Best art classes in NYC
One of the top professional art schools in the country, SVA, as it’s also known, offers dozens of continuing education courses in every imaginable subject related to contemporary art. And not just how-to classes in painting, etc: There’s also classes in art history, critical studies, video and even making art using genetic engineering!
One of the most venerable institutions of its type, The Art Students League of New York has been around since 1875. Some of the notable artists who have passed through there include Jackson Pollock, Norman Rockwell and Georgia O'Keeffe, and you can, too! Classes in painting, sculpture and drawing teach fundamentals from sketching live models to the finer points of color theory.
Perhaps the oldest art school in the United States, the National Academy School opened in 1825, and while its storied history might suggest and emphasis on tradition, the courses offered—in every conceivable medium—are totally up to the minute.
If a name like Painting Lounge sounds to you like a place that is totally chill, well you’re absolutely right! Painting Lounge encourages BYOB, as long as it’s not hard liquor (they even provide cups, corkscrews and a fridge to keep your brewskis cold). The classes consists of professional artists taking you through a step-by-step process of replicating a featured painting every night. It could a Picasso or a Van Gogh, but there’s no right or wrong way to paint, just a relaxed, hassle-free environment to get in touch with your artistic side. Think of it as the visual-art equivalent of karaoke.
New York’s best-known community center is famous for its lectures, concerts and talks, but art classes are also part of the program, and include everything from art appreciation to watercolor.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of taking art classes—even beginners art classes—in a professional art-school setting, The Art Studio NY is for you. With names like “Fear-Free Drawing 101” and “Dare To Oil Paint” the courses at The Art Studio NY live up to the credo of treating all students with “warmth and care” by offering classes open to everyone from “2 to 102.”
Robert Blackburn (1920–2003) was a legend in the world of fine-art lithography and intaglio, and the co-operative printmaking workspace he founded in 1948 continues his legacy of providing the knowledge and equipment for tackling the intricacies of traditional printmaking techniques (stone lithography, etching and engraving), even if you’re a beginner.
It’s hard to think of making pottery without recalling that orgasmic scene between Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost. But let’s face it there is something sensual about molding wet clay as it spins around on a wheel, so if pottery is an itch you’ve got to scratch, you can’t do better than this Long Island City ceramic studio. Learn the basics of throwing, glazing and firing a pot in BrickHouse’s stress-free atmosphere, which welcomes everyone regardless of skill level.
This community studio and workshop is all about teaching silk-screen printing for both fine art and design. Intro courses take you through the basics of creating stencils (both hand-cut and photo-sensitized), mixing inks and the proper methods for printing with a squeegee. The courses include specialized instruction for printing T-shirts, wallpaper and stationary, plus hi-speed printing using commercial four-color processes.
Thinking of going to art school or applying for an MFA program? Or maybe you’re looking to polish your art portfolio? Ashcan Studio of Art may be for you. Admittedly not a place for Sunday painters, the school offers intensive courses in all mediums that are designed to improve your skills and otherwise up your art game. The program is especially suited for aspiring art students. Classes are offered year-round, not only in Manhattan but also at locations in Flushing, Little Neck and Syosset.
Shutterbugs of all types can fine something to learn here at New York’s City preeminent photography school, where instruction is offered on all formats and sizes of cameras, including iPhones.