Summer is a time to take off and explore the world. But for those who can’t get away, there’s an alternative way to experience new cultures right here in Madison.

Professor Wei Dong wants students to use concepts from Chinese brush painting and Feng Shui culture in their everyday lives.

Professor Wei Dong wants students to use concepts from Chinese brush painting and Feng Shui culture in their everyday lives.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting provides an introduction to Chinese painting, Tai Chi, acupuncture, calligraphy, and contemporary design. The free course runs July 14-August 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., at 2234 Nancy Nicholas Hall, 1300 Linden Dr. It currently has a waitlist, which you can find here.

Chinese Brush Painting: Enter the World of Nature offers another chance to study Asian art this summer, but with a more intensive approach. The daylong class allows participants to create several paintings inspired by nature, using the spontaneous, glazed, and wet-in-wet styles. It runs July 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at 6411 UW Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St. The instructor is artist Stella Dobbins, and the cost is $80. To register, see here.

Finding harmony through learning

Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting is taught by Professor Wei Dong, a specialist in Asian design. He grew up in China and has been teaching Chinese painting and Feng Shui culture for over 20 years.

Professor Dong helps a student with Chinese brush painting.

Professor Dong helps a student with Chinese brush painting.

The class includes demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on experiences. The goal, according to Dong, is for students to use concepts from Chinese brush painting and Feng Shui culture in their everyday lives.

“Students will learn more about the balance between the opposing yet coexisting elements Yin and Yang,” he says. “This will help in their studies and their well-being.”

Chinese Feng Shui and Brush Painting is part of UW-Madison’s Summer Forums. These free courses welcome both university students and adults, who get to know each other through lively classroom experiences.

Dong hopes that the diverse group of students will make for a unique learning environment.

“With students from UW and the community, everyone will bring their experiences into the class,” he says. “They can all learn from each other.”

To learn more about Summer Forums, contact Mee Her, mher@dcs.wisc.edu, 608-262-2152. For more information about Chinese Brush Painting: Enter the World of Nature, contact Lori O’Neill, loneill@dcs.wisc.edu, 608-263-6322.