Our new ArtsAlive! Education Center at 200 High Street in Chestertown hosts  a variety of  classes throughout the year, plus Life Drawing Sessions and the RiverArts Photography Club.

  • Ceramics classes are held in the Clay Studio, 204 High Street.
  • Need studio space? Guild membership is now available in the ArtsAlive! Education Center. Click here for more info
  • RiverArts  members enjoy a discount for all of our classes. If you would like to become a Chestertown RiverArts member please click here.
  • Depending on instructor availability, we also offer private classes, please call 410 778 6300 or email

Adult Classes and Workshops

Upcoming Events › Classes

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Clay Studio Private Classes

August 20 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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RiverArts Clay Studio now offers a flexible custom pottery class for those who wish to learn a basic technique with the help of our talented pottery instructors. We are happy to accommodate your small group of friends, family, or even provide a fun activity for a party of 1-5 people in a 2-3 hour workshop at a flat rate of $250. If you are interested in having a group of 6-10 people, the rate would be $500.  This could be…

Photo Club – Every 4th Thursday – Free!

August 23 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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The Photo Club will resume in 2018 Beginning, enthusiast and professional photographers meet at 7 pm on the 4th Thursday of every month at the RiverArts Education Center to show our latest images for each other to comment on, praise and offer suggestions for improvement. If you are fairly new to photography we know it might be kind of scary to have others evaluate your work for the first time. But we find it is a very good way to quickly improve…

TGIF Paint Nite with Jim Mahla

August 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  Have a fun TGIF while painting with RiverArts Artist Jim Mahla. Learn how to paint in a fun-filled atmosphere using Jim’s east techniques.Students will be able to leave with a completed Poppy painting plus a new found love in acrylic painting.  Bring a group of friends or make new friends there! No experience necessary. Materials are included in the cost of the class.   Our friends at Chester River Wine & Cheese are happy to provide a 20% discount…

Stained Glass Mosaic Window Class

August 25 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Create an original Stained Glass Mosaic window! In this six week class you will: choose your own design, learn the breaking, adhering and grouting techniques to create your own masterpiece. All materials provided including vintage window (or bring your own from home).    

Intermediate Pottery Intensive

September 4 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This is a four week course that focuses on more advanced techniques on the potter’s wheel, including closed forms, lids and altered forms. In addition to improving your skills on the wheel, an emphasis will be made on individual expression. You will complete a variety of shapes and sizes of pots which will be ready for glazing and decoration at a later time or the Decorate and Glaze Class.  

White Line Woodcut Workshop

September 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Participants will learn Fred’s White Line Woodcut  technique from initial conceptual drawing, various techniques for transferring the drawing to a wood block, the carving of key outlines of the woodblock drawing, to painting the block and finally transferring the image to the printing paper. All work is done with a pencil, a single wood carving knife, appropriate printing paper, watercolors and brushes. Attendees should have some basic skills in drawing and watercolors. A modest sized print (8” x 11”) can…

Beginner’s Pottery Throw & Trim Class

September 6 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This is a four-week class concentrating on throwing and trimming pottery on the wheel. It will be an introduction to the skills for beginners, or serious practice for more experienced potters. Tailored to your ability, you will complete a variety of shapes and sizes of pots which will be ready for glazing and decoration at a later time or the Decorate and Glaze Class.  


September 8 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

A 4 -week class focusing on handbuilding techniques for functional and sculptural objects. We will use coiling and slabs to make large vessels, asymmetrical forms, and sculptures. Large pieces may be fired in a reduction kiln. The class will take place at Marilee Schumann’s studio on Saturday mornings. The studio will be available on Saturday afternoon and two other days during the week for Open Studio time. There will be ample time and space for finishing big projects. We will…

Maple Leaves are Falling Platter Workshop

September 9 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Spend an afternoon at the Clay Studio designing and making two MAPLE leaf platters, one large, one small. Participants will cut slabs of clay (provided) and sculpt them into unique works of art. On the second afternoon, 2 weeks later, you will be provided many Fall glaze colors from studio samples.  You will make your plates uniquely yours with glazes of your choice. Your platters could make the perfect gift, be the centerpiece on your autumn table, and they will be…

Monday Afternoon Life Drawing

September 10 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Life Drawing Sessions will be on summer hiatus beginning June 18. We will resume on Monday, September 10. The drawing of the human figure requires the highest level of artistic ability and when mastered, these same skills apply to the still life, landscape, and all fields of art. RiverArts offers opportunities to practice your skills by hiring a live model for Life Drawing, Every  Monday Afternoon 2 to 5 pm. If you are interested in participating in a Plein Air group…

Introduction to Alcohol Inks

September 10 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Have you ever heard of alcohol ink? Learn about this new, wild, vivid, transparent, and forgiving medium with a founding contributor of the Alcohol Ink Community, Marilee Taussig.  In this 3 day workshop, you will be introduced to the wacky world of Alcohol Ink, which can take a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master!       

Introduction to Lithography

September 11 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Lithography was one of the latest art media to be invented and like many inventions, totally by accident. The chemistry of lithography is based upon the principle that water and grease do not mix.   The drawing is done on the surface of the stone with a specialized grease pencil. The finished drawing is then treated with a mixture of gum arabic and nitric acid. The etch mixture causes the exposed stone to become more prone to holding water, while the…

Calligraphy: Introduction to Italic Handwriting

September 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Learn the basic letter shapes that make Italic writing so elegant. A history of lettering will be given as you practice in class. Homework assignments will ensure that your fingers remember the letter shapes from class to class. This is good practice for Holiday cards! Pens and practice paper are included in the class fee.  

Intermediate Watercolors – Fall 2018

September 26 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

In this 4 weeks course designed for artists with some watercolor experience, Jim Mahla will show and demonstrate how to try some new techniques to sharpen their watercolor skills. Some of the subjects covered will be painting interesting sky's, rocks, stone walls etc. Also wet-in-wet techniques will be demonstrated so students will learn to paint vibrant florals and landscapes. Participants may work from photos/drawing provided by Jim or bring their own. This is a ‘no critique’ fun workshop.  

Knit a Cable Vest

September 29 @ 10:00 am - October 13 @ 12:00 pm

A perfect first garment. Learn shaping through the use of increases, decreases, binding-off and mid-row casting on. Buttonholes, cables, three-needle bind-off and seaming of garter stitch add to the new experiences that an advanced beginner will have knitting this garment.  A $25 supply fee will be due to the instructor the day of the first class.  

Learn to Write Like a Wizard 101

September 30 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Want to write with a quill pen like Harry Potter? This introductory class will show you the letter shapes of Italic Handwriting and teach you to write with a dip pen--just like at Hogwarts! Pens, ink, and paper are all included with the class fee. Kick off the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival week in style! Class limited to 15 students.

Decorate and Glaze

October 2 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This course is intended to show different techniques in decorating and glazing your pottery. Each week you are expected to have at least one piece ready to decorate and/or glaze. More than one is recommended. A syllabus containing piece requirements can be obtained in advance or you can get it the first night of class. Please bring a minimum of one piece of bisque. Preferably, one with & one without texture or a combination of both on one piece to class…

Chestawizards Potions & Wands

October 5 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Come to our Wizards Workshop to learn how to mix magic spells and potions to take home!  Each participant will receive a handmade pottery spell jar to fill with an assortment of secret ingredients.  The lead wizard will then add his own Top Secret Surprise ingredient to complete the magic for your souvenir spell jar. We will also be offering magic wands (16 yrs or older) and claywares for cash donations to the RiverArts Clay Studio. Age Restrictions:  5 -…

Create a Mosaic Memory Vessel

October 13 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Memory Vessels are created to remember a person, a moment or even a feeling. The process of creating one can be incredibly healing. Participants are encouraged to bring letters, ceramics (which can be broken for the project), glass, and images (copies, no originals please) as well as jewelry to create their personal piece.  Stained glass, Ceramics and jewelry will also be available for use.

Posh Wall Pockets

October 18 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

How versatile is a clay wall pocket? They can go outside, indoors, hold water or soil.  They can hold dried flowers, herbs, fireplace matches, and mail! And, they can be the perfect gift! Using the clay slab technique, this workshop will show you how to make and adorn one or two wall pockets, finishing them with either stain or glaze.  Join the fun creating your one of a kind Posh Wall Pocket! All materials are provided and no previous clay…

Basic Iphoneography – Fall 2018

October 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The best camera for taking photos is the one that you always have with you.  Photographing with an iPhone adds a level of convenience, flexibility, and spontaneity to the photographic process.  This class will provide a solid introduction to using your iPhone or iPad as a tool for editing photos and creating interesting art through the use of a variety of phone apps.  A list of apps will be emailed to participants prior to the first class. Participants should have…

Decorate a Holiday Pie Plate

October 30 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Enjoy a relaxing evening, sipping some wine, munching on light refreshments and hand painting your very own clay pie dish for the holidays.Learn how to use underglazes to personalize your very own creation. In a single class you will learn the techniques and decorate your pre-made piece. After you have decorated your pie dish, they will be glazed, fired and ready for you to pick up in time for the holidays. Please bring your own wine or beverage. We will…

Intermediate Wheel (Porcelain “or not”)

November 1 @ 10:00 am - December 13 @ 12:30 pm

Would you like to explore the silky, seductive, and sensuous quality of working with porcelain on the wheel? Ceramic master Rick Bisgyer will share his strategies and process from clay preparation to successful completion of your quality ceramic vessel over eight weeks. He will work to demystify porcelain and alleviate the fear and apprehension many have working with it. Rick will help you improve your best practices to work toward better finished pieces. If you choose not to work in…

FALL INTO WATERCOLOR with Trees, Trees and More Trees

November 10 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

There’s never been a better time to learn how or hone existing watercolor technique depicting trees and their fabulous fall foliage. Join award winning artist Steve Bleinberger in a personalized, instructive watercolor workshop loaded with demos. Beats raking leaves! All levels welcome. Bring your own gear. Steve will gladly share his ample supply of brushes and paints. Quality paper such as Arches or Fabriano preferred.  

Dog & Cat Portraits

November 14 - November 15

Whether you want to try your hand at portraiture or include these pets in the landscape or even still life, this class will add some skills to your toolbox.   Included will be: photographing the uncooperative animal selecting the right references basic anatomy and where to begin your drawing/painting expression and gestures fur patterns and color getting a likeness Demos will be in oil and sharpie. Well behaved dogs will be welcome to class and used as models.  

Modern Wall Hanging Workshop

December 1 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join Jenny Walton from Great Blue Fiber for a unique weaving class. In this two-part workshop, participants will learn how to warp, weave, and complete a modern and unique wall hanging using a lap loom. At the end of this workshop series, you will have created a complete 10" x 20″ wall hanging using seven basic stitches in your selection of yarns. Great Blue Fiber will provide the following materials for each participant: a wooden loom, a tapestry needle, warp…

Cookies & Milk for Santa Workshop

December 2 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Learn how to paint a holiday scene on a pottery cup and cookie plate! This workshop is suitable for children of all ages, including those young at heart.  Those under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants can paint their own design or trace one of the available designs on a provided plate and cup.   The finished work can be picked up at the Clay Studio after it is glaze plenty of time to be…

Modern Wall Hanging Course

January 9, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join Jenny Walton of Great Blue Fiber for an in depth weaving class exploring color, shapes, texture and personal style. All students will learn how to warp a lap loom, weave a contemporary wall hanging and hang their unique piece of art. This class will engage your mind and help you relax and meditate through the process of slowing down to create a personal piece of art. Students will design, and weave a wall hanging of their creation with hands…

Explore Modern Watercolor Workshop

January 12, 2019 - January 13, 2019

Enjoy this two day workshop introduction to a variety of traditional and experimental watercolor techniques. The first day will be spent learning how to use watercolor paint in a traditional manner. My teaching practice uses several sets of fun exercises to get students managing the ratio of paint to water and then complete a small simple still life painting. The second day of the workshop will be spent learning about a variety of experimental methods you can use when using…

Intermediate Pottery Wheel – Winter 2019

January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

More advanced techniques on the potter’s wheel, including closed forms, lids and altered forms, taught by Marilee Schumann. In addition to improving your skills on the wheel, we will work on decorating and glazing techniques. An emphasis will be made on individual expression. Included in cost of class is your first 25 pounds of clay, a $22 value.  

Beginner Pottery Wheel – Winter 2019

January 17, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This is your opportunity to learn how to create functional bowls, cups, and vases on the potter’s wheel. In our eight-week introductory class with Marilee Schumann, you will learn the basics of clay preparation, steps for throwing a pot on the wheel, finishing techniques, and glaze application. This course is designed for people with a healthy curiosity, those who dabbled in school, and those who wish to go back to the basics to refine best practices for the pottery process…

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