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. 


Four Week Oil Painting Session

Joe Taylor will be teaching two special sessions before the holidays. Sign up now for either of these half session, oil painting classes.

Four classes: $140 non-members / members

Tuesdays | November 27 – December 18 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Register Here

Wednesdays |November 28 – December 19 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM

Register Here

 

 


Figure Drawing Studio

Mondays | January 7 – March 11 | 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.

 


Acrylic Painting

Mondays | January 7 – March 18 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM
10 Weeks | No Class 1/21
Instructor: Vivian Visser

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 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.


Oil Painting

Tuesdays | January 8 – March 19 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10 Weeks | No Class 2/26

Instructor: Joe Taylor

Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

Register Here

Students of all levels will enjoy this opportunity to work with beginners as well as experienced painters. Joe focuses 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.

 


Silk Scarf Painting

Tuesdays | January 8 – February 5 | 6:00 – 9:00 PM | 5 Weeks
Instructor: Vivian Visser

Fee: $175 non-members / $165 members

Register Here

No experience necessary this unique study. Students learn how to create painted images using resist and paint designed for silk. Each week Vivian covers different techniques, including wet on wet, wet on dry paint, color choices and composition. Students complete 3 – 5 scarves, the last scarf uses techniques learned in class to complete an original work. All materials provided.

 


Pastel Painting

Wednesdays | January 9 – March 13| 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
9 Weeks | No Classes 1/16

Instructor: Kathleen Newman

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

Wednesdays |January  9 – March 13 | 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 focuses 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 (Short Session)

Tuesdays | March or April start | 5 weeks | 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Instructor: Marie Kirk Burke

Fee: $165 non-members / $150 members

 

Dates and Class focus T/B/D. 

 


Watercolor Painting

Thursdays | January 10 – March 14 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
9 Weeks | No Class 1/17
Instructor: Kathleen Newman

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. 


Drawing – Charcoal / Pencil 

 Thursdays | 6:00 – 9:00 PM
January  10 – February 28 | 5 Weeks | No Class 1/24
March 21 – April 18 | 5 Weeks
Instructor: Vivian Visser

One Session Fee: $165 non-members / $150 members
Both Sessions Fee: $275 non-members / $260 members

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. This class welcomes all skill levels, with Vivian providing one-on-one help to cover individual students needs. Each still life has a theme that allows students to concentrate on a specific set of challenges.

Register Here


 

Watercolor Painting

Saturdays | January 12 – March 16 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
10 Weeks 

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. Within this process, students 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. Students at any stage of experience are welcome.


Open Studios

Fridays, January 11 & 18, February 8 & 22, March 8
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.