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Summer School

Adult art classes in Chicago.

By Entertainment

I graduated less than a month ago, and my Dawson’s Creek intake has already reached dangerous levels. Since it wasn’t in my budget to sign up for an extra semester (again and again for the rest of my life), I’ve been researching adult art courses around Chicago. Here are some options I’ve found so far, for those who need a little kick in the pants to stay creative and productive in the summer months.


By far the most affordable option, features an array of one-off classes in everything from pasta-making to watercolors, usually at only around $15-30 per session. If you’re particularly specialized in your craft, you can even register to teach a course of your own. Dabblers can gauge course quality by reading past students’ reviews. The downside is that some of the courses are fairly short, only 1.5-2 hours, but that may be all you need to decide whether you love or hate crocheting.


Photo from an Etsy Craft Party,


Lillstreet Art Center

Lillstreet Art Center in Ravenswood offers a great variation of adult art courses, including the standards like painting, drawing, and printmaking, but also harder-to-come-by offerings like metalsmithing and glass working. The Center also has a Digital Arts and Photography department which teaches courses in Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom and more. 5-week courses range around $160-175, and 10-week courses range about $330. One- and two-day workshops are also available.

MDS Decorative Bezels

Jewelry creations at Lillstreet Art Center. Photo from


The Drawing Workshop

Not far from Lillstreet Art Center, the Drawing Workshop facility focuses on traditional skills like figure painting, life drawing and color theory. For those not ready to commit to an intensive 10-week course ($295), the studio offers great drop-in figure drawing sessions with a live model on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights for only $15.

drawing workshop

A figure drawing session at the Drawing Workshop. Photo from


Spudnik Press Cooperative

I’ve heard rave reviews about Spudnik Press, and I’ll be attending the The Great Zine-Making Workshop ($10 suggested donation) this Thursday to check it out. In addition to cheap or free community workshops, Spudnik offers a wonderfully varied array of six- and eight-week classes ($150-200) and individual workshops ($35-55) around printmaking and indie publishing, including screenprinting, writing, letterpress and artist book design. Once you’ve taken a course that provides print shop orientation you’re also allowed to use the shop and facilities for a very reasonable day rate.


Printmaking at Spudnik Press. Photo from


Hyde Park Art Center

Like Lillstreet, Hyde Park Art Center features adult courses in an array of levels from Beginner to Advanced in an array of mediums including ceramics, photography,  anatomy and figure drawing. 10-week courses ($285-305) are offered in the first summer sesion, followed by 5-week courses ($155) starting on July 29.


An advanced painting intensive at Hyde Park Art Center. Photo from


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