B A L A N C E
It’s why our students love our classes
Encouragement – with honesty
Foremost, we encourage artists. We do this to the point where we have actually eliminated the words, mistake, correct, right & wrong, in the classroom. Encouragement, however, is not just saying good things; it is saying good things that are honest. We only speak truth when we praise, and we work with students to improve their work when they ask for help. When teachers ask questions, artists feel valued.
Freedom – with direction
Expressing yourself and choosing your own way of doing things is critical to enjoying art. If you don’t enjoy it, then you won’t continue. It’s pretty simple really, but many art courses are actually designed to be discouraging. Others are focused on making a quick picture to take home. Neither approach creates confident artists. Instead, we ask questions. You are the reason we’re here.
Long-term development – with short & sweet lessons
All of our individual lessons usually wrap up in one class, sometimes 2, but we have always believed that art training should be big-picture oriented, long-term, and all about the personal development of each artist. Most traditional art instruction has been set up as short courses. Each class teaches one thing, like drawing or watercolor. After the class, you’re on your own. Our vision, however, is to walk along side of artists and work with you; providing the real-world practical instruction that leads to awesome self-expression.
Serious training – with a fun approach
We have designed our curriculum from the ground up, using tried and true methods, but scraping things that just don’t work. Most art curriculum is filled with abstract and confusing terms and concepts. We’ve put tons of time into every single moment of class, to make sure our students can quickly grasp what they need to know. Our Founder, Dennas Davis, has worked with our teachers and our students, to refine the original lessons for 10 years, with over 1300 students. Our approach lets students express themselves, and develop their own unique style, as they discover new ideas, learn essential techniques, and gain time-saving insights. Our classes are designed to be really fun too! You’ll see that the moment you walk through the door.
We also have several programs in the Summertime, that can fill the gap or be a good starting point before joining a school-year class. See our Summer page.
What a Firstlight Art class is all about
For any art course to be effective it needs to be continued long enough for a student to learn the foundations. We have school year terms, and our 72 Foundations lessons span 2 school year terms. There are advanced levels afterwards.
Classes have a maximum of 10 – 12 students – so we can give individual attention. KidsART classes also have an assistant teacher in addition to the head teacher.
Class is once a week
NOTE: There is also a free Open Studio for all students, once per month on Saturdays. It’s an extra 30 hours for ages 9 and up and an extra 15 hours for ages 4-8.
What ages we teach
We have 6 age groups with several options for most of them.
How long each class is
1 & one-half hours.
1 hour & 45 minutes.
1 & one-half hours.
Length of Art Courses
We follow a school-year schedule from August 22 through May 26 (2016), for 36 weeks of lessons. Holidays & all breaks are accounted for. The 36 week course connects to another 36 week course each year, to create a 72-week complete training package. Once you begin, it is optimal to finish the entire 2 years one right after the other, to avoid gaps in the training. When you complete 2 years, you move up to our more advance curriculum.
Total tuition for the 2016-17 year is $1172 (about $18.50 per hour). Our payment begins with an August payment of $65 and continues with an auto-pay of $123 for 9 months with no finance fees. Registration is $30 each year. Tuition is always automatically pro-rated if you begin any time after the first class.
All supplies are included in the KidsART classes (ages 4-7). For the older classes, the supplies have an MSRP of around $235.00, but we sell them for 15% off ( $200-ish). Check the On-going Classes page for supply lists. Toons were $135 for beginner & $165 for advanced last year. (subject to change).
If you miss a class
Every student gets NINE Saturday OPEN STUDIOS for FREE – for 1.5 – 3 hours (depending on age) on the first Saturday of each month. (check our calendar)
How to know what’s happening in your art class
You can see everything that you need at our Student/Parent Home Page. There are instructions on the page for how to bookmark to your iPhone screen. We send periodic emails when you need to know something. We never send an email unless it’s important. If it’s super-important we send a text.
This is Personalized art instruction
for kids, teens and adults.
Here’s the the bottom line. If you’re an artist, you want a private art lesson. You want a mentor. Someone who will tell you the things you want to know. Private lessons, however, are not only expensive, but also leave a lot of downtime for the teacher while the student works.
In a room with only 10 students, you can have that same one-on-one connection. There is time for personalized lessons, and time for artists to work in-between the instruction. Our teachers visit each student while they work, and get to know what they’re doing. We answer the questions that lead to self expression and to greater confidence. You also get to make some friends!
Or contact Dennas, Firstlight’s director:
Our comprehensive course for beginners, intermediate, & accomplished artists who want to expand their knowledge base
Artists move up into our higher levels as they complete courses