Walla Walla Parks & Recreation classes find home at Carnegie Center

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A bead bracelet created by instructor Amy Davis is set on the work table encouraging students to the variety of designs available to them.

WALLA WALLA -- Art is no longer just for kids, as far as the Parks & Recreation Department is concerned.

This year the department kicked off its adults-only art classes. And from the looks of Sunday afternoon's Nefertiti bracelet beading class, the department might consider stringing on some more beading classes.

"They were a little slower to fill up at first, but people are catching on," said beading instructor Amy Davis.

From February through May, the department is offering about 20 adults-only art and craft classes that cover topics like holistic painting, 3-D paper art, digital photography, book cover decorating and cooking classes, though some of the cooking classes had to be canceled because of a lack of enrollees.

Park & Recreation spokeswoman Angela Potts points out, however, that more than 100 people have signed up for the classes so far, which she felt was a good turnout for their first few weeks.

"I thought it would take a little longer for people to warm up to the idea of offering adult art classes, but they warmed up quickly," Potts said.

The largest number of classes is dedicated to jewelry making, which was good news for Barbara Girard, who was attending her second jewelry-making class Sunday.

"I thought this (class) was really nice because I have tried to do beading on my own and I found out I really needed to learn a lot more about beading," Girard said, as she worked to string in the beads to make her bracelet.

Next to Girard was Lisa Davis, who signed up with Girard for the three-hour class.

"I just always wanted to learn how to do this; it seems daunting on your own. So this was kind of a cool opportunity," Davis said, as she struggled to work the beads onto the waxed thread, in spite of her long fingernails.

"Oh. You know what. I am in so much in trouble in this class already, because I am think they (her long nails) are a big liability," she joked.

But adult art classes are not joke. Common in larger cities, Parks & Recreation officials thought it was time to offer adults something more than the traditional softball league. But it took a vacant artistic venue to get the beads rolling across the basement of the Carnegie Center, as they were occasionally dropped during the class.

"It was the building. Really that is kind of what spurred the whole thing, once we got the Carnegie Center," Potts said.

Classes range from $25 to $65, with most around $30. And materials are supplied for most classes.

Class times are mostly in the afternoons and on weekends and early evening on weekdays.

And for those who adults who want to keep fit with something other than softball, Parks & Recreation is also offering yoga classes this year.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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