Night art courses prove to be wildly popular

Updated: Apr 14, 2021 By Cao Chen Print
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Students take art courses at Shanghai Mass Art Center, which started its spring semester of night school on April 12. [Photo provided to]

Night art courses have been a hit in Shanghai, with the 1,200 spots offered by the Shanghai Mass Art Center selling out within five minutes, the center announced recently.

The center, which aims to promote art education among the general public, started its spring semester of night school on April 12 and is offering 46 evening courses covering music, art, vlog production, yoga and flower arrangement to 1,200 residents. Each course, which costs 500 yuan ($76.35), comprises 12 classes.

According to Wu Penghong, director of the art center, all courses are designed for people aged between 18 and 55. But data shows the courses are especially popular with women aged between 20 and 40 as 70 percent of its students were born in the 1980s and 20 percent were born in the 1990s. 

Women currently account for four-fifth of its students, Wu said, but they plan to introduce more courses to attract more men. More classes will open in its branches in its fall semester offering another 800 spots, Wu added.

Many attributed the courses' popularity to the course design, which focuses more on hands-on experience, and the credentials of the teachers.

[Photo provided to]

"Teachers at the school are highly qualified and experienced. They include professionals from Shanghai Theater Academy and chefs from five-star hotels," said Yang Lingzhi, who is in charge of the project.

Xu Yangyang, director of Shanghai-based Barcel Contemporary Art Museum who teaches art at the night school, said the courses are "simpler, more detailed and easier to understand than at public education courses held at the museum".

"I taught students art history and painting. At the beginning, I showed them the timeline of modern art and the life of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, and then moved onto how to choose the color using his paintings as examples," she said.

"Students will be able to create a picture of sunflowers on their own after two classes."

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