Longtime West Valley arts community contributor George Palovich has figured out a way to make art instruction work for his students during safe distancing -- and it’s not Zoom.
Mr. Palovich has tailored his five drawing classes -- normally done in-person at his and his wife Janet Trisler’s TriPal Arts studio in Sun City -- to flourish in an online format. The approach is simple: he emails students instructions, students email their drawing drafts, and the collaborative effort is maintained.
“Of course it removes the live contact and the up close and personal instruction, sometimes even physically guiding a student’s hand to show how to do certain kinds of strokes and drawing. That part of course is gone,” Mr. Palovich said Aug. 31. “What remains I have to supplant with the additional written instruction, plus the students have a lot more work to turn in than they did when they were in the live class.”
The couple have been creating works jointly and independently in clay for decades, and a few years ago Glendale Community College presented a 50-year retrospective exhibition of their ceramic work. In 2003, the couple donated funds for a new ceramic tile floor at the West Valley Art Museum, 8401 W. Monroe St., Peoria, where the family also was instrumental in the creation of a performance stage for concerts.
In more recent years, their emphasis has shifted to drawing and painting.
Mr. Palovich offers five drawing classes: Beginning Drawing 1 and 2, Drawing Faces, Drawing Animals, and Drawing Human Figure Without a Model. While classes had taken place twice a month from their Sun City studio near 99th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, the couple -- both in their 80s -- adapted to an online approach to allow students to continue learning self expression.
“It kind of grew out of the in-person classes that I was conducting in Sun City West, Sun City Festival and Sun City Grand,” he explained.
That curriculum transition included preparing an extensive group of handouts that contain challenges and instructions for students to follow to create a drawing guidebook over the four-week lessons. Those lessons are sent through email, and contain additional instruction sheets that replace what Mr. Palovich ordinarily would do in a live class setting.
“My aim in teaching drawing is much like a music instructor; someone you’d go to to take piano lessons or guitar lessons,” he said. “You have to practice, and a lot of my handouts contain practice instruction.”
Residents can send an email of interest to register for the classes to email@example.com.
“It’s not quite being there with the teacher. But it’s close,” he added. “And they really get individualized instruction.”