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You don’t have to be the next Van Gogh to be creative, nor do you need to have excess free time on your hands.
If you’re a college student with deadlines, assignments and midterms to worry about, this may be hard to believe — especially if art isn’t your thing.
If you’re afraid you aren’t capable of painting, pottery, jewelry, getting lost in museums or taking a surfboard-shaping class just for kicks, don’t worry. There’s a creative outlet for everyone, journalism and art and design junior Emily Detweiler said.
“Everyone can express themselves,” Detweiler said. “I think anyone can be creative. You just have to set your mind to it.”
San Luis Obispo offers several options for busy college students aiming to unleash their inner Picasso.
1. The Craft Center at Cal Poly
If you haven’t already noticed the hum of shaping tools and spin of pottery wheels in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU), take a moment to wander through the Craft Center, located on the UU’s first floor across from Yogurt Creations.
The Craft Center offers lessons on crafting bowls, jewelry, stained glass and, of course, your own surfboard.
“It’s really fun being able to create your own toys,” Wyatt Levy, surfboard-shaping instructor and materials engineering senior, said. “You can experiment and really dial in different feelings you’re looking for.”
To register for a class at the Craft Center, go to www.asi.calpoly.edu/craft_center.
2. SLO MakerSpace
Similar to the Craft Center, SLO MakerSpace offers a variety of classes to help its students express themselves, from sewing to woodshop to vinyl and stencil cutting. The community aspect that revolves around MakerSpace makes its artists feel welcome, no matter what medium they want to work with.
To see a calendar of events and classes, go to www.slomakerspace.com.
3. The Art Bar
The Art Bar at the Granada Hotel and Bistro in downtown San Luis Obispo offers a sophisticated setting, complete with wine, music and professional artists.
For everyone from aspiring artists to those who just want to relax and paint, the Art Bar offers step-by-step painting classes taught by local artists.
To sign up, go to www.artbarslo.com/calendar for a list of events. Each workshop is $40.
4. Art After Dark
Art After Dark is an event put on by ArtsObispo, the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, on the first Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m.
More than 20 different San Luis Obispo galleries and unconventional art exhibits open their doors to the public to showcase local up-and-coming artists. Observers are free to wander the galleries and get inspiration for their own brand of creativity, free of charge.
For more information on showcased artists and getting involved with Art After Dark, go to sloartscouncil.org/art-after-dark.
5. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
Not sure what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon when your inner artist is just begging you to think like Matisse? Relieve your left brain at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, located on 1010 Broad St.
Wander through exhibits by contemporary California artists and get lost in the brush strokes and oil paints of each exhibit. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
6. Anam-Cre Pottery Studio
Mother’s Day is almost here, and what better way to show her some love than with a handmade bowl? Anam-Cre Pottery Studio offers artists of all skill levels the chance to learn and refine their pottery skills.
Classes occur daily and cost $25 per person. Head over to anamcre.com/sessions.html to see a schedule of classes and opportunities to get your hands dirty on the spinning wheels with some clay.
7. Naturally Jennifer’s Beads and Gallery
If painting and sculpting don’t sound appealing, Naturally Jennifer’s offers jewelry making. The full-service bead shop and gallery also offers classes to anyone looking to add a little sparkle to their life.
Classes for stringing, leather-beaded bracelet-making, daisy chains and even tie dye are offered at Naturally Jennifer’s, located on 2322 Broad St. in San Luis Obispo.
To sign up for a class, go to http://naturallyjennifer.com/classes.php.
Craft Center jewelry and casting instructor and biological sciences graduate student Talia Head emphasized the importance of taking a class to be creative.
“I think it’s really nice to take a class once a week that’s creative and not high stress,” Head said. “That type of class lets you do what you want.”