For more than a century, The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial in South Philadelphia has offered free classes in ceramics, photography and printmaking. Due to the extremely high demand for these free classes Fleisher long ago instituted a lottery system. In the past, hundreds of adults gathered in Fleisher’s Romanesque sanctuary twice a year, each hoping their number would be lucky enough to be chosen for a limited-enrollment class that term. Starting with the Fall 2002 semester, all of that changed and Fleisher’s limited-enrollment lottery now has a new form:
Beginning December 16th through January 3rd, lottery hopefuls may acquire a lottery entry form by either sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Fleisher, or picking up a lottery form at the front desk during business hours, Monday through Friday. Each entrant may submit only one form, indicating their first, second and third choice of limited-enrollment classes for the term. Completed lottery forms must be returned to Fleisher before the Friday, January 10th deadline. Following the deadline, Fleisher staff will conduct the lottery to establish class rosters and waiting lists and send the results to participants via a postcard in the mail, or e-mail message when requested. Notified lottery winners must then complete their registration in person at the Fleisher Art Memorial on the evening of Thursday, January 23rd. Those that do not finalize their registration on that date will be removed from the roster and replaced with applicants from the waiting list.
Even if one does not make it into one of the limited-enrollment classes, Fleisher offers plenty of opportunities to take a free class or low-cost workshop. In fact, Philadelphia Magazine’s editors chose Fleisher Art Memorial as Best of Philly® 2002 – Art Classes. Free-tuition fine arts classes for adults are offered Tuesday through Thursday evenings February 4th through May 15th. Openenrollment classes in this program include various levels of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Students may sign up for open-enrollment classes in person at any time during the semester.
Fleisher’s free-tuition program is complemented by a series of modestly priced tuition-bearing workshops. These workshops run for 10 weeks and meet both day and evening on Mondays beginning February 24th. The workshops include Photography, Ceramic Tile, Kiln-Fired Glass, Still Life Painting, Monotype, Chinese Painting & Calligraphy, Figure Sculpture, Painting & Drawing the Figure, Watercolor, Portraiture, and many more. Workshop students should register by mail or by calling registrar James Mundie at 215-922-3456 ext. 328 no later than February 7th.
Free Saturday classes offering painting/drawing, printmaking or sculpture for young people ages 5 to 18 will run February 8th through May 17th. Enrollment is limited, and may only be accomplished during walk-in registration on Saturday, January 11th. Registration for children will begin at 9:00 a.m. and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Each adult may register two children.
For detailed course descriptions, please view Fleisher’s website at www.fleisher.org.