Though fulfillment is one of the attributes of a career that is idealized, finding one that satisfies all of one’s wants and needs is a rare thing. Working professionals seeking an outlet for their urges, whatever they may be, often must do so once the work day ends. The Phoenix Center for the Arts offers classes for those looking to try out an art form, and learn from an experienced instructor. “Well I think, for Karen and I, we were contemplating taking a class here,” said hydrogeologist Alex Richards. “I went online and saw ceramic and metals; I had an interest in metals at the time. Karen wanted to do something a little bit different.”
Richards and fellow hydrogeologist Karen Modesto enrolled in a class that teaches techniques used to make fused glass art. Modesto said that the reason to take such a class is “to be creative, and to challenge yourself.” Modesto also liked the opportunity to get out of the house and be social, rather than just sitting at home and watching television. Richards felt that one of the motivations for taking the class was to approach things with an eye for the artistic. “One of the reasons I wanted to take classes here, was that I wanted to do something to exercise my brain in a manner that I don’t normally use it,” Richards said. “I have done some art stuff in the past, like charcoal drawings and that kinda stuff, and I had always wanted to do paintings but never really did.”
Richards elaborated that the class provided the opportunity to try something out of the ordinary. “You know, you get in a rut, doing the same thing you do in your life, whatever that is,” Richards said. “Sometimes you need to just push the envelope and do something you wouldn’t normally do. That’s what motivated me.” Doing something like taking an art class may not lead to discovering a new hobby, but the potential for enjoyment exists. “It’s kind of a love hate thing. You love it because it has so much potential, and you can integrate your own artistic flair very easily, depending on what you want to do,” Richards said. “At the same time, you are fighting this desire for perfection, you know? Even the simplest things … you are always critiquing your work.”
One can also find a hobby that is a derivation or aspect of something one already enjoys; one common example, a large number of fans of football participate in fantasy drafts every year. Amy Spinti, a laboratory director, became interested in fused glass, having been an admirer of creations produced using the method. “I’ve been actually looking for fused glass classes for a while. At work we had this silent auction, and someone that did fused glass had donated a plate,” Spinti said. “So the first year I bid on it and I got it, and the next year I bid on her plate and I got it.”
Spinti said that after a trip to Wisconsin where she did fused glass, she looked for a class. “When you come to a class like this, an art class, where you’re being forced to completely change gears and expected to create something … that isn’t reliant on somebody else’s input, isn’t reliant on somebody else’s reactions or responses, it allows you to stop thinking about work for a little while,” said class instructor Warren Norgaard. Richards agreed with Norgaard that taking the class provided a form of escape from dwelling on thoughts of work.
“For me, one of the things I was looking forward to is doing something that takes you away from your problems,” Richards said. “Your normal day-to-day problems of work or whatever, and you get into, absorbed with your project, and all those other problems or issues kinda melt away.” To find out more about classes offered by Norgaard visit http://www.milkweedartsaz.com/.