The Reach Gallery Museum is offering series of virtual classes this fall, including two on bookmaking and binding led by artist and bookmaker Ember Munnin. (Submitted photo)

Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford offers virtual classes

Sessions begin in October and include art classes and book club

The Reach Gallery Museum is offering a range of virtual programs for all ages this fall, starting Oct. 4.

The courses offer a different experience than the average virtual how-to video. Taught by local professional artists, many of the classes are also designed to help students connect with classmates.

“We know that as the weather gets cooler, people will be spending more time indoors and looking for meaningful ways to stay engaged while remaining socially distant,” says Diana Hiebert, The Reach’s curator of learning and community engagement.

“That’s why we’ve collaborated with local artists to put together an exciting roster of creative virtual classes that will appeal to adults and children alike.”

RELATED: The Reach seeks submissions related to COVID-19 pandemic

The programs include Sunday Family Arts with a virtual twist on Oct. 4 and 18; Nov. 1, 15 and 29; and Dec. 13.

Local artist Austin Kwidzinski leads fun craft sessions that can be streamed from Facebook Live. The projects are often based on current exhibitions, holidays, and other timely themes.

Details of the free classes will be posted at least a week before each class date. Classes start at 1:30 p.m. and last no longer than 30 minutes. These live virtual events will also be recorded and available for viewing afterwards.

Also offered is a virtual drawing course, Expressive Speed Drawing for Beginner and Intermediate Learners, on Oct. 19, 22, 26 and 29 and Nov. 9, 12, 16 and 19 from 7 to 8 p.m.

The class will teach artists of all ages a range of ways to use everyday materials to build skill and creative confidence through drawing.

Artist and course facilitator Sidi Chen believes that drawing is a unique way of expressing experiences of the world, and speed drawing is a fundamental part of nurturing artistic skills and minds.

Participants will come out of the course with pages of sketches and four finished drawings, including a landscape, a portrait, a still life, and an interior.

The cost for the eight-session course is $120 ($10 off for those who register with a friend).

Also offered this fall are two virtual bookmaking and binding workshops led by local artist and bookmaker Ember Munnin.

Story-Bound Book: Learn the Blanket Stitch takes place Oct. 6, and Story-Bound Book: Learn the Long Stitch is held Oct. 20, both from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Munnin will guide participants through the process of developing their own narrative that can be reflected in the pages of the book as well as in the binding technique.

Students will come out of each of the two-hour classes with three books: an instant book, a chapbook, and either a blanket stitch-bound book or long stitch-bound book.

The cost is $85 per class. The classes are geared toward adults aged 16 and up who are beginners to bookmaking.

Also being offered by The Reach is the Virtual Book Club on Oct. 7 and 21, Nov. 4 and 18, and Dec. 2 and 16.

Participants will discuss the book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell and share their thoughts in this discussion group facilitated by UFV professor and practising artist Aimée Henny Brown.

These informal discussions will consider the current experience of being “isolated in place” and will challenge/explore ideas of productivity, objects, and labour. The group is free for adults 16 years and up. Registration is required.

Visit thereach.ca to register or for more information on any of the classes.

RELATED: Three exhibits at The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford are open again

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