I’ve never really considered myself an “artist” in the strict, studio-art sense of the word. I can’t really paint or draw, so sculpting and metalwork have always seemed a little out of my league. But why is that?
The Creative Arts Center of Dallas, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is a magical place filled with phenomenally kind, artsy people. I scored an exclusive tour of the facility recently with Executive Director Diana Pollak, and I found myself stepping outside my “arts journalist” box and into that of an actual — gasp! — artist. Don’t get me wrong, the CAC is a great fit for artists and non-artists alike, often featuring tremendous works from area artists.
In my visit to the Creative Arts Center, for instance, after trying my hand at yarn-bombing and abstract painting, I found myself behind a real-life potter’s wheel for the first time. Though forewarned of its messiness, I took its dangers (bravely) in stride. I strapped on an apron, and the very talented, very sweet instructor, Lynn Armstrong, walked me through the basics of throwing. In this mini-lesson, I learned the art of “centering” in order to create a symmetrical form — an act which requires great patience and little caution.
Eventually, after some hands-on guidance and elbow grease, I did it! I found my center, and with a little help, I (sort of) made a small bowl.
The Dallas Creative Arts Center is a friendly place that will show you how to actualize your unknown creative potentials — even if you’re not much of an “artist.” Classes and workshops are available nearly day of the week, and course fees start at $145 for members and $175 for non-members (plus supplies).
Studio art still not your scene? Get to typing with “Fiction 101,” a Wednesday-only course that’ll aid you in the art of writing and revision, so you can get to publishing your bucket-list novel. Registration is available online.
My advice: Grab an apron and take one of Ms. Lynn Armstrong’s “Art of Ceramics” courses, available Monday nights or Tuesday mornings throughout the Summer. As with most good things in life, you will get your hands dirty, and it will be worth it.