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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Studio Arts: What's New

Studio Arts
Sunday, April 18 to June 13, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET (no class May 30)

The beautiful decorations of religious and secular manuscripts are centuries-old Islamic traditions. Guided by a graduate of the Turquoise Mountain Institute, explore the elements of gold-leaf manuscript illumination in the Afghan tradition.

Studio Arts
Sunday, April 18 to June 13, 2021 – 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. ET (no class May 30)

This introductory course teaches the basic skills needed for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume, and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks.

Studio Arts
Sunday, April 18 to May 23, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

For centuries, religious and secular Islamic manuscripts have contained beautiful geometric decorations. Explore the history and construction of these traditional designs with Sughra Hussainy, a graduate of Turquoise Mountain Institute in Kabul, Afghanistan. Then, create designs with graph paper and a compass.

Studio Arts
Monday, April 19 to May 17, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

This class introduces students to the materials and techniques of one-color relief printmaking, from design and carving of the block, through inking, printing, and presentation of the finished linocut.

Studio Arts
Monday April 19 to May 10, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Gain a deeper understanding of art by developing skills in decoding (reading) and encoding (expressing) visual meaning. Create a personal set of expressive visual pages for your unique “coloring book”.

Studio Arts
Monday, April 19 to June 14, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET (no class May 31)

Beginning students as well as experienced painters explore watercolor techniques and learn new approaches to painting through demonstration, discussion, and experimentation.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, April 20 to June 8, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

This class introduces students to the principles of relief sculpture, which is a bridge between two-dimensional and three-dimensional art forms.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, April 20 to May 18, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In this class, students focus on the fundamentals of drawing birds: physical makeup (face, body, wings, and feet) and nuanced differences that distinguish one species from another.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, April 21 to June 9, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Popular theory on right side brain activity holds that the right brain is primarily responsible for the intuitive understanding of visual and spatial relationships. Designed to improve the way people see and record objects on paper, this class provides a set of visual exercises to help build the ability to draw.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, April 21 to May 19, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

This intermediate-level photography course offers a better understanding of compositional elements and practices—such as simplicity, balance, and natural lighting—that promote taking better and more unique photographs.

Studio Arts
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn how to make color choices in your art to bring out a reaction from the viewer. Create combinations with colored pencils that illustrate how color theory works.

Studio Arts
Thursday, April 22 to May 20, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Take your skills beyond auto mode as you explore a myriad of your digital camera’s exposure options and features in this course designed for intermediate photographers.

Studio Arts
Friday, April 23 to May 7, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Explore the materials, tools, and techniques used in collage and assemblage as you create an artwork that’s uniquely yours. The workshop, ideal for both nonartists and those with experience, is a great way to spark your creativity in two forms that offer wide possibilities for inventive expression.

Studio Arts
Saturday, April 24, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Art historian and photographer Patricia Howard introduces the world of the photo surrealists and explores how they pushed the boundaries of photographic imagery in the 1920s to 1940s. Create your very own surrealist collage as part of the experience. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Friday, April 30 to May 21, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Optimize your Instagram profile and create fun and engaging posts using the Canva platform and Lifelapse (stop motion) apps.

Studio Arts
Friday, April 30 and May 7, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Create a lovely bouquet as you explore the basics of wet-felting techniques in a two-day workshop ideal for both beginners and more experienced felters.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2, 2021 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Adobe Lightroom is the most useful (and user friendly) software for organizing and editing images, usable for both RAW and JPEG image files. This two-session workshop offers users an overview of the program, with a focus on working with the essential Library and Develop modules for organizing and editing your files.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 1, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Learn how to make fun and whimsical handmade cards with stamps, ink, and paper.  Beginners and experienced card makers are welcome.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 1, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Inspired by the 6-Word Memoir Project, learn to capture quick images of personal stories in quilted wall-hangings.

Studio Arts
Monday, May 3 and 10, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Through lectures and drawing exercises, learn how Renaissance artists used the Golden Ratio, the Rule of Thirds, three-point perspective, and the Fibonacci spiral—as well as how these elements can provide dynamic visual interest to your own compositions, no matter the medium. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Monday, May 3 to 24, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital or mirrorless camera as a creative tool, students will gain skill in technical aspects of photography so that they can concentrate on composing beautiful images.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, May 5 to 26, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. ET

Move beyond the technical and focus on cultivating and strengthening your artistic vision. Learn how to use composition, viewpoint, and light to reinforce your vision.

Studio Arts
Thursday, May 6 to 27, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

This course examines fundamental concepts of composition and their practical application in studio-art practice, offering participants tools to enrich their own work as well to analyze and appreciate visual art in general. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, May 6 to June 24, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Beginning students as well as experienced painters explore watercolor techniques and learn new approaches to painting through demonstration, discussion, and experimentation.

Studio Arts
Thursday, May 6 to 27, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Lighting can make or break your work as a digital photographer. Learn the tech tips that will make your flash one of your most effective creative tools.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 8, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Using direct printing and water-based printing inks, create realistic looking schools of fish or a single artistic print simply by inking a whole fish and pressing it to paper.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Traditional Palestinian thobe skirts typically feature heavily embroidered panels. Students complete a small panel segment using the Cleopatra design.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, May 12 to 26, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Discover a variety of methods for making and using image transfers and expanding your creative horizons with photo alteration. Both techniques can offer new dimensions and interest to your artworks.

Studio Arts
Thursday, May 13 and 20, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Get a hands-on overview of how versatile colored pencils can bring illustration or fine art alive with rich, vibrant color and a range of effects.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

If you’ve taken the studio arts class Gyotaku: The Japanese Art of Fish Printing, you are ready to try Hawaiian-style gyotaku. It includes printing in colorful inks and thin acrylics and adding color and texture with watercolor crayons and acrylic media.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Take your iPhone camera skills to another level in a two-day workshop that focuses on the ProCamera app and editing techniques; organizing, printing, and posting your photos; and a critique session on images.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Inspired by how you understand the meaning of “house,” construct a house-shaped star book with internal pockets using cardstock, mat board, ribbon, and special surface design techniques.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 15 and 22, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

This two-part workshop focuses on the art of self-portraiture through photography and students will have the opportunity to create their own self-portraits.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In this intermediate-level class, learn a delicate stitch pattern and new techniques exploring the crafts of knitting and lace. Discover easier methods of working with and achieving lace’s unique texture, and get ideas for new projects.

Studio Arts
Saturday, May 15 to June 19, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET (no class May 29)

Discover the illustrative potential of fiber art as you create a one-of-a-kind art book to document and preserve moments from your creative journey. Explore basic design principles with fabric, including the relationship of figure and ground, symmetry and asymmetry, and how to create perspective using color and line. Fusing, hand-stitching and embellishing techniques are also explored.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, May 19 to June 2, 2021 - 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Embark on a maker’s journey as you learn how to create a fiber art labyrinth modeled after an ancient convoluted circular path.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, May 19 to June 23, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Both beginners and seasoned artists can learn to take advantage of the creative possibilities of this rich pigmented, vibrant, and versatile medium.

Studio Arts
Sunday, May 23, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Henna tattoos reflect an ancient and beautiful practice of body art. Explore the form’s history as you learn to apply simple traditional Indian henna designs.

Studio Arts
Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Just in time for summer, spend a fun, informative afternoon learning how to safely move and care for your orchids outside in the hotter months.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, May 25 to June 22, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Learn both the classic materials and techniques of the woodcut, a printmaking technique almost as old as the printing press that remains a popular medium of artistic expression.

Studio Arts
Thursday, May 27 to June 10, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Show off your photos like a pro and learn how to assemble a personal portfolio that reflects your best work and your distinctive vision as a photographer.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Take command of your photographic vision as you learn the basics of your camera’s exposure functions. Learn to control the properties of your images through the understanding of apertures, shutter speeds, depth of field, shutter motion effects, equivalent exposures, and exposure modes.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Seeking inspiration for knitting projects—or just a good story? Explore a beloved form of fiber art as knitting expert Ann Richards leads a virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s collection of knitted objects and artifacts.

Studio Arts
Thursday, June 3 and 10, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Circular weaving is a fun and versatile technique for new weavers as well as experienced fiber artists. Learn how to warp and weave on several sizes of circle looms as you create projects from coasters to cushions to home décor.

Studio Arts
Thursday, June 3 and 10, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

This workshop is for students who have attended the Colored Pencil workshop or for those with experience who feel their skill may need a boost with this versatile medium.

Studio Arts
Saturday, June 5 and 12, 2021 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this workshop, which provides a solid introduction to these cameras’ features and potential.

Studio Arts
Saturday, June 5, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Use colorful Akua water-based printmaking ink to create evocative spring-themed prints on fabric.

Studio Arts
Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Create colorful and bright gerbera daisies as you learn basic floral papercraft techniques. At the workshop’s end, leave with the ability to complete three realistic gerbera daisies.

Studio Arts
Saturday, June 5, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Art historian and photographer Patricia Howard introduces the world of cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue and white print. Create your own in this unique studio arts program. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Traditional Palestinian thobes’ intricate chest designs communicate the embroidery’s central theme. Create a small chest design segment using the iconic Ramallah arch pattern on waste canvas.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, June 9 and 16, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Sharpen your knowledge of focus and depth of field through in-class discussion and homework assignments. Gain a better understanding of focus modes, area modes, and hyperfocal distance/focusing. DSLR, mirrorless, and film cameras are welcome.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, June 15 and 22, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Quickly capture a scene using flowing lines and spontaneous watercolor techniques. Create landscape paintings and vignettes inspired from virtual travel from Europe to California. Complete one or more paintings as you use techniques in composition, drawing, and painting. 

Studio Arts
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Create postcard-size paintings while virtually spending an afternoon in Provence. Discover how to capture light and shadow with flowing lines and colors. Use photos in the instructor's "Life in Provence" series, or your own photos as references.

Studio Arts
Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn how to make color choices in your art to bring out a reaction from the viewer. Create combinations with colored pencils that illustrate how color theory works.

Studio Arts
Thursday, June 17, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Beginning photographers learn how to use histograms, a graphic display of the brightness levels of pixels in an image—and an essential guide to achieving the correct exposure.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Learn how to paint a sun-filled scene with flowing watercolors. Explore positive and negative space, mixing a range of color values, and capturing sunlight with your paintbrush. A tracing and reference photo is provided to help you begin drawing ahead of class time.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Students learn how to use their ISO settings to darken and brighten photos, and how this relates to other camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed.

Studio Arts
Thursday, June 24, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Light can make or break your photos. Understand the essentials of shooting in a natural-light setting as you learn to gauge the direction of light; recognize degree of diffusion; minimize (or emphasize) lens flare; control conditions with lens hoods, and more.