SAA Classes

Due to the Institute’s COVID-19 guidance on in-person gatherings, the Student Art Association is not open for the spring 2021 term and we are unable to provide access to the studios at this time. We look forward to making art with you when we re-open. In the meantime, please feel free to peruse class listings from previous terms to get inspired for future opportunities.

Beginning Ceramics

This is the start of your ceramic journey! Learn the basics of wheel throwing and hand-building while getting introduced/acclimated to our community studio. Through a variety of weekly demonstrations you will see your ceramic foundation strengthen before your eyes.

Intermediate Ceramics

Improve your throwing and hand-building skills in this intermediate level class. Develop additional confidence with your skills while we focus on galleys and lids, rims and feet, handles, teapots, spouts, and more. A variety of glazing, slips, and surface techniques will also be explored.

Mixed-Level Ceramics

This class is for beginner-to-intermediate level students that are ready to push their skills further. Weekly demonstrations, exercises, and discussions will aid in further developing wheel throwing and hand-building skills. Pitchers, mugs, vases, jars, surface decoration, and larger clay weights will all be covered. Beginners with a ‘can-do’ attitude will be successful in this course!

Advanced Ceramics

Your clay skills will be taken to another level while we explore advanced techniques such as altering, stretching, and cutting. Think ovals with oval lids or rim treatments that command attention. Feet and handle techniques, oozy slips, and various decorative methods for surface decoration will round out this popular course.

Print & Stitch: Block Prints and Patterns on Fabric

We will create simple images and patterns using block prints, a technique useful in both fine art and craft applications. Rubber blocks will be carved using linoleum cutting tools and printed on fabric and paper. Beginning machine sewing technique will be covered for those who want to create introductory projects such as an apron, pouch, or dish towel. Students of all skill levels are welcome. Best results will come for those who are able to commit a few hours outside of class time each week.

Introduction to Drawing

Drawing is a skill which can be learned and fostered. Anyone can learn to draw or improve their abilities with practice! During this 10 week period, each student’s skill set will grow through practicing a variety of drawing techniques and exercises. An assortment of materials will be used including pencil (graphite), charcoal, conté crayon, and ink. Students will be encouraged to keep a small sketchbook outside of class to support the skills learned during studio time. Weather permitting, class will be held outside. Drawing outdoors teaches students to observe and capture the life and motion of the city around them.

Introduction to Oil Painting

Oil paint is widely used both in traditional and in contemporary fine art painting. During this class students will learn about oil paint and oil painting techniques. This class will introduce elements of color, form, and composition through the act of painting. Over the course of the semester students will become comfortable with creating strong compositions, underpainting, identifying strong color palettes, and the basics of color mixing.

Intermediate Oil Painting

This class is designed to accommodate intermediate students and will provide an opportunity to sharpen basic painting skills while furthering conceptual knowledge and experience with materials. Students will be encouraged to experiment with different painting surfaces and paint types, as well as to expand their color palette and process. Relevant artists will be looked to as inspiration. Casual group critiques may be scheduled during the semester, as they are important to both personal growth and to fostering a creative community within the class!

Intro to Black & White Analog Photo

Black and white analog photography is a fun and classic medium to work with. During the semester students will learn the process of taking successful analog photographs (with a 35 mm manual analog camera) and will learn how to use the SAA’s black and white darkroom. We will study different photographers for visual inspiration and techniques.

Darkroom Printing Techniques (Non-Beginner)

Building on existing darkroom experience, students will delve deeper into the magic of the darkroom and the cohesiveness of their image making to produce exhibition quality work. Class will include detailed critiques of ongoing student work and possible shooting assignments as appropriate.


A print is a work of art made by transferring pigment from one surface (the plate or digital print) onto a second surface (paper). In this class students learn how to use the printing press and both water and oil based inks to create individual images called monotypes. Emphasis is given on helping each student develop a personal knowledge of the process encompassing the student’s own way of making art.