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Studio Arts: What's New

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.

Event date
Wednesday, April 24 to May 29, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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.

Event date
Wednesday, April 24 to May 22, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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

Event date
Thursday, April 25 to May 30, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Love mixed media? This workshop offers the perfect way to expand your repertoire by creating an array of one-off prints using acrylic paints and other materials.

Event date
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Expand your knitting skills and your creativity as you work with the instructor on a project, technique of special interest that intrigues you.

Event date
Friday, April 26 to June 7, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (no class May 24)

Learn metalsmithing techniques while making a pair of asymmetrical statement earrings that are guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind.

Event date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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.

Event date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Transform contour drawings of leaf shapes into transparent watercolor paintings. Then, use a walking press to make leaf prints on a variety of papers using water-based ink.

Event date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Study the lives, art, and techniques of famous impressionist and post-impressionist artists as you use the same materials and colors to learn their working methods of paint application and brushstroke. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, April 27 to May 18, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Saturday, April 27 and May 4, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Learning the art of copying and develop your rendering and composition skills at the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery, American Art Museum, and Natural History Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, April 27 to May 18, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Add a bit of jingle to your holiday season with a set of beautiful, made-by-you, bangle bracelets. The class is perfect for beginners and those with previous wire or metalsmithing experience.

Event date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Use simple wire-working techniques to create charms from mixed metals and stones. Instructions for a necklace, wrap bracelet, or pair of fringed earrings are provided.

Event date
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

It takes a village! In a 2-day workshop, students construct their own tiny houses, which they personalize working in paper-mache, acrylics, and mixed media.

Event date
Sunday, April 28 and May 5, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Create two pairs of earrings by hammering thick wires into a look reminiscent of sheet metal. Leave with one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

Event date
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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)

Event date
Monday, April 29 and May 6, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In this three-night workshop, 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.

Event date
Tuesday, April 30 to Thursday, May 2, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The encaustic method of painting combines the luminescence of watercolor, the rich color and thickness of oils, and the quick-drying benefits of acrylic. The medium can be molded, sculpted, combined with collage materials, and reworked at any time. In this workshop, ideal for all experience levels, learn to capture vibrant pigments using heated beeswax and damar resin, as well as fusing and carving in wax.

Event date
Friday, May 3, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. & Friday, May 10 and 17, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In this workshop, create one-of-a-kind necklaces and earring sets using wire. Students explore different designs and methods for headpins, clasps, ear wires, hoops, and charms.

Event date
Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Working in Smithsonian gardens, use chalk or oil pastel to capture vibrant colors in nature and their interaction with light--in the style of impressionist Paul Cezanne. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, May 4 and 11, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

Event date
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Create three different chain designs using wire-working, forming, texturing, and fusing techniques, and take home a necklace or bracelet.

Event date
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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.

Event date
Monday, May 6 to 20, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This three­-session workshop 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)

Event date
Tuesday, May 7 to 21, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Tuesday, May 7 to 28, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This darkroom-focused class is geared for photographers with basic darkroom skills and beyond, who are interested in taking their work to the next level. Students benefit from small-group lectures, individual instruction, and independent work to gain confidence in a specific area.

Event date
Friday, May 10 to June 7, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (no class May 24)

This two-session class offer quilters of all levels an opportunity to become familiar with the vocabulary of color and to learn how to use printed fabric to create spectacular color combinations.

Event date
Saturday, May 11 and 18, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Students draw from Giambattista Tiepolo’s works to help them grasp the idea of gesture, movement, and the grouping of as well as apply their Tiepolo-inspired skills to contemporary images. All skill levels welcome. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, May 13 and 20, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join painting instructor Adrienne Wyman for a “behind-the-easel” perspective on French and impressionist paintings exhibited at four of Washington’s leading art museums. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Thursday, May 16 to June 6, 2019 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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

Event date
Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Spend two days 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.

Event date
Friday, May 31 and June 7, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Whether you know how to knit a scarf but not much more, used to knit but now feel rusty, or are confident in your beginning knitting skills but want to make sure you're ready for an intermediate class or project, this workshop is for you.

Event date
Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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.

Event date
Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Get an overview of everything you need to know to capture natural specimens in beautiful botanical illustrations. Examples from the Smithsonian’s archives and real plant specimens enhance the workshop experience.

Event date
Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Inspired by the Humans of New York series, venture to the National Mall to capture portraits and life stories to create a unique group project.

Event date
Saturday, June 1 and 8, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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.

Event date
Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Whether you have never picked up a brush or haven’t painted in years, this 2-day workshop provides a solid foundation in the basics of working in oil. By the end of the weekend, you’ll be on your way to painting like a pro.

Event date
Saturday, June 8 and 15, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this one-day class, which includes a shooting session on the Mall; and an in-the-field discussion of technical elements along with composition, light, and other aesthetic considerations.

Event date
Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Event date
Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Photojournalist and former official White House staff photographer Lawrence Jackson shares his approach to creating images that tell compelling stories, and offers a rare inside look at what it’s like to document daily life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Event date
Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Beautiful landscapes, fountains, and flowers provide inspiration for painters in this intensive morning course held at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. Through lectures, demonstrations, and individual experimentation, students explore a variety of painting and drawing techniques, composition, and perspective.

Event date
Monday, June 17 to Thursday, June 20, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Degas, Manet, and Cassatt achieved remarkable portraits by employing the strong line and luminous color of pastels. Participants in this workshop are introduced to methods for achieving similar results, through sketching or a detailed portrait study. Intermediate students work in the studio with a live model and focus on the elements of portraiture and pastel technique. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Beginning and experienced students work directly from still-life arrangements as they explore the techniques of cross-hatching and layering of color in this one-day workshop.

Event date
Sunday, June 23, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.