Art Institute of Pittsburgh is offering ways to Getcreative |
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Art Institute of Pittsburgh is offering ways to Getcreative

Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
At the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, GET Creative students (from left) Toni Graham of the South Side, Michelle Behana of East Liberty and Lacy Davis of Green Tree work together making chocolate, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
At the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, professor Sally Frey squeezes warm chocolate into molds, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
At the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, culinary student Livia Tateyama instructs Michelle Behana of East Liberty on making chocolate, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
At the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, professor Sally Frey (right) discusses the preparation of chocolate as student Jennie Eisenbrown of Rochester pours the delicacy into molds, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has opened its classrooms to people looking to explore their creative sides.

This quarter marked the debut of a pilot program called Getcreative, a series of noncredit classes highlighting the areas of expertise taught at the school but open to the public and aimed at all skill levels. Through Oct. 31, classes are half price.

“We need a broader appeal and a way to engage Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, to bring people inside the Art Institute of Pittsburgh,” says Justin Shook, program coordinator. “Many of them haven’t been inside our building. This is an opportunity to offer them something they haven’t seen before.”

The program, also launched this year at the Art Institute’s San Diego campus, includes classes in culinary arts, photography, design, creative writing and an array of other topics catered toward students from teens on up. Offerings will change each quarter. More than 100 people have registered for classes so far.

“In our daily lives, we always hear, ‘Oh you teach at the Art Institute. I love to cook. I just want to learn one thing,’” chef Art Inzinga says. “There’s such a big market for this.”

The classes also give teachers in all areas a chance to “stretch our wings,” Inzinga says.

“Teaching in the credit program, you’re bound by your accrediting agency,” he says. “This gives us a chance to reach out a little bit, broaden what we’re doing. It’s going to give us a chance to bring our students in with us as our assistants. They get to see a different aspect of it. It’s a chance for them to become a teacher so they have a chance to reinforce what they’ve learned and show someone else that.”

Upcoming classes include everything from “Bangles, Rings and Charms: Jewelry Designs Using Metals” and “Engaging Social Media as a Small Business Practice” to “Essentials of Home Decorating” and “Sausage From Scratch.” Courses range from one session to six, with prices starting at about $95.

Chef Sally Frey, whose classes include the recently held “Gourmet Chocolates for All Occasions,” says the program gives instructors a chance to explore the institute’s other departments.

“I’m very excited to see what’s going on in culinary, but I want to see what other departments are doing,” she says. “I’d love to take some other classes and grow as a hobbyist as well. I think it’s good to see other professors and students in action and get that engagement within the building.”

At her class, six participants spent a Saturday morning learning all about where cacao comes from, the types of beans and how to temper, mold and fill chocolate to create delicious little bites of bliss.

Lacy Davis of Green Tree attended class with friend Michelle Behana of East Liberty in celebration of the latter’s birthday. Both said they’d be trying the skills they learned at home.

“We both like chocolate a lot, and we wanted to do something different and where we could actually learn something,” Davis says.

Dana Melvin of Dormont, director of career services at the Art Institute, took the chocolate class and a pasta-making session.

“It’s nice to be able to give the public the opportunity to do something here and to see the excellent use of all the talent,” she says.


Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or [email protected].

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