and Catholic Church, position artists in their appropriate social contexts, and study the revival of ancient learning and values that we call Humanism. These four broad topics will help you better understand and appreciate the art and artists of the Re- naissance. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Leonardo daVinci: How this Renaissance Man Influenced the Modern World, LLI-713 – Hours: 6

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) might be the single individual whose cross-disciplinary knowledge and creative genius came to define the “Renaissance man.” You will learn how his life and works have inspired artistic, technological, medical, and philosophical developments and innovations well into the modern world. Leonardo helped expand artistic techniques of classical composition and perspective in works like The Last Supper. Leonardo devised blue prints for inventions that transformed warfare, plumbing, and city planning. He explored human anatomy and influenced medicine. He inspired other artists like Michelangelo and Raphael. Leonardo still dominates our imaginations, our literature, and our modern lives. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

The Great Masters of Post-Impressionism, LLI-696 – Hours: 9

In the late 1880s, a group of young painters sought independent artistic styles for expressing emotions rather than simply optical impressions. Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, and Vincent van Gogh followed diverse stylistic paths in search of ways to express meaning beyond surface appearances, to paint with the emotions and the intellect as well as the eye. This 6-week class will explore each of the masters of Post- Impressionism in depth. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

The Life and Work of Georgia O’Keeffe, LLI-695 – Hours: 6

Georgia O’Keeffe was an inspiring woman and a creative genius. Learn about her background and training as an artist. Discuss the artistic climate in the USA at the time and the way in which European art brought about change. Learn the significance of Alfred Stieglitz as her both husband and owner of the famous 291 gallery. Discuss what drew O’Keeffe to New Mexico and how this changed her work. Analyze use of color, shape, and form to tell a story. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Marc Chagall—Dance of Imagination, LLI-714 – Hours: 6

This course explores Marc Chagall as a person and as an artist. You will explore Chagall’s images that draw on Biblical themes, the traditions of Jewish life, and on the contemporary avant-garde developments, such as Fauvism, Surrealism, and Cubism. His iconography is deeply personal and explores subjects of exile and loss. Uprooted and floating dreamers and lovers populate his compositions. Chagall’s distinguishable use of colors (blues and yellows) reflects the mystical nature of his iconography. Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse influenced and were influenced by Chagall’s innovative style and technique. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Treasures of the National Gallery of Art, LLI-725 – Hours: 8

Perhaps sometimes it is the “treasures” closest to home or most well-known that one might not take the time to explore but which potentially offer the richest rewards if utilized. This is the premise of this course, whose agenda is to examine in depth a high-quality selection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington’s renowned permanent collection of 19th century Impressionist. There will be a series of two-hour weekly classes over a month’s time, in lecture-and-discussion format, with one meeting devoted to an in-situ session at the museum (as these works’ being experienced directly as objects is crucial to understanding them). Every semester we will explore one of the sections of the National Gallery of Art. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

A Visual Tango: Tour of Twentieth Century Latin American Art, LLI-701 – Hours: 8

This course will provide a general overview of 20th century Latin American art starting with the modernists such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo through contemporary artists ranging from Helio Oitticica and Lygia Clark to Doris Salcedo and Alfredo Jaar. Learn about Latin American art practices and the diversity of its cultural production (how artists in Brazil differ from those in Argentina, for example). Explore how these artists fit into the different artistic movements of the time and their own regional context. The short lecture series will make wide use of imagery from Latin American Museums and will culminate with a visit to the Art Museum of the Americas, located in Washington D.C., for a lecture tour. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

What’s New on the Washington Art Scene?, LLI-718 – Hours: 8

Explore what is going on artistically in galleries and exhibit spaces in the Washington metropolitan area. Using both a selection of what is currently being shown in private venues in the city at the time of the class and making use of exemplary recent developments from elsewhere, major trends and common characteristics will be defined. Two classes will meet for lectures and two classes (Saturdays) will meet at a series of D.C. galleries and art exhibition spaces.

Introduction to Digital Arts, LLI-677 – Hours: 75

Learn to make art on your computer! This introductory course teaches the creative use of the computer as a design tool and illustrative medium. Topics include elementary digital tools and techniques as they relate to principles of design, color, composition, and spatial relationships. Gain confidence in using both raster and vector-based software (Photoshop, Illustrator). A variety of projects will be developed to their conclusion as the course focuses on such topics as idea and concept generation, rendering techniques, and visual aesthetics. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Degas/Cassatt: An Introduction to the Exhibition, LLI799 – Hours: 2

Edgar Degas’ (1834-1917) influence on fellow Impressionist Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is widely known, but her role in shaping his work and introducing him to American audiences and collectors is fully examined for the first time in Degas/ Cassatt, on view at the National Gallery of Art from May 11 to October 5. This two-hour program will take you on an introductory armchair tour of this groundbreaking exhibition and some of the 70 works in various media included in the show.

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