The two grand exhibition rooms at the Institute of Mosaic Art show off the textured tile work of its staff and visiting artists, with more works displayed outside in its lush garden. Within, more than 80 classes and workshops for all skill levels cover a wide range of topics and techniques, including working with glass, smalti, and tiles, as well as projects such as jewelry and exterior decorations. Visiting artists conduct special workshops, giving students insight into their creative processes and suggestions on the best brand of car windshield to smash for supplies.
The institute also houses Mosaic Studio Supply, which fills its homey halls with materials and manuals for all projects. Mosaic makers can browse the stock of a la carte supplies, from colorful tiles to tools and adhesives, as well as kits full of color-coordinated pieces.
Sailing out of Central Basin in Oakland or Treasure Island, Afterguard Sailing Academy's Intro to Sailing courses are a great way to get a taste of the passion held by so many people across the world. For more in-depth instruction, multi-day courses are available, giving participants the chance to learn some of the knots, lingo, and practices.
Thanks to the academy's team of seasoned captains, tours are only one way to experience sailing's thrills. Their instructors also teach comprehensive American Sailing Association certification courses, which aim to transition ordinary passengers to crew members and skippers for more independent sailing adventures of all types. As students progress, instructors teach more advanced lessons, such as bay basics and ocean sailing. Aside from these lessons, the captains also run a nonprofit sailing academy for youth.
The staccato beat of conga drums rises over the deep voice of a bass guitar and the higher trills of the timbales and piano. Head dancer Evan Margolin and his bevy of experienced instructors lead students in classes that take beginners through basic footwork and salsa rhythms, with intermediate and advanced sessions offering salsa aficionados more challenging instruction. The social class structure—partners rotate throughout every session—creates a low-pressure learning environment and keeps dancers from scrambling to locate a partner or human-shaped tupperware container. The one-hour beginner classes are mostly filled with salsa novices and new dancers, and Dance SF's experienced and engaging local salsateers are patient and friendly when showing new students how to bust well-timed moves. During intermediate classes, which require six months or more of social dancing experience, students focus on timing and cross-body leads with turns. After some evening classes, new dancers are invited to join an all-night salsa party where they can put their new moves in practice. Students should wear comfortable clothing, which includes dancing shoes, but does not include rear-flapped onesie pajamas.
The word "moodology" isn't in the dictionary. Nonetheless, the term, coined by photographer Curtis Jermany, best encapsulates his work, which he describes as "the practice of photographically capturing your many moods." To achieve this, Curtis casts his portraiture subjects in heavy shadow, dramatically emphasizing the sheen of sweat on a young boxer or the fretboard of a talented musician's guitar. While Curtis mans the camera, his team of makeup artists and stylists helps ensure that every pose-striker feels comfortable and confident.
Available for commercial and private work both in the studio and on-location, Curtis's clients range from fashion models to families, kids, and high school seniors. Besides snapping his own photos, Curtis teaches classes that help amateur shutterbugs avoid rookie mistakes such as filling entire rolls of film with close-up pictures of your eye.