Philadelphia, once known as the capital of the United States, is a city with a rich history and culture. If you feel inspired after attending one of Philadelphia’s many art exhibitions, feel free to sign up for art classes to receive a formal art education.

Numerous art education options are available in Philadelphia. They can be anything from basic drawing and sketching to landscape painting and photography. No matter how old you are, enrolling in an art class is a great way to relax and connect with your inner creative self.

If you are interested in enrolling in art lessons, check out the comprehensive list of art classes in Philadelphia that we have put together below!

Kids Art Courses

Without stimulation, kids can grow bored quickly and release their energy in undesirable ways. A great way to keep your child occupied is to enroll them in an education program for fine arts.

Children who take regular art lessons have better motor and communication skills. Making art provides them with an opportunity to use their hands as well as express their ideas through various mediums. They will also get a chance to experiment with colors, composition, and interesting materials. Continue reading below for where you can find art classes for children in Philadelphia.

Allens Lane Art Center

The Allens Lane Art Center was established in 1953. For over fifty years, the art center has brought the Mt. Airy community together to participate in the visual arts. The founders of this center for the arts saw creative activities as an effective way to keep youth occupied and away from destructive activities, bringing people from all types of backgrounds and ages together.

Both art camps, as well as scheduled kids classes for young artists, are offered here. The art camps run every summer during the months of June to August. Kids between the ages of 5 to 12 can enroll and enjoy activities such as taking part in an art exhibit, making ceramics, basic drawing, oil painting, cartooning and more under the guidance to experienced instructors.

Some popular art courses for children include the ceramic-making course, where kids get a basic introduction to the ins and outs of using the potter’s wheel, as well as the Raku workshop, where students can learn how to glaze and fire their pottery creations.

Abstract painting in white, yellow, and purple sitting on a table drying.
Painting is a fun way to relax and enjoy some time to yourself. (Source: Unsplash)

Portside Arts Center

The Portside Art Center aims to provide a nurturing environment to empower and inspire the future artists of tomorrow. It is also a nonprofit creative arts organization that offers year-round art workshops for children of all ages.

The art school originated in 2007 when founder Kim Creighton realized that her community lacked basic creative extracurricular opportunities for school-age kids to participate in after school and during the summer break. As a mosaic and metal artist herself, Kim decided to create an arts center to help kids in her community with their creative pursuits.

Today, the center offers a variety of art programs for children, including after-school arts programs, Saturday art camps, as well as a School Days off arts camp. An innovative Art-on-the-go program also offers fun 90-minute workshops where participants can create 3D paper art, learn about female artists, create fiber wall hangings, and more.

Art Lessons in Drawing and Painting

Every great artist begins their artistic careers by honing their drawing and painting techniques. That’s because they are the building blocks of every artwork. Sculptures, oil paintings, life drawing, figure drawing, and acrylic paintings all start off with a basic sketch where the artist can plan their composition.

Additionally, an eye for color is required to express emotions in the pictures. A basic understanding of sketching and drawing shapes will also help the future artist plan out their masterpieces and unleash their creativity.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or if you have been painting and drawing for many years, you can start your search for art courses here. Continue reading below for where you can find adult classes for drawing and painting in Philadelphia with a seasoned instructor.

Fairmount Art Centre

Start your art journey at Fairmount Art Centre - which is also part of the Philly Art Centre Network. Numerous art classes for adults are offered here where you can explore your inner creative self. All scheduled courses have tuition fees that are under $300, with time commitments of about three hours per week.

Some fun classes you can consider trying include the Painting Foundations course which even provides all the materials you need to start art making - no prior experience or ‘back-to-art-school’ shopping required! Students of this course will explore color theory and color mixing, as well as practice basic still-life drawings and developing your own personal style.

Another fun course you can take is Mixed Media course, which introduces the fundamentals of making art to participants of all skill levels. You can explore a variety of dry and wet media for your creative pursuits, as well as try using a mixture of pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor and other fun materials.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

At the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a museum, as well as a creative art academy, is combined into a single location. The museum shows various galleries showcasing art projects from both local and foreign artists.

The art school offers a formal art education as well as numerous art programs where students can learn about art history and earn a degree in visual art and practice their techniques in an art studio.

Studio with many paintings sitting on easels.
Taking structured art courses can inspire us to create better art. (Source: Unsplash)

Clay And Ceramics Art Classes

Clay is a great medium to create artworks with. It is also a fun medium to learn, requiring you to hone in your eye for detail and sculpting. It is a great way to learn how to sculpt things if you are interested in doing more sculpting later on. When you sign up for an art workshop to learn more about clay, expect to learn under the guide of experienced art teachers and instructors in your studio time.

Consider taking a clay and ceramics course to make art gifts for all your family and friends. What’s more? You can even sign up with a family member or friend so you can enjoy some special alone-time together.

The Clay Studio

This popular art school called The Clay Studio is your one-stop-shop for everything clay related. Some fun classes you can take here include Introduction to Wheel Throwing, where art instructors will teach you the skills for throwing cylinders, cups, and bowls, and hand building functional ceramics, which teaches students how to design and create their own ceramic pieces via slab construction, coil building, pinching, and applying textures.

Hand hovering above a pottery wheel.
Clay and pottery lessons are a great alternative to drawing classes. (Source: Unsplash)

The Expressive Hand

If you need a place to go for a fun night out, The Express Hand is the art school to be. Pottery prices range between $8 to $60 per piece, and no studio or sitting fees are charged.

What’s more? Walk-ins are welcome and all participants get unlimited colors, tools, and supplies for glazing, so there is no need to go shopping for things on a supply list. Additionally, you also get personal instructions so you can learn to create your art under the guidance of a knowledgeable art teacher.

Lessons on Glass Blowing

Glass glowing involves blowing air through a long tube and into a semi-molten glass mixture. This creates the desired shapes which when hardened, becomes glass artworks. It is a fun craft to learn and experiment with.

One such place where you can take glass blowing classes in Philadelphia is at East Falls Glassworks. Interested students can sign up for a one-time course for a fun night out with friends, or consider regularly scheduled courses for weekly open studio time.

Some popular classes include a 6-week course called Intro to Glass Blowing, where the basic tools and techniques for glass blowing are introduced, as well as the Fun With Glass course where experienced students can create simple objects such as paperweights or even a bowl.

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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.