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Centre for Arts & Artist to host sculpting class

Jaci Thomassen took one scupture class at the Centre for Arts & Artist abd fell in love with it. Her passion and descire to learn soon led her to start building a giraffe that stands about 6 feet tall
Jaci Thomassen took one scupture class at the Centre for Arts & Artist abd fell in love with it. Her passion and descire to learn soon led her to start building a giraffe that stands about 6 feet tall

Newton’s art community is well represented throughout the city, and one area that Newton is starting to thrive in is sculpting.

The Centre for Arts & Artist will be holding a special three day sculpting class starting Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. taught by famed Newton sculpture, Nick Klepinger.

“People who sign up will come back to finish their projects Monday, and return at a later date to apply glazing,” Arts & Artist Executive Director Linda Klepinger said. “If participants are unable to attend the second session Monday, they can take their projects home and return at a later date.”

Normally, there is a ladies-only event happening at this time, but because of a cancellation, the event will now be open to both men and women.

“Generally, it’s (for) the ladies, but we are allowing gentlemen in that night,” Linda jokingly said. “Our classroom space is limited. We would (like to) ask people to pre-sign up to make sure we have enough room for everyone, and what we’ll do is for anyone who makes a last-minute decision and would like to come — they need to call me and find out if there is space.”

The program will let people create their own three-dimensional sculpture and everyone in attendance will leave with their own creation.

“Everybody makes what they want, and he (Nick) helps them get through it,” Linda said. “(He) gives them the principles of three-dimensional sculpting.”

Normally, art classes can cost more than $300 and do not include supplies. This class will only cost $20 and will include all supplies.

“The only thing people need to bring is their $20 fee,” Linda said. “That covers 2 pounds of clay, the use of the tools, the pallet to put the clay on, the glazes and two firings in the kiln, which is a bargain.”

Linda said the key to success is planning.

“Whether it’s a sculpture or whether it’s a two-dimensional piece of art, everything starts with a good drawing — work it out on paper first,” Linda said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see that translation, but you will realize where the weakness is, perhaps in the weight of the balance in the clay and ascetic appeals from different angles in the clay.”

Nick has been in the art business for almost 40 years, and has been sculpting for more than 20 years. He taught art for many years, and a few pieces of his work can be seen right here in Newton.

“The sculpture on the courthouse lawn is his,” Linda said. “The one of the ‘Old Lonely’ out in Maytag Park is his, and then at the library there are two children reading on a book on a bench, that one is his. (There are) six exterior sculptures in Pella, (and there is) one at the Des Moines Courthouse.”

There was one student, Jaci Thomassen, who tried a clay sculpting and took it to the next level. She works as a graphic designer and decided to give clay sculpting a try, and things evolved from there.

She is currently working on a clay sculpture of a giraffe that stands about 6 feet tall and can be seen at the Centre for Arts & Artist.

Thomassen is only one of its success stories, and the center invites the public to stop by and participate in its events.

To register for the sculpting class, call the Centre for Arts & Artist at (641) 521-3554 or visit them at 501 W. Third St. N.

Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at

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