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Mon, Oct. 14

This is OLLI: How to look at and understand great art

Great art is among the most sublime, meaningful and redeeming creations of all civilization. Few endeavors can equal the power of great artwork to capture aesthetic beauty, to move and inspire, to change perception, and to communicate the nature of human experience.

Great art is also complex, mysterious, and challenging. Filled with symbolism, cultural and historical references, and often visionary imagery, great artworks oblige us-defy us-to reckon with their many meanings.

What does it take to truly know what one sees when looking at art? What technical skills and knowledge are needed to comprehend the full richness of artworks, to unpack the hidden significance of master paintings, sculptures, prints and more?

Professor Hirsh speaks to these and other compelling questions in "How to look at and Understand Great Art." Unlike a traditional survey of art, these 36 richly illustrated lectures take you on an in-depth exploration of the practical skill of viewing art through the lenses of line, light, perspective, composition, and other crucial elements of craft and technique. Using timeless masterpieces of Western painting, sculpture and graphic art as well as hands-on-studio demonstrations, Professor Hirsh gives a specific visual and interpretive knowledge needed to approach great artworks, find their deeper meanings and reach startling new levels of appreciation.

In building viewing skills, the opening lectures offer practice with the core technical tools for understanding visual art.

Color: Study the essential principles of color and color schemes in paintings and graphic art and the distinctive use of color in different epochs, all of which are deeply integral to an artist's work.

Line: Investigate the artist's use of line as it describes reality, conveys expressive meaning and gives larger structural impact to an artwork.

Composition: Observe how the artist constructs a work's overall composition in painting, graphic art, and sculpture.

Signs and symbols: Learn how to recognize symbolism and signifiers in religious paintings, still life and canvasses of royalty.

Come join us at OLLI and learn a new and exciting way to view some of the works of the world's greatest artists.

OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) is a peer directed membership organization at Yavapai College's Prescott campus and NAU's Prescott Valley building, next to the library. OLLI offers over 200 peer facilitated classes during a five, 6 - week sessions a year. For more information or to get on the mailing list, call 717-7634.

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