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. Instructors 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

Monitor: None

Spring Session:
Mondays
| March 25 – May 20 | 12:00 – 3:00 PM | Nine Weeks

Monitor: None
Fee: $130 non-members / $125 members or $20 drop-in fee
Register Here

Summer Session:
Mondays
| June 17 – August 19 | 12:00 – 3:00 PM | Ten 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.


Oil Painting

Joe Taylor

Spring Session:
Tuesdays | March 26 – May 28 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Nine Weeks | No Class 4/2
Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members
Register Here

Summer Session:
Tuesdays | June 18 – August 20 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Ten Weeks 

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members
Register Here

Joe’s classes are as interesting to students who are new to painting as they are to experienced painters. Painters of all levels work side-by-side. Students work from photos or favorite objects. Joe Taylor allows everyone to work on their own, with support for difficult combinations. His level of support is dependent on each individual student’s needs. This class is as accessible for students who are new to painting as it is challenging for experienced painters. 


Oil Painting 

Marie Kirk Burke

Tuesdays | April 9 – May 14  | 1:30 – 4:30 PM | Six weeks
Fee: $175 non-members / $160 members

Register Here 

In this class Marie will create a still life to work from. Students will construct a painting focusing on observations of color, light and shadows. Marie will guide your progress from a sketch to a beautiful finished painting; learning about composition, color, color mixing, light, shadow and how they all relate along the way.


Pastel Painting

Kathleen Newman

Wednesdays | March 27 – May 29 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Nine Weeks | No Classes 4/10
Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members

Register Here

Kathleen emphasizes 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 demonstrates her pastel techniques, including toning backgrounds, on a variety of surfaces. Prior pastel experience is not necessary, but basic drawing skills are helpful.


Oil Painting

Joe Taylor

Spring Session:
Wednesdays | March 27 – May 29  | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | Ten Weeks 
Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members
Register Here

Summer Session:
Wednesdays | June 19 – August 21  | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | Ten Weeks 

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members
Register Here

Joe’s classes are as interesting to students who are new to painting as they are to experienced painters. Painters of all levels work side-by-side. Students work from photos or favorite objects. Joe Taylor allows everyone to work on their own, with support for difficult combinations. His level of support is dependent on each individual student’s needs. This class is as accessible for students who are new to painting as it is challenging for experienced painters. 


Watercolor Painting

Kathleen Newman

Thursdays | March 28 – May 30 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Nine Weeks | No Class 4/11
Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members

Register Here

Kathleen shares 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 use photo reference in a meaningful way as well as work from still life. The class includes demonstrations, critiques and plenty of one-on-one individual instruction. 


Acrylic Painting

Vivian Visser

Thursdays | March 28 – May 30 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Nine Weeks | No Class 5/9
Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members

Register Here

Begin a new course of expression. Acrylics require a different type of discipline than oil. This class is for anyone with an interest in working with acrylics. From types of brushes to still life painting or a personal project, Vivian guides students into the creation of acrylic paintings. This is a class that welcomes students at all levels with an instructor who takes every student into a new realm.

 


Watercolor Painting

Tom Francesconi

Saturdays | March 23 – May 18 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM + May 18 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Nine Classes
Fee: $250 non-members / $235 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. Within this process, students learn how to create stronger, more effective visual statements. Expect discussions and demonstrations that allow you 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. Students at every stage of experience are welcome.


Open Studios

Fridays, March 8 & 22, April 5 & 19, May 3 & 31, June 28, July 5 & 19, August 9 & 23
10 AM – 1 PM
No Instructor
$10

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

 

 

 


Summer Classes:


Acrylic Painting

Vivian Visser

Mondays | June 24 – July 29 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Five Weeks | No Class 7/22
Fee: $165 non-members / $150 members

Register Here

Begin a new course of expression. Acrylics require a different type of discipline than oil. This class is for anyone with an interest in working with acrylics. From types of brushes to still life painting or a personal project, Vivian guides students into the creation of acrylic paintings. This is a class that welcomes students at all levels with an instructor who takes every student into a new realm.

 


Charcoal Drawing

Vivian Visser

Tuesday | July 23 – August 27 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Five Weeks | No Class 7/13
Fee: $165 non-members / $150 members

Register Here

There is a unique challenge of transforming a three dimensional display of objects into a two dimensional drawing. Vivian covers composition, perspective, shading and line quality. All skill levels are welcome, with Vivian providing one-on-one instruction as needed. Each still life has a theme that allows students to concentrate on specific set of challenges.

 

 

 



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.