Summer art classes in Vail Valley offer variety of options |

Summer art classes in Vail Valley offer variety of options

The Alpine Arts Center and the Vail Valley Art Guild are offering an exciting lineup of guided art classes happening throughout the summer.

Interested in tapping into your creative side and enhancing your artistic skills? There are a number of opportunities to engage in guided art projects around town this summer, both for amateurs looking to try something new and established artists interested in refining their technique.

Participants at the first of the Alpine Arts Center outdoor classes show off their finished works. This week’s mixed-media project was inspired by a new mural in the Vail Transportation Center by artist Olive Moya
Alpine Art Center

Outdoor Art Classes for all at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

The Alpine Arts Center and the Town of Vail have teamed up to provide a series of affordable outdoor art classes that will be taking place all summer at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Starting this week, local art instructors from the Alpine Arts Center will be providing hands-on instruction in a variety of mediums every Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m, right before the Hot Summer Nights Concert series.

“These classes are fun for everyone, and you don’t need any previous experience to have a great time and develop a new art skill,” said Lauren Merrill, founder and owner of the Alpine Arts Center.

Each class is being offered for a reduced rate of $25 per person, thanks to sponsorship from the Town of Vail, Alpine Bank, Holy Cross Energy and the Vail Daily. Participants must register for class online unless otherwise noted.

All art materials and step-by-step instruction will be provided on site, and participants will get to take their masterpiece home at the end of class. Classes are open to all ages, and children must be accompanied by a participating adult.

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“It’s intentional for the projects to be related to Vail, and we make sure each one also has an educational component to it,” Merrill said. “Some of them might teach about local wildlife or flowers, or tie into local art exhibits.”

The Alpine Arts Center will also be offering drop-in art activities in the amphitheater during the Hot Summer Nights concerts. Concert-goers and passersby can stop in to complete one of the smaller projects being offered. The drop-in activities do not require registration.

A full schedule of class dates and themes can be found at, and participants can register for classes on the same site.

Vail Valley Art Guild Summer Workshops

The Vail Valley Art Guild is offering three multi-day workshops in pastel and oil painting. All courses require participants to have a working knowledge of the medium prior to joining the class.

Instructor Greg Barnes will be leading a mix of studio and plein air classes in pastels and oil paint
Vail Valley Art Guild

The first workshop will be led by North Carolina impressionist artist Greg Barnes, whose loose style in pastels and oils has made him a favorite instructor every summer in the valley. Barnes will be teaching a three-day workshop from June 27 to June 30, including two studio days and one plain air day. The full workshop costs $365, and one-day options will be available dependent on class space for $135.

The second workshop is led by Colorado native Cheryl St. John, an award-winning artist and Vice President of the American Impressionist Society. St. John will lead a two-day plein air workshop on July 26 and July 27, guiding students as they paint elements of the Vail Valley landscape. The price of the workshop is $265.

The final workshop of the summer is a mix of studio and plein air classes led by Don Stahli, known for his use of color and vibrancy in his brushstroke. Sahli’s three-day workshop runs from August 31 to September 2 and costs $365.

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