Have you ever wandered around the Metropolitan Museum of Art or Museum of Modern Art, taking in some of the best paintings and sculptures in New York, and thought to yourself, How can I learn to do that? Or maybe you’ve wanted to learn how to create ceramics, or silkscreen your own T-shirts and posters. Well, we’ve got the right classes for you to master all of these mediums and then some. Below are the top workshops and schools providing the best art classes in NYC for all levels in painting, photography, pottery and more.
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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.
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.
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.