Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Bob’s Art Blog: Illustrated Man

The Art Association of Harrisburg (AAH) is so much more than a gallery showing great art. It also offers an in-house educational component that boosts 500 adult and students enrolled in art classes taught by 20 part-time faculty members.

With the arrival of fall just days away, the new semester and roster of classes are just getting under way. Operating as one of those instructors is Nate Foster (pictured).

Ray Bradbury’s anthology of short stories, “The Illustrated Man,” could equally stand in as a title for drawing instructor Foster.

A North Carolina native, Foster serves double duty at the association as gallery assistant, in addition to teaching Illustrative Art I and II. He is one of the secret weapons at the highly esteemed association. His classes instruct students interested in one of the oldest art forms known to man, as some cave drawings found in Indonesia date to over 35,000 years ago.

Foster has been teaching illustration for two years, squiring students in the basics of pencil and charcoal. Between five and 10 students per class are trained in drawing from observation within class assignments, which, when completed, go before peer critiques, highlighting growth and areas for improvement. Foster’s innate process of encouragement mixed with engagement create a familial sense of pride for his students and vice-versa for his instruction. The curriculum includes drawings of objects moving on to still lifes and then to interior drawing.

Having accomplished those steps, students undertake figure drawing based on posed models visiting Foster’s classes. In fact, Nate’s wife, Tzu, has guest modeled on numerous occasions. The next logical progression for aspiring students is to advance to in-house painter, Jonathan Frazier, for oil painting lessons.

Known for his love of menswear haberdashery, especially headgear, Nate deserves a tip of the “cap” for his tutelage. It has become a bit of a moniker for him. If you lean in and listen closely to Nate’s instruction, you might still be able to catch a bit of that North Carolina “draw.”

To learn more about the Art Association of Harrisburg and its art classes, visit their website.

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