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 and Open Studios
2020 Winter Class Registration opens Friday, November 15, 2019

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 | January 6 – March 9 | 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

Winter 2020:
Tuesdays | 
 January 7 – March 10 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Ten Weeks
Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members | Register Here

Fall Extended Session:
Tuesdays
| November 19 – December 17 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Five Weeks
Fee: $150 non-members / members | Register Here

Painters work one-on-one with Joe Taylor in this class. Students take on projects of their own choosing and Joe provides support in difficult areas; whether color, mass, shadows or any other technique that fails. His level of instruction is dependent on each individual student’s needs. This class is as challenging for experienced painters as it is exciting for those expanding their knowledge. 

 

 

 


Oil Painting 

Marie Kirk Burke

Wednesdays | T/B/A | 1:30 – 4:30 PM | Six weeks
Fee: $175 non-members / $160 members

Register Here

In this class Marie creates a still life to work from. Students construct their painting focused on observations of color, light and shadows. Marie guides 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. Beginners are welcome.

 

 

 


Pastel Painting

Kathleen Newman

Wednesdays | January 8 – March 11 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Nine Weeks | No Class 1/15
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

Winter 2020:
Wednesdays |
January 8 – March 11  | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | Ten Weeks 

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

Fall Extended Session:
Wednesdays
| November 20 – December 18 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | Four Weeks (No Class Nov 27)
Fee: $115 non-members / members | Register Here

Painters work one-on-one with Joe Taylor in this class. Students take on projects of their own choosing and Joe provides support in difficult areas; whether color, mass, shadows or any other technique that fails. His level of instruction is dependent on each individual student’s needs. This class is as challenging for experienced painters as it is exciting for those expanding their knowledge.  

 

 


Watercolor Painting 

Kathleen Newman

Thursdays | January 9 – March 12 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Nine Weeks | No Class 1/16
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. 

 


Watercolor Painting

Tom Francesconi

Saturdays | January 11 – March 14 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Ten Classes 
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. 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.

 


Drawing to Painting – Charcoal/Pencil to Acrylic

Vivian Visser

Thursdays  |  January 9 – April 2 | No Classes Jan 23 & Mar 12
Saturdays
 | January 11 – March 14 | 1:30 AM – 4:30 PM 

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

Begin a new course of expression. This multi-level class encouraged students to interact by exchanging ideas, visions, and knowledge about art. Vivian will take everyone through drawing sessions (charcoal/pencil) to refresh your basic skills. From there, acrylic painting becomes your medium. You will learn techniques, styles and composition. In addition, color-mixing, paint application, brush strokes, tools and more will be discussed in class.  Everyone is welcome. 

 


Open Studios

Fridays, Nov 1, 8, & 15, Dec 6 & 13, Jan 10 & 17, Feb 7 & 21 and Mar 6 & 20
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.