Skip to main content

The Educated Artist: A Guide to Continuing Education Classes and Workshops in the Fine Arts in New York City (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. Many area art schools, colleges, and other institutions offer a range of art courses and workshops 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. Classmates 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 of these institutions listed below offer daytime, evening, and weekend classes, plus intensive workshops. 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 the semester courses. Be sure to attend, because it's always helpful to find a good match between your inner artist and its new instructor.

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; human anatomy; watercolors, sculpture. All levels - beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

The Art Students League of New York, 215 West 57th Street, New York
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, illustration, sculpture, photography, collage & mixed media.

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

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Evening, daytime, and studio courses in topics and art history as well as studio art courses based on featured artwork. Spring 2010 features the courses Materials and Techniques of Postwar Abstract Painting and Materials and Techniques of Russian Avant-Garde Painting. Members receive discounted course fees.

Related posts:
Drawing Sessions: The Walk-in Ateliers of New York

Back-to-School Art Supplies Walk

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.





Popular posts from this blog

The Company of Nature: Walking With Butterflies in Fort Tryon Park

If wandering the empty urban canyons feels a little lonely and depressing, a better idea would be to head to the nearest park. This past Saturday, a day that was sunny but not too hot, Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan turned out to be the perfect place to not only satisfy wanderlust but to rediscover the company of nature. Butterflies were there. Hundreds of butterflies - Tiger Swallowtails, Monarch Butterflies, Black Swallowtails, Cabbage White Butterflies, and Silver Spotted Skippers, among them. Moths, too, although I have not yet learned their names.  The Heather Garden is situated just beyond the entrance to Fort Tryon Park. With seasonal plantings, the garden is always a serene spot.  Observing butterflies involves watching their interaction with blooming flowers and shrubs. The Tiger Swallowtails are easy to find and found here in significant numbers. Just look for the Butterfly Bushes. The Cabbage White Butterflies are here in abundance, too, though not as showy as the swallow…

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Update: As of March 12, 2020, many New York arts institutions have temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Please see this post for announcements of reopenings.

Several museums in New York City are open on Mondays, including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney.

This list has been expanded to include free or pay-what-you-wish hours.


American Museum of Natural History Central Park West and 79th Street
See the post, Big Things to See at the American Museum of Natural History.
Cooper Hewitt
2 East 91st St.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave

Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave

Metropolitan Museum of Art 100 Fifth Avenue
See the post 25 Things To Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park is also open 7 days a week from March - October.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue

MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art), 11 West 53 Street: * Also, consult the post 25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern…

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…

The City Turned Inside Out: A Walk from Battery Park to Fulton Street

While the cast of HAMILTON sings “The World Turned Upside Down,” New Yorkers could easily hum along to “The City Turned Inside Out” this summer. (not a real song) Where once a city’s important work took place indoors - within the soaring office buildings, famous restaurants, legendary museums, and storied performance halls, the COVID-19 epidemic has literally turned the residents outdoors. 

At least it’s summer in the city, when spending time outdoors is common and pleasant enough. Still, the city remains strange this summer of 2020. 

With the absence of tourists, and with office workers connecting virtually from home, many of the city’s main attractions aren’t attracting many visitors. A walk from the Battery to Fulton Street on a pleasant Thursday afternoon bore this out. 

It’s uplifting to at least find plants that are alive and happy. Thanks to the city’s gardeners and landscapers, the city parks are looking particularly lush and splendid this summer. The grounds of Battery Park feel…

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…

Starstruck at MoMA

(Update July 31, 2020. Please note: After reopening in 2019, MoMA is currently closed as a result of the pandemic. MoMA has not announced its reopening.) 
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan is undergoing a significant renovation and expansion that will increase gallery space by thirty percent upon completion in 2019. In the midst of renovation and following a long hot summer, the museum may currently look a little rough around the edges and even disorienting for longtime patrons. For starters, you’ll need to enter the museum on W. 54th Street instead of W. 53rd Street while the work is taking place, and the museum store is now currently on the second floor next to the coffee bar which has also moved.


This state of affairs didn’t stop visitors on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend from making a pilgrimage to the museum to gaze at treasures of modern art. In an age of quickly disposable digital imagery, the original and cherished works still exude their aura. Ironically,…

Delacroix’s Cats

Following its record-breaking debut at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the blockbuster Delacroix exhibit has opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While not all of the works could travel, as some are intrinsic to the Louvre, the big cats made the trip to the city. For the Delacroix exhibit poster, the Met has selected Young Tiger Playing with Its Mother, the artist’s great and surprising painting from 1830, as the signature and defining work of the exhibition.


Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863), known as the leading Romantic painter of his era, loved cats. His many notebooks show preparatory sketches of lions, tigers, and several charming domestic cats. The big cats, for the most part, made it into big paintings. At 52 x 76.6 in. (130 x 195 cm), Young Tiger Playing with Its Mother, 1830, is astonishingly large for an animal painting of his time, a size normally devoted to a history painting. His most famous work, La Liberté guidant le peuple, dates from the same year.�…

The Most Beautiful Bridge in the World

Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier (1887 - 1965), the leading proponent of the International Style of modern architecture, visited NYC on several occasions in the 1930s and 1940s, and he made much to say about the skyscraper city. He didn’t think much of the faux tops of the tall buildings nor did he care about the haphazard city planning, but he did fall madly in love with one particular bridge: 
"The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson is the most beautiful bridge in the world. Made of cables and steel beams, it gleams in the sky like a reversed arch. It is blessed. It is the only seat of grace in the disordered city. It is painted an aluminum color and, between water and sky, you see nothing but the bent cord supported by two steel towers. When your car moves up the ramp the two towers rise so high that it brings you happiness; their structure is so pure, so resolute, so regular that here, finally, steel architecture seems to laugh. The car reaches an unexpectedly wide apro…

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…

NYC Re-openings and Travel Advice

As the pandemic crisis improves in New York State, several NYC attractions are scheduling their re-openings. What will open, and how will you get there? This list will be updated following official announcements.
UPDATED August 7, 2020. With the state of New York currently ahead of the class in the pandemic outbreak across the US, many favorite local destinations have started to reopen. The rollout is designed to be gradual, with geographic regions advancing according to a fixed set of metrics. 
New York City, the hardest hit area in the first months of the crisis, entered Phase 4 on Monday, July 20. The local exception: indoors of malls, restaurants, and cultural institutions.

Openings     
Phase 4 began in NYC on July 20. Stay outside! (Forward.ny.gov) NO indoor dining!
• Restaurants: Consult this NYC Department of Transportation map (updated link) for restaurants currently open in NYC. 
• Outdoor dining has been extended through October 31. 
• On July 1, city beaches opened for swimming.
•…