Art at the J

Abstract & Layered Watercolor Deconstruction
Wednesdays, October 2 - 30 (skips October 9) | 10 am - 12:30 pm | $180
To learn about the instructor and to register click HERE

Instructor: Alix Christian

We will be letting go, taking risks, and trusting the process. You will be introduced to various water media (watercolor paint, water-soluble crayons and pencils, and graphite), using basic drawing techniques to push and pull your imagery and layer the content. Then, we will add collage elements, stencils, tape, and even deconstruction. You will focus on pattern, image, and color. Bring an open mind, your willingness to experiment, and items of what inspires you (photos, magazine pictures, sketchbook, memories).

Japanese Brush Lettering and Floral Image
Thursdays, October 3 - 17 | 6 - 8:30 pm | $145
To learn about the instructor and to register click HERE

Instructor: Yutaka Ai

Japanese artist, calligrapher, and tea practitioner, Yutaka Ai will take you on a creative trip into the ancient and revered art of Japanese brush lettering and floral image. She will share her cultural experience beginning with pouring organic Japanese tea and sharing traditional confections to establish an atmosphere of Zen-like, calm attentiveness. Then you will create characters with an aesthetically pleasing balance and form with brush and ink on rice paper. 

Project Runway
Wednesdays, November 6 - 20 | 10 am - 12:30 pm | $145
To learn about the instructor and to register click HERE

Instructor: Carol Gantos

Working with your own personal fashion ideas and using sketching skill development, you will learn how to get your design ideas down on paper for apparel, accessories, and costume design, expressing yourself with style. We will solidify your own inspirational research: cultivating concepts and building and enhancing your ideas. Then you will practice mastering the use of tools: using markers, pens, and black and white contrast with pops of color. This class will cover dressing and accessorizing the human figure in terms of proportion, movement, and silhouette. We will use fabrics, prints, textures, trims and details, with attention to color and layering.

Unbridled Calligraphy
Thursdays, November 7 - 21 | 6 - 8:30 pm | $145
To learn about the instructor and to register click HERE

Instructor: Alix Christian

Letters become image and script is foreground or background. We will play with the written word and the motion of writing even when it is intentionally rendered illegible. We will write with unusual utensils such as shells, sticks, and straws as well as the usual pens, pencils, and calligraphic pens and nibs. Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing, providing space for interpretation by the reader. We will be using graphite, ink, watercolor, and mixed media on paper.

Image and Word Sandwich
Wednesdays, December 4 - 18 | 10 am - 12:30 pm | $145
To learn about the instructor and to register click HERE

Instructors: Michelle Auerbach and Alix Christian

Join us as we fill our hearts and souls with images and text from daily life. We will write from images that are personal to you and then draw from our writings to create journal entries that look like finished work, capturing moments of time. Easy drawing techniques and doodling with spots of watercolor will merge with free writing and luminous words to create word art on every page.

Turn Your Vision into Reality: Children's Book Writing
Thursdays, December 5 - 19 | 6 - 8:30 pm | $145
To learn about the instructor and to register click HERE

Instructor: Carol Gantos

In this class you will explore your personal ideas for a children’s book. If you have the words and images, you are ready to begin putting the story on the page. We’ll begin to solidify your concept and watch your ideas and images come together. We will sketch, imagine, and learn exciting new tools as we bring the story to life. Then we will print out our finished stories and staple, bind, or stitch them into book form.


Artist Biographies

Alix Christian earned her BFA at Pacific NW College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and her MFA at West Texas A&M University. Her work has been exhibited as far south as Texas and New Mexico, north from Minnesota to Michigan, and across the Atlantic in Assisi, Italy. Alix was a professor of Fine Art and Computer Graphics at Amarillo College until she moved to Colorado in 2010. Alix brings her graphic images and love of type to her creative art journaling and large scale water medium paintings along with encaustic art (using pigmented beeswax, tree resin and fire). See Alix's work at

Carol Gantos studied at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in Apparel and Accessory Design. She designed for Banana Republic, Halston, Randolph Duke, and Lilly Pulitzer. She also studied abroad at ESMOD in Paris, specializing in fashion design portfolio development. Integrating her own method and style, she loves seeing students thrive when they’re given the right tools, taught technique, find inspiration, and given the space to explore their own possibilities.

Michelle Auerbach is a writer of novels, essays, poems, and articles. She has an MFA in prose writing and has taught creative writing to everyone from elementary students to people in their 90s. She has published two novels and has two forthcoming. Her work can be found at or in the New York Times, the London Guardian, and in her journals, which she has kept since she was nine years old. 

Alice Messinger grew up in Westchester, New York. She spent three years at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and transferred to New York's Parsons School of Design to complete her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and Art History. After several years in design and marketing consulting, she attended Bank Street College in New York and received a Master's in Education. To this day, Alice continues to practice both her teaching and artistic skills in different settings. She is a studio artist, teacher, curator, and collector.

Born and raised in Japan, Yutaka Ai moved around to several cities including Yokohama, Tokyo, and Nagasaki which instilled a unique insight into her native culture. Her influence growing up was her grandfather who was a calligraphy master in Japan. Each stroke in Japanese calligraphy is important and meaningful. He also introduced her to Japanese tea ceremonies. Her grandmother was an Ikebana flower arrangement teacher. Calligraphy is an important part of the Japanese tea ceremony. Japanese art’s goal is to find beauty in blank space, it’s not about filling up the empty space, rather to create a beautiful empty space using a few selected strokes or subtle colors. Yutaka left Japan when she was 18 for the United States to attend college. Meditation and inner peace are the foundation of her contemporary Japanese art. She has exhibited her work in galleries in Colorado and California.