If you can't draw, this course is for you

Sep 04, 2002, vol. 25, no. 1
By Marianne Meadahl

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Contemporary arts student Olwyn Geeling has started a new recreation course focused on art. The course is designed for those who can't draw

When contemporary arts student Olwyn Geeling arrived to work out at the SFU gym armed with a large piece of plywood, fitness coordinator Jessie Girard had to know why.

“It was quite a conversation starter,” recalls Geeling. The plywood had to accompany students as part of a first-year art course. Her conversation with Girard about art and her background as an art teacher became the impetus for a new recreation course focused on art. The opportunity is drawing would-be artists out of offices for noon-hour sketching.

The course is designed for those who really can't draw and would like to improve, says Girard.

One group of students, faculty and staff has already spent a semester with Geeling, getting classroom instruction and capturing scenes around campus.

Due to growing interest, two more classes will begin Sept. 23 and 24, each run for eight weeks.

Geeling is a watercolor and sketch artist who has taught community classes for more than 20 years. A former silkscreen printer and window dresser, she's at SFU to get a fine arts degree. While here, she's hoping she can help potential artists and those who find art therapeutic to get a little more from the craft.

“I'm teaching the basics, like shading, tonal value, shape and depth, but my job is to help them see what they are drawing,” says Geeling, who maintains a studio and small, private gallery in Maple Ridge. “That's the most important lesson they will learn.”

Girard welcomes the opportunity to offer art as recreation. “We want to promote wellness and relaxation on campus, and it's amazing how many people are really keen about it,” she says.

For more information, contact recreation at 604-291-4142.

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