SMARTS (Shiawassee Mobile ARTS for Seniors) provides hands-on experiences in artistic creation to dozens of Shiawassee County seniors each month allowing them to express themselves, include them in the community and improve their quality of life. Click the link to check out our upcoming SMARTS classes near you!


Philip Ruehle, Artist/Instructor MFA

When:  Tuesday, April 23-May 28   12:30-3:30.

Age Level: Intermediate Drawing

Fee: SAC member $115/non-member $125

This six-week course will serve as a continuation in the study of representational drawing.  Students will explore the process and techniques of charcoal while working from the landscape, still life, and figure (portraits and hands).  Each week will consist of a demo at the beginning of class followed by one-on-one instruction.

Required Materials:

  • Soft or Extra Soft Vine Charcoal – Winsor & Newton or Utrecht
  • Compressed Charcoal (Stick & Pencil)
  • White Charcoal Pencil
  • Tortillon
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Drawing Paper (11”x14” or 16”x20”) – Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper is recommended.


Barbara Holmer, Artist/Instructor, BFA

When: Fridays, April 26 – May 17, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Age Level: Adult   Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Fee: SAC member $70/non-member $75

Botanical Art is a blend of science and art that combines detailed, accurate drawing with artistic sensitivity. Using pressed flowers and leaves as subject matter, create botanical drawings with colored pencils. With no worry about wilting petals or drooping leaves, you can focus on details and color layering while adding a dimensional quality to your drawings with proper shading. Plants and paper will be provided. Students should bring their colored pencils, sharpeners, and other supplies to the first class.

Supplies to bring:

  • mechanical pencil, kneaded eraser, white plastic eraser (such as Staedtler Mars)
  • foam core 11”x14” (for a drawing board)
  • tape: artist, low tack painters, or drafting
  • colored pencils: 36 set minimum
  • Good brands are; Faber-Castell Polychromos or Prismacolor Premier or Derwent Colorsoft
  • NOT water-soluble pencils NOT Prismacolor Verithin
  • There will be some pencils to try during class
  • pencil sharpener: a good hand held one is Staedtler 2 hole Tub hand operated: Carl Angel-5

Questions? Contact instructor 810-659-0860 or



Instructor: Jim Reinert, Master Potter, Instructor
When:  Six-weeks, Thursdays, March 7 – April 18, 6-9pm (no class on April 11)
Age Level: Beginning to Advanced
Fee: Member $145 /  non-Member $155
Pre-registration & payment required: Call 989-723-8354

Receive one-on-one instruction while exploring the painting genre of your choice (still life, landscape, portraiture, non-objective abstract, etc). This is a great opportunity to experiment with something new or to improve upon something with which you currently find challenging. Students need to bring their own supplies. Mineral spirits provided.

Come experiment with clay!  Learn various techniques of wheel throwing, handbuilding and glazing. Bring your tools, with vinyl gloves and sandpaper in your tool box for glazing.. Individual development is of primary importance. Class includes 25-lbs. of clay, glazes and firing. Dress for mess!

Made Possible by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Cook Family Foundation and Shiawassee County CVB 

From above, Earth appears as a water planet with more than 71 percent of its surface covered with this vital life-giving resource. Water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and more. It inspires art and music. This major exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will examine water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element.

Shiawassee Arts Center is just one of 6 Michigan locations that were selected to host the Water/Ways exhibit from the Smithsonian’s Think Water project. Water/Ways will be making its rounds around the state of Michigan from June 2018 through April 2019, stopping at each site for a six-week period. It will be featured at SAC from February 23 – April 7, 2019.

Water/Ways and its companion exhibition, H2O Today, are core components of the Smithsonian’s Think Water project. Think Water offers an opportunity to explore water from both scientific and cultural perspectives through a variety of programmatic opportunities. This unique project combines the two Smithsonian exhibitions with educational activities and digital story-collection initiatives with the deep programmatic expertise of state humanities councils. The project offers the Smithsonian’s state partners an opportunity to feature not just a traveling exhibition, but also a wide array of programs to maximize interest in water. Check out more photos from the Sanibel, Florida exhibition here.

Water/Ways is funded by Michigan Humanities Council and The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Featured events at SAC include:

In Celebration of the Smithsonian “Water/Ways” Exhibit the Shiawassee Arts Center presents an All-Media Water-Themed Juried Art Competition

• February 23 – April 7, 2019
$1,000 in Awards
Presented at the Opening Reception, February 23, 7pm,
Shiawassee Arts Center Exhibit Juror, Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, President and CEO of the Michigan Humanities Council – “Arts and the humanities go hand-in-hand and I look forward to the opportunity to exercise my love of art as a jurist.”

Owosso Middle School 8th Grade Poetry Display – February 23 – April 7, Awards presented February 24, 3pm

Owosso Middle School 6th Grade “River Critters” Exhibit – February 23 – April 7

“The Environment” – Speaker, Phil Hathaway, March 27, 6:30pm

Events at Partnering Organizations

  • City of Owosso – Tour of Water Filtration Plant, Owosso City Manager, Nathan Henne and former Water Utilities Director, Gary Burk, Saturday, March 23 at 10am
  • DeVries Nature Conservancy – Watershed themed nature play groups for preschoolers, March 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2:30-3:30pm
  • Friends of the Shiawassee River – “Ancient & Contemporary Japanese, Non-Toxic, Water-Based Art Forms”, Speaker, Linda Beeman, February 26, WIG, 7pm
  • The Armory – ArtShare Water-Themed Exhibit, February 23 – April 7
  • Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce
    Topics at Twelve – “The Shiawassee Water Trail,” Speaker, Phil Hathaway, Feb 26, noon Chamber Connect @ Four – Tour of Water/Ways, Feb 27, 4pm at the Armory
  • Owosso Historical Commission – “Smithsonian Water/Ways OHS Student Exhibit at Curwood Castle,” February 24 – April 7,  2-4 pm.  Awards sponsored by Drs. Carolyn & Dean Ebert
  • Shiawassee District Library, Owosso – “Shiawassee River History”, Speaker, Phil Hathaway, March 12, 7pm
  • Steam Railroading Institute – “How Water Powers the Pere Marquette 1225 Steam Locomotive”, April 6, 11am

For more information on the Water/Ways exhibit, please read our most recent edition of Artsline.

Read Artsline

For more information on the Shiawassee River Trail, please download our brochure.

Download the Shiawassee River Trail Brochure

206 Curwood Castle Drive
Owosso, MI 48867

Mon-Fri | 12-5 pm
Sat & Sun | 12-4 pm

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Celebrating 46th Anniversary in 2018


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