Cool Places for Art Classes in Columbus, Ohio

Children, youth, and adults can learn the visual arts, dancing, and singing

Columbus, Ohio, skyline
••• Cody Ellis / Flickr / CC 2.0

Columbus, Ohio, has dozens of galleries and hundreds of exhibits yearly, and residents care about having a strong arts presence in the community. Often centers for the arts offer classes to the public. You may never become Monet, but you'll be able to explore your own artistic potential by taking some of the cool art classes offered in Columbus. Most are in multidisciplinary arts centers and operate as nonprofits that request donations.

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    The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space serves as an exhibition and alternative performance space located in the heart of downtown Columbus, Ohio. It is intended to be "free and accessible to all." 

    Urban Arts Space offers several public education programs to reach the Columbus community, including children, adults, community groups, and students. Participation is free, and as long as participants respond to an RSVP, their supplies are also provided free of charge for all of the programs below. These include: 

    Art Explorations, for students ages 4 to 11. Held monthly, this is an interactive art education series that provides an opportunity for students and their families to create art in a gallery setting. Art Explorations encourages an interest in the arts and aims to develop participants’ cognitive skills, self-esteem, and self-expression. The program is free and provides opportunities for families to develop a range of artistic techniques with visiting artists. 

    Crafternoons!...MORE, a Saturday afternoon craft program geared towards adults 16 and up that spreads knowledge of up-cycling and thrift through projects that encourage creativity.

    CarryOut Art, a community outreach and engagement program that takes Urban Arts Space exhibits to community festivals and gatherings. 

    Summer Art Camps, free art camps that Urban Arts Space organizes every summer for school-age students. Campers immerse themselves in a topic by participating in arts, crafts, and other activities pertaining to a theme. The camp culminates each year with a reception for friends and family where the kids present what they have made and learned.

    Learning Partnerships, a program that is helping return art to public schools. Urban Arts Space fosters relationships with area schools and community groups through "learning partnerships." Teachers who request a personalized program and tour for their class will receive a lesson plan and tour for their age group.

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    The Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center (MAC) in Worthington, Ohio, an affluent suburb of Columbus, is open to everyone. MAC is a contemporary, multidisciplinary facility presenting and promoting the performing, visual, and digital arts, as well as an arts center offering a series of performances, exhibitions, and classes, and both ticketed and free cultural events.

    It is housed in a 20,000-square-foot historic building with a 213-seat theatre, an exhibition gallery, four classrooms, a digital imaging studio, a dance studio, and rotating exhibitions.

    MAC offers classes for youth (generally 3 to 12) or adults (13 and older) in ceramics; painting and drawing; theater; quilting, photography and film; modern dance and yoga; private classes in such musical instruments as guitar and mandolin; and specialized adult workshops on subjects as diverse as Henri Matisse paper cutouts. Some classes, like a six-week course called Family Pottery for Children, Parents, and Grandparents, are geared toward...MORE family participation.

    Members of the 26-member BalletMet teach ballet classes to children ages 3 to 7 and older students from age 13 to adults. The BalletMet professional company, based at the center, is one of the nation’s top 20 largest professional companies and comprises dancers from all over the world.

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    Columbus Music and Art Academy, based in Columbus, offers music and art classes mainly for children who live in central Ohio. The academy's art curriculum includes classes designed to "[help] children learn correct drawing and painting techniques, line movement, shading, proportions, composition, and color concepts." 

    The academy also teaches music theory and singing for kids ages 4 to 18, and it is the home of the Central Ohio Singing Competition.

    In addition, the academy offers the award-winning Columbus International Children's Choir, and it hosts the Columbus International Community Choir for adults. The children's choir, the winner of the Eighth World Choir Games in 2014, has performed at some of the world's most prestigious venues, among them:

    • The White House for President Obama and the First Lady
    • Carnegie Hall (twice)
    • St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican
    • The Great Wall of China
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    The Cultural Arts Center (CAC) offers classes for students age 18 and above in fiber arts; book and paper arts; jewelry and enameling; ceramics, sculpture, and bronze; drawing and painting; and printmaking. For nearly 40 years, the Cultural Arts Center has offered a wide variety of in-depth, hands-on art classes to interested adult 18 years and older from beginner to advanced. Studio classes, taught by skilled and experienced instructors, are offered in seven- to eight-week sessions with classes that meet once weekly. 

    To make art accessible to everyone in Columbus, there is a fund for fee assistance that's available to any prospective, current, or former student of CAC who needs financial assistance to afford Cultural Arts Center classes.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Art Soup Studio, in bucolic Pataskala, Ohio, just outside Columbus, holds weekly studio classes, where it teaches students of all ages graphic arts (drawing, printmaking, design), mixed media, painting with oils and acrylics, and watercolor painting. 

    For more than 25 years, Art Soup has been introducing students to "the joy and freedom of the creative process," as it says, in small group classes and workshops, lectures, and forums. Its mission is "to provide a nurturing environment to all skill levels, with an emphasis on individual expression and self-esteem."