You don’t have to major in art to enjoy taking art classes. In fact, there are numerous ways you can dip your toes into the art world by signing up for art classes. These classes can range from printmaking, sketching, and oil painting to basic lessons on color theory.

Taking art class regularly can make you feel more connected with your inner creative self no matter what your age. It can make you feel calm and relaxed and can serve as an outlet for emotions that we often suppress.

Like most major cities, Chicago has a bustling art scene. The city is a living art exhibit full of galleries, museums, public exhibitions, and art studios. It’s no surprise that the city has an abundance of options for art classes as well. Continue reading below to discover where you can find art classes in Chicago to enrich your creative mind.

Art Lessons for Kids

Like with learning any subject, it is never too early for your child to learn some basic drawing skills. By doing so, your child can lead a more creative life and learn to explore their artistic side through different workshops, like art camps and acrylic painting, sketching, and arts education classes. What’s more, you may even discover their secret artistic talent!

Child holding pencil crayons and colouring in a picture of angels.
Art classes for kids can help nurture their sense of creativity and imagination. (Source:

Unicoi Art Studio

Originally established in 1999, this painting studio has been providing quality art education for over two decades. In fact, the Studio has been voted as having the “Best Art Class in Chicago” by parents in the city in both 2008 and 2009. That’s because the studio uses premium quality materials so children can have a richer drawing experience and quality instruction.

Unicoi also curates their classes to appeal to kids ages 3 to 15. Some popular classes are the Happy Hands Art Class which teaches children to paint, draw, as well as make sculptures and collages and the Sketchbook Portfolio Class, which gives kids an opportunity to create a collection of artwork based on various themes. All classes are offered on a drop-in basis to allow for more flexible scheduling to meet your needs.

The Paintbrush

The Paintbrush is another art studio in Chicago that caters to children between the ages of 1 to 12 years old. The studio offers various drop-in classes as well as scheduled classes along with camps, parties, and a special art & wine night for the parents involved.

One of the classes offered is Art in the Park, which is held at the Lincoln Park and gives young artists the opportunity to get inspired by the art around the park to create their still life works. Another class is called Kids’ Night Out which gives parents an alternative option to hiring a babysitter as the kids will get an opportunity to watch a movie, have dinner, and enhance their drawing skills.

Kids Clay Room

The Kids Clay Room is an art studio in Chicago for children that specializes in making pottery art. The classes are designed for kids aged ten and above to make ceramic sculptures from web clay using their hands. Other pottery tools such as molds, cookie cutters, and stamps are also available for the kids to create unique pieces. The students can also make bowls, cups, and vases of their very own designs.

One popular class offered is the Children’s Ceramic/Pottery Class, which allows children to create their very own ceramic project of their choice. Other fun activities include birthday parties hosting and a full-day art camp for the days when there is no school.

Art Classes for Adults

Give yourself a break from the daily grind of work by signing up for one of these adult art lessons in Chicago. From painting, drawing, sculpting, to jewelry making, there are numerous adult classes and art workshops to meet all kinds of your expressive needs. It is also a great way to create quality studio art and get to know other people if you are new to the city.

Person holding a paintbrush and doing a water-colour painting.
Numerous art classes options are also available for adults to de-stress after a long work week. (Source:

Park West Ceramics

This is the adult branch of the Kids Clay Room designed for beginners and advanced adult potters. The classes run for three hours a week for a total of eight weeks, with additional open studio time provided on Saturdays for students to practice their art at their own time. Each student will also get the benefit of having unlimited clay to work with so you will never feel limited to let your creativity run.

Lillstreet Art Center

The Lillstreet Art Center has been providing a gathering place for artists of all ages since 1975. Today, it is an art center offering classes from its twenty classrooms on various arts ranging from simple drawing and painting, ceramics, jewelry making, textiles, to digital art.

One popular class is the First Time Drawing Class designed for beginners. Students will learn how to use lines to create proportionate pictures and realistic drawings. Another unique class is the Botanical Illustration class where participants get a chance to draw from botanical gardens and other real-life plants.

Chicago Photography Classes

Interested in the digital arts? This photography school founded by Richard Stromberg currently has over eighteen different instructors with various backgrounds in the photographic arts.

A variety of photography classes are offered, including Photography Level I, II, and III so you can gain the essential introductory skills to begin your photography journey. Numerous specialized classes such as Black & White film, Indoor Lighting Techniques for working with light and shadow, and Off Camera Flash are also offered for more advanced learners to hone their skills and enjoy a chance to experiment.

International School of Comics

The International School of Comics located in Chicago is an art school specializing in comics and mixed media design. Students can choose from going through the full-time program curriculum, attending a specific workshop, or taking private tutoring classes to hone their cartooning skills.

One popular summer course is the Composition in Comics, where students will learn how to properly compose their comic drawings to catch their audiences’ attention. Students interested in pursuing a career in comics can also apply to enroll in a three-year program, with the possibility of securing a position at a large comic publishing company such as Marvel or DC.

Art Classes for Seniors

As a senior citizen who is retired from work and whose kids have now grown, the days can sometimes feel long and daunting, especially if you are used to working all day and then coming home to take care of children. That’s why participating in one of these Chicago art classes for seniors can give you a chance to go out and continue exploring the surrounding world and participate in making art.


The JASC was originally founded in 1946 to help Japanese Americans who were leaving internment camps at the end of World War II to settle back down to normal life. Since then, JASC has provided numerous services to the local Japanese community and even extended their services across to all Chicagoans by building several long-term care facilities and activities for both children and adults.

One of JASC’s most popular cultural programs is their art classes. There are a variety of different classes to choose from, ranging from Ikebana, which is the art of floral arrangement, to Sumi-e, which is Japanese ink painting. Other popular classes include Origami, which is the art of paper folding and Shodo, the art of Japanese calligraphy.

Origami birds in yellow, blue, and white hanging down from the ceiling.
The Japanese art of paper folding, also known as Origami, is taught at the JASC. (Source:

Art Encounter

Art Encounter is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing visual arts education to people of all ages and backgrounds in the Chicago area. For senior citizens, Art Encounter offers an opportunity for those with limited resources and mobility to participate in an art program to reduce feelings of isolation

One popular program is Hats Off for Art, which caters to seniors in assisted care facilities to create art. Another program is Spirit of Art, which brings a professional exhibition to a host’s facility so they can openly enjoy and critique the artworks. One more program is Picturing Thoughts, which allows participants to create personal art books to stimulate their imagination and life memories.

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Former high-school tutor with a passion for science and technology, I now work in the software industry and enjoy reading and learning about all kinds of topics.