Joe Wyatt
Published October 18, 2016

Sandy Duncan was laying it on a bit thick – the paint, not the patter – for prodigiously vibrant flowers adorned her canvas this day.

Painting Class Homepage“I was scared to death the first time I came in here because I thought maybe my skill, or lack thereof, would be judged. I needn’t have worried, though,” said Duncan, who has been attending the Acrylic Painting class at Amarillo College for the past 11 years.

“Nobody was critical in the least. This is such a non-threatening atmosphere, a place where you can grow,” she said. “It’s why I keep coming back.”

Acrylic Painting is among the array of arts and crafts classes offered through Seniors College, a branch of AC’s Community Programs Department in the Continuing Education Division.

The class meets Monday mornings from 9 to noon at AC’s Downtown Campus, adjacent to the Senior Citizen’s Center on Polk Street. Many present-day students have taken the course semester after semester, but newcomers often make their way into the mix – and find that they fit right in.

“We learn from each other,” said Donna Cobb, a veteran artist who helps teach the Acrylic Painting class that caters to beginning, intermediate and advanced painters. “All it takes to fit into this class is you’ve simply got to like to paint.

“Of course we socialize, too,” she said. “And we do a group project every semester that usually is a lot of fun, although when everybody paints on the same canvas it can get a little crazy.”

This semester the class is working on a mosaic of sorts, a group project that has each member of the class painting a small portion of the whole. The individual sections will be assembled and the finished picture will be framed before semester’s end.

“Some of us couldn’t draw a stick figure when we first came in here,” Barb Amrhein said. “Yet look at what we can do once we find our comfort zone. I have a long way to go, myself,” she said, “but some of these folks have become really talented artists.”

AC’s Community Programs Department enthusiastically promotes lifelong learning for students of all ages, and seniors are welcome in any number of adult cooking, computer, dance or arts and crafts classes. Seniors College, however, ensures that seniors are afforded the camaraderie of their peers in classes such as wood-carving, oil painting, computer literacy, and, of course, Acrylic Painting.

For more information about Seniors College at AC, please visit or call (806) 371-2922. Ongoing classes end in December. They start afresh in January.