Develop drawing and painting skills with Gary Maria

Gary Maria will be providing art instruction at VAC UNCORKED.

Illustrator, graphics designer and art instructor Gary Maria has provided group classes and individual instruction at the Venice Art Center since 2010.

If you have often wanted to learn how to sketch, paint or draw, but have never had an opportunity to take an art course, plan to meet with Gary Maria at VAC UNCORKED on April 11. No experience is necessary, and it’s a great way to learn step-by-step art instruction from a professional artist in a relaxed setting.

At VAC UNCORKED bring your own beverages and snacks. Alcoholic beverages are allowed for anyone over 21. As an incentive, all paint and art material will be provided. From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. group members will create their own unique masterpieces-paintings of a vase filled with colorful flowers. It’s not too late to register for VAC UNCORKED on April 11. The cost for art center members is $35 and $40 for nonmembers.

Maria’s outstanding credentials are also listed on the website. After receiving a BFA degree from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, he studied at the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts, and NYU. He went on to work in NYC as a graphic designer and illustrator, then as a fine art print colorist at Mill Pond Press in Venice. For three years in a row he received first place prizes in the Venice Chalk Art Fest.

“I had never worked with chalk before, so I was very surprised to win first place,” he said.

The Chalk Art Fest is no longer held in Venice, and he didn’t participate after the festival was moved to Sarasota.

“As a retired illustrator I enjoy teaching art classes in all media, but I prefer acrylics. Acrylics can do it all,” said Gary Maria.

From 9:30 a.m. to noon every Tuesday, from April 21-May 21. Maria will teach Landscape Elements: Painting. Students will learn to paint traditional landscape works from photographs that include buildings, mountains, and trees. Subject matter will vary, and all levels are welcome.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday, from April 29-May 20, Maria will teach Portrait Drawing: Black Media. In addition to drawing instruction he’ll supply photographs and explain how students may achieve form, likeness and proportion. Drawing skills are required.

Dates by appointment for individual instruction vary. Maria will also address solutions to specific problem areas for works in progress. All levels are welcome.

A complete list of courses and costs may be found on the VAC website at or call 941-485-7136.


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