Skip to main content

The Educated Artist: A Guide to Continuing Education Classes and Workshops in the Fine Arts in New York City (Revised and Updated)

Living in a city with so much art, it's not surprising that so many people who are not professional artists occasionally like to draw, paint, sculpt, and take pictures. So it shouldn't be surprising that many area arts schools, colleges, and other institutions offer a range of art courses and workshops. Nevertheless, in compiling this survey of continuing education classes in studio (and outdoor) art classes, many of which begin in the next few weeks, I was impressed with the range and scope of offerings for all levels of artistic skill - beginning, intermediate, and advanced. A few of these programs offer a drawing course, or at least a class session, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a classic way to improve artistic vision.

In addition to improving artistic skills and learning new techniques, participating in an art class is a fun way to meet others in the city who share the same interests. Based on my own experience taking continuing education art classes, classmates will come from all areas of the city, with different backgrounds and experience that shape their individual visions. You'll be amazed at what kind of work is out there among the amateur art population. Do not worry about your own level of talent. Someone will be worse than you. Others will blow you away.

Most have daytime, evening, and weekend classes, plus intensive workshops. Classes with multiple meeting times over the course of a few months. Many multi-week courses fall in the $425-$475 range. Some include model fees. Particularly popular courses with well-known artist instructors can fill up, so register early. A few of the schools listed below hold information sessions prior to the beginning of semester course. Be sure to attend, because it's always helpful to find a good match between your inner artist and its new instructor.
These listings are constantly being updated.

School of Visual Arts Continuing Education, 209 East 23 Street, New York, NY 10010
Painting, drawing, figure drawing, anatomy, drawing at the Met, drawing New York City, sculpture, printmaking, jewelry. Also many courses in photography, animation, illustration and cartooning, etc.

New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, 8 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Evening and Saturday classes are open to members of the public. Drawing, painting, and sculpture courses last 11 weeks.


Cooper Union Continuing Education, Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
Several courses in the fine arts including book arts, photography, painting, drawing for all levels (including absolute beginners), collage, color theory, drawing nature, drawing on location, watercolor and abstraction, drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor. New York, NY 10011
Courses in drawing, painting, watercolor, Drawing at the Met, printmaking, mixed media, collage, and more. Non-credit students pay tuition and fees as listed along with the course description, and a $7 university services fee each term.

Pratt Institute Continuing Education, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Large number of courses in Brooklyn and Manhattan in painting, drawing, jewelry making, photography, sculpture, metalworking, artist's diary, drawing on location, book arts, perspective drawing, illustration, and more.

New York Academy of Art, Continuing Education, 111 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013
Figure drawing; painting in oils; Landscapes and Seascapes: Painting on the Hudson (Offsite); human anatomy; watercolors, sculpture. All levels - beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

The Art Students League of New York, 215 West 57th Street, New York
The league begins its 135th Regular Session in September.
Painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media. Registration is by the month. Students may enter any class at the Art Students League at any time, provided the class is not full. Registration fee of $20. Schedule involves a variety of classes- five mornings or afternoon a week, part-time, one or two evenings a week, Saturday classes, Sunday classes and so forth.

International Center for Photography, 1114 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
The School at ICP offers 10-week and 5-week courses, weekend workshops, and seminars on a range of topics, including digital and darkroom photography, lighting, documentary, portraiture, Photoshop, and printing. Consult course catalog on the site to see the school's extensive offerings.

City University of New York (CUNY) Adult and Continuing Education
See website to search for course offerings in painting, drawing, and other disciplines at the many campuses across the boroughs.

NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, 145 4th Avenue, Room 201, New York, NY 10003
Offers courses in drawing (also a drawing course at the Met), painting, photocollage, printmaking, watercolor, and more.

92nd Street Y Art Classes
Offers courses in painting, drawing, photography, collage & mixed media.

Henry Street Settlement: Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street
Classes in painting and drawing, ceramics, and printmaking.

THE ART SCHOOL OUTDOORS

The New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road Bronx, NY 10458
Courses in Perspective Drawing for the Botanical and Natural Science Artist, Drawing Trees, Garden Writing and Photography.

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Related posts:
Drawing Sessions: The Walk-in Ateliers of New York
Back-to-School Art Supplies Walk

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple of her ever-increasing art supply collection and a couple of drawings on location.

Comments

  1. What a fantastic list. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Seth. You're welcome! While I was looking for a course for myself, I realized that a guide to these types of classes and workshops could be useful to others.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for your response! Walking Off the Big Apple is accepting comments. Please be relevant to the content and do not solicit or engage in self-promotion. Thoughtful responses are welcome. Comments are moderated at all times.










Popular posts from this blog

A Daytime Walk on Broadway and the Theater in the Dark

On October 9, the Broadway League announced that the theater season has been postponed through May 2021, leaving Broadway dark for the winter and into the spring of next year. According to the press release, “Broadway performances were initially suspended due to COVID 19 on March 12, 2020. At that time, 31 productions were running, including 8 new shows in previews. Additionally, 8 productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.”It’s hard to imagine New York without the theater. Even a daytime walk along the way in the Theater District near Times Square will reveal that the theater, in terms of live performances with an audience, has gone dark. Without Broadway, that leaves visitors to Times Square with few options for general amusement. Many stores and restaurants have closed as well. The lights are still up and blazing. When the Empire State Building was left nearly empty during the Great Depression, just a few years after it opened, the building crew kept the lights…

North Towards Autumn: A Day Trip on the Metro-North Hudson Line

The peak of autumn colors in New York City tends to fall sometime in the days following Halloween, but those anxiously waiting leaf change can simply travel north. 
One way to speed the fall season is to take the Hudson line of Metro-North north of the city and watch the greens fade to oranges and yellows and the occasional burst of red. Weekends during the month of October are ideal times to make the trip. The air tends to be crisp with bright blue skies, and the Hudson River glimmers like a mirror in the light of autumn. As the Hudson line hugs the river for much of the distance north, the train ride alone provides plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. Try to grab a window seat on the river side of the train car for views of the Palisades and the bends of the Hudson Highlands later in the trip.  Still, October is a great time for a walk. Exploring the villages along the Hudson line may be accomplished on foot, and many cater to visitors with signs and maps indicating the village’s…

An Early Autumn Walk in Central Park: 2020 Edition

This week, the singer Diana Krall released a cover of “Autumn in New York,” the standard by Vernon Duke. An accompanying video, filmed in New York by Davis McCutcheon and directed by Mark Seliger, portrays the city in moody yet beautiful black and white tones. Beyond the lack of autumn colors, the film shows the empty streets of the pandemic city. The mood riffs on the underlying melancholy of the song’s lyrics, that the fall season “is often mingled with pain.”

When I think of autumn in New York, I automatically imagine walking in Central Park in the vivid colors of the season. The images here, from a meandering one-mile stroll this past Saturday, show only a hint of autumnal glory but reflect more conventional representations of both the season and the song. Yet, walking in Central Park at the beginning of autumn is tinged for me with a hint of sadness, or truthfully, with some anxiety about the coming months.

I hadn’t ventured into Central Park since before the pandemic. While I’ve b…

A Weekend Walk on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Imagine strolling from town to town near the eastern shores of the Hudson River, walking a well-trodden path lined with trees and stately architecture and with easy access to cafes, local shops, and train stations for an easy ride home. Imagine a weekend when the sun is bright and the sun is warm, and many other people - but not too many - are out enjoying the same weather and the same stroll. Such were the pleasures on a recent Sunday, in the latter part of this unseasonal winter, along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail not too far north from New York City.


The Old Croton Aqueduct, the system that once delivered fresh water from the Croton River to New York City, was a huge and complex marvel of engineering. The trail sits on top of the aqueduct system. This post describes a walk along just a section of the trail, the one that begins at the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry and ends in Irvington.


First, catch a Metro-North Hudson line train to Dobbs Ferry, a village in southern Westchester C…

MoMA in Masks

Update. Beginning September 28, MoMA will require all members to reserve tickets in advance.*Walking into the gallery devoted to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (c 1920) at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Saturday afternoon, I saw a woman seated on a bench. She was looking at the artist’s dreamy depiction of his garden at Giverny, and I thought for a moment she might be dreaming as well. As she was the only person occupying what is usually a packed room for fans of Impressionism, I was hesitant to invade her private garden reveries.I would enjoy my own such private moments with my favorite MoMA works that afternoon, including Marc Chagall’s I and the Village (1911). The painting depicts a colorful and geometric fairy tale of peasants and animals, memories of the artist’s childhood home outside Vitebsk. And I had a long time to feel the scorching sun of photographer Dorothea Lange’s Woman of the High Plains, Texas Panhandle (1938), a setting closer to my hometown. Later I would sit in t…

NYC Re-openings and Travel Advice

What will open, and how will you get there? This list will be updated following official announcements.
UPDATED October 10, 2020. Many favorite local destinations have now reopened. 

Openings  - General Information and Popular Destinations   
• Restaurants: Consult this NYC Department of Transportation map (updated link) for restaurants currently open in NYC. Starting September 30, NYC allowed indoor dining at 25% capacity.
• As of September 25, outdoor dining in NYC has been extended FOREVER.
• The 9/11 Memorial reopened on Saturday, July 4. Visitors must wear masks and keep social distancing practices.
• (update) Libraries: NYPL. The library will allow a grab-and-go service at 50 locations.
Governors Island reopened July 15 with advance reserved tickets. 
• The High Line reopened on July 16, with several rules and limitations in place, including timed entry passes - available July 9. Entrance only at Gansevoort Street. See High Line website for details. 
The Bronx Zoo reopened July 20 fo…

Connect the Dots: A Self-Guided Walk to Public Art in Lower Manhattan

Please see the revised and updated post, New York as Outdoor Museum: A Self-Guided Walk to Public Art in Lower Manhattan, June 2012.)

Lower Manhattan, with its tapered narrow geography between the two rivers spilling into New York Harbor, is not only a convenient area to walk but it's rich in public art.

Be sure to include Jean Dubuffet's Group of Four Trees, 1969-72 (left), in front of the Chase Manhattan Bank Plaza off of Pine Street, the Louise Nevelson Plaza on Maiden Lane (below), and many of the works in Battery Park City.

The latter area, under the guidance of the Battery Park City Authority, raised a new high standard in the 1980s with its commitment to incorporating public art into the new community. There, be sure to see Jim Dine's Ape and Cat (at the Dance) in Robert F. Wagner. Jr. Park, a blend of charm and danger, and South Cove, a great collaborative work of environmental design.



Also welcome is the Downtown Alliance's public art program, Re:Construction,…

The Lonesome Metropolis: A Walk from Grand Central Terminal to Rockefeller Center

As New York City reopens, why do the attractions of the great metropolis still look mostly deserted on a summer morning? A morning walk from Grand Central Terminal to Rockefeller Center sought to address this question. As it turns out, there are several adequate explanations. But for what happens next, there are no right answers.

Many neighborhoods outside of tourist New York are still buzzing along. While some residents of wealthier neighborhoods have largely decamped to mountain cabins, beach houses, and other second homes, the less wealthy have nowhere to go and may still be working. Just visit Washington Heights or Corona or Flatbush, and you’ll see sidewalks full of shoppers and summer evening street partiers. Those who fled the city remain only a fraction of the total population.  

Other renowned parts of the city such as City Hall and Brooklyn Bridge have been frequently occupied, as in Occupied, with crowds protesting police violence. This week, NYPD officers in riot gear remove…

Taking a Constitutional Walk

A long time ago individuals going out for a walk, especially to get fresh air and exercise, often referred to the activity as "taking a constitutional walk." The word "constitutional" refers to one's constitution or physical makeup, so a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one's overall wellbeing. (Or, as some would prefer to call it, "wellness.") The phrase is more common in British literature than in American letters.

As early as the mid-nineteenth century, many American commentators expressed concern that their countrymen were falling into lazy and unhealthy habits. Newspaper columnists and editorial writers urged their readers to take up the practice of the "constitutional" walk.



One such essay, "Walking as an Exercise," originally printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and reprinted in New England Farmer, Volume 11, 1859, urges the people of farm areas to take up walking. City dwellers seemed to have the advantag…

From Manhattan to the Bronx: A Walk Over the Henry Hudson Bridge to Henry Hudson Park

At the tiptop of Manhattan Island, Inwood Hill Park offers picturesque views of the Hudson River. For one of the best views, follow the marker at Shorakkopoch Rock (see map at the end of the post), the legendary place where Peter Minuit was said to have bought the island for 60 guilders, and follow the ridge up the slope. The path leads gently higher and higher, with views of the Salt Marsh down below and then the underside of the Henry Hudson Bridge above. This spot along the ridge is well known among birders, as the height and the proximity to the Hudson River allow access to treetops and places where birds like to go. 

Keep going around the bend and past the bridge. A few spots of open pavement at the edge of the hill provide good views of the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, a swing bridge that carries train traffic to and from Penn Station. The bridge was recently upgraded. On the opposite shore of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, you’ll likely see Metro-North trains coming round the bend, either he…