Make it yourself this new year


Old books are repurposed as hanging sculptures at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Photo by Linda Koutsky


Creativity is good for the brain. Studies show creative people are happier, less anxious, more open-minded, and better at solving problems. It’s also been proven that people aren’t born with creative genes—they’re developed.

So if you wish you had more, get working on it. Anyone can learn to draw. Just pick up the classic “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” If you do the whole book, you’ll be able to draw. But if you like to be more social with your learning, sign up for a class. Here’s a list of 12—one per month for the coming year. Have fun, learn something new, and be inspired in 2016—Happy New Year! 

— CHICAGO AVENUE FIRE ARTS CENTER: An art center dedicated to works created by heat, spark, or flame. Classes work with metal, jewelry, glass, and electronics. (3749 Chicago Ave.,

— EDINA ART CENTER: An all-around art center with classes for kids and adults in ceramics, drawing, painting, jewelry and photography. (4701 W. 64th St., Edina, 952-903-5780)

— THE HACK FACTORY: A multidisciplinary maker’s space with classes and monthly studio memberships for 3-D printing, robotics, wood, fabric, metal and more. Open houses on Wednesdays, 7–9 p.m. (3119 E. 26th St.,

— MINNEAPOLIS PHOTO CENTER: Located in a funky building near the scrapyards north of downtown, this center packs in the classes. From beginning digital to full darkroom processing to image editing software, you can learn it all here from real working professionals. (2400 N. 2nd St.,

— MINNESOTA CENTER FOR BOOK ARTS: Letterpress and screen-printing, bookbinding, papermaking, box making, decorative marbling, plus many lectures, talks, and discussion groups. Also check out their first Friday of the month happy hour workshops. (1011 S. Washington Ave.,

— THE MINNESOTA SCHOOL OF BOTANICAL ART: Learn techniques for creating drawings and paintings of flower and plants with scientific accuracy and astounding beauty all while studying in a historic setting. (The Longfellow House, 4800 Minnehaha Park Drive,

— NORTHERN CLAY CENTER: This renowned ceramic arts organization has been nurturing potters with exhibits, classes, grants and residencies. Whether throwing on a wheel or building by hand, the numerous classes offer different techniques, objects, firings, and glazings. (2424 Franklin Ave. E.,

— SILVERWOOD PARK: Nature-inspired art classes are held year-round at this Three Rivers Park crisscrossed with trails dotted with sculptures that wind through prairie grasses, oak forests, and around a lake. (2500 County Road E., St. Anthony,

— TANDY LEATHER: After taking a few simple classes to learn the basics of leathercraft, this large store carries supplies and hardware to make your own belts, purses, even jackets. Upcoming classes include a stamped belt, stamped and dyed keychain, and decorated box. (1950 W. County Road C, #100, Roseville, 651-495-9400)

— THE TEXTILE CENTER OF MINNESOTA: From spinning wool to dyeing, weaving, knitting, quilting, embroidery, and anything you can possibly make out of thread or fabric, classes here produce tactile, colorful things. (3000 University Ave. SE,

— VEBEROD GEM GALLERY: Try your hand at molding precious metal clay, soldering sterling silver, setting gemstones in prongs and bezel settings, or drilling holes in your own agates to turn them into beads at this store tucked into a stripmall near Ridgedale. (13019 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka,

— WHITE BEAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS: In addition to many drawing, painting, and clay classes, this village art center teaches felting, ice sculpting, basketry, and flower arranging. (4971 Long Ave., White Bear Lake,

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COFFEE BREAK: After a brisk walk around Silverwood Park’s grounds, pop into the visitor center for a bite at the cafe. The park’s arts theme continues right onto the plates: Francis Bacon Wrap, Impressionist Panini, Norman Rockmelt, Surrealist Salad.