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Sound Bites - Issue #64 - December 2018 - #304

On the Cover
Arlene Weinstock's Road to Becoming an Art Instructor

Award-winning Colored Pencil Techniques instructor Arlene Weinstock

"Night Harbor" by Arlene Weinstock

A colored pencil work by Bebe Stoddard, a former student of Arlene Weinstock

Arlene Weinstock knew what she wanted to be in the 7th grade – an art teacher – but it took her 30 years to fulfill that ambition. Weinstock, an award-winning artist who has taught Colored Pencil Techniques at SMC Community Ed for eight years, took a circuitous route to the classroom.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Weinstock pursued art by earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University. But upon graduation, she was unable to find work as an art teacher and embarked on a three-decades career in corporate America – in sales, marketing, design, product development and IT. Eventually, she learned programming for creating websites and started her own business. All the while she was creating art on the side.

In the early 1990s, she took Colored Pencil classes and has specialized in that medium, as well as mixed media, since then.

She earned Signature and experimental Signature honors from the Colored Pencil Society of America. She shows her work locally and has been juried into national and international art exhibitions. Her piece February is published in "The Best of Colored Pencil 4" and January Dusk is published in "Colored Pencil Signature." Known for her colored pencil landscapes, she is also an accomplished pet portraitist and photographer.

What do you like about teaching Colored Pencil Techniques at SMC Community Education?

I am energized by the students. Adults who come to art class are enthusiastic and want to learn. Each person comes with a unique level of experience and innate skill. I get to see colored pencil beginners get more comfortable with the medium and begin to create work using their newly developed skills. This allows me to work individually to help each student discover his or her direction. Continuing students are welcome to return to the class and work on projects of their own choosing. I provide individual guidance for these students as they work to create finished art.

What kinds of students do you get at SMC Community Ed?

My students have ranged in age from 18 to 93. I've learned that these adult students are interested in learning how to make artwork, not just have a good time playing with art materials. By teaching techniques for using the colored pencils, my focus is on developing skills with the medium, not on creating finished artwork – the students do that on their own at home. This leaves lots of room for experimenting and making mistakes (the only way to learn anything is to make mistakes). As adults we get in the habit of trying to get things right, but watching a student push through the need to get things right and just try (make a mess, do it wrong) is great fun for me.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Really this is too hard to answer. Here are a few:

  • Leonardo for breaking all the rules and showing how to paint what he really saw
  • Turner, especially his later works
  • Manet for his sense of design
  • Monet for his willingness to push through to get to the pure color in his sight
  • Van Gogh, Bernard, Villiard and other Post-Impressionists
  • Hopper for the quiet emotionality (and composition, color and draftsmanship)
  • Rothko for his color, of course.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

A day without a disaster. 

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

 A friend once said of me that I drive like I'm trying to get to where I'm going.  

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

The intense color of a tree with yellow leaves against a blue sky

What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

 I did the AIDS Ride two years in a row. It changed my life.

 What books are on your nightstand? 

 Here are some recent reads I really enjoyed:
 "Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind" by Harari
 "The Judgement of Paris" by Ross King
 "The Marriage of Opposites" by Alice Hoffman

Is there anything you would like to add?

My classes are serious investigations into how to make art. An introduction into color theory is part of the class. Students also experience how to look at artwork and make judgments about what works and what doesn't. We have fun and we do serious work. It is best to have some drawing experience before taking the class. 

Arlene Weinstock will teach Colored Pencil Techniques in the Winter and Spring semesters.

What's New
No Time for Those Post-Holiday Blues!

Alice Meyering

Instructor Barbara Rain of our highly successful Sewing program

Plateau Point by Catalina Munozmejia, winner 2018 Photo Contest

from the desk of Alice Meyering

Now that we are deep into the holidays, I want to wish you all much joy and happiness this season. I also want to say that while I am enjoying the holidays, I am also excited about the New Year with our plans for 2019, including our two annual signature events – the Open House and the Student Photography Contest.

But first, a word about our Spring 2019 semester. You can register now for both our Winter and Spring sessions, both of which have a robust offering of a wide range of eclectic courses for personal enrichment and professional development. Please browse our website to see all the rich offerings of the first half of 2019.

I want to highlight some of the new classes we will be offering in spring:

  • Our Zipper Intensive and Collar Sewing Boot Camp are an extension of our successful Sewing program, launched a year ago, as well as fitting into our crafts classes for those who simply love sewing and want to upgrade their skills.
  • Adobe Lightroom – The Essentials on Mac, which combines hands-on training with instructor assistance and teaches students how to create a catalog, import images, and organize and enhance digital images using Lightroom.
  • Integrative Art Workshop, where students will explore the arts organically through various media, including painting, visual journals, mixed media, and writing.
  • Our Annual Open House is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Bundy Campus, Room 123, 3171 S. Bundy Ave., and will include 15 percent discounts on all spring classes for those who register that day, as well as information tables manned by instructors and mini-presentations on various spring courses. One of the mini-presentations will be by Barry Brennen, who launched our highly successful Commercial Drone Pilot Training program in the fall (the course was our No. 1 revenue generator for 2018).

Our 2018 Open House had record attendance, enrollments and tuition receipts, all of which we hope to exceed in 2019. Stay tuned for details, not only here but also in emails!

And then, my favorite event of the year is the Annual Student Photo Contest, which we will launch in early 2019. I'm so pleased that the 2018 contest – judging for which goes through two stages, the last being a public vote – garnered 918 votes, the most ever. But this year, I want to get at least 1,000 votes and I am looking at YOU to help me make that happen. Again, stay tuned for more information!

Last but not least, our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with lifelong learning, professional development and grand success in all endeavors!

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our classes. You can email us at or call us at (310) 434-3400 (option #2).

Behind the Scenes:
Holiday Fun & A Letter from Italy!

Italian instructor Silvia Masera (front) with students

Italian 2 students enjoyed a festive – but educational – last day of class recently

Student Maria Molloy's White Elephant gift – a box of Italian Torrone candy

Italian instructor Silvia Masera sure knows how to bring food, culture and fun into the classroom.

A good example of this is what happened the last day of the fall semester Italian 2 class. The students held a White Elephant gift exchange with a twist in which students had to guess what the gift was based on sentences they wrote on the board in Italian.

Students also listened to a song and had to fill in missing words. Then they translated the song and sang it together.

Not surprisingly, Masera said all her students plan to enroll in the newly offered Italian for Continuing Students beginning Jan. 8.

POSTSCRIPT: A Letter from Silvia Masera from Italy, dated Dec. 13, 2018

I'm visiting relatives in a very beautiful and historic town called Bergamo which is located about 25 miles northeast of Milan, in the Lombardy region. It has an international airport that connects all the major European cities. Its older upper district, called uptown, Citta' Alta, is characterized by cobblestone streets, surrounded by Venetian walls dating back to 500 A.D., and it is accessible by funicular and by city buses. Here you will see the Romanesque Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the grand Cappella Colleoni, a chapel with 18th-century frescos by Tiepolo. The uptown is all lit with special lights that are seen even from far away.

Citta' Alta is one of the most livable cities in Italy. Bergamo is also well known for the most beautiful Alps where Italian world champion winter Olympics women skiers are from, and the local organic cuisine which represents the entire area. The typical and traditional dishes are casoncelli, homemade fresh pasta in the shape of a candy wrap filled with fresh meat; polenta; as well as meat, poultry, cold cuts, cheese, marmalades, jams and really good local red wine, all farm fresh raised or grown.

Christmas time is very special to the Bergamaschi (the people from Bergamo) especially today, Dec. 13, because it is Saint Lucia Day. It is also celebrated in Sicily and Scandinavian countries, and on this day parents and schools give sweets and small presents that "Saint Lucia" brings to them at the opening of the Christmas festivities. The whole town is smiling, greeting one another. You can hear Christmas music in the streets, and the kids go to the main church in Via XX Settembre, where Saint Lucia is buried, to thank her for her generosity.

To experience a slice of the dolce vita, enroll in any one of our Italian courses that suits your need.

Reflections of a Successful 2018

Michelle KingMichelle King, Director Career & Contract Ed.

Our new Commercial Drone Pilot program was a big success in 2018

Rachel Flores and Bill Waiste had a trip of a lifetime to Paris

A happy holiday season to all!

Happy holiday season to all and wishes for a joyous new year! As we come to the end of another year, I find myself reflecting on the 2018 accomplishments and highlights of SMC Community Ed. I'm proud of the many achievements we've made this year and I anticipate with eagerness what we plan to accomplish in 2019 - all with an eye on doing our best to serve the lifelong learning needs of our community members, whether on a personal or professional level.

Among the highlights of 2018:

  • The launch of our Sewing program, which has been a successful addition to our professional development program. For the Winter 2019 term we will be offering Fashion Tech Pack I, and in Spring 2019, we will be adding new and specialized courses, Zipper Intensive and Collar Sewing Boot Camp.
  • We offered new classes in our Photo program, including Adobe Photoshop for Photography - MAC and Advanced Digital Photographic Printing Workshop - MAC.  In Spring 2019 we will offer, for the first time, Adobe Lightroom – The Essentials on Mac.
  • We launched the highly successful Commercial Drone Pilot Training program, which was highly successful in attracting many new community members to Community Education/SMC Extension.
  • We had a successful year with our Entrepreneurship & Business Development Series, which offered small business owners the tools necessary to launch and grow a business from conception to start-up and beyond.

And on an unexpected and delightful note, we helped a local Santa Monica small business through pure serendipity. SMC Community Ed reported in the August 2018 Sound Bites issue the story of how our French instructor helped a Santa Monica mom-and-pop confection business prepare for the trip of a lifetime to Paris. (It's worth reading the article – trust me!)

Again, my wishes for a grand holiday season and happy New Year to our wonderful community of enthusiastic lifelong learners!

Warm regards,

Michelle King
Director of Career &
Contract Education

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