Artistic Resolutions for 2018

Resolve to unleash your inner creative this year with an art class
Dig into a new creative outlet in 2018—like pottery.

Everyone is an artist—at least according to Joseph Beuys. The influential midcentury German artist and theorist made a name for himself by challenging the very idea of what art could be. While not everyone is cut out to be an internationally recognized firebrand and academic agitator, surely there is some truth in Beuys' assertion.

And what better time than now, at the beginning of a new year, to explore new modes of creative expression? Silicon Valley is brimming with learning opportunities for aspiring artists. From downtown San Jose's DIY workspace, the School of Visual Philosophy, to the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, there are many places to hone one's craft.

As all fans of Patrick Swayze know, sitting at the pottery wheel can be an exhilarating experience. But shaping a wet mound of clay into a vase or bowl is rewarding even without a tender, supernatural caress. Cupertino-based Trudi Burney teaches beginner and intermediate courses for kids and adults at the Wilson Park Ceramics Center. Hers is just one of many private and public programs listed on the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild's website: Here, you will also find links to courses at local community colleges and community centers in the South Bay.

Painting and drinking have always gone together. For those looking to socialize, sip and put a paintbrush to canvas, there are many options in the region. Bottle and Bottega has two Silicon Valley locations—in Redwood City and Campbell. They will provide the pinot, the pigment and a little bit of instruction. The San Jose Museum of Art also hosts regular Paint Nites and the Local Color artist collective in downtown San Jose sometimes invites the community to come in and paint on its walls.

We at Metro know all too well the suffocating affliction that is writer's block. But we are also familiar with the satisfaction that comes from breaking through. There's nothing quite like the feeling of the perfect sentence finally spilling out onto the page. Shut Up & Write hosts free weekly writing workshops all over the country, and the San Francisco and Silicon Valley chapters have nearly 6,000 members between them. Whether the project is a novel, screenplay, memoir or textbook, there are local wordsmiths willing to help. Check them out at

Some artists express themselves by conjuring images on canvas or scrawling words on paper. Others form beautiful objects out of formerly inert blocks of metal, wood, clay or stone. And then there are those who use their own bodies and the space around them to tell a story—painting a picture with movement. There are many organizations that can help aspiring dancers learn how to cut a rug. Alberto's Salsa Studio in Mountain View is a great place to learn some Latin steps, the San Jose-based Dance Boulevard offers beginner and intermediate classes as well as group and private lessons and The New Ballet School, also based in San Jose, offers lessons and places its dancers in live productions.

Ever wonder why anyone would spend an entire weekend bent over in the dirt—plucking weeds and pruning back thorny brambles? Well, because gardening is an incredibly rewarding activity. From learning the names of all the plants to sitting back at the end of a long day to admire a job well done, maintaining a garden is fulfilling. The folks at Yamagami's Garden Center in Cupertino understand this, and they want to help you develop your latent green thumb. Grab a few friends and join the gardening workshops held by Tammy Mackenzie where members can build their own fairy gardens, terrariums and get insight on creating a small garden box with vegetables and herbs.

Satvir Saini contributed to this story.

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