Calling all artists: Dust off those brushes and attend Pocatello Art Center’s classes, workshops

By Rebecca Long Pyper

The artists behind Pocatello Art Center are leaving local artists and those who want to be with no excuse for neglecting their creativity any longer.

With a full slate of classes, workshops and chances to drop by the center for individualized instruction, past president and educational chair Carolyn Purnell said artists, ranging from beginners to intermediate-advanced, are honing their skills with the help of Pocatello Art Center instructors.

“We have a lot of demand for art classes for adults. Some people are getting back into art, and this is a good place to do it,” she said. But another reason for the focus on education is that some people “don’t have any artistic background where they’ve been formally trained — they want some of that. That’s why we give beginner classes as well as intermediate,” she said.

Here are ways you can expect to learn at the center this spring and summer:

CLASSES: “Everything Color” classes, taught by painter Danene Taysom, run every month and are held Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Participants will study color, light and painting with lights and darks.

Every month carries a different theme; those who sign up for May’s class called “Painting What You See: The Alla Prima Approach to Painting” will learn how “to quickly capture the essence of a mood and feeling of light in their landscape or outdoor still life,” Taysom said.

June’s class is titled “Color Magic!” and will be run as a full-day workshop June 20. In that class students will learn about “beautiful color harmonies” by painting outside, using the sun’s full spectrum of light, Taysom said.

The class has range too. Regardless of medium — watercolor, pastel, oil, you name it — Taysom teaches academic techniques with wide application.

Cost is $65 for a Pocatello Art Center member and $75 for nonmembers. Participants will be emailed a supply list upon registration, and questions can be sent to

WORKSHOPS: There’s usually a workshop in the works at the center, and this summer is no different. The workshops are one- to four-day focused sessions, running 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an hour break for lunch. Watercolor workshops are always in demand, Purnell said, and the center is putting together a beginner watercolor workshop that will likely run in September; an intermediate watercolor workshop will probably take place in October.

Until then crafters can sign up for a crazy-quilting workshop, put on by BJ Sandusky, for all ages June 20 and 27, and “you don’t need a sewing machine; you just bring your creativity,” Purnell said. Cost is $60 for members and $65 for nonmembers, and all supplies are provided.

PAINT AND PAY AS YOU GO: If you need direction and advice on current works of art, stop by the center Tuesday through Thursday for one-on-one help. Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon, instructor Bob Beason assists artists with works done in pencil, watercolor or oil. Because he’s a cartoonist, he’s especially adept at advising those who like to draw, including teens.

Wednesdays, intermediate oil painters can pick up tips from artist Karen Wardle from 9 a.m. to noon, and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m., painter Pennie Wolf assists beginning artists on their work — oil is preferred, but other media is fine too.

The cost for these paint-and-pay meetings is $12.50. These meetings draw no more than a dozen people per session, so “because numbers are low, you get some real good one on one,” Purnell said.

Workshops and classes are usually capped at 10 students and carry waiting lists that fill up too. To sign up early or for more information, call Pocatello Art Center at 232-0970. The center is located at 444 N. Main in Pocatello.


Art by Pocatello Art Center members hang in the center’s gallery for an art show that opened May 1. Photo by Jenny Losee.


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