White Bear Center for the Arts Has Been Connecting the Community for 50 Years

In its 50th year, White Bear Center for the Arts continues providing creative community engagement through classes and events.
Let the medium inspire you at White Bear Center for the Arts.

Are you wanting to tap into your creative side? Maybe you loved art class in school, but haven’t picked up a paint brush since? White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA) offers a variety of accessible courses for a wide variety of ages, skill levels and interest.

Whether you’re looking to start up a hobby, find a new creative outlet or strengthen your skills, taking a class can be a great first step.

“It’s all about learning methods,” says program director Danielle Cezanne. “Art is a muscle,” says Cezanne, adding that for some learners, they may be using this “muscle” for the first time.

WBCA offers classes in painting, photography, sculpture and clay, and also has courses that venture beyond the classics, including textile arts, jewelry-making, culinary arts and dance. For those looking for a boost to their creative energy, there are workshops on yoga, writing and meditation, along with the center’s walkable labyrinth, designed to promote reflection and renewal.

“There’s always something different happening here.
I think that’s what’s amazing about this place, you can participate in so many different ways, says Cezanne.

Classes are designed for specific age groups, from pre-K kids to seniors, and are also accessible to those with special needs, whether a language barrier, physical or learning disability.

With many free showcases, the center also offers a yearly membership which unlocks a full experience of events, exhibits, and discounted course offerings.

Beginning as an arts council in 1968, bringing shows and exhibitions to the area. The center started holding classes in 1999, after they acquired space in the White Bear Lake Armory. Since 2013, WBCA has been in its primary location on Long Ave.

In her 15 years as program director, Cezanne has seen the center grow immensely, with several of her colleagues having been involved since WBCA’s infancy. In additional to the local familiar faces, the center works to bring in artists from across the country for teaching and showcases.

Learning from a talented, fun teacher is a great way to get hooked on art, she says. And don’t worry too much about creating a masterpiece right away.

“Relax, have fun, be yourself!

Everyone creates something so different,” Cezanne says.

Not sure where to start? Here are some upcoming class highlights:

Drawing Plants from the Ground Up
Aug. 21 & 23: Incorporate flora and fauna into your art! With a natural science background, illustrator Vera Ming Wong shows how to capture the textures and shapes of plants and add a green thumb into any art piece.  For teen and adult students.

Prayer Beads
Aug. 29: How do you express thanks? This workshop, for ages 15 and up, promotes a mindful reflection of gratitude through jewelry-making. Learn the history of prayer beads and create a set that tells your own story.

Pocket Sketching
Sept. 21-23: Tucson artist Kath Macaulay guides this no-nonsense class focused on creating art on-the-go. Paint pen, water and paper are all you need to channel inspiration as it strikes you. This class for adults only is perfect for the new beginner to the seasoned pro.

Mindfulness and Writing
Oct. 20: Mindfulness is a practice for tapping into our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations by intentionally observing our own behavior and bodies. Led by Greta Gaard, Ph.D., this class will help you explore yourself and the natural world around you through guided mindfulness exercises. Adults only.

To view more course offerings, events, and learn how to become a WBCA member visit the center online. White Bear Center for the Arts, 4971 Long Ave. 651.407.097.