A new painting program offering college credits takes root in Telluride this fall at the Ah Haa School For the Arts. Mature painters are invited to take their work to greater depths while focusing on personal artistic style and voice. Instructor Robert Weatherford, who is part of the stable at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art and an Ah Haa board member, stresses the advantages to artists of being totally immersed in their medium while living in the most beautiful place on earth:

“Something about Telluride directly crosses over into the sacredness of painting.”

Although the new program does entitle students to college credit it is not exclusively for college students. Ah Haa School is also putting out a call to local artists looking to paint with greater integrity and purpose.

Weatherford envisions the new painting program following in the illustrious path of the American Academy of Bookbinding, gaining prestige and an international reputation among students and instructors. That means students in this breakthrough painting class could help shape a program for future generations of artists from within the Telluride community and well beyond.

Artists, local and not, have praised Telluride for years, but have been unable to date to partake in a full painting academy. This brand new accredited program was born to meet their demands. Visiting artists have taught many workshops emphasizing all kinds of techniques, but the upcoming program stresses the importance of authenticity within personal expression. Intensives like this bring a constant and consistent creative energy into the Ah Haa School that flows out into the entire community. It’s a win win for everyone involved.

“Finding your voice is the most important thing an artist can do. That is the big idea we are building our program around. Our community naturally supports the adventure as well. Telluride at its best is free, open and supportive,” says Weatherford.

This four-month painting intensive allows students to immerse themselves in art away from the distractions of everyday life. Classes are presented in three and a half week blocks. Students are welcome to take all four or only classes they select.

The first classes of the program begin September 6. The complete program ends December 21. For more information contact the Ah Haa School for the Arts at 970.728.3886 or visit

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to my interview with Robert Weatherford.

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