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Series Summer Arts School


Welcome to Series Summer Arts School!

Are you ready to unleash your inner artist?  Red Deer Polytechnic’s annual Series Summer Arts School is back this July, ready to welcome artists of all experience levels.

Series Summer Arts School features a selection of art courses for artists of all skill levels, from the beginner, all the way to the seasoned professional.  This year, we are excited to offer a selection of courses including pottery, bronze casting, welding for artists, glass bead making, writing, drawing, watercolour, metalsmithing, and more!

Classes will be held in Red Deer Polytechnic’s world-class art studios. Students will be using professional quality equipment, and classes will be led by professional artists and art instructors.

On the last day of each course, students will have the opportunity to participate in a public art showcase.

So clean up your brushes, light your blow torch, and crack open your personal tool box and jump into Series.  Connect with other like minded individuals who share the same passion for creative art.  Make new friends and show off your creations during the Series Showcase.  

What to Expect at Series?

At Series Summer Arts School, you can expect several things, including:

  • Building connections with other artists
  • Professional instruction held in world class art studios
  • Inspiration and creativity
  • Learning new skills and techniques
  • Memories that will last a lifetime

Registration is now open!  See details on Series programs and register below.

Week One

July 10 - 14, 2023

Introduction to the Potter's Wheel

Instructor - Arne Handley

This workshop will put the instructional emphasis on the very beginning of using a potter's wheel with the use of tools, sills, and general information. It will be activity heavy with an emphasis on enjoying the process. As well, because of the teaching techniques, there is room and welcome for people who want to brush up on their skills.

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Filigree Jewelry and Middle Eastern Coils

Instructor  - Milt Fischbein

Filigree is an ancient technique that involves the creation of lace like silver jewellery out of fine silver wires, utilizing very basic tools.
In this workshop you will learn the basics of making filigree and will then move on to making exquisite Middle Eastern style filigree coils and flowers.  We will make 3 different projects

  • Filigree Leaf
  • Filigree Teardrop Earrings
  • Filigree Flower Pendant

We will also learn the basics of making a filigree ball

Topics and demonstrations will include; preparation of fine silver filigree wire, construction of flower frames, filigree soldering, traditional filigree wire shapes, making a filigree bail, soldering with both powder and paste solder.

The workshop is suitable for all levels, but knowing how to solder with a jeweler’s torch would be an asset.

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Bronze Casting and the Lost Wax Process (Part 1)

* This is a two-week course, registrants must register in both weeks.

Instructor - Robin Lambert

Bronze Casting and the Lost Wax Process Part 1     Experience the art of lost wax bronze casting using the Red Deer Polytechnic Foundry. This is a hands-on course where you take your ideas from sketch to wax to bronze in two weeks. You will experience all stages of the casting process up to and including pouring bronze. After the bronze is poured, you will finish and patina your work to take home.

No previous casting experience is required.

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Glass Bead Making 101

Instructor - Patricia Doyle

In this 5-day intensive class we explore the magic and alchemy used to create handmade beads. Using a propane/oxygen torch and rods of Italian glass we will learn the basics of creating, shaping and decorating glass beads.  By the end of our week, you will have developed an understanding of tools, equipment, and surprise yourself at the magnificent handfuls of beads you will produce and the very real progress you will observe through the course.

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Welding for Artists with a Touch of Glass

Instructor – Trent Leach

Bring your ideas and see how they will transform into a metal sculpture. You will learn to weld and how to use tools that will bring your art to life. There will be an opportunity to add a touch of glass to your project. This is a beginner-level class, but all levels are welcome.

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Figure Painting in Mixed Media

Instructor - Jean Pederson

This course will open the door into the exploration of various combinations, mixed media with an emphasis on water soluble paints and mediums, as they relate to the human face and figure. You will be encouraged to work beyond your traditional practice in pursuit of your own personal language. We will be exploring how everything from watercolor to gouache, gesso, acrylics, inks, mark making tools, collage and much more can be applied to figure painting. Emphasis will be placed on design, while personal style, live models and class work will be part of the course.

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Beginner Watercolour

Instructor – Willie Wong

This course will help you to clear all the mysteries of watercolour.  Students will explore the nature of the materials used, from brushes, to colours, to paper, so students will be knowledgeable enough in future purchases.

Students will undertake 24 to 36 small projects or techniques throughout the week. Easy to follow handouts will be available for each student.

This is an excellent course for anyone looking to begin watercolour painting as a hobby.

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Write Where You Are: A Writing Week

Instructor – Miji Campbell

Discover the possibilities and power in your writing when you have uninterrupted time, a supportive space and room to roam on the page. You will be given daily prompts and suggestions to spark your writing and keep it going. This writing time is balanced with helpful mini lessons on technique, lively discussions, and an exchange of wonderful stories, both spoken and written.

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Picture Book Camp for Writers or Illustrators

Instructor – Carolyn Fisher

Learn to write or illustrate children’s picture books!

Join artist-author Carolyn Fisher for a one-day workshop on writing and illustrating children’s books. Whether you’re a writer or an illustrator, a newbie or a professional, we’ll dig into the business of books in this info-packed course. Work on your own story that you bring from home or create a new project in class. Ask questions about writing stories, making storyboards, submissions, portfolios and more. You’ll end up with a draft of your very own children’s project and learn how professionals pitch their books to publishers or agents.

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Taste of Series

July 15, 2023

If you have ever wanted to try a new art medium, but want to try it first, Taste of Series might be for you!

Taste of Series are one day workshops that give you an introduction into many of the week-long workshops that are featured in Series Summer Art School. If you are interested in testing out a new medium, want to take a full Series course but cannot commit to the time, or even if you want to get the creativity flowing and you are not sure how, a course offered during Taste of Series might be for you.

Stacking Ring

Instructor - Brenda King     

This course is an introduction to working with sterling silver and learn how to size, form, shape, and solder stacking rings.

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Instructor - Miji Campbell

Spend the day writing memories into story.  Bring a memento - photo, object keepsake - that reminds you of a moment in your life.  You will be given suggestions to create a story along with helpful tips and tools to tell it in a meaningful way.  No writing experience required.  Just life experience!

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Open Studio

Instructor – Jean Pederson

Open Studio has been developed for those artists’ who have a degree of technical ability and want a student-centered approach to learning. Open Studio gives artists an opportunity to develop their own ideas and personal language as it relates to their artwork. Students will be offered input and critiques to facilitate their learning. Group discussion will be encouraged.

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Exploring Glass Bead Making

Instructor – Patricia Doyle

In this 1-day intensive class, students will explore the magic and alchemy used to create handmade beads. Using a propane/oxygen torch and rods of Italian glass we will learn the basics of this ancient art form.  This class is suitable for both beginners and experienced bead makers.

Register Now

Week Two

July 17 - 21, 2023

Pottery Additives - Lids & Handles

Instructor – Arne Handley

This workshop will put the instructional emphasis on creating additives like lids and handles. This is a great continuation from Introduction to the Potter's Wheel in Week 1 of Series with Arne.

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Beginner Jewelry Metalsmithing

Instructor – Brenda King                                

This is a beginner level for those interested in jewelry metalsmithing at home. This course can also be a refresher for those who have experience, that need to get going again. You will work with sterling silver sheet and wire, learning how to transform them into wearable pieces of art jewelry.

Register Now

Bronze Casting and the Lost Wax Process Part 2

Instructor – Robin Lambert

*This is a continuation from week 1. Students must register in both weeks to attend.

This is a beginner level for those interested in jewellery metalsmithing at home. Using sterling silver sheet and wire you will learn how to use a variety of tools focusing on hammers, pliers, torches, soldering, cutting, jewelers saw, texture, finishing. We will create the components for earrings, a ring, a bracelet, and pendant

Your skill level will determine how many pieces you are able to make. Everyone is different.

Students will also be involved in a discussion on setting up a jeweller’s workstation at home.

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Welding – Metal and Marbles

Instructor – Trent Leach

Who doesn’t love marbles? If you have never worked with metal or marbles, this is your chance to try something different. You will learn the basics of metal sculpture using various tools, including welding. You will have  and an opportunity to incorporate marbles into your design.

This is a beginner class, but all levels are welcome.

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Advanced Watercolor           

Instructor – Willie Wong

Students will cover 5 to 6 major new projects from landscapes, portrait to florals. Course materials and handouts will make it easy to finish every project like a professional.

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Painting - Loosening Up with Confidence    

Instructor - Tatianna O'Donnell          

This class will open your creativity with the discovery of various artistic tools you can take home with you. Individual coaching and group critiques will expand your understanding and you’ll leave with a handful of great new skills to take with you on the next path of your artistic journey.

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Drawing – Mixed Media Visual Journals

Instructor – Michael Shain

Our learning goal for this workshop is for you to begin or expand upon a daily visual practice. For those beginning their journey this will be a hands-on, engaging immersion into creativity and sketchbook techniques. For those continuing their visual journal practice it will be an opportunity to explore varieties of creative expression and experiment with different mixed media applications, techniques, and methods.

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The Art of Whimsy Book

Instructor - Sally Towers-Sybblis       

Discover the joy of playful creativity in a little book filled with whimsical village drawings using a combination of watercolor and Tombow markers. In this class, you will build a book from scratch and fill it with colorful playful imagery that you design yourself. No previous drawing or painting experience is required for this class. If you have longed to create, but haven't tried it before, this class is for you! Experience the sheer joy of creative play!

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What people are saying about Series Summer Arts School:

“I participated in Jean Pederson's class and was so appreciative to both her and Red Deer Polytechnic for providing us with the opportunity to be with other artists during such challenging times. I know you had so much planning to do in such a short time, and I was one of those people who came with a 'bit of trepidation'.  But I trusted both Jean and Red Deer Polytechnic so I 'took the leap'. I was so impressed with all your precautions.  I think you are the 'gold standard' in how to reopen art classes and if other Universities are contemplating opening up for their art classes, they should reach out to you!” – Series 2020 student

“This is my third year at Series, first time without my usual 'crew' of artist friends, but despite all the changed circumstances for me, and the modified format to deal with the pandemic, what remained a constant was the magic of Red Deer Polytechnic’s  Summer Series (and the magic of Jean's classes!). So thanks to you and your team for the continuation of this magic! “ – Series 2020 student

“I would not drop the 'Artistic Welding' workshop if my life depended on it. It was one of the one things in February (when I registered) that kept me going. It was the solidity that kept me grounded in such a changing world. And I am so glad I did. Thank you for taking the chance and adapting.” – Series 2020 student

We understand that you still have questions about the programs.
You can talk to us and we can help.
Are you interested in Corporate Training opportunities?
Contact our Business Development Consultant to explore group and customized training solutions.
Corporate [dot] Training [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca