Get inspired with art classes for adults

By Char Avrunin | Apr 10, 2014
Painting class, front row, l-r: Carolyn Pilgrim, Evelyn Buchanan, Joe Honing; back row, l-r: Larry Mountcastle, Doug Sisk, Martha Tracey, Louise Hudson, Bill Douglas, Elizabeth Cagle and Kathy Johnson.

"No, really," she said. "I really can't draw a stick figure. I'm not kidding!"

I looked at her, unbelieving.

"You don't believe me, but I'm telling the truth. My drawing skills are non-existent!"

Hmm, I thought. This will be a challenge. I like to say I can teach anyone to draw. Can I teach her? This was Kathy Johnson, seven years ago. Since that time, Kathy has taken all three levels of drawing and all three of painting. It didn't take her seven years, either. She's been painting beautiful paintings for years.

The Inspired Art Ministry, Inc. (IAM) offers art classes for adults, for beginners to advanced painters. Professional artists come, too, to paint in the uplifting atmosphere and many times, review what they already know. Instructor Char Avrunin uses the Protique (tm) method, which performs reviews (critiques) in a non-threatening, positive process that so encourages the students that even beginners want to put up their work.

"When I came to the mountains seven years ago, I never dreamed taking a drawing class would lead to the most consistent thing in my life and help me through some difficult times, including severe illness," said Kathy. "Art has really been there for me. Other than the relationships with my children, it has been my greatest accomplishment since moving to Waynesville. It has changed my life and given me another dimension to enjoy. My work is framed and hanging in my home — the stumbling beginnings of drawing through the good recent paintings. I'm as proud of the first drawing as I am the best painting. I created it!

"I would encourage others who are sitting on the fence, feeling inadequate, to sign up for a drawing class," said Kathy. "You will be welcomed into a positive, encouraging and non-threatening atmosphere of like-minded folks. The Protiques (tm) are so encouraging; even if you're already proud of your 'little baby,' after you put it up, you'll learn how it could be even better! The instructor or another student may see what I don't. If you want to be surrounded by happiness, pleasantries and positives, come to an IAM art class!"

Classes are held in the Ministry Activities Center building of the First Baptist Church, 100 Main St., Waynesville. Drawing classes are Mondays, 1 to 4 p.m., and painting classes are Tuesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Terms run for six weeks at $55 per term or $10 per class on a pay-as-you-go basis. Call Char at 456-9197 or email Visit to see more about the classes and/or sign up and pay through PayPal to reserve your spot.

IAM also offers: An annual art show/fundraiser; art library with how-to books and materials for student check-out; field trips to museums, galleries, and working artists' studios; a Christmas party and discounts at Mountain Home Collection and The Village Framer.

The Inspired Art Ministry, Inc. is a non-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible and used for scholarships and/or other student needs. All income is tithed to First Baptist Church in appreciation for their support and use of the facilities.