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When creativity calls …

Cassie Pence
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyIf you're feeling creative, sign up for a summer art class.
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There’s something about summer that jump starts my imagination. My mind wants to invent using my hands, finally released from mitten-hibernation. Inspiration sprouts from every direction, like the wildflowers, plentiful and in brilliant hues.The Vail Valley offers many classes this summer to indulge your creative impulse. From fiber arts to culinary arts to dance, your hands – and feet – will have no excuse to be idle.Knitting, stitching and sewing – oh my!The fibers today, compared to when Kathy Morrow starting knitting 41 years ago, are amazing.”They make it very easy to make something beautiful with a limited amount of technique,” says the owner of the Yarn Studio in Minturn. Due to the craft’s popularity, Morrow has expanded her store to create a studio knitting salon to host classes and social knitting circles. The grand opening is June 24. The salon evokes a living room atmosphere with a sectional couch and coffee table.”I think basically a whole generation of people who grew up in front of the TV and computers all of a sudden realized that they could do things with their hands while in front of the TV,” says Morrow. “With knitting, you don’t need to give complete and total attention, but at the end of your time, you have something to show for it, and it’s very gratifying.”

Morrow and her crew will be teaching knitting, crocheting and needlepoint forums at all levels throughout the summer. From learning to knit garments to throw blankets, all aspects will be covered.”For me, knitting is very Zen,” Morrow says. “It’s very meditative. I love teaching it. I dig when people get it and are turned on by it.”The fabrics to make quilts have evolved too, says Mary Anderson, who will teach a beginning quilting class this June at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards.”It’s so artistic now, you can’t believe it,” she said.Anderson will teach the basics of machine quilting. You need a sewing machine in good working condition and it helps to know how to use it, but not necessary, she says. At the end of the six classes, students will have made a small quilt and learned the basic foundations of the craft.”Life is too short to hand piece and hand quilt,” Anderson says. “I’m more interested in the artistic expression of the whole thing, but my class is a good way to start and you can go off in the traditional direction if you want to.”Summer sizzles in the kitchen

If capturing summer’s bounty in the kitchen is how you like to spend your evenings, CMC and the Savory Inn offer classes to improve your culinary skills.Chef David Nowakowski at the Savory Inn in West Vail, a bed and breakfast and cooking school, will host “alternative dining experiences” throughout the summer, where he teaches a small group to prepare a meal from scratch, and then they enjoy it together with paired wine and beer.In August, he will take a group foraging for mushrooms and then bring them back to the kitchen to cook up a whole meal centered around the harvest. Fridays, starting June 17, he teaches a grilling series, and during Saturday classes he will focus on a particular region of the world, teaching about its wine and cuisine. For example, he will host an Italian wine and cuisine night and a Mexican night with margaritas. Cooks at all abilities are welcome to his classes.”I get people who need help boiling water to people who should be probably be teaching me things,” Nowakowski says.Head of the culinary department at CMC Todd Rymer will teach two noncredit grilling classes, one on the art of barbecuing and one on grilling vegetables. “When I’m grilling I like to have a balanced meal without having to run inside to check on the vegetables cooking by boiling or sautéing,” says Rymer. This is why he suggests grilling your vegetables as a side to your grilled entrees.”Grilled sweet peppers are my favorite,” he says. “We’ll talk about herbs, spices and marinades to heighten the flavors of whatever looks good in the produce market or store that day.”

Eye-pleasing artAnyone who wants to adorn their homes, or themselves, with art they hand-make can learn how at CMC. The school offers classes in painting, ceramics, jewelry-making, stain glass and more taught by artists who specialize in the mediums.The Vail Symposium teams up with CMC to offer a special class in creating art with found objects taught by local artist Randy Milhoan. In July, Milhoan will take students along the Rio Grande railroad tracks collecting objects to create masks back at the workshop.Milhoan’s own artist den in Minturn is filled with collage pieces and masks made from found objects. He will teach you to look at trash differently – not as garbage – but as essentials to fashion a creative face.”It’s more about seeing something and reacting to it, getting your mind to think in a way that you normally don’t,” says Milhoan.Motion to musicLearn the moves to your favorite music as instructors at CMC teach you salsa and merengue, tap, ballet and even belly dancing.

Amanda Beezley, who’s been dancing since age 5, is teaching a hip-hop dance class. It’s a high energy class that focuses on freestyle moves and is a workout in of itself. All levels are welcome, but the class requires fast moves and a lot of jumping.”The freestyle moves of hip hop is a chance for the student – and the teacher – to move to whatever is in their heart, and it comes out through your feet,” says Beezley. “The music alone inspires and seeing everyone’s different styles of movement inspires me to put moves and combinations together that all the students can relate to.”Sign up earlySome classes fill up quickly, while others will be canceled if no interest is shown in them. So if interested, sign up early. Registration is still open for most classes at Colorado Mountain College and the Savory Inn and the Yarn Studio summer schedules begin in June.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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