Small class sizes allow students of all skill levels to take part in any given class – no class is larger than 16 students per Chicago guidelines*. Instructors provide each individual student the amount of attention required. The focus is entirely on the visual arts – through drawing with pencils/charcoal and painting with oils, watercolor, pastels or acrylics. 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.
*From the City of Chicago website: “Programs in which participants are primarily seated/stationery may continue in cohorts of up to 20 people (e.g., painting, creative writing, homework help).”
Spring offerings available now.
The Old Town Art Center will offer classes with distancing in keeping with CDC, State and City guidelines. The Center is thoroughly cleaned after each class. Students must wear masks and maintain proper distancing at all times. Sanitizing stations are located throughout. We request that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to refrain from attending class/visiting the Center.
Spring classes are offered for various lengths, note the timelines listed below. Registration is required.Scholarships are available. If you plan to pay for class at the first session, please call the office (312.337.1938) to place a registration hold for the class you would like to attend – this will help us to ensure minimum/maximum attendance.
Art Class FAQs
OTTA membership is open to all
Up to two art classes can be made up within a session
There are no refunds after the 1st class
Classes with fewer than five students may be cancelled – class size is limited to sixteen students. (Note: if the City of Chicago Department of Public Health changes the guidelines, we will follow their recommendation.)
Students provide their own supplies
Scholarships are available – please scroll down for complete information
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 send an email to email@example.com
Figure Drawing Studio
Image by P. Renaud
Mondays | April 5 – May 24 | 12:00 – 3:00 PM | Eight Weeks Monitor: None Fee: $120 non-members / $110 members or $20 drop-in fee
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 & Acrylic Painting
Tuesdays | March 30 – May 25 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Nine Weeks Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members
Students take on projects of their own choosing. 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.
Wednesday | April 21 – May 26 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Six Weeks Fee: $170 non-members / $160 members
The pastel class reunites in person in the OTTA classroom this Spring! Kathleen provides individual instruction as required and also specific assignments for those students that are wanting more academic exploration. Each week prior to class, Kathleen will send a reference photo and description of the upcoming weekly focus. Students are able to work on class assignments or explore their own painting themes with guidance from Kathleen each week during class. A group critique will also be part of the experience before the end of each class.
Acrylics – Drawing to Painting
Thursdays | April 1 – April 29 | 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Five Weeks Fee: $150 non-members / $140 members
Begin a new course of expression. This workshop encourages students to interact by exchanging ideas, visions, and knowledge about art. Vivian will take everyone through the basics of using acrylic paint as a medium. You will learn about techniques, styles, and composition. In addition, color-mixing, paint application, brush strokes, tools and more will be discussed in this workshop. Everyone is welcome.
Cancelled – Will Return Fall 2021
Marie Kirk Burke
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.
Oil & Acrylic Painting
Wednesdays | March 31 – May 26 | 6:30 – 9:30 PM | Nine Weeks Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members
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.
Thursday |April 22 – May 27 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Six Weeks Fee: $170 non-members / $160 members
Kathleen’s online watercolor class will continue through this six week Spring session. As it turns out, the online class experience has provided a unique camaraderie among students through thoughtful art exchange that students have come to enjoy ~ they unanimously decided to continue online rather than return to the classroom experience. Each week prior to class, a reference photo and description of the upcoming weekly focus will be sent via email. During the ZOOM class, a slide show/discussion and a recorded demo of the week’s topic will be provided. After a ten minute break to stretch, refresh, grab a cup of coffee and gather again in the ZOOM classroom, students work in their home studios and share their work for group critique and further discussion. Come join us and reboot your art journey. You can work on class assignments or continue on your own path as usual. Everyone will have time to discuss their work in a group setting or privately by request. You must be registered by Monday, April 12th to receive the first assignment and classroom ZOOM link.
Saturdays | March 27 – May 22 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Nine Weeks Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members
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 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.
Watercolor Figure Painting
Saturdays | March 27 – May 22 | 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Nine Weeks Fee: $250 non-members / $235 members
Join Tom for this unique class. The focus of this watercolor class will be a simplified approach to painting the clothed figure. Tom will demonstrate his painting process, while covering a range of topics. 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 painting that are rich in color and resonate with emotion. Expect discussions and demonstrations that allow you to see how Tom approaches work from start to finish. Ample opportunity is provided for everyone to paint with individual direction/guidance a priority. Students will work from their own reference photographs. Painters at every stage of experience are welcome.
Fridays | Will Return in the Fall of 2021 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 foundhere 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.