Our  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.

RiverArts is currently in search of an Education Manager. This is a full time position. Interested, or know someone who may be? CLICK HERE for position information..

  • 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- Adult

December 11
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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 or family,  providing a fun activity for a party of 1-4 people. Perhaps you are looking for private instruction outside of our usual offering of classes. Your workshop can be custom designed to enjoy one of the following: - learn throwing on the…

Monday Afternoon Life Drawing

December 17 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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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.****No Life Drawing Monday, December 24 or 31*** There are tables, chairs, and easels in the space for your use. Acceptable to arrive late or depart early. Bring a snack…

Photo Club – Every 4th Thursday – Free!

December 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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NEXT PHOTO CLUB MEETING IS THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2019 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…

Watercolor Basics

January 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

In this 4 week, introduction to watercolor, instructor Jim Mahla will demonstrate various techniques, including brush handling, color values and the color wheel. Students will learn to paint a color landscape from a drawing provided by the instructor and will develop a knowledge of basic techniques of the medium and embrace their own unique style. Students are welcome to bring in a photograph of their own to paint in the later classes.  $20 supply fee payable to instructor at time…

Modern Wall Hanging Course

January 9, 2019

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 6 week 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…

Explore Contemporary 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…

Porcelain (or not)- Day Class

January 15, 2019

  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 six 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…

Intermediate Pottery Wheel – Evening class

January 15, 2019

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. Ages 16 & older.  

Intro to Pastels

January 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

This classroom–based workshop is for beginners and others who want to explore this flexible and forgiving medium. Students will be introduced to a variety of pastels, painting surfaces and pastel techniques as well as use three different surfaces and learn a cost-effective way to make their own pastel surfaces. Demonstrations and critiques are part of this lively workshop. Students will work from still life set ups and photographs and the workshop will cover techniques for using photos and improving compositions, while helping students develop their…

Beginner Pottery Wheel – Winter 2019

January 17, 2019

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 in addition to aesthetic theory and a smattering of history.  This course is designed for people with a healthy curiosity, those who dabbled in school, and those who wish to go back to…

TGIF Paint Night with Jim Mahla

January 18, 2019 @ 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 Birds of a Feather 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…

Stained Glass Mosaic Window Class

January 19, 2019

Popular instructor Jen Wagner will show you how to create an original Stained Glass Mosaic window In this six week class.  Choose your own design, learn  breaking, adhering and grouting techniques to create your own masterpiece. All materials provided including vintage window (or bring a favorite from home).    

Simple Beaded Necklace Workshop

February 9, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Learn  how to create and fasten an 18” beaded necklace on cable wire and fasten using crimp beads in this one day workshop with Joan Strand.  Bring your own beads from a broken necklace or purchase beads from the instructor. Materials Fee: $7 for basic bead crimping kit (cable, crimp beads, and clasp). Students are encouraged to bring their own beads. If you wish to purchase beads from the instructor;  cost will be $10 and up depending upon the type of…

Shore Bird Carving Workshop

February 10, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join master carver Rich Smoker in this one day workshop in bird carving. Named a Living Legend by the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Rich now divides his time between carving and teaching others the joy of making birds and decoys. Students will start with a cut out blank of a small shorebird. Proper use and care of carving knives will be stressed. Students will be instructed in all aspects of carving and completion of this project. Geared to total…

Dog Portraits & Beyond

February 27, 2019 - February 28, 2019

Looking for a truly enjoyable way to improve your painting skills? 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. Lynne is known for dramatic use of light and shadow, color and expressive brushwork. Skills learned in this class may be applied to a variety of painting subjects:  figures, animals, landscapes... Specific topics Included will be: photographing the uncooperative animal…

Let it Snow! Watercolor Worshop

March 2, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Come in from the cold and warm up with a fun, instructive watercolor workshop on painting snow scenes. All levels welcome. Bring your own gear - Steve will gladly share his ample supply of brushes and paints. May your next watercolor be snowy and bright! P.S. Never too early to start working on holiday cards.  

Introduction to Kiln Art Glass

March 6, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

THIS IS FULL. We will offer another later in the year. Please email if you wish to be put on a waiting list. This workshop will provide a good foundation of kiln-formed art glass concepts. On the first day, students will be introduced to central concepts like compatibility, cutting, and firing by viewing samples and creating a series of experimental tiles. On the second day, students will create a finished 8”x8” plate of their own design.      …

Decorate and Glaze

March 12, 2019 - April 2, 2019

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 (see below) or you may get it the first night of class. Please bring a minimum of one piece of bisqueware. Preferably, one with & one without texture or a combination of both on one…

Bill van Gilder Workshop: The Functional Pot: Tips, Tools & Techniques

May 17, 2019 - May 19, 2019

Every potter has a list of WHAT they want to make. HOW to make it, is often the question. Friday evening video, 6 - 8 pm Saturday & Sunday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm   Lunch break 30-45 minutes, plus a 10 minute break in am & pm During this two day, information-loaded, demo-workshop some 50+ making techniques will be demonstrated in answer to these ‘how-to’ questions; techniques participants will want to use and adjust to fit their own future work.…

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