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Oklahoma State University’s Doel Reed Center in Taos invites you to a unique educational experience in beautiful Northern New Mexico. The leisure learning classes, designed by expert instructors for inquiring adults, invite you to explore the art, culture, and recreational experiences that multi-cultural Northern New Mexico offers.

July 22-26, 2024

Enrollment for 2024 Leisure Learning courses begins Jan. 15, 2024. Early enrollment ends April 1, 2024. Enrollment ends June 1, 2024. 


Course fee for classes other than fly fishing: $550 early enrollment, $600 after April 1.  Fly fishing course fees are listed below. 


Cancellation policy: For July classes, cancellations after June 1, 2024, are ineligible for refund. On or before June 1, 2024, a full refund, less a $50 processing fee, may be granted.


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Monoprinting with the Taos Moderns

Monoprinting with Mary Claire BeckerInstructor: Mary Claire Becker, MFA 

In the mid-20th century, a group of artists influenced by abstract expressionism convened in Taos, taking inspiration from the remarkable New Mexico landscape to create poignant abstract and non-representational compositions. Artists such as Louis Ribak, Agnes Martin, and Cliff Harmon traded the cityscapes of New York and Los Angeles for the vivid colors and brisk air of the New Mexico desert. Students in the class will take inspiration from the Taos Moderns to create abstractions of the Taos landscape via monotype. Monotype is the most painterly of the printmaking media and can be used to create a variety of textures, color flats, and patterns quickly and playfully. It is an ideal introduction to printmaking for the beginner, as well as being a rewarding generative process for the more seasoned artist.


All skill levels welcome; no previous art experience necessary.

Max enrollment: 8


Mary Claire Becker is an Assistant Professor in the OSU Department of Art, Art History & Graphic Design. As a studio artist, she uses printmaking, sculpture, and video animation to explore landscape in industrialized cultures. She has shown nationally at prestigious venues. She has been an artist in residence at Central Michigan University, the Jentel Artist Foundation in Wyoming, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska, and the Lakeside Laboratories AIR program in Iowa. In 2023, she was an OSU Hargis Fellow in residence at the Doel Reed Center and taught a highly successful credit class.  

The Nuclear Bomb and The Land of Enchantment 

Instructor: Ed Walkiewicz, Ph.D. 

Were you intrigued by the film Oppenheimer? In this class, we’ll study the making of the first atomic bombs, spending a day in Los Alamos and reading essays and memoirs by Oppenheimer and others. We’ll also compare the mindset that led to the making of the nuclear bomb with other perspectives that have shaped New Mexico’s history and cultures, including “green,” Native American. and “counterculture” world views. Reading and discussion will be supplemented by daily excursions to relevant sites in the Taos area, including the Earthship community and the D. H. Lawrence Ranch. 


Max enrollment: 10


Ed Walkiewicz is a former Director of the Doel Reed Center for the Arts as well as Professor Emeritus of English and Ann and Burns Hargis Professor Emeritus at Oklahoma State. He has authored or co-authored books, book chapters, and articles on twentieth-century literature, culture, and history. At Oklahoma State he won both major teaching awards, the Graduate Student Council Outstanding Teaching Award and the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award. Ed has taught eleven different continuing education courses for the Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning in Santa Fe and four credit or “leisure learning” classes for the DRC.

Women Artists of the Southwest 

Women Artists of the SouthwestAmy Von Lintel¸ Ph.D.  

Through site visits and hands-on learning experiences, this course will explore the many women artists who have worked in and responded to the US Southwest, including modernists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Abstract Expressionists such as Elaine de Koonig, the Minimalist work of Agnes Martin and the Land Art of Nancy Holt. Our class will discover how New Mexico is the perfect place to study the intersections of gender, geography, and creativity.  


Max enrollment: 10


Amy Von Lintel is Professor of Art History and Director of the Gender Studies program at West Texas A&M University.  She is an award-winning instructor and the author of two books on Georgia O’Keeffe.  Her most recent book, Expanding Abstract Expressionism: Women Artists and the American West, features the art of Elaine de Kooning, Louise Nevelson, and Jeanne Reynal.  She taught a well-received class on Georgia O’Keeffe at the DRC in 2023. 

Folktales and Enchantment in New Mexico 

The weeping woman, La Llorona Ryan Slesinger, Ph.D. 

Looking to explore the mythical, magical, and haunted dimensions of northern New Mexico? In this class we will access them through the diverse storytelling traditions of the region. Learn about Tony Hillerman’s Navajo Chindi spirits and the weeping woman La Llorona haunting Chicano/a/x folk tales. Listen to “Corrida” and “Indita” story-songs and meet with a local Indita storyteller. Delve into the legends of Billy the Kid and visit the St. James hotel: one of America’s most haunted landmarks that boast bullet holes from the Kid’s era. Visit the spooky side of Taos with a ghost tour, and marvel at the Mesa Prieta petroglyphs.  


Max enrollment: 10


Ryan Slesinger is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of English at OSU. His areas of interest include American Literature & Culture, mysticism & modernity, & multiculturalism. In July 2023, he taught a very successful DRC class on Taos & Western.  

Contemporary New Mexico Cooking 

Carol Lynn Moder, Ph.D. 

Contemporary New Mexico Cooking leisure learning courseCook contemporary New Mexico dishes with award-winning chefs.  In this hands-on class, we will move from traditional red and green chile sauces to more innovative takes on the use of these key ingredients in the mouth-watering multicultural food that typifies New Mexico.  


Max enrollment: 8


Carol Lynn Moder is Professor of English and the Director of the Doel Reed Center in Taos. She has led classes on New Mexico food, cooking, and culture since 2015. 

Beginning Fly Fishing 

Nick Streit, Taos Fly Shop 

Leisure Learning fly fishing course in New MexicoLearn about the skills and equipment needed to become a fly fisher. Basics of fly rod and reel, casting, pond, and stream ecology, matching the hatch, (identifying what fly to use and when). knot tying, fish identification, ethics, rules and regulations and safety.  


You will have the opportunity to learn and implement your new skills on local ponds, lakes and rivers, all while traveling the scenic drives through beautiful northern New Mexico. Distance to the fishing areas will be dependent on water levels and water conditions. Expect to drive or carpool with another class participant to the fishing areas.   


Course fee: $700 early enrollment, $750 after April 1. The course fee includes a $100 credit towards the purchase or rental of fly fishing equipment or gear. 


Fly fishing can be a fun and relaxing experience, but please keep in mind that participants will be required to do some light hiking and wading in streams, some of which will be rough, rocky terrain. Additionally, most fishing locations are above 8000 feet in elevation, so consider your fitness level before signing up. Polarized glasses are highly recommended, as well as sun protection. 


You will be expected to purchase a New Mexico fishing license.  This cost is not included in the class fee. 


Max enrollment: 6

Intermediate and Advanced Fly Fishing  

Nick Streit, Taos Fly Shop 

This class is designed for the more advanced fly fisher who wants to improve their skills on the water. 


Anglers must be proficient in knowing what the equipment does, and how to put it together. The class will include instruction on gear requirements for an enjoyable and successful day on the water. These include rod, reel, line, leader, knots, tying flies to the leader, and general fly selection. 


Be prepared to provide a bio about your fly fishing experience. This will assist the instructors/guides to know what your abilities are, and how to best tailor this learning experience for each of you. 


Expect to drive anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half depending on water and weather conditions. You will be expected to furnish your own ride. However, we encourage you to carpool with other class participants. 


You will be asked to inform your instructor about any underlying health, and or mobility issues that you may have. This information will be kept confidential, but it is needed for your safety and well-being, as well as for the safety of others in the class. 


Course fee: $800 early enrollment, $850 after April 1. The course includes a $100 fee towards private water fees. You will also be required to purchase a one-day Colorado fishing license. Your New Mexico and Colorado fishing licenses are not included in the class price.


Max enrollment: 6

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