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Studio Programs¬

STUDIO PROGRAMS

Photo by Karina Love.

About In-Person Studio Programs¬

Welcome to Studio Programs at Virginia MOCA!

No matter your age or experience, we’re here to help you embrace your inner artist and enjoy exceptional and exciting hands-on art experiences.

Every exhibition cycle, we work with teaching artists to develop studio classes inspired by the art on view in our galleries. Our current exhibition, Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman: Journey to Nature’s Underworld, is centered around themes related to the natural world, the intermingling of art and science, environmental advocacy, and conservation.

Engage with a variety of artists, creative media, techniques, and themes to produce your own contemporary artwork filled with meaning!

What’s included? Studio Program costs include tuition, studio fees, and supplies. Tuition compensates instructors for their time and expertise, studio fees cover the facility and its equipment, and supply fees cover the cost of materials specific to the class or workshop. If students must purchase or bring in additional items, this will always be noted in the class description.

What about refunds? Refunds are available only if a course is canceled by Virginia MOCA due to low enrollment. Students who cancel enrollment 7 days before the course start date will receive a tuition credit which can only be applied to another class at Virginia MOCA.

UPCOMING CLASSES¬

Get inspired by the art on view in our galleries, and work with a local artist to create your own contemporary work of art filled with meaning!

The below Studio Programs explore the themes, ideas, and techniques found in our current exhibitions Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman: Journey to Nature’s Underworld and Spencer Tinkham: Witness.

MASTER CLASSES (16+)

Spend the day in the studio with an exhibiting artist for a master class inspired by their artistic viewpoint and process.

Master Class with Rowena Federico Finn: Capturing Light and Form with Watercolor
Adults (16+)
Level: All levels welcome
Saturday, March 30
10:00 AM–2:30 PM
Members $60, Nonmembers $75

Register

Join Artist in Residence Rowena Federico Finn for a workshop surveying the world of botanical watercolor illustrations!

Together, we will explore how to create glowing, luminous watercolor botanicals with an emphasis on using the natural whiteness of the paper to maximize luminosity, mixing natural-looking colors (and greens in particular), painting soft and hard edges, and using bold colors without overpainting.

This workshop will be divided into two parts. During the first half, we will learn key aspects of watercolor through the practice of important techniques, color mixing, and value accuracy. In the second half of the workshop, we will paint our own luminous botanicals!

By the end of this class, you’ll take home several watercolor exercises as a valuable reference tool and a botanical watercolor painting that showcases your newfound skills.

There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring along a bagged lunch.

Master Class with Spencer Tinkham: Introduction to Sculpting with Wood
Adults (16+)
Level: All levels welcome
Saturday, May 11
10:00 AM–3:30 PM
Members $75, Nonmembers $90

Register  →

Join Witness artist Spencer Tinkham for a workshop surveying the world of contemporary wood sculpting!

Together, we’ll learn about different wood species, get a feel for common tools of the trade, and see a special demonstration of Tinkham’s intricate carving process.

This workshop will begin with a gallery walkthrough where we will see Tinkham’s finished artworks and hear about his process. Next, we’ll gather for a hands-on introduction to common wood species and tools for sculpting. Then, we’ll view a demonstration of Tinkham’s carving process before trying some introductory wood sculpting of our own.

By the end of this workshop, participants will leave with newfound knowledge about the overlap of contemporary art, craft, and science, as well as a handmade wood silhouette sculpture of a native bird species!

There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring along a bagged lunch.

ADULT STUDIO PROGRAMS (16+)

Ceramics: Windchimes Workshop
Adults (16+)
1 session
Rachel Jaffe
Level: All levels welcome
Sunday, February 18
10:00 AM–2:30 PM
Members $65, Nonmembers $80

Register

In this workshop, we’ll connect the elements: earth, water, fire, and air to create functional ceramic wind-chimes. After gathering inspiration, we will create drawings which will be used as a template to trace and cut out on thin slabs of clay. Participants will then add texture and color to their windchime pieces using clay embellishment techniques with underglaze, stamps, and more! Once completed, pieces will be kiln-fired with a clear glaze and assembled by the instructor for later pickup at the Museum.

There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring along a bagged lunch.

Introduction to Ceramics with Glass
Adults (16+)
6 sessions
Rachel Jaffe
Level: All levels welcome
Thursdays, February 29–April 4
6:00–9:00 PM
Members $245, Nonmembers $260

Register →

In this multi-session class, we’ll craft sustainable art using recycled glass and reclaimed clay. Together, we’ll learn about sustainable ceramic studio practices and explore new ways to recycle art materials for alternative use.

We will design and create functional and decorative forms with clay by hand, try out wheel throwing, and practice the clay reclaim process with scraps collected during making. After an initial kiln firing of our hand-crafted artworks, we will learn introductory glazing techniques and experiment with the glass inclusion process using many glass types such as broken bottles, sea glass, and leftover scraps from local glass artists. Fusing glass into pottery creates a crackle, jewel-like effect on the surface of ceramic artworks.

All finished works will be kiln-fired for later pickup at the museum.

Extended Classwork Hours:

Want a little more time to work on class projects and practice your new skills? Sign up for our extended classwork hours!

Extended classwork hours are intended to give you more time in the studio to work outside of class time. For a flat rate of $75, you’ll have access to 6 additional days in the studio (30 hours total) without guided instruction.

Working Hours: Sundays, March 3–April 7 from 10:00 AM–3:00 PM
Last day for working with wet clay: Sunday, March 31
Last day for glazing: Sunday, April 7

Introduction to Stained Glass

Class full; please join waitlist.

Adults (16+)
1 session
Sue Hill
Level: All levels welcome
Saturday, March 2
10:00 AM–2:00 PM
Members $100, Nonmembers $115

Join waitlist

In this workshop, we’ll learn the basic techniques of glass cutting, assembling, soldering, and finishing under the guidance of an experienced instructor. This eco-friendly studio class will use antique, vintage, repurposed, and recovered glass to create a minimal waste environment. Together, we’ll discuss the value of repurposing materials while exploring the possibilities of textures and light through this exciting medium!

There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring along a bagged lunch.

All students must sign a liability waiver to be turned in at the start of the program. Additional copies will be provided on-site.

Painting: Abstract Landscapes
Adults (16+)
1 session
Cherilyn Colbert
Level: All levels welcome
Saturday, March 9
10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Members $90, Nonmembers $105

Register →

In this workshop, we’ll reimagine landscapes in abstract form, with a focus on color, texture, composition, and process. Together, we’ll delve into the creative process by performing visual research, sketching, and refining a composition before beginning work on our final pieces.

Artists will use acrylic paints on wood panels to create their final works. Along the way, we’ll learn tips and tricks on working with acrylic paint, as well as how to finish artwork for professional presentation.

There will be a 30-minute lunch break, so please bring along a bagged lunch.

Drawing and Painting: Ink and Gouache 
Adults (16+)
All levels welcome
3 sessions
Shirley Lu
Sundays, March 10–24
12:00–2:00 PM
Members $85, Nonmembers $100

Register

In this multi-session class, we’ll explore documenting nature with pen and gouache on sustainable surfaces. Together, we’ll learn to create enticing compositions, transfer images onto unique substrates like recycled packaging, and practice our rendering skills in gouache and ballpoint pen to create drawings and paintings of nature. We’ll also engage with techniques for framing and presenting unusually shaped artworks.

Introduction to Mosaics 
Adults (16+)
1 session
Level: All levels welcome
Sue Hill
Saturday, March 23
10:00 AM–2:00 PM
Members $100, Nonmembers $115

Register  →

In this workshop, we’ll make a framed mosaic piece of art while learning the basic techniques of glass cutting, assembling, attaching, and grouting under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Dive into the world of repurposing, textures, light, and color through the mosaic art process!

Introduction to Cyanotypes
Adults (16+)
1 session
Level: All levels welcome
Autumn Weiss
Saturday, April 6
12:30–3:00 PM
Members $35, Nonmembers $40

Register →

In this workshop, we’ll harness the power of the sun to create beautiful blueprints using the historical cyanotype process, discovered and developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842. Cyanotype printing is one of the oldest and simplest of all the alternative photographic processes. Together, we’ll create our own unique cyanotype prints using natural materials like leaves, flowers, feathers, and found objects. The possibilities are endless!

We’ll learn about the process and chemistry involved, including how to coat sheets of paper with the required chemistry, drying, arranging objects on the paper, and exposing, with development only requiring water.

No prior skills or understanding of photography are required. It is a fun and fascinating process that produces relatively quick results with work that is finished on the day.

Intermediate Ceramics: Pottery for Plant People
4 sessions
Level: Basic wheel-throwing experience required
Sherrod Faulks
Saturdays, April 13–May 4
12:00–3:00 PM
Members $175, Nonmembers $190

Register  →

In this multi-session class, we’ll create a dazzling array of planters, propagation vessels, bud vases, full-size vases, and plant accessories. Each week we’ll focus on a different skillset that will enable us to create a specific kind of plant vessel. We’ll then refine that form and explore topics of functionality and design evolution. After glazing and completing all of the work from the course, students will leave with several new plant accessories of their own design and a newfound understanding of creating plant-focused pottery.

Introduction to Ceramics: Hand and Wheel
Adults (16+)
5 sessions
Level: All levels welcome
Anna Freeman and Michelle Truslow
Thursdays, May 2–June 6 (Skip May 16)
6:00–9:00 PM
Members $220, Nonmembers $235

Register →

Get inspired by the art on view in our galleries, and work with local artists to create your own wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramic artworks inspired by nature.

This collaboratively taught series will combine the knowledge of two contemporary artists who use ceramics to deepen and honor their connection to the natural world. Together, we’ll explore form-building by hand and wheel, investigate methods of creating natural textures, and experiment with glazing techniques to create a range of earth-inspired effects.

YOUTH AND FAMILY STUDIO PROGRAMS

FAMILIES

Cyanotypes: Sun Printing Workshop!
Families
1 session
Level: All levels welcome
Autumn Weiss
Saturday, May 11
12:30–2:30 PM
Members $30, Nonmembers $35

Register

In this workshop, we’ll use light from the sun to create blue and white images inspired by nature. Together, we’ll start by arranging natural materials like leaves, flowers, feathers, and found objects on light-sensitive paper to create a composition. Then, we’ll expose our artworks to sunlight, remove the objects, and watch the image magically transform in a water bath.

Cyanotype is one of the oldest photographic processes used by architects, botanists, and artists alike. Let’s connect with nature through the transformative power of the sun!

This family workshop encourages the creative exploration of materials and is open to school-age children and their accompanying adult. All participants (adults and children) must register.

Photography: The World Up Close!
Families
Level: All levels welcome
1 session
Alliannah Hamilton
Sunday, June 2
12:30–2:30 PM
Members $30, Nonmembers $35

Register https://virginiamoca.app.neoncrm.com/eventReg.jsp?event=15778& →

In this workshop, we’ll unearth the extraordinary beauty hidden in the smallest corners of nature and create stunning, up-close photographs that will become cherished family memories. Join us for an enriching Sunday afternoon of creativity, connection, and exploration as we create artistic photographs through the lens of a microscope that connects to a device like a cell phone or tablet!

Participants will leave with mini-printed images of their captures and digital photographs to cherish for years to come.

This family workshop encourages the creative exploration of materials and is open to school-age children and their accompanying adult. All participants (adults and children) must register.

This workshop requires the use of a personal camera phone or tablet per family.

Ceramics: Organic Shapes!
Level: All levels welcome
Families
2 sessions
Michelle Truslow
Saturdays, June 1–8
12:30–2:30 PM
Members $65, Nonmembers $80

Register →

In this two-part workshop, we’ll experiment with creating organic shapes from clay using a slab roller and engage with an exciting paint-pouring technique with glaze to create a watercolor effect.

Inspired by nature and the movement of water, we’ll lean into elements of science and surprise as we make a collection of beautiful food-grade snack plates to enjoy with the whole family!

This family workshop encourages the creative exploration of materials and is open to school-age children and their accompanying adult. All participants (adults and children) must register.

No prior experience is required. All artworks created during this class will be kiln-fired and treasured for years to come. Museum staff will contact you when your final artwork is ready for pickup.

AGES 6–8

Afterschool Nature Art!
Ages 6–8
1–4 sessions
James O’Connor and Renee Calway
Thursdays, April 11, April 18, April 25, May 2
4:00–6:00 PM
Members $30, Nonmembers $35 (per session)

Please register for each date you’d like to attend below:

April 11
April 18
April 25
May 2

In this afterschool program, we’ll learn a new technique to create art with nature each week. Together, we’ll print, draw, and examine natural specimens, create our own nature journals, and work with up-cycled materials to produce earth-focused artworks. Join us for all sessions or pick just one!

Intro to Contemporary Art
Ages 6–8
3 sessions
Instructor: Renee Calway
Saturdays, March 2–16
12:00–1:30 PM
Members $65, Nonmembers $80

Register

Explore the galleries at Virginia MOCA and practice your studio art skills! Together, we’ll create works of art from start to finish, practice in our sketchbooks, and investigate a variety of exciting art media used for drawing, painting, and weaving.

By the end of this experience, every student will walk away with several mixed-media artworks and a sketchbook full of useful knowledge!

AGES 9–12

Afterschool Nature Art!
All levels welcome
Ages 9–12
4 sessions
James O’Connor and Renee Calway
Thursdays, March 7–28
4:00–6:00 PM
Members $30, Nonmembers $35 (per session)

Please register for each date you’d like to attend below:

March 7  →
March 14
March 21
March 28 →

In this afterschool program, we’ll learn a new technique to create art with nature each week. Together, we’ll print, draw, and examine natural specimens, create our own nature journals, and work with up-cycled materials to produce earth-focused artworks. Join us for all sessions or pick just one!

Intro to Contemporary Art
Ages 9–12
3 sessions
Instructor: Renee Calway
Saturdays, April 20–May 4
12:00–1:30 PM
Members $65, Nonmembers $80

Register

Uncover the themes, techniques, and materials exhibited in the galleries at Virginia MOCA, and immerse yourself in the essential studio practices of a contemporary artist. Learn to create works of art from start to finish as you perform visual research in a sketchbook and experiment with a variety of techniques and materials in drawing, painting, and weaving. By the end of this experience, you’ll walk away with several mixed-media artworks and a sketchbook full of useful knowledge!

AGES 2–5 (WITH CAREGIVER)

First Art: Printing with Plants!

Class full; please join waitlist.

Ages 2–5 (with caregiver)
1 session
Bria Tyler
Saturday, February 17
10:30–11:30 AM
Members $15, Nonmembers $20

Join waitlist

Together, we’ll learn how to create prints with leaves and other natural materials using Gelli plates. Gelli plate printing with nature is a fun and easy technique that lets us get outside to find beautiful textures. This printing method results in colorful, texture-filled, and one-of-a-kind prints that will be sure to excite and amaze adults and children alike.

First Art: Clay Fossils!

Class full; please join waitlist.

Ages 2–5 (with caregiver)
1 session
Bria Tyler
Saturday, March 16
10:30–11:30 AM
Members $30, Nonmembers $35

Join waitlist

Get inspired by the art on view in our galleries, and work with a local artist to create fossils of plants and animals out of clay! We will press objects into slabs of clay in order to preserve an impression of the object.

All artworks created during this class will be glazed, kiln-fired, and treasured for years to come. Museum staff will contact you when your final artwork is ready for pickup!

First Art: 3D Nature Art!
Ages 2–5 (with caregiver)
1 session
Bria Tyler
Saturday, April 20
10:30–11:30 AM
Members $15, Nonmembers $20

Register

Get inspired by the art on view in our galleries, and work with a local artist to create 3D artworks using natural materials!

Together, we’ll combine wood and air-dry clay to create our very own sculptures inspired by nature!

First Art: Wool Landscapes!
Ages 2–5 (with caregiver)
1 session
Bria Tyler
Saturday, May 18
10:30–11:30 AM
Members $15, Nonmembers $20

Register

Together, we’ll learn about renewable natural resources as we explore the tactile world of wet felting, which combines wool, water, soap, and friction into a fun new material! In this exciting and hands-on workshop, we’ll experience the transformation of wool into felt and leave with our very own handmade landscape scene.

ALL AGES ATRIUM ART ACTIVATION

Mixed Media: Eco-art Workshop
All ages
1 session
Shayla Hayward-Lundy
Sunday, April 21
11:00 AM–12:30 PM
Members $5, Nonmembers $10

Get inspired by the art on view in our galleries, and work with a local artist to create a mixed media earth-focused collage!

In this workshop, open to all ages, we’ll embark on a creative journey using nature’s abundant offerings as the primary art-making materials. Through the tactile process of collage-making, utilizing elements like flowers, bark, leaves, and seeds, we’ll create artworks that emphasize an appreciation for nature. Together, let’s discover the power and possibility of sustainable art-making.

Youth Scholarships¬

The Cohen Memorial Fund at Virginia MOCA offers a number of scholarships for children and teens to participate in art education. Everyone deserves to express their creativity. Through these scholarships we hope to provide an understanding and appreciation of the arts to anyone with an interest—regardless of financial situation—and to recognize and encourage artistically gifted individuals.

ONLINE FORM | PRINTABLE FORM

Studio Program Policies

Register online, by telephone, or in person. Tuition must be paid at the time of registration. No student is considered registered until all fees are paid. Successfully registered individuals will receive a confirmation email from our system. Please reach out to confirm your registration if you do not receive a confirmation email for any reason. Students will be notified in the event of a cancellation.

Registration deadline is 5:00 PM, seven days prior to the course start date unless otherwise noted.

Refunds are available only if a course is cancelled by Virginia MOCA due to low enrollment. Students cancelling enrollment before the registration deadline (7 days prior to the course start date) will receive a tuition credit voucher which can only be applied to another class at Virginia MOCA.

Currently, Virginia MOCA is only accepting payment by credit/debit card online or over the phone and Tuition Credits from previous Studio Program sessions. To apply Tuition Credits, call 757-425-0000 x338 or email kendall@virginiamoca.org.

Financial aid scholarships are available thanks to The Cohen Family Memorial Fund. Registrations for approved scholarship applications will be made by Virginia MOCA staff. You can also email kendall@virginiamoca.org or call the education department at (757) 425.0000 x338 for more information.

THE COHEN FAMILY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

  • Adult classes are for students ages 18 and up
  • Adult students provide their own materials unless otherwise noted
  • Virginia MOCA attempts to reschedule any course that is cancelled
  • Substitute instructors may be hired without advance notification
  • Minimum enrollment for all courses is seven students unless otherwise noted
  • Most classes are held at Virginia MOCA. See course descriptions for exceptions
  • Studio activities may be photographed for Virginia MOCA promotional use
  • Mask wearing inside the studios is encouraged and masks may be required at the discretion of the instructor

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