At The Center Courses
My seven years of classes at the Center has totally impacted my textile work and has given me the skills to visually communicate my thoughts and beliefs. When people ask about my experiences at the Center, I explain that Gail and her staff have the unique skill of helping individual students expand their vision and their handwork. The facility, the professionalism and the vision that is integral to the Creative Arts Center is unique in this country. I travel and teach throughout the United States and have not found any other school that is even close to offering what is available here. My fiber art is being recognized nationally as a result of my courses at the Center.
-Anita Luvera Mayer
The best description I have of my studies and experiences with the Gail Harker Creative Center is “astounding and life changing!” From my very first class of Level 1 Experimental Machine Stitch through my very recent completion of Level 2 Certificate in Design and Experimental stitch, I have experienced the highest quality of teaching and my personal development has increased greatly. Gail has an amazing way of encouraging her student’s abilities through her teaching methods and infinite wisdom on the subjects of embroidery and textile arts. She has continually guided and inspired me with each new technique and process taught. I am constantly amazed at the scope of my abilities now.
Her teaching methods and gentle encouragement constantly enhance my studies. Studying historical references to stitching and its relevance to the work that we currently execute adds so much depth to my ongoing studies.
I began the course of study with the desire to become a more disciplined artist, able to reproduce processes and designs if necessary. I learned to do that and then some. The two years I spent preparing and executing designs were some of the most stimulating and challenging of my life. This was due to the excellence of the teaching but also to the richness of student exchanges which are only possible in an environment such as the Gail Harker Center for Creative Studies. We were exposed not only to each other's efforts but also to the exhibits of graduating classes in other areas of the textile arts. This experience represented an invaluable boon in encouraging and inspiring our own work.
The skills and habits learned and reinforced by the course of study at the Gail Harker Center are sustaining my work to this day and have become a spring board for innovative ways of expressing myself artistically. I will be forever grateful for the level of commitment of our instructor and as well as the staff of the center.
I have been a student of the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center for over 12 years. It has been a tremendous experience that has helped me, both personally and professionally. Over these twelve years, I have completed Certificate courses in design, embroidery, and patchwork and quilting. I have also taken supplemental courses in drawing, painting, and surface design. In 2007, I completed the challenging Diploma in Design and Embroidery. I can honestly say that I value this accomplishment far more than any education I have achieved in my life, and it is entirely due to Gail's tutelage. Because I am a local student, I often help at the center, and over the time I have known Gail, I have seen many of the changes that have come to her business as it has grown. I look forward to the exciting possibilities for her future.
Gail’s courses train potential artists and designers to a very high standard. She is sought out by serious students who wish to improve their design skills, and they see enormous growth in their art, whatever their discipline may be. Her reputation continues to draw students from all over the United States, Canada, and even Europe. She has French and Swiss students who could seek a similar education in the nearby UK, but they choose to come to our area to receive their education from Gail.
I found that this school was the only one in the United States that focuses on my medium, needlework, has a strong program in art and design, and allows for my family life because of the time structure of the courses. Gail's school also offers a variety of special classes with other accomplished professional teachers. Gail accepts students into her classes at whatever level of experience they may have. Not only are her classes well structured, but Gail is the kind of teacher who is able to recognize where each student is in her journey, sensitively provides the guidance needed and always encourages each person's individuality. This approach fosters a sense of comradery rather than competition in each class so that the students, in addition to the instruction, are able to share ideas and grow with each other.I have traveled to Washington from Wisconsin since 2002 because of this unique, wonderful teacher and her unique, wonderful school.
I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude for the skills I have acquired in the field of textile art from the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center. I have been a client there since the beginning of their program offerings. The Center is indeed one of the finest studios in North America for studies in creative textiles and design. Gail Harker has unique talents in this field that she has generously shared with her students. This type of study is not available elsewhere in the United States as her center is unique to this country. She received her degrees in the field of art and design in England under the City & Guilds Program which is known world-wide. I have taken classes that included many students from other countries because they know that her curriculum is creative and unique. I sincerely endorse and support her studio which is unparalleled in this country. It is a jewel in the field of textile arts.
The courses offered are both unique and high quality. They focus on developing adult students as art, design, textile and embroidery artists, and use innovative, experimental and experiential approaches. The courses are organized in sequential levels, and not available through trade schools, community colleges, or colleges and universities. They draw students not only from Northwest US and Canada, but also from across North America and from Europe. I have met people from Paris and Switzerland who regularly travel to the center to attend courses. Students are drawn to the courses because they are exciting, well planned and hands-on, and because of Gail’s considerable passion, knowledge, skill and ability as an instructor and tutor. One Whidbey Island graduate has an embroidered piece on the February 2009 cover of American Style Magazine; others are exhibiting and selling their work after attending courses; still others highly recommend courses to their friends. Success speaks for itself.
There are no other places, that I can think of, where a student can take on a study that encourages and broadens their artistic abilities. An art college or university is available for art students but for those of us who do not wish to study full time or have retired the Harker studio has a syllabus that allows her students to take courses at times that will fit into their busy lives. Gail, as a teacher fulfills the needs of those of us who wish, for their own enlightenment, to travel down the path of the arts, and she encourages her students to reach into their artistic ability to make it blossom. Her studio offers a rich and rewarding place to bring our budding talents to light. I know there are many Canadians who have taken some of Gail Harker's classes and they all speak very highly of her methods and professionalism.
Gail’s approach to ‘teaching’ color is unique and successful. Gail does not ‘teach’ as much as she leads you through a thoughtful and logical, step-by-step process by which you develop a theoretical and practical understanding of color! Each instructional section includes unit objectives, tried and true processes and methodologies to ensure your success. The notes are descriptively clear and the accompanying photographs serve to reinforce and clarify the topics. Gail approaches each student as an individual - like snowflakes, no two are alike - and strives to help you find your success.