Getting involved in the arts this summer

Learn to screen print, fuse glass, write poetry, develop sitcoms or teach kids to do these things too.

Mark Brenden

Here in the Midwest, summer is all about making a buck. ItâÄôs about the high sun ripping up your tired back and sweating it out until break time âÄî all for a paycheck that ends up in the hands of bartenders, the University of Minnesota and your debt-collecting parents. Here at A&E, we feel that the three months of sun should also be a training period for your creative psyche. If your idea of a second summer job is honing your artistic craft and broadening your creative horizons, A&E has your go-gettinâÄô ambitions covered with a list of ways to put your right brain to work this summer. Art Use the summerâÄôs solstice from school as an opportunity to learn a new skill. Art isnâÄôt just putting pen to paper, sometimes it involves mastering complex media and materials. There is an abundance of summer art classes in our cities that will get you started. Screen printing is a rising art form in the Twin Cities, with a booming poster making and T-shirt printing scene. Why not try your hand at it this summer? âÄú[A lot of people] struggle to find the link between art and life,âÄù said screen printing extraordinaire Andy McInnis. âÄúThatâÄôs why art is the first subject in schools to receive funding cuts âÄî it hasnâÄôt proven itself as a sustainable living. I think screen printing is a way to connect the dots.âÄù If screen printing is not your bag, there are plenty of other ways to connect those dots. If these options arenâÄôt what youâÄôre looking for, check out mnartists.org for more opportunities. Screen Printing: On the Cheap What: Free T-shirt printing class Who: Andy McInnis When: May 20 Where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S. Local artist Andy McInnis is doing his part to turn every willing Minneapolitan into a regular Andy Warhol. No, he is not petitioning for city-wide asexuality. Rather he is, as the clever project name suggests, going to spread the knowledge of screen printing to the city for an affordable price. In addition to writing an informative book on how to set up a screen printing shop in your apartment for a modest budget (again titled âÄúScreen Printing: On the CheapâÄù) McInnis âÄî an âÄô07 grad of the UniversityâÄôs B.F.A. program âÄî has set up reasonably-priced screen printing classes around the city. They include a freebie T-shirt class at the M.I.A. May 20 and an on-site screen printing booth at Art-A-Whirl. âÄúWhatâÄôs unique about screen printing is the immediacy of it,âÄù McInnis said. âÄúWhat turned me on to it was that I could take any stupid idea floating around in my head and instantly put it on anything. You can literally screen print onto anything.âÄù Highpoint Center for Printmaking The place that calls itself the center for printmaking offers myriad screen printing seminars and summer camps for adults. Their clean, minimalistic studio also features an environmentally sound rain garden to recycle their chemical waste. If youâÄôre not satisfied with their selection, they also offer class propositions. For beginner classes and adult summer camps check out www.highpointprintmaking.org. Articulture This punny art facility has plenty going on this summer âÄî they even have art classes for young sprouts between the 12-24 months range. Of course, you arenâÄôt two years old, so perhaps youâÄôll be more interested in their fused glass or jewelry-making classes. Volunteer opportunities also abound. Sign up at www.articulture.org. Writing Loft Literary Center If literature is more your cup oâÄô tea, the Loft, the illustrious literary shelter of Minneapolis, is here to steep you âÄî and teach you. The lit sanctuary houses stimulating classes for all types of genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting and more. These classes are taught by working writers who are not there to hand out grades. As college students, we qualify for the LoftâÄôs adult class sessions. This means that you could have the rare opportunity to share your post-modern poems with folks from the prehistoric age. Loft Associate Education Director Kelly Ceynowa said the adult classes range from ages 18 to 94. âÄúThe classes are really committed to meeting people together wherever they are on their writings journeys,âÄù Ceynowa said. One notable poetry class is called âÄúCreating Your Own Chapbook,âÄù taught by lyrical local poet Linda Back McKay. About her poetry, McKay has said, âÄúI write the way I ride a motorcycle âÄî into the fear and through to the other side.âÄù Heavy metal thunder! As members of the age of the sitcom, experienced Hollywood screenwriter GiGi NewâÄôs one-day course âÄúHow to Write a Television Sitcom PilotâÄù should be of interest. New will teach you how to develop characters and structure scenes both in the one-camera (âÄúThe OfficeâÄù) and two-camera (âÄúTwo and a Half MenâÄù) formats. Volunteer Soap Factory The old broken down warehouse of art in St. Anthony has some of the best summer volunteer programs around. In addition to having an instrumental hand in keeping the warehouse afloat, volunteers acquire the optional use of free studio space in the upper floors of the gallery. www.soapfactory.org. Art Buddies Art Buddies is a program that zooms in on the creative service spectrum, pairing volunteers up with one child and letting them riff artistically. The grand payoff? You and your lilâÄô art buddy get to march in a parade of other inter-generational art duos. Check out www.artbuddies.org to sign up.