Kristy Kensinger’s online adult art courses take her students to another country to explore, learn, and do art – all without getting on a plane.
During their Art Passports courses, Kensinger and their students can immerse themselves in the art and culture of another country, even if they cannot travel abroad. You will get to know the textiles, patterns, cuisine, traditions, craftsmen, flora, fauna, landscape and architecture of a country. Then they make art inspired by what they have learned.
“[The courses] filled the void for me and for others when you can’t travel – a point of sale where they can explore a place and travel once to learn a little more about the place, ”said Kensinger.
The idea for Kensinger’s Art Passports courses came from her children’s home schooling during the pandemic.
“It started with my children. We’d study a country every month, work on art projects or crafts together, and cook a country meal, ”said Kensinger, a Cheyenne resident who also shows her art at the G44 Gallery in Colorado Springs. “This is how my first lesson began – this art pass concept, in which we traveled to a new country with art.”
Kensinger studied fine arts and art history at the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked as a graphic designer until January 2020 when she quit her job to paint again.
“I hit a wall at work and I had to change something,” she said. “I always wanted to go back [art.]”
When the pandemic broke out, she and others needed an electrical outlet. Teaching has become a place where you can connect with people around the world, be a part of something, and learn and grow.
Kensinger created their first course, Art Passports to Mexico, last December. It released Art Passports to Morocco in April and plans to release three more Art Passports courses this year.
She has designed her courses for adults of all levels – from beginners to seasoned artists. So far, her students come from all over the US and the world, including Colombia, Greece, India, and Australia.
“I think it’s so wonderful to make that connection online, and I’ve connected to so many more people than I would ever have if it was just one class here,” said Kensinger.
Kensinger’s courses are shaped by her love for art history, travel, and collecting and sharing resources.
“Travel has always been invaluable to me – all the lessons I’ve learned from it. I really wanted to combine that in the courses, ”she said. “I’m excited about the stories behind the artist. How their environment affects their work. How it shapes your ideas. In class, I really want to connect with the students and grow with them, and I always learn myself. “
Kensinger also creates courses for other artist’s platforms, including courses on portraits, landscapes, and natural pigments. Your day in Provence is currently available on Website of the artist Renee Mueller, reneemuellerart.com.
According to Kensinger, online art courses offer a number of benefits, including the flexibility to work at your own pace without travel, access to more teachers, and affordability.
“You can get something live as well as online. Online – you learn the techniques and don’t have to go to school every week. You can pay a lot less and get a lot of information, ”said Kensinger. “People can find the teacher who really resonates with them.”
Her students have built a rich community in the private Facebook groups she hosts for each class. According to Kensinger, they post photos of their work, encourage each other, and share articles and tips about the countries where they are studying.
“My favorite part is seeing the art that emerged from the course – how the artist takes my lesson and makes his artwork his own with his style and experience,” she said. “I just find it so special there – what they come up with, their ideas and perspectives.”
Kensinger hopes to transfer the lessons she learned from traveling into her classes by paying attention to the details and the people around her, valuing experiences more than things, and realizing the similarities between people no matter where on the World you are in.
“I’ve learned invaluable lessons from traveling over the years,” said Kensinger. “As we continue our own journey of being more open to others and more accepting of ourselves, that in itself is an invaluable lesson.”