As luck would have it, the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, through its Arts Retreat program, has a very talented visual artist in residence this month, and others will have a unique opportunity to learn from her, through the New York Mills Community Education program.

Kyla Rafert, from Newark, Del., will be teaching an Oil Painting Basics class through the local community education program. The class will take place at the NYM school, and will be held June 26-28 during two different times, either 3-5 p.m. or 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

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The fee for the class is $5, and anyone from 4th grade age through adults are invited to enroll. If you don't have a NYM Community Education Summer Recreation brochure, call 218-385-2553 to have one sent.

Rafert holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has worked at a multitude of occupations since graduation including carriage driver, health store worker, barista and artwork framer, just to name a few. She has come to believe that being a part of a community dedicated to the arts is crucial for her own creative development and motivation as an artist.

This Oil Painting Basics class is especially good for budding painters, because for the modest sign up fee of $5 they will receive a canvas, brushes, oil paints, drawing pencil and sketch pad. In addition, all the finished pieces from the class will be on display in the upstairs gallery of the Cultural Center for the month of July. This wonderful opportunity is made possible by coordinating efforts and resources of the Mills IMPACT Team, NYM Regional Cultural Center and Community Education.

The Mills IMPACT Team is able to sponsor the summer enrichment classes through grants from West Central Initiative, the United Way, Mills Lions Club and General Mills.

Also coming up at the NYMRCC is a Sunday, June 25 concert by one of the upper Midwest's finest R & B and blues bands, the Deb Jenkins Band.

The concert is set to begin at 8 p.m. This will be the group's first performance in New York Mills, following their tour of clubs throughout the region and an appearance at the annual Fargo Blues Festival.

Call 218-385-3339 for ticket information.