By Gillian Burdett
The human need to express one’s self creatively is often buried beneath day-to-day chores. Our time is filled with activities that are not particularly inspiring but necessary to get the bills paid and keep the house in order. Even if you believe you lack talent, breaking away to explore your inner artist, even if for only an hour a week, can positively affect all areas of your life.
Learning a new skill, connecting with and focusing on a creative project, will deepen your self-awareness, develop your problem-solving skills, build your brain power with new neural pathways and reward you with a sense of satisfaction at having created something new. Reaping these benefits can start with registration in a class or workshop at one of these Connecticut art centers.
Brookfield Craft Center
286 Whisconier Road
Brookfield, CT 06804
Brookfield has been teaching traditional and contemporary craftsmanship skills for 65 years, preserving these art forms through eras of industrialized mass production. Nationally recognized local artists form the core faculty, and visiting artists augment the staff. The extensive catalog of classes offered includes pottery, jewelry making, fiber arts, metalwork, glass and woodcrafts. Brookfield also offers classes in drawing, painting, sculpting, and photography.
350 South Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
Wesleyan Potters is more than pottery. In addition to learning how to throw pots, you can learn weaving, basketry and jewelry making. Most class sessions run for nine weeks with new sessions beginning year-round. Shorter, one- and two-session workshops are also offered throughout the year.
Arts and Crafts Association of Meriden
53 Colony St.
Meriden, CT 06451
The range of classes offered here is truly impressive. Stained glass mosaics, metal sculptures, fused glasswork and silk-knotted pieces are some of the projects offered. Classes run in length from one day to nine weeks. The Arts and Crafts Association also offers painting classes and holds open studio sessions where you may join other artists as you work on a project.
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Creative Arts Workshop
80 Audubon St.
New Haven, CT 06510
This is the largest community art school in the state and an ideal place to go for New Haven-area residents seeking a creative outlet. The Creative Arts Workshop offer several hundred classes in photography, sculpture, printmaking, fiber arts, pottery, drawing and painting. Beginner and advanced level courses are offered. For those who can’t commit to a full course, the center has one-session workshops that focus on a single project. Tuition assistance is available.
Guilford Art Center
411 Church St.
Guilford, CT 06437
The school at Guilford Art Center offers classes and workshops in metalsmithing, ceramics, jewelry making, glasswork, fiber, drawing and painting for all skill levels. Classes are taught by working artists who are also educators skilled in connecting with students. Weekend workshops give participants the opportunity for intensive study in one area. Need-based financial aid is available.