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Have You Heard about the Kirkland Art Center? (Utica Blog)

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Kirkland Art Center, Utica, NY: Winter Enrollment and Upcoming Events

Kirkland Art Center Makes Strides

The Kirkland Art Center. Photo by Amanda TaylorThe Kirkland Art Center (KAC) has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the second floor of the Kirkland town library. Started in December of 1960 by artist Howard Cheney with the goal of providing art education beyond what was offered in the local schools, the KAC has become a preferred center for arts education in the Mohawk Valley. With its fine sense of community and exceptional teachers, the KAC prepares for the New Year with new events and classes for adults and children.

This month marks the beginning of the winter class sessions, with over forty classes available. For children, there is still time to sign up for classes in clay sculpting and pottery. Time and prices vary. Children should also consider taking advantage of Creativity Camp during Mid-Winter Recess (February 20th to the 24th). This day-camp style event is open to children between ages 5 and 12. Students will be separated into groups based on age, with projects “tailored to abilities.” Children can expect to work with fabrics, ceramics, and puppets that are inspired by art outside of the United States. Projects may also include field trips through the Village of Clinton, as well as thirty minutes of yoga. The camp is open from 9am to 4pm, and the cost is $225 for members and $250 for non-members.

Dance classes are also available for all ages and all forms of dance, including ballet, tap and jazz, musical theater dance, Scottish Highland dance, and contemporary line dance. Most classes run from 10 to 20 weeks. Contemporary line dancing is an adult class open every Monday from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, and runs on a drop-in basis.

Open Adult Fitness classes offer the same drop-in option, as well as the opportunity to take 12-13 week of classes in Zumba and Yoga.

Adult art classes vary from sketching, painting, watercolor, jewelry, wheel-throwing, crystalline pottery, and Bonsai. Most classes are 4 to 8 weeks long, and offer the perfect opportunity to learn from other artists and tone one’s artistic skills. Students should consider enrolling in the KAC membership program, as it is only $30 per year, and in some cases the difference between class costs for members and non-members is little more than $25. Members also receive discounted admission to KAC events, workshops, coffeehouse concerts and other classes.

Speaking of Coffeehouse Concerts, on Friday, January 13th the KAC will host an “All Irish Night” to commemorate 30 years of Coffeehouse Concerts. This concert will relive the very first KAC Coffeehouse with Craobh Dugan, Rattlin Bog, Celtic dancers and various other special guests. The Concert begins at 8PM with $15 admission ($12 for members).

Other upcoming Coffeehouse Concerts include Beppe Gambetta (Friday, January 27th), Bristol Mountain Bluegrass (February 3rd), Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus (February 17th), and Robin and Linda Williams (Sunday, February 26th at 7PM).

The KAC has spent 51 years serving its community, and now it’s time for the community to serve the KAC. Facing rivals like the Munson-Williams Proctor Art Institute or the Rome Art and Community Center, the KAC is struggling to keep art education in the Utica area. The percentage of funding the art center receives through grants and federal funds is less than a quarter of the costs of the KAC annual budget. Simply by taking a class, attending an event, becoming a member or making a donation, you can help keep the art center serving the Mohawk Valley.

The KAC is located in the center of Historic Clinton, at 9 East Park Row, a few doors down from Grande’s Pizzeria. Visit for more information.

Amanda Taylor is a Contributor to The Free George. Photo by Amanda Taylor.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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