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 | March 19 – May 21 | 12 – 3 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.

 

 


Drawing for Beginners

Mondays | March 26 – May 21 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM |
10 Weeks | Additional Class TBD

Instructor: Jeff Krantz

Fee: $255 non-members / $245 members

Register Here

This class is intended for both, beginners and those wishing to strengthen their existing drawing skills. This is the basis for working with all other media. The class will examine perceptual skills necessary for making objective or “realistic” drawings from a variety of sources, including still life, landscape, and the self-portrait. Brief lectures and demonstrations by the instructor will introduce each topic, followed by studio time to practice new skills and integrate those previously studied.

 


Oil Painting

Tuesdays | March 27 – May 29 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | 10 Weeks
Instructor: Joe Taylor

Fee: $255 non-members / $245 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.

 

 


Pastel Painting

Wednesdays | March 28 – May 30 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM |
7 Weeks | No Classes 4/18, 5/16, 5/23 | 
Instructor: Kathleen Newman

Fee: $175 non-members / $165 members

Register Here

Kathleen emphasizes the importance of design and value structure, while 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 through your own photographs or those of the masters. 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 | March 28 – May 23 | 1:30 – 4:30 PM | 9 weeks |
Instructor: Marie Kirk Burke

Fee: $230 non-members / $220 members

Register Here

All About Color! Whether you are new to painting, an advanced learner or a pro, this class will heighten your understanding and interest in oils. Students will work on their own subjects while Marie interjects demos on palette setup, color mixing. mediums and painting techniques. A group project will also included in the class for inclusion in the student show during June. The first class of this session will meet at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute for inspiration and a discussion about materials. 

 


Oil Painting

Wednesdays |March 21 – May 23 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | 10 Weeks |
Instructor: Joe Taylor

Fee: $255 non-members / $245 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 | March 29 – May 31 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
7 Weeks | No Classes 4/19, 5/17, 5/24 |

Instructor: Kathleen Newman

Fee: $175 non-members / $165 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  one-on-one individual instruction.

 


Watercolor Painting

Saturdays | March 31 – May 19 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | 8 Weeks |
Instructor: Tom Francesconi

Fee: $195 non-members / $185 members

Register Here

Tom uses a direct, loose, representational approach to painting. Through lectures, demonstrations, and personal instruction, the beginning painter will find Tom’s sensitivity and experience invaluable. Experienced painters are challenged to stretch to new personal horizons. All watercolor artists will find inspiration and a new perspective in Tom’s class. Periodic group critiques are scheduled so all students may gain from the work of others.


Open Studios

Fridays, February 16 & 23; March 9, 16 & 23; April 16 & 23
10 AM – 1 PM
No Instructor
$10

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

 

 


Watercolor Painting Workshop – Summer Session

Monday, July 16 – Wednesday, July 18 (3 Days)
9 AM – 4 PM
Instructor: Tom Francesconi

Fee: $375 non-members / $360 members

Register Here

This three-day watercolor workshop is designed to expose the student to Tom’s simplified approach to painting the clothed figure. Tom will demonstrate his painting process from the beginning drawing to the finished painting. Rather than relying on the burdensome task of duplicating exactness, Tom endeavors to interpret the figure through an insightful and expressive painting process. Students will work from their own reference photographs. This three-day workshop offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the figure in a joyful and creative way.



New for 2018 –  Suzanne Flavin Scholarships

Beginning with the winter 2018 classes, the Old Town Art Center offers need based financial aid through the Suzanne Flavin Scholarship Fund. Financial assistance is provided for 50% of the cost of a class and is offered to no more than two students for each 10-week 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.