The Roundup -

Art Classes At Sidney-Richland County Library!


My name is Ted Tsiongas. I’ve moved to Sidney as part of the Americorps program, which is a national service agency designed to find staff from all across the country for local community initiatives in places where they would otherwise go unfilled. I’m serving at the Sidney-Richland County Library as part of the local Lifelong Learning action group, which is one of a number of Sidney action groups based out of the Health Department, and I’m serving under a grant for community health. The objective of the Lifelong Learning action group is to increase and improve community access to public education - for adults as well as for children. And as far as my personal commitment to the program, I just want to share whatever parts of myself can be useful to people in the community. For example, I’m fluent in Spanish, so I’ve been giving back by teaching classes in English as a Second Language. And, since I went to school for art, I’m pleased to be offering a series of free classes in visual art this summer at the library.

If you remembered that I’m working under a public health grant, you might be wondering how visual art has anything to do with public health. The answer is - more than you’d think! More than one study has suggested a link between the study of art and a measurable improvement in mental health.

In one study, published by the American Journal of Public Health in February 2010, two university researchers evaluated the emotional wellness of patients with cancer and other chronic diseases before and after they participated in a series of educational programs in multiple kinds of art, including visual art, music, and writing. Their study suggested an improvement in the patients’ emotional states; they reported less pain, were able to sleep more soundly, had less fear of the unknown and of their illness, and were able to focus on positive experiences more easily than they had been before.

Another study, published in 2013 by the University of Maryland and using data from a study on adolescent health by the University of North Carolina under a government health grant, evaluated the social behavior of children and adults in light of their engagement with art education. School-aged children who participated in art education showed lower rates for delinquency and increased pro-social behavior. Meanwhile, adults who had participated in art programming during their adolescent education demonstrated improved emotional intelligence and lower rates of drug and alcohol use.

So, in the spirit of art’s positive impact on public health, I’m going to offer free art technique classes once a week during the library’s Summer Reading program - no payment or registration necessary, supplies provided. On June 12, I’ll start with a class on Drawing from Observation - that is, learning to draw something from life, as you see it, beginning with still lifes. On June 21, I’ll move on to figure drawing - learning to draw human poses from observation quickly and accurately. On June 26, I’ll run a class on charcoal, and discuss how to use it and different shades of pencil to convey light and dark; on July 13, I’ll be incorporating charcoal into drawing from observation, and using it to draw still lifes and figures.

On July 17, I’ll be doing a class on photography. Not just with a fancy camera! I’ll be covering photography techniques, like lighting and composition that will help you take pictures even on a smartphone. And following that, on July 27, I’ll do a tech demo for Photoshop, which will help cover how to make your pictures look better even if they didn’t look good when you took them.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] Thank you!

Class Schedule: All classes begin at 12 p.m. at Sidney-Richland County Library. Tuesday, June 12: Drawing from Observation; Thursday, June 21: Figure Drawing; Tuesday, June 26: Learning Charcoal; Friday, July 13: Charcoal Drawing from Life; Tuesday, July 17: Photography; Friday, July 27: Photo Editing.


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