Experts share their talents in Recreation Department classes
Friday, January 4, 2013
For those who want to enhance their craft or learn something new, there’s always something happening at Bedford Parks & Recreation Department’s community recreational programs.
Signups are ongoing for classes in digital photography, oil painting for beginners, meditation, ballroom dancing, Indian cooking and more.
Digital Photography for novice users of digital cameras continues in classes held from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 10, 17 and 24 at McKelvie Intermediate School, 108 Liberty Hill Road. The classes began Jan. 3 but those interested may call Instructor Michelle Palys at 493-0577 to join the group. The fee is $99 for any participant, resident or nonresident.
Palys, owner of Photo66.com and a Bedford resident for 12 years, said she uses “ordinary, everyday language” to teach camera settings, lighting and other components of digital photography.
“I got my first camera when I was 7 years old,” Palys said. “I’ve been shooting my whole life. The Level-1 class is hands-on and interactive, all the way. We go through our camera menus. We see what the settings are about, learn when to change settings, learn how to shoot indoors without a flash. I welcome lots of questions.”
Palys said students bring to class a digital single lens reflex camera, one with a removable lens. Some students have no experience, others want to improve their current skills. Palys, who may offer a Level-2 class later in the year, said she guarantees every student will learn plenty.
“People are always asking me how to get better shots,” Palys said. “I base my classes on real-life questions. We test different settings. We take test shots. We’re shooting. We have the cameras in our hands. It’s a great learning experience.”
Samples of her work are displayed on the Photo66 website and she gives other details at NHphotoclasses.com. She also welcomes calls from students interested in attending an Adobe Lightroom photo-software class in the near future.
In the Beginners Oil Painting class, dip a brush into cadmium yellow or titanium white and let your imagination take to canvas. Luci Lesmerises, an award-winning artist and longtime Bedford resident, takes students from first stroke through the completed painting of a red barn with trees and fields.
Beginners Oil Painting classes are held in six sessions, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursdays, Jan. 10-Feb. 14, at McKelvie School. The cost for Bedford residents is $100, $100 for nonresidents.
Lesmerises, a member of the Manchester Artist Association since 1996, favors oils and pastels in her landscapes, seascapes and portraits. The art of basic painting is taught through step-by-step demonstrations.
“Even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before, you can create an oil painting in six weeks,” Lesmerises said. “No drawing skills are necessary.”
Meditation: It’s Not What You Think, a course on bringing calm and focus into today’s hectic living, will be taught by Cecilia Howard, a veteran of more than 20 years in yoga and meditation. The six classes at McKelvie School take place 7:30-9 p.m., Mondays, Jan. 7, 14 and 28, and Feb. 4, 11 and 18. There is no class Jan. 21. The fee is $75 for Bedford residents and $85 for others. Subsequent Monday classes, March 4-April 8 and Tuesday classes, April 16-May 28, also are available.
Howard said the meditation class is for men and women, who are taught to use “mindfulness” as a tool for attaining a state of calm. She said students learn to be mindful of their breathing and bodies. Some augment the classes with meditations and visualizations offered on Howard’s blog, Mindful Matrix on blogspot.com.
“So many people think of meditation as sitting on a cushion, trying to be little gurus, all dressed in white,” Howard said. “It’s not that. It’s all about focusing on the breath. The goal is to focus on the present moment. It’s not about trying to become something, or do something. Just focus on the meditation.”
Advanced Ballroom Dancing is a class taught by Gerry Ouellette, a Bedford dance master who generally instructs about 20 couples during his classes, held at Bedford Town Hall, 70 Bedford Center Road. The upcoming winter session takes place 7-8 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 13-March 17.
A spring program of Advanced Ballroom Dancing with classes from 7-8 p.m. will run Sunday, March 24 through June 9. Classes are $120 per couple for Bedford residents, $130 for others.
Ouellette said students dress in comfortable clothing for the advanced class.
“I enjoy teaching,” said Ouellette, a retired computer programmer. “I manage to bring up people’s self-confidence. I know I do a good job and I make sure people know I don’t work for a studio – I work for the Bedford Rec. Department. It’s a great experience.”
Beginner Ballroom Dancing also is available. It is offered by Instructor Betty Ashooh for beginners and intermediate students on Sunday evenings at Bedford Town Hall. The winter session for beginners is 4 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 13-
March 17. Intermediate levels start at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m. on those dates. T
he fee is $110 per Bedford couple, others pay $120 per couple.
Indian Cooking classes, four in the set, take place at Bedford Town Hall. Teacher Bhawna Sharma uses mint, lentils, hot green chilies, pearl onions and other delectable ingredients. An apron, knife and cutting board are required.
The 2013 winter session quartet of classes costs $100 for Bedford residents and $140 for nonresidents.
Attend a single class for $30 for Bedford residents or $40 for nonresidents.
The four Indian Cooking classes are from 6-8 p.m. on Fridays – Jan. 4, Jan. 25, and Feb. 8 and Feb. 22.
Attend one or all. They feature hands-on participation in preparing dishes ranging from spicy to sublime.
In addition, an American Red Cross Babysitting Certification Course for boys and girls ages 11-15 has been a popular offering. Students meet twice. This year, classes take place from 5-8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, and from 9 a.m.-noon, on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Safety Complex, 55 Constitution Drive.
For more information on nearly two dozen classes, events and activities for families, youngsters, couples and individuals, or to register for a class, visit Bedford
RecOnline.com or call Jane O’Brien, Bedford Parks and Recreation program director, at 472-5242.