THE MERAGE JCC offers a variety of art programs for all ages that are perfect for beginning and intermediate artists, creative types who want to make personal pieces for gifts or for their homes, or former art students who want a refresher course in the fundamentals. Treat yourself to a great experience and learn everything you need to create your own masterpiece, all in the JCC’s beautiful art studio!
Samantha (Sammi) Jass is the new Director of the Merage JCC School of Art and she’s also an accomplished artist whose work has shown in galleries from Laguna Beach to San Diego. She originally hails from Orange County and counts the Merage JCC as her home, as she worked here as a teen and was involved with the Bureau of Education and even taught at the Aronoff preschool. But she wasn’t done learning and decided to go back to school at the Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) where she majored in Fine Arts & Illustration. She then went on to become a project manager for an arts community in San Diego where she learned the business side of running classes and studios. She realized the art side was calling her and once this job came up on her radar she knew it was a perfect fit—talk about a true product of our Jewish community.
“I want adults and kids to have a space here to create and imagine. Art is very academic these days and it is lacking in our schools, I want you to find your own creativity and I’m here to guide and help you along the way.” Join one of their new art classes for children and adults and watch creativity bloom! They offer everything from Drawing and painting to paper crafts and ceramics. But what really piqued my interest specifically was the Art & Wine evenings offered every other Thursday. “Uncork your creativity!” as Sammi likes to say, she will guide you step by step through the process of creating a beautiful work of art while finding your inner artist and enjoying a glass (or two) of wine. Must be 21 and older. This is the perfect opportunity for friends to gather and have some fun while creating art!
On December 14 at 6:30 p.m., there is a special Art and Wine workshop and a perfect way to celebrate Hanukkah with friends. Artists will learn to dip their own candles and leave with beautiful handmade works of art that they can proudly burn in their menorah for Hanukkah, give as gifts, or display in candle holders as centerpieces. Artists will get to make a variety of sizes and shapes of candles and use different colored melted wax to make stunning patterns and designs.
Or if you have children and are looking for a fun family event check out Menorah & Munchies on Sunday, December 10, at 1:30 p.m. Bring your families to the JCC Art Studio for a Menorah and candle making workshop. Participants will make a ceramic menorah and hand dipped candles in celebration of Hanukkah. Munchies and all supplies will be provided. Come create happy family memories! For more information and to register head on over to their website: www.jccoc.org.
Sammi is a breath of fresh air and a true delight! I can see how her students enjoy her vibrant personality and even though I can barely draw a stick figure, I’m signing up for a class and you should too!
Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works as the Manager of Operations at Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County.