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Think big with a mural design course

A mural by Lee Klemens graces a wall inside Monticello, a restaurant at 630 G St. in downtown Davis. The artists are alumni of Danielle Fodor's mural-painting class at the Davis Art Center. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

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From page A5 | September 7, 2011 |

Learn how to transform spaces with the color, movement and thought-provoking power of large-scale paintings via a mural design class at the Davis Art Center. Local muralist Danielle Fodor will teach the class from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from Sept. 15 to Oct. 27 (no class on Oct. 13).

This class offers local artists and hobbyists an opportunity to learn an artistic skill with the potential for real impact. Student projects range in size from small, interior decorative projects to big, public artwork at businesses and schools.

A recent example is the work by a former student in the course, Lee Klemens, who designed and installed a mural inside the Monticello restaurant in downtown Davis last fall.

The Davis Art Center class is unusual because each student develops a piece for his or her own, unique mural site. Weekly workshops include a brief slide show, open studio time and skill-building exercises. By the end of the course, students will have completed site research, developed a to-scale drawing of their site, created a detailed to-scale design, and chosen a color scheme.

While the course focuses on mural design, each workshop leaves time for question-and-answer sessions. Depending on the project chosen by students, different techniques are needed.

“I originally learned to paint murals with a grid enlargement system on solid, stucco walls,” Fodor said. “As my business has grown, I’ve found myself learning a variety of techniques through trial and error, including overhead projection and tracing.

“I’ve painted on a variety of surfaces, including movable murals on wood and cambric cloth. Each technique and surface comes with its own challenges, so the course leaves a lot of time to discuss the particulars of each student’s site.”

Class topics include considerations in selecting a site, gathering meaningful input from site users, creating accurate to-scale drawings, learning from other people’s murals, choosing a color scheme and resources for bulk paint and mural supplies.

“I love teaching this class because there’s always something new to learn and share,” Fodor said. “This summer, I visited Colombia for the first time, where I saw muralists using techniques and collaborative design processes that were new to me. I’m looking forward to discussing these new approaches with students in the upcoming weeks.”

This course is appropriate for both beginning and experienced artists and costs $85 for Davis Art Center members and $95 for nonmembers. The course is designed for older teens and adults, from ages 15 and up. Younger students (ages 12 to 14) may enroll in the class with a parent for half-price.

To enroll, stop by the Davis Art Center at 1919 F St., call (530) 756-4100 or visit www.davisartcenter.org.

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