Classes & Workshops

The Old Town Art Center

About the Old Town Art Center

Small class sizes allow students of all skill levels to take part in any given class. Instuctors provide as little or as much attention as each individual student requires. The focus is entirely on the visual arts – through drawing with pencils/charcoal and painting with oils, watercolor or pastels. The Figure Studio is open to all (for a full session or as a drop-in).  

Sessions typically begin the first week of January, the last week of March and the first week of September. Short sessions are offered in the summer and toward the end of the year. Classes are offered during the day, at night and on weekends. 


Join us for Art Classes: 10-Week Sessions, Workshops, Short Sessions and Open Studios

Art Class FAQs

  • OTTA membership is open to all
  • Up to two art classes can be made up within a ten week session
  • There are no refunds after the 1st class
  • Classes with fewer than five students may be cancelled
  • Students provide their own supplies
  • Scholarships are available – please scroll down for complete information
  • Click here to print a registration form to be mailed or delivered

Art Classes

Please note:  You can register for classes by visiting our secure member portal.  Membership is not required to register for art classes. If you have any questions or run into any problems please call the office at 312.337.1938. 


Figure Drawing Studio

Image by P. Renaud

Mondays | September 10 – November 12 | 12:00 – 3:00 PM | 10 Weeks
Monitor: None

Fee: $145 non-members / $140 members
or $20 drop-in fee

Register Here

Artists hone their skills, working directly from a live model. Beginning through advanced students are welcome to advance their figure stylings.  One hour is devoted to quick gesture poses. The focus for the remaining time will be longer poses for finished drawings and paintings. We provide drawing benches, easels, tables and boards. All media are welcome.

 

 


Silk Scarf Painting

Mondays | October 1 – October 29 | 6:00 – 7:30 PM | 5 Weeks
Instructor: Vivian Visser

Fee: $140 non-members / members

Register Here

This class welcomes all levels of painting and drawing skills. Students will learn how to create painted images using resist and paint designed for silk. Each week Vivian will cover different techniques, including wet on wet, wet on dry paint, color choices and composition. Students will complete 3 – 5 scarves, the last scarf will be an original design using the techniques learned in class. All materials provided.

 


Oil Painting

Tuesdays | September 11 – November 20 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10 Weeks | No class 11/6

Instructor: Joe Taylor

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

This class is for students who are new to painting as well as experienced painters. Joe will focus on color mixing, color relationships, glazing, light, composition, and concept. Students work from photos or favorite objects. Whether you prefer an involved, direct adviser or one who allows you to work on your own, with support for difficult combinations,  Joe Taylor provides the level of support that works

for each individual student.

 


Oil Painting

Tuesdays | September 18 – November 20 | 1:30 – 4:30 PM
9 Weeks | No Class 11/6

Instructor: Marie Kirk Burke

Fee: $245 non-members / $230 members

Register Here

This multi-level class will work from photos. Students will develop a composition from preliminary sketches and then move to the canvas, painting the image emphasizing the color and light. Composition, light, and color principles will be the focus. Through prompts, demonstrations, and discussions, Marie will provide the tools necessary to move each student to a new level. One-on-one attention is a feature of this intensive class. 


Drawing into Painting (Acrylic) – Beginners

Tuesdays | September 18 – December 18 | 5:30 – 8:30 PM
10 Weeks | No Classes 10/9, 11/6, 11/13, 12/11

Instructor: Vivian Visser

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here 

Begin a new course of expression. This class is the perfect entry point for anyone with an interest in learning how to paint. From what types of brushes produce specific results and creating simple geometric shapes to your own still life and a personal project, Vivian will explain the basics and guide you into the creation of your own paintings. If you have ever wanted to attend an art class but have been intimidated by any number of factors – this is the class for you.


Pastel Painting

Wednesdays | September 26 – December 12 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10 Weeks | No Classes 10/10, 11/21

Instructor: Kathleen Newman

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

Kathleen will emphasize the importance of design and value structure, with an emphasis on developing form through light and shadow. Learn to edit information from photos to strengthen compositions. Explore drawing, proportion, and color through direct observation of a still life or a photo. Kathleen will demonstrate her pastel techniques, including toning backgrounds, on a variety of surfaces. Prior pastel experience is not necessary, but basic drawing skills will be helpful.


Oil Painting

Wednesdays | September 12 – November 14 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | 10 Weeks
Instructor: Joe Taylor

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

This class is for students who are new to painting as well as experienced painters. Joe will focus on color mixing, color relationships, glazing, light, composition, and concept.  Students work from photos or favorite objects. Whether you prefer an involved, direct adviser or one who allows you to work on your own, with support for difficult combinations,  Joe Taylor provides the level of support that works for each individual student.

 

 


Watercolor Painting

Thursdays | September 27 – December 13| 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10 Weeks | No Classes 10/11, 11/22
Instructor: Kathleen Newman

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

Kathleen will share her understanding of watercolor and the skills needed to develop a personal painting style. Expect to explore different materials to improve technique and drawing skills, how to simplify design through abstract shapes and use color and light to reflect mood and emotion. Students will use photo reference in a meaningful way as well as work from still life. The class will include demonstrations, critiques and plenty of one-on-one individual instruction. 


Mixed Media Sketchbook

Thursdays |September 13 – November 15 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM | 10 Weeks
Instructor: Lindsey Claire McNeil

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

This class is for anyone with a desire to create, revive, or deepen their personal sketchbook practice. Each week, Lindsey will demonstrate materials and offer exercises to kick start creative movement and stimulate energetic responses. Explore new ways to document the world around you while deepening the relationship between brain and hand. Throughout the class we will work withdrawing, painting, collage, writing, and more, and take a look into different artists’ practices for inspiration.


Watercolor Painting

Saturdays | September 8 – December 1 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10 Weeks | No Classes 10/13, 10/20, 11/24

Instructor: Tom Francesconi

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

Tom’s energetic teaching style and passion for painting combine to create a class that is enjoyable and informative. Any artist looking to break free of a careful, timid painting process will find Tom’s direct and representational approach very inspirational. Utilizing his ability to clearly explain visual concepts, Tom will share his ​approach and methods for painting bold and interpretive watercolors. Within this process, students will learn how to create stronger, more effective visual statements. Expect discussions and demonstrations that allow participants to see how Tom approaches a work from start to finish. Ample opportunity is provided for everyone to paint with individual direction/guidance a priority. Class critiques afford students the opportunity to learn from the works of others. Tom welcomes all painters regardless of experience.


Open Studios

Fridays, September 14 & 21; Oct 5 & 19; Nov 2
10 AM – 1 PM
No Instructor
$10

Open studios are available to current students and OTTA members only. 

 

 



Suzanne Flavin Scholarships

The Old Town Art Center offers need based financial aid through the Suzanne Flavin Scholarship Fund. Financial assistance is provided for the complete cost of a class and is offered to no more than two students for each full session – one watercolor class and another in any media. To apply, please complete the application found here or visit the OTAC (1763 N North Park Avenue) to pick up a copy.  Recipients will be announced two weeks prior to the start of the next session.