Classes, Lectures & Workshops

Classes, Lectures & Workshops 2019-02-09T14:29:00+00:00

The learning never stops at Tohono Chul – discover this for yourself in our Classes, Lectures & Workshops!

We’re all about connecting our members and visitors to the amazing world around us, offering them opportunities to make their own discoveries about the nature, art and culture of our region. Read on for our latest listings of classes, lectures and workshops designed to engage and delight!

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Cool Season Yoga — Indoors!

Tuesdays, January 8-March 12 | 9am-10am | Ed. Ctr. #1
$8 members | $8 plus cost of admission for the general public (students pay instructor directly)

Feeling the post-holiday let-down or fending off the winter blahs? Join Barbara Sherman, LifeForce Yoga® practitioner and registered Yoga instructor for an hour of uplifting yoga practice. Enjoy accessible poses and breathing exercises to energize your body and ease your mind. Please bring your own mat. Students pay instructor directly.

Mindfulness and Meditation: Sensory Techniques and Practices | CANCELLED

Explore ways our senses enrich mindfulness and meditation practices . . . in the beautiful setting of Tohono Chul! Spend the morning with Marley Beard and Lynn Blankinship exploring body awareness and mindfulness techniques that can shift how we relate to the world. Using the gifts of our senses as doorways and windows to our world, we can develop new meaning, growth and healing in our lives. Deepen your capacity to be a keen observer and expand your creativity through playful mindful techniques! (Note to those with sensitivities to fragrances, natural essential oils and organic herbs are used in some practices.)

Mindfulness and Meditation: Expanding Awareness | CANCELLED

Marley Beard and Lynn Blankinship are back to guide participants in an exploration of meditative techniques that send and receive energy in ways that affect ourselves and others. Science has proven brain waves and energetic patterns change with meditation and you will have the opportunity to experiment with tools and practices exploring your personal power and how you can positively impact your life, the lives of others and the world. Experience heart beat and loving-kindness meditation, infuse water with your personal intention, learn to sense and measure energy fields and much more.

Circle of Light

Saturday, January 5 | 10am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $100 members | $115 general public

Explore depth and space in this unique workshop with mosaic artist David Jarvinen while creating your personalized “circle of light” (8”x8”) with a variety of colored glass tiles on a clear glass substrate. Open to all levels of experience, David teaches students how to create a design that will be seen on both sides of the glass, cutting tiles in shapes like flower petals, leaves or the branches of a tree. Each circle will be completed with a half-moon metal stand for display. All materials provided. Please bring a brown bag lunch.

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Pocket Sketching

Thursday-Saturday, January 24-26 | 10am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #2

$285 members without supplies | $325 members with supplies

$300 general public without supplies | $340 general public with supplies

This quick-draw technique of artist Kath Macaulay is perfect for travel journaling, hiking, biking, sauntering or just sitting in a roadside café. Capture what you see in 25 minutes or less using a water soluble pen, 4×6 inch pad and a small paint set. Workshop includes basic technique anyone can learn, and working ‘on location’ in the Park, plus technique from John Singer Sargent. Ideal for timid beginners who want to fearlessly paint in public, and for experienced artists who want total portability, speed and no clean-up. Cost includes all supplies; if you already have them, take advantage of the discounted price (list emailed on request from

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Glass Mosaic Birdbath | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

Saturday, February 2 | 10am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $90 members | $100 general public

Need something for your feathered friends? This 10” round birdbath/saucer is just the thing for your bird-friendly garden. Learn nipping and fitting techniques related to porcelain tiles from mosaic artist David Jarvinen, choosing from a variety of colors to complete your mosaic design. Consider simple, graphic images, or just fill the space with a kaleidoscope of color — either way it will be beautiful and the birds will like it too! All materials provided. Please bring a brown bag lunch.

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Fruit Tree Pruning

Saturday, February 9 | 10am | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $6 members | $10 general public

Whether you nurture your fruit trees for yourself, or you willingly share the bounty with your friendly neighborhood critters, it’s important to provide them the proper care they need. Even if you have just one fruit tree in your yard, you’ll benefit from this class on how to prune so that your trees are as happy and as productive as can be. Join Jason Isenberg, owner/principal designer of REALM and ISA Certified Arborist, as he discusses the particulars, timing and techniques to help you get the most out of your fruit trees.

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Solving Landscape Challenges with Sustainable Solutions: Case Studies and a Garden Tour

Saturday, February 16 | 10am | Ed. Ctr. #1

Sunday, February 17 | 2-4pm | Garden Tour

$15 members | $25 general public

Eli Nielsen and Andrew D’Arezzo of EcoSense Sustainable Landscapes are back with something a little bit different for those looking for the hidden potential in their backyard — combining a classroom presentation with an onsite visit. Nielsen and D’Arezzo present several formerly-barren landscapes facing common Tucson area challenges such as flooding and erosion and illustrate their conversion to beautiful outdoor spaces featuring vibrant native plant specimens. These sites incorporate innovations in passive and active rainwater harvesting, alternative irrigation strategies, shade trees and colorful pollinator-attracting native plants. In the classroom on Saturday, review basic sustainable landscape principles and discuss the solutions developed for the case sites. On Sunday, join us for a site visit to see the solutions in action first-hand in a series of Tucson gardens.

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Drawing is for Everyone!

Thursday-Saturday, February 21-23 | 10am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #2 | $150 members | $165 general public

Join artist Kath Macaulay for a fun, energetic and non-threatening drawing class suitable for any skill level. Starting with classical shapes and ending in the garden, students become comfortable with both materials and techniques, exploring depth and perspective without intimidation. Drawing supplies not included (cost about $35); email for list.

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Mature Tree Care

Saturday, February 23 | 10am | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $6 members | $10 general public

Mature trees have their own special needs, especially when it comes to pruning. Remember, you can’t un-prune a tree, so it is important to “read” your tree and get it right the first time. Whether you’re planning to do the pruning yourself, or want to be able to direct your landscaper in a better job, join Jason Isenberg, owner/principal designer of REALM and ISA Certified Arborist, and learn the best way to care for those irreplaceable mature trees.

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Indigo Shibori | SOLD OUT | call 742-6455 x 228 to be wait listed

Saturday, March 2 | 9am-12pm | Ed. Ctr. #2 | $60 members | $75 general public

Fabric and mixed media artist Jennifer Eschedor shares the fascinating history of indigo dye with participants in preparation for the creation of two shibori silk scarves! Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. The word comes from the verb root shiboru meaning “to wring, squeeze or press.” Cloth shaped by these methods is secured in a number of ways, such as binding and knotting. The results can be simple or complex, but always beautiful. Since you can never entirely control the process, the effects are often surprising and each piece is unique. Two 11″x 60″, 8mm habotai silk scarves (Habotai silk has a subtle sheen and is light enough to wear year round in the desert) and all other materials as well as instruction in folding, binding, twisting and tying is provided.

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The “Nature” of iPhoneography

Saturday, March 16 | 9am-12pm | Ed. Ctr. #2 | $60 members | $75 general public

They say the best camera is the one that is always with you and these days that is likely to be your phone and iPhone photography — iPhoneography — is fast growing in popularity with both amateurs and professionals. This spring, local iPhoneographers Peggy Steffens, Ron Shannon and Bill Walther introduce participants to the art of nature photography using an iPhone or iPad. Using basic photography skills with the iPhone’s (iPad’s) built-in camera, and exploring the reach of its editing app, the focus is on capturing elements of the natural world – plants, flowers, insects and birds. Designed for anyone who wants to improve their photography skills while learning to maximize the powers of their iPhone camera and editing tools, students will discover pre- and post-editing techniques and additional apps to expand creativity. Participants must have an Apple iPhone 5 or newer and/or an Apple iPad 3 or newer running the current IOS of 12.1.2.

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The Ammonite Gourd

Saturday, March 30 | 9am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #2 | $100 members | $115 general public

The ammonite, a fossilized sea squid from Madagascar, makes a wonderful focal point when married to a stippled canteen gourd accented with pygmy date palm fronds. Gourd artist Sue Brogdon guides students through the process starting with the pattern on the gourd and placing the ammonite. Gourds will be colored with dye inks and then stippled. The final touch with be lashing the date palm for a complete look. All materials are provided. Please bring a dust mask or respirator, an old towel, cloth or plastic tape measure, latex gloves, pencil, bucket, scissors, painter’s tape and a brown bag lunch. And, if you have them, please bring a heat tool, Dremel or power carver (with large ball cutting bur, 80 grit pointed bur, 80 grit 1/8” straight bur, or any cylindrical sanding burs), 1/16” drill bit and small diamond files.

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Backyard Birdhouse in Silver Clay

Saturday, April 13 | 9:30am-7pm | Ed. Ctr. #2 | $150 members | $165 general public

Lyle Rayfield is back with a new project in silver clay that’s strictly “for the birds!” Treat your imaginary, fine-feathered friends to luxury living in a fanciful miniature home. Choose one birdhouse design from several options, then add sparkle and style by individualizing your house with decorative metal clay embellishments and dangles. Emphasis will be placed on effective box construction techniques, as well as how to successfully shape, refine, fire and finish hollow-form creations in silver clay. Cost includes all materials. Please bring a brown bag lunch for a short break mid-day. There will be a 90 minute dinner break from 4:30-6pm while pieces are fired.

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