Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Free art class

Many thanks to Joanne McCabe for sharing this hot tip:

There is a free class called "Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques" currently being offered through Coursera.
It's a 7 week long MOOC and is geared for those with little art experience.   (Note:  I had to go look up MOOC.  It stands for "Massive Open Online Course" and it's a college-level class that is offered free of charge on the internet. Coursera is a site that brings together MOOCs from all different universities. I had no idea this existed.  My mind was blown.  Clearly I've been living under a rock.)
 Here's the course description from the website:
"Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques is an art appreciation course created for individuals without any artistic background. This course introduces you to various art movements, cultural influences, artistic genres, artists, and their artwork. The main emphasis of the course is to teach you hands-on studio arts techniques as you conduct personal research and explore your own creativity. While utilizing historical and contemporary art concepts, the course guides you through different time periods. Examining and discussing artwork is a crucial part of this course, encouraging you to express your opinions about art in an intelligent and articulate manner. By the conclusion of the course, you will compile a portfolio of artworks reflective of your research, understanding, creativity, and personal growth."

You can take this as a traditional 7 week class, complete with assignments, quizzes and peer review of the art you submit and you will get a certificate of completion.  Or you can simply access the course content that interests you.  Once you've signed up you have continued and free access to all of the course materials, even after the course is over.

 Lesson 2 is called "Correspondence with memory" and the format of the assignment is mail art!  How cool is that?
Lesson 3 has an assignment that starts with a B&W photo and is turned into collage with pieces of newsprint.  Joanne thought this might be a fun idea for the "Artful words" swap.  (There are pictures in the Student Art Examples tab of the course.)

I just signed up and plan to poke around the course offerings tonight.  Not sure how I will approach it, or if it will be valuable to me, but it's free and very intriguing!


  1. Wow!! Cool -- thanks for sharing, Karen. I'm signing up too.

  2. I signed up for this a couple weeks ago. I'm looking forward to it. I've started on the first week's videos.

  3. Hi fellow under-rock-dweller! I've never heard of this MOOC or Coursera thing and it looks great. I'm hot footing it over there now to have a read-up. Thank you!


  4. Never heard of it either, will have to check it out....you are not alone. xox

  5. I started this class this week, too! I am a bit intimidated by most of the first videos ... but hoping I'll catch on.

  6. Yup, I'm poking around too. I saw this months ago and completely forgot about it, so I'm glad you mentioned it. I think it will be valuable for beginners.

  7. I actually found your site here via a post in the Coursera forum for the above mentioned course. So glad I did!