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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Studio Arts: What's New

Studio Arts
Tuesday, January 19 to March 9, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Experiment with a variety of painting styles such as cubism, suprematism, and abstract expressionism to learn practical applications of the concepts and techniques of modernism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Tuesday, January 19 to February 16, 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
Tuesday, January 19 to March 9, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 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
Tuesday, January 19 to February 23, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Develop skills in a range of weaving techniques as you design and create a one-of-a kind miniature tapestry on a small-frame loom.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, January 19 to February 9, 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, January 20 to February 24, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

In this class open to all levels, students discover the versatility and fluidity of working in watercolors while exploring the functional and aesthetic elements of color and design found in plants.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 20 to February 24, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Build on your botanical painting skills in this next-level class as you create vibrant watercolors inspired by nature. Learn to focus on the texture and detail of botanical subjects including flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

You’ve got a great portfolio of photos. What’s next? This valuable session covers how to prepare your images to exhibit or sell, get them seen by the public, and effectively market your work.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 20 to March 3, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

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
Thursday, January 21 to February 25, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Explore the basis of abstraction by studying color, line, and shape as they relate to composition. Learn to create exciting and innovative works of art, using a series of drawing and painting exercises designed to examine non-traditional ways of handling traditional materials and subject matter.

Studio Arts
Thursday, January 21 to February 4, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

In this class, learn to create your own hand-crafted jewelry. This experience is perfect for the student new to jewelry making, or those with experience who want to refresh their skills.

Studio Arts
Thursday, January 21, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

You don’t necessarily need great light to make a great photo. Understand the essentials of night photography and tripods as you learn to manage longer exposure times and exposure modes and compensation, choose the right tripod, work with remote shutter-release triggers, use your camera’s self-timer, and more.

Studio Arts
Friday, January 22 and 29, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Showcase your writing or art in a book as unique as you are. Book artist Sushmita Mazumdar guides students as they work with a variety of traditional and nontraditional materials to craft one-of-a kind storybooks.

Studio Arts
Saturday, January 23 and 30, 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, January 23, 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
Saturday, January 23 to February 13, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Learn the basics of hand-stitched quilt-making—including piecing, applique, and finishing techniques—as you work on a small-scale piece that can be used as a doll quilt or a wall hanging.

Studio Arts
Saturday, January 23 to February 13, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Combine painting techniques with collage to produce pieces with texture and depth. Students work on watercolor paper and canvas as they learn how to use papers, acrylics, inks, and other materials.

Studio Arts
Sunday, January 24, 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
Sunday, January 24 to March 14, 2021 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 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
Monday, January 25 to February 8, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Boost your creativity and record your thoughts and visual observations of the world around you—and in the process transform your sketchbook into a powerful expression of your inner self.

Studio Arts
Monday, January 25, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET and Monday, February 22, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

Sarinda Jones, a kiln-formed glass artist and alumna of the internationally renowned Pilchuck Glass School, guides you in creating a colorful fused-glass plate just in time for holiday table settings, gift giving, or everyday use.

Studio Arts
Monday, January 25 to March 22, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET (no class Feb. 15)

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
Monday, January 25 to March 8, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET (no class Feb. 15)

If you’ve ever wanted to paint, here’s a class that offers the perfect introduction to the art—and will have you ready to pick up your brush with confidence.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, January 26 to March 16, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Whether you want to work in digital or film, this course offers a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to March 17, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Whether you work digitally or on film, this course is ideal for students who are familiar with their cameras but are interested in expanding their understanding of photography fundamentals.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Are you in a rut? Has the excitement gone out of your artistic life? Would you like to think more creatively? Get your creative juices flowing again with the help of everyday materials and easy ideas.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to February 17, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Explore a liberating style of abstract embroidery using an array of improvisational stitches on found fabric, specifically scraps of vintage kimono silk. Learn some of the principles of abstract art making, developing a language of marks through different stitches, and discuss color palettes, as well as how to edit what doesn't work in your composition.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to February 17, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Center yourself through the calm flow of the rhythmic motion of stitching as you create a therapeutic textile panel using a hand needle and materials you have at home.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to March 17, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn to sketch animals and objects found in nature, then combine your drawings with painting and additional elements and textures to create whimsical or serious mixed media art.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to March 17, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Students are introduced to the materials, tools, and technologies used in collage and assemblage. They find inspiration in artists who worked in collage including Joseph Cornell, Romare Bearden, and Gertrude Green.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to March 17, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Whether you work digitally or on film, this course is ideal for students who are familiar with their cameras but are interested in expanding their understanding of photography fundamentals.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, January 27 to February 24, 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, January 28, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Tangled up in a knitting problem? From dropped stitches to difficult pattern instructions to twisted stitches and more, learn a protocol to follow when you’re stuck on a project.

Studio Arts
Thursday, January 28 to February 25, 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, January 29, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn the basic Palestinian cross-stitch and how to create a tatreez sampler, using a standard size sheet of Aida cloth fabric and one that can incorporate numerous patterns and eventually become a wall-hanging. This workshop’s motif focus is the road of stars, originating from the Yaffa Region.

Studio Arts
Sunday, January 31 to March 21, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

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
Monday, February 1 and 8, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Spend two sessions investigating new techniques as you have fun creating papers for collage and other art projects. Take home a glorious collection of one-of-a-kind papers accented by acrylic, inks, stamps, and other printmaking materials.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, February 2 to March 9, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Find inspiration in both the ancient art of mosaics and the form’s international movement. Sessions guide students of all skill levels through the process of creating a mixed-media abstract mosaic. They also have the opportunity to experiment with several new mosaic fabrication techniques.

Studio Arts
Thursday, February 4 to March 25, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this course, gain the technical background and experience you need to get started as a painter. Working from still-life arrangements, explore basic painting techniques, including color-mixing, scumbling, and glazing.

Studio Arts
Friday, February 5 to 19, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

This class focuses on the skills you need to make mittens and gloves. Knitters learn knitting in the round; increases; using markers, such as holders and counters; and how to knit thumbs and fingers.

Studio Arts
Friday, February 5 to 19, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 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, February 6, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Everyone appreciates receiving a card in the mail. When it is a bespoke card just for them, the impact is greater. In this workshop, create cards that celebrate joyful events in life, like a birthday, or share a message of comfort and solace in the event of sickness or loss. 

Studio Arts
Saturday, February 6, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

Learn the techniques needed to create unique fine mosaic jewelry as you create beautiful silver-plate mosaic pendants using a wide variety of materials.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, February 10 to 24, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 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.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Guided by floral designer Sarah von Pollaro, modern-day romantics create a one-of-a-kind arrangement to gift to a loved one (or keep for themselves), and pick up great tips about buying and keeping flowers fresh.  

Studio Arts
Sunday, February 14 to March 21, 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
Thursday, February 18 to March 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Explore the spectrum of floral design. Sourcing (with a focus on sustainability), making the most of seasonal flowers, creating centerpieces, wiring techniques, bouquet-making, and photographing your work are all among the practical areas covered.

Studio Arts
Thursday, February 18, 2021 – 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Ready to experiment with some novel watercolor techniques? Try your hand at using some fascinating twists to add intriguing textures and nuances to your paintings.

Studio Arts
Saturday, February 20 and Sunday, February 21, 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, February 20 and 27, 2020 – 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Leave your hesitation behind and get ready for a simplified, step-by-step method for creating watercolor portraits. Learn how to diagram a face by following simple spatial relationships; how to mix colors to achieve a range of skin tones; and how to layer watercolors to add dimension to facial features and hair.

Studio Arts
Monday, February 22 to March 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 and that remains a popular medium of artistic expression.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, February 23 to March 16, 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
Wednesday, February 24 to March 24, 2021 – 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

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
Thursday, February 25 and March 4, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Discover how to easily capture a variety of subjects with loose lines and painterly colors using instructor Cindy Briggs’ quick-sketch watercolors method. This go-with-the-flow technique is perfect for studies, travel journals, and finished fine art.

Studio Arts
Friday, February 26 to March 12, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Peries, XOX, and Boarders. These may sound like the names of rock bands, but in fact they are the patterns found in Fair Isle knitting. Students in this workshop focus on learning this stranding color technique.

Studio Arts
Friday, February 26 to March 12, 2021 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Explore the creative possibilities of combining wool with other decorative elements such as metal, beads, and stones to make distinctive necklaces, rings, pendants, earrings, and other jewelry.

Studio Arts
Friday, February 26, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn the basic Palestinian cross-stitch and how to create a tatreez sampler, using a standard size sheet of Aida cloth fabric and one that can incorporate numerous patterns and eventually become a wall-hanging. This workshop’s motif focus is flowers, originating from the Remallah Region.

Studio Arts
Saturday, February 27, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

White-line woodcuts are multicolor images printed from a single block of wood. Learn to create your own by cutting a nature print or simple line drawing into a single wood block with a knife or gouge, creating the “white lines” when printed.

Studio Arts
Monday, March 1 to 22, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

In an artist-led series designed to provide a tranquil mid-day break, create small but satisfying works of art as a way to hit “pause” and incorporate a bit of creativity into your at-home routines.

Studio Arts
Monday, March 1 to 22, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 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
Monday, March 1 to 22, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Learn to identify the elements of composition, and how to apply and expand design concepts in individual pieces.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, March 2 to 23, 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, March 2 to 23, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Gain increased confidence in your weaving skills and take your tapestry to the next level. Knowledge of basic tapestry weaving is required.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 3 to 24, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Develop your technical skills in painting landscapes that vividly capture the atmosphere and elements of a scene.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 3 to 17, 2021 - 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

This fully hands-on and interactive class is designed for those who have already had a structured introduction to Lightroom and are familiar with the Library and Develop modules.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 3 to 24, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Develop your technical skills in painting landscapes that vividly capture the atmosphere and elements of a scene.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Shooting a great photo is just the beginning. Get ready to show off your work by learning how to get your digital images printed accurately and to cut custom-sized windows in mat board. 

Studio Arts
Thursday, March 4 to 25, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Learn to see like a scientist as you use watercolor and ink to illustrate specimens from nature. Experienced students develop their skills in applying key techniques such as composition, working with color, and recording fine detail in nature journaling, watercolor painting, drawing, and creating stand-alone biological illustrations.

Studio Arts
Thursday, March 4 to 18, 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
Friday, March 5 to 26, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

This class provides intermediate-level sculpture students the opportunity to advance from creating simple studies to developing and executing advanced compositions.

Studio Arts
Saturday, March 6, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Forcing bulbs to bloom is a long and intense process. This winter, create a crimson amaryllis’s stamen, petals, leaves, and bulb using crepe paper. Leave the Zoom meeting ready to complete two or three realistic amaryllis plants.

Studio Arts
Saturday, March 6, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Join an orchid-care expert for a fun, informative afternoon about the native orchids that grow in the northeastern United States, where to find them in nature, and how to grow hardy orchids in your backyard.

Studio Arts
Sunday, March 7 and 14, 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
Wednesday, March 10, 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
Thursday, March 11 to 25, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Learn the rules of bookmaking…then get creative and break them!  Each week, make different kinds of books, including an accordion book, Japanese stab bound journal, and a travel journal with sewn in pages.

Studio Arts
Thursday, March 11 and 18, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Learn to capture the likeness of a sunlit sculpture in watercolors. Explore how dramatic sunlight and layered shadows can give a watercolor painting a sense of dimension. This new way of seeing can be your stepping-stone to the world of watercolor portraiture.

Studio Arts
Friday, March 12, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn the basic Palestinian cross-stitch and how to create a tatreez sampler, using a standard size sheet of Aida cloth fabric and one that can incorporate numerous patterns and eventually become a wall-hanging. This workshop’s motif focus is carnations, originating from the Bersheba Region.

Studio Arts
Saturday, March 13 and 20, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

In quilting, the traditional Log Cabin block offers a wonderful framework for exploring color and value contrast—and for spontaneous piecing. Learn this technique, then finish ten blocks into a table runner.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, March 16 and 23, 2021 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Merge recent findings on visual perception with familiar elements of art to discover how your paintings can take on new and fresh creative edges.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Escape into the unique world of mosaics in a lively pictorial lecture that travels to Ravenna, Barcelona, Chartres, and other locations to celebrate the beauty and expressive variety of the art form.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 17 and 24, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Breathe new life into your unfinished or "failed" collages or paintings. Find ways to infuse interest and create a variety of compositions to change the look and feel of your pieces.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Though flashes can be intimidating, just a bit of knowledge can make yours an invaluable photographic tool. Understand the essential basics of TTL (through-the-lens) flash photography as you learn about modes, bounce flash, exposure compensation, and using accessories.

Studio Arts
Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Put away your point-and-shoot camera. Learn to make the most of your iPhone’s camera, starting with essential photography basics and moving on to some of the best apps, camera accessories, and low-cost tools for editing and image management.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, March 24, 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, March 25, 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.