Mesa Arts Center opens multidisciplinary studio complex - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa Arts Center opens multidisciplinary studio complex

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Posted: Friday, September 16, 2005 10:03 pm | Updated: 7:31 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Art Studios building at the Mesa Arts Center is home to 14 visual and performing arts studios. Each offers a comprehensive program of community arts education classes, workshops and lectures.

About 230 classes were offered this summer for youth and adults, at all skill levels, and more than 750 classes will be available in the fall and winter/spring sessions.


Administrative offices and conference rooms


- Visual Art Studios Metals and Jewelry Studio

Learn the basic art and craft of metal work or explore new techniques with other artists. Classes include jewelry making, casting, rock cutting and polishing. Special topic classes are also offered each session, such as making cocktail rings, hollow form jewelry, chains and lockets. The equipment inventory includes a variety of forming stakes, shears, finishing machines, vacuum and centrifugal casters, vulcanizing and wax injectors, rolling mills and hydraulic presses.

- Lapidary Studio

Students can learn how to cut and polish precious stones in this workshop. Shape stones with saws and grinders and make precise cuts with faceting machines. Also learn to use kilns for enameling and working with precious metal clay.

- Welding/Sculpture Studio

Learn more about metals, welding techniques and create work that explores human-made forms and the natural world in this studio. Classes include basic sculpture, cold and hot metal fabrication, welding and stone carving. Welding equipment includes MIG, TIG, oxy-acetylene and a plasma arc cutter. There are shears and b ending equipment for cold steel fabrication and compressed air-powered tools and hand tools for stone carving. Plans to add foundry equipment and a blacksmithing forge are in the works.

- Photography Studio

A full-service facility will cater to novice, intermediate, and professional photographers. Classes will introduce and elaborate on black/white and color photography with an emphasis on camera operation and darkroom skills. Using multiple enlargers, students will produce their own high quality prints and participate in artistic critiques.

- Performing Art Studios

- Music Studio

Take beginning or advanced guitar classes, general music, preschool music, private and group vocal classes in a great acoustic space. The studio will host workshops by visiting performing artists as well as in-house and local artists.

- Drama Studio

A large room with carpeted floor will house various creative and dramatic classes and serve as the main studio for the annual Creative Zone Actor’s workshop for kids ages 12 to 16.

- Acting Studio

Learn the arts of acting, drama, improvisation, camera work, directing, movement, stage combat and playwriting in this space. Off the Cuff, an improvisation troupe, and Ballet Folklórico, a traditional Mexican dance troupe, will also rehearse here. Students can audition to join either troupe in the fall

- Dance Studio

A spacious room with hardwood floors will house various dance classes like choreography, creative movement, ballet, jazz and modern styles. Off Center Dance, a modern troupe, will rehearse in the studio. Students can audition to join the troupe in the fall.


- Drawing and Painting Studio

A multi-purpose visual-arts space where students can paint in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. A range of classes are taught in the studio, from children’s drawing and painting classes to adult figure drawing and painting classes. The approximately 1,100-square-foot space accommodates 15 easels or 15 adjustable drawing or painting tables, which are lit by natural, fluorescent and incandescent track lighting.

- Printmaking Studio

Explore a variety of printmaking processes in a space adjacent to the courtyard. Classes include single and multiple plate monoprinting, monoscreen printing, relief and intaglio-type printmaking. Students can make prints on the variable speed intaglio press or on the original hand-operated intaglio press. Mono-screen prints will be possible to print on specially designed tables and a custom power, washout room. Silkscreen printing will also be taught and prints will be made on a specially designed press.

- Multi-purpose rooms

These two studio spaces, separated by a retractable wall, will be used for various creative and visual arts classes which include drawing and painting, storybook art, Japanimation basics and mixed-media painting. The Creative Tots Program for children ages 3 to 5 will host most of their classes in this space.

- Glass Studio

Learn how to make stained glass, marbles, sculptural objects, glass beads and other jewelry or how to fuse glass into other objects like bowls, pendants or pins in the 1,200-square-foot workshop. Students will get to use torches, cold working (water fed) machinery, glory hole and crucible kilns, a sandblast cabinet, a separate kiln room with three floor models and two countertop kilns.

- Ceramics Studio

Create mugs, bowls, vases, teapots or bottles on the potters wheel or by hand, then finish your work using a variety of glaze and firing techniques. The 8,000-square-foot studio houses 30 potters wheels, 13 different types of kilns, three slab rollers, an extruder, two clay mixers, a pug mill and student lockers. The ceramics sculpture studio offers a more intimate environment for life sculpture and kids ceramics and multimedia classes.

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