Art & Culture Classes

Class: Kerrin Meis - J.M.W. Turner: Painter of Light

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Please Note: The date for this class has changed to June 26th. If you have any questions, please call 415-927-0960 ext. 230. 

Friday, June 26 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $40

In a preview of the exhibition Turner: Setting Painting Free opening at the de Young on June 20, we study, analyze and interpret the late works of this great Romantic landscape and seascape painter who is credited both with elevating landscape to the status of History Painting and for blurring his images so that they are easily understood as the precursors of Impressionism. John Ruskin described him as the man who could “most strikingly and movingly evoke the moods of nature - even though it involved strapping himself to a mast during a fierce storm!” The term ‘tinted steam’ was once used to describe his late views of Venice. Let’s have a look!

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Kerrin Meis - From Russia with Love

Friday, July 3, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Please Note: The dates for this class have changed to July. If you have any questions, please call 415-927-0960 ext. 230.

Four Fridays, July 3, 10, 17 & 31 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140

A virtual tour of the spectacular museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg: The Pushkin Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery, The Russian Museum and the incomparable Hermitage. We will study the painting, sculpture and architecture with the goal of learning much about the history and culture of Russia as well as the art of collecting as exemplified by Catherine the Great, Sergei Shchukin, Ivan Morizov and the German collectors of French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and 20th century paintings removed to Russia during WWII Spectacular masterpieces!

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Kerrin Meis - The Phenomenon of the Self-Portrait

Friday, August 7, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Please Note: The dates for this class have changed to August. If you have any questions, please call 415-927-0960 ext. 230. 
Four Fridays, Aug. 7, 21, 28 & Sept. 4 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140
From its origins in Medieval scriptoria to the compulsively repetitive images of Egon Schiele and Cindy Sherman, we study this important genre of painting.  What was the artist's intention? Self reflection a la Montaigne? The Status of the artist? Illustration of an aesthetic idea? Comments on society? Why do some artists paint so many "selfies" and other artists so few? Case studies include Durer, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Hogarth, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Picasso, Robert Arneson and Andy Warhol.
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, 94925

Class: Kerrin Meis - American Impressionism

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 1:00pm

2 Tuesdays: Jan. 24 & 31, 2017 • 1:00 - 3:00 pm • $75

Study the birth of the movement in the United States with special emphasis on William Merritt Chase who, in 1886, was the first major American artist to create Impressionist canvases. He was followed by Willard Metcalf, Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, Edmund Tarbell, Frank W Benson, Cecilia Beaux , Frederick Frieseke, Childe Hassam and others all of whom demonstrated a unique personal style while embracing light, color , vigorous brushwork and real-life subjects.  

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years, and she currently teaches for the OLLI programs at Dominican University and UC Berkeley. She leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years.


Class: Mary Edwards - Jump Start Your Art Career

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 10:00am
Saturday, May 6 • 10:00am-12:30pm • $60

This lively workshop is for emerging and established visual artists who want to figure out the next steps in an art career.  Topics include:

  • A summary of art world trends in the Bay Area and across the United States 
  • Guiding principles to follow, no matter where you are in your career  
  • Four levels of exhibition opportunities, & how to identify the best ones for you
  • A list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” when looking for a gallery
  • An overview of resources for visual artists (websites, magazines, journals, professional associations, etc.)

A recent participant said:  “The handouts alone from this great class guided my career for six months!”


Mary Edwards, Ph.D.

Mary Edwards is a Career & Life Coach for artists, based in Marin.  She has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and received her coach training from the College of Executive Coaching.  She has taught workshops for artists at Book Passage (Corte Madera), Dominican University, Art Works Downtown, and the ICB Artists Association.   Mary has written articles for a number of national art magazines, including Professional Artist, Studios, and Artists & Makers.  Currently she is completing a book titled “Left Brain Skills for Right-Brained People.”

Mary brings a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to her practice.  She works with painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, and other creative people who want to reach the next level in their careers.


Class: Kerrin Meis- Celebrating the de Young: Great American and Modernist Art

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Four Fridays: Feb. 6-27 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140
Study the masterworks for which the de Young is famous. We begin with Copley, move on to West, Stuart, Vanderlyn et al, view the landscapes of Bierstadt, Church and Keith, study Bingham and Johnson, and marvel trompe l’oeil canvases of Harnett and Peto. The American Realists and Impressionists round out our tour of the 19th century. We then revel in 20th century works by Bay Area Figurative Artists, ending with an ode to Thiebaud.

Class: Kerrin Meis- Cultural History of Wine in Western Art

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Fri., Jan. 30 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $35
Through illustrations of works of art we study the origins of winein Mesopotamia, its use in secular revelry in the Greco-Roman world and sacred ritual celebrations that begin with early Christianity and continue through the Renaissance and well beyond. We see how the hedonistic expression “Carpe Diem” becomes the admonishing phrase “Vanitas” in the seventeenth century. In Vino Veritas! -- compare Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” with Edvard Munch’s “The Hangover.”

Class: Kerrin Meis- The History of the Book in the West

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Three Fridays: Jan. 9-23 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $110
The course will focus on book illustration, tracing the development of the codex from ancient times to the present, looking at Astronomical treatises, Bibles, Haggadot, Books of Hours and the illumination of texts from Virgil to Dante to Edgar Allen Poe and beyond. An explanation of the techniques and materials employed to create these brilliant images includes the transition from palm leaves to papyrus to parchment and finally to paper. We discuss the roles of authors, illustrators and the market.

Class: Meghan Ward- Social Media Mastery 2

Saturday, November 1, 2014 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
Sat., Nov. 1 • 9:00-1:00 pm • $65
In this class, students will receive individual analyses of the following social media platforms from a master: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Google+. Meghan Ward is the author of Runaway: Confessions of A Not-So-Supermodel and the owner of, a weekly blog about writing and publishing.

Class: Kerrin Meis- Modernism, Avante-Garde Art 1900-1940

Friday, October 10, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Four Fridays: Oct. 10-31 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140
What exactly was Modernism?  From our vantage point a century later we shall be examining the avant-garde movements in the visual arts in Europe from 1900 to 1940.   Modernism had its roots in the late nineteenth century when artists began a move toward abstraction albeit in very different ways.  Increasingly less reliant on nature they were interested in art for art's sake.  We shall see that in the high period of modernism, art divorced itself from its societal moorings and withdrew, supposedly to save its creative essence, from the real world.  There were certain artists who bucked this trend toward abstraction: the Surrealists, whose notion of reality fell entirely outside traditional views of the world and the artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit who addressed the problems of Weimar society.  One of the major debates during the period was about the role of art in our society. Arnold Schoenberg once declared that nothing done for a purpose could be art, whereas Picasso remarked that art was not something to hang on a wall but a weapon with which to attack an enemy,  We will begin with the Austrian Secession; Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka and move on to Germany : The artists of Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter. We'll encounter the Fauves in France: Matisse, Derain, et al. The pioneers of Cubism: Braque and Picasso, Orphism and the Delaunays will be followed by a study of the Italian Futurists. We will pay special attention to the Women artists of the Russian Avant-Garde as well as the enigmatic, colorful visions of Marc Chagall.  We will return to Germany to see what Kandinsky and Klee are teaching at the Bauhaus, to Holland, then Paris for the artists of de Stijl: Mondrian and Van Doesburg  and at the artists of Die Neue Sachlichkeit-- Then to Paris to see what was happening between the wars.  We conclude with Dada and the beginnings of Surrealism in the work of de Chirico, Miro, and Dali.
Recommended Reading:
Italian Futurism 1909-1944, by Guggenheim Museum 
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and now lectures for the College of Marin and Dominican University and leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years. 


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