The Essential Series

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The Essential Series: The Basic building BLOCKS of Western ART history. What you need to know to enrich your life through the JOY of ART!


This chronological survey class of Western ART History is offered Monday mornings from 10-12 CST via Zoom.

Designed to be completed in one year, the series begins after Labor Day, exploring the ART of the Ancient world, Medieval times, and the Renaissance. We pick up in the New Year to experience Mannerism, Baroque, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, and beyond. We continue in the Spring to roll through the Early Modern “isms”, and complete the series in early summer with Modern and Contemporary conversations.


Bring your coffee and a friend (or book club, bridge club, golf or tennis group, etc.) to this recreational series designed to enrich your life though discovery and lively conversation!


No art history knowledge necessary.


Broken into five six-week BLOCKS, you may start at the beginning, or enter at any point. 

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Block A:
The Ancient World

The Venus of Willendorf kicks off this series which sheds light on the ART of Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Experience how ART reflects the time and place in which it was made. Learn about Ancient civilizations while pondering their monumental, exquisite ART.

Next Fall

Zoom classes start ...

Mon mornings, 10-12 CST

6 week series, $125 


Block B:
Medieval through Renaissance

Early Christian ART connects the Ancient World to what becomes Coptic, Celtic, Carolingian, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic ART; all predecessors of The Renaissance, or rebirth of the classical past.  Proto, Early, High, Venetian and Northern Renaissance ART is highlighted.

Next Fall

Zoom classes start ...

Mon mornings, 10-12 CST

6 week series, $125 


Block C:
Mannerism through Realism

Tough series, but you’ll be glad you took it! (Remember, there are no tests.) 400 years of European ART that bridge The Renaissance to Modern ART. “Rock stars” include El Greco, Caravaggio, Bernini, Fragonard, David, Ingres, Friedrich, Gericault, Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Millet, to name a few.

Next Winter

Zoom classes start Jan 10, 2022

Monday mornings, 10-12 CST

6 week series, $125 


Block D:
Impressionism through Surrealism

The People’s Choice series! Who doesn’t love Monet, Renoir, Cassatt, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Dali, Kahlo, just to name-drop a bit? See how artists responded to rejection, personal demons, wars, revolutions, technology, psychology, beauty and joy! Discover how closely art mirrors the culture of the times.

Next Spring

Zoom classes start Mar 7, 2022

Monday mornings, 10-12 CST

6 week series, $125 


Block E:
Modern and Contemporary

Mid-20th Century Modern ART is championed by an American, home-grown movement: Abstract Expressionism. The pendulum swings wildly from AE to Pop ART, Minimalism, Post-Modernism, to Contemporary ART. Join in the discussion as we critique the latest and greatest living artists.  Will they withstand the test of time? 

Zoom classes starts April 18, 2022

Monday mornings, 10-12 CST

6 week series, $125 

The Enrichment Series

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The Enrichment Series: Evening classes guaranteed to enrich your lives through the JOY of ART. 

Conversational and FUN! No pre-requisite necessary. Stay tuned for new classes!


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Artful Gardens:
Painted Gardens at Powell

The Perfect early Mothers Day Gift!

Which came first, the artist or the garden? To explore the connection between visual art and the natural world, join instructor Donna Houtteman of ArtBlocksKC for the latest installment in the Artful Gardens series.

The spring session includes a 90-minute session exploring artists that use springtime themes and flowers for their inspiration. After the presentation, guests will enjoy wine, beer, and light snacks while receiving a private guided tour of the Conservatory, as well as the spring blooms on display at Powell Gardens.

Sunday, May 1, 3-6, $50

Live class! No more zoom!

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American Art:

Colonial to Contemporary

Begin your weekends with this energetic introduction to great American Art. Through the eyes of American artists, we will discover their reflection of the history of The United States, from the 17th through 20th centuries: Colonial Times, our New Nation, Self-Discovery, at Home and Abroad, Early Modernism, between the World Wars, and culminating with International Presence. Discover that ART truly does reflect the time and place in which it was made.  What a great way to learn history, through fabulous ART!

(And the other way around!)

Zoom classes start ...

Thursday evenings, 6-8 CST

6 week series, $125 


Going to Italy? The Art you need to know before you go!

This fun, conversational art history class will empower you to delight in the greatest art in Italy--Florence, Rome and surrounding areas. Discover the stories behind Renaissance and Baroque art, artists and patrons: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, the Medici, Caravaggio, Bernini, to name a few.  Anticipate the highlights of the Uffizi, Vatican and Borghese galleries, the piazzas, public sculpture, cathedrals, back alleys and the best Apéritivo and gelato. Learn about the processes that were used to create the masterpieces.

Zoom class starts March 9, 2022

Wednesday evenings, 6-8 CST

6 week series, $125 


The Treasures of 

Crystal Bridges, Kemper, Nerman, Nelson-Atkins  

This Armchair Traveler Series unearths the treasures of our four local beloved museums, Crystal Bridges, The Kemper, The Nerman, & The Nelson-Atkins. 

The four class series includes the highlights and history of the most popular art and artists as chosen by the museums. Share in the presentations as we discover masterpieces through close looking, lively conversation, and short videos. Anticipate your next visit to these great museums, once our world re-opens, post Corona! Invite a friend to class. They will thank you.

Coming soon

Zoom classes start...

4 week series, $100 


Christian Art:

2000 Years of Inspiration

Developed with a personal passion, this series is divided into five topics: Christian Art - To Be or Not to Be, The Face of God, Two Turtle Doves and Other Christian Symbols, Saints and Angels, and Sacred Spaces. We will follow the historical chronology of Christian images and the breaking of images: Iconoclasm. Learn the differences between sacred, secular, didactic, doctrinal, dogmatic, spiritual, contemplative, narrative art. Relish in the sumptuous creations of some of the most brilliant artists af all times!  

Coming soon

Zoom classes start ...

Thursday evenings, 6-8  CST

6 week series, $125