PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire-based artists, cooks and an opera enthusiast will present inspiring and creative courses for the fall semester of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI at BCC). Classes run Sept. 16-Oct. 29, and are designed for students ages 50 and older.

"Meet the Artists" will feature four local creative minds as they explore the developmental process that enabled each to reach their creative goals. Each artist in the series has work space in NUarts Studios and Gallery in Pittsfield, where students will view studio spaces and the work of the presenting artists. Ellen Joffe, Claudia Shuster, Diane Firtell and Sam Ponder span genres from expressive arts therapy to portrait painting to fine arts photography to whale bone carving.

Howard and Sue Arkans will lead a hands-on cooking course creating regional Italian cuisine. They have studied at Italian cooking schools including Fontana del Papa in Tolfa, Awaiting Table in Lecce and La Tavola Marche near Urbino.

Selected examples from a number of the "HD Live from the Met" telecasts for the 2013-14 season will be previewed using instructor Peter Podol’s extensive collection of operatic live video performances. Learn to analyze and discuss key dramatic and musical moments as you prepare to fully appreciate the HD telecasts.

Develop the skills to master your camera through a better understanding of light and imaging in Thad Kubis’ course "An Adventure in Photography.


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" Covered will be film, instant imaging and the digital image with sessions on portrait, fine art, editorial black and white and color imaging and the mobile camera (iPhones, etc.).

More information on these and other OLLI courses may be obtained by visiting www.BerkshireOLLI.org or calling the OLLI office at (413) 236-2190.