Where to Find Locally Based Virtual Art Classes

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has forced countless events to move to a virtual environment. As physical distancing measures continue — a number of local art organizations, recreation centers and art galleries are now offering classes online. Here is a list of a few classes where you can learn creative techniques virtually.

Spectra Art Space

Photo courtesy of Spectra Art Space’s Facebook page

The Lowdown: Spectra Art Space, based out of Denver, is the place to turn if you’re looking for free virtual classes. Many of the courses are free — with others being offered at low cost. If you’d like to learn more about mandala drawing or calligraphy techniques — both courses are being offered completely free. Other landscape painting classes are offered for a small registration fee. This platform is excellent for beginners looking to learn new techniques at home. Click here to learn more and register.

 Curtis Center for the Arts

The Lowdown: Curtis Center for the Arts — located in Greenwood Village — is offering a number of live classes. Whether you are interested in watercolor, oil painting or drawing — the Curtis Center has something for everyone. Don’t have the time to attend a weekly class? You can also find pre-recorded videos available for viewing at any time. Join artist Michelle Lamb and learn the art of assemblage with common household items — or follow along with landscape painter Janet Anderson as she explores technique behind landscape painting. Click here to find more information and to register for classes.

 Art Students League of Denver

Photo courtesy of Arts Students League of Denver’s Facebook

The Lowdown: For those looking to study and hone their art skills — Arts Students League of Denver is one of the first places to turn. The organization first opened in 1987 and is now well known among the Denver art community for offering a wide variety of classes. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn a new hobby or a professional seeking to advance your skills — Arts Students League of Denver has classes of all experience levels. From beginner’s photography to advanced pose painting — adults of all ages will enjoy these virtual classes. Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained? Luckily, Art Students League of Denver also offers children’s courses. Registration fees are required. Click here to find more information and to register for classes.

pARTiculars Art Gallery & Teaching Studio

Photo courtesy of pARTiculars’ Facebook page

The Lowdown: Based out of Longmont — pARTiculars is a gallery dedicated to educating others on art practices. pARTiculars is beginning to host a limited number of art classes in person — but a variety of courses are continued to be offered virtually. Explore animal and plant matter in “Drawing Nature,” or learn the fundamental techniques behind pastels in “Beginner Painting with Soft Pastels.” These classes are aimed at teens and adults — but keep an eye out for summer workshops for kids which will be added soon. Registration fees are required. Click here to find more information and to register for classes.

 Denver Parks and Recreation

Danielle Webster, 303 Magazine, Carla Madison Rec Center Denver, Area C Projects

The Carla Madison Recreation Center on East Colfax. Photo by Danielle Webster

The Lowdown: For those looking for a creative way to spend time at home — Denver Parks and Recreation is the place to look. The department is hosting casual classes weekly on their Facebook page. The best part? The classes are completely free. Teens and adults who are interested in learning drawing techniques should tune in every Thursday and Friday for simple drawing lessons. If you’re looking to entertain little ones — join to get some fun craft ideas. The department is also hosting dance lessons and cooking lessons. If you miss the Facebook live, simply go back and rewatch any video on your own time. Click here to find the Denver Parks and Recreation Facebook page.

City of Lakewood

The Lowdown: The City of Lakewood is another government organization offering a large amount of virtual classes. You can use a simple online registration tool to scroll through a list of current courses. While a number of classes have been canceled due to COVID-19 — there is still a wide variety to choose from. If you’d like to stray from the visual arts and focus more on meditation techniques — look for the virtual yoga classes. Interested in improving your digital photography skills? There are a few classes focused on just that. There is also a variety of drawing and painting classes — as well as beginning dance classes available. Registration fees do apply. Click here to learn more and to register.

Canvas and Cocktails

Photo courtesy of Canvas and Cocktails’ Facebook page

The Lowdown: If you’ve lived in the Denver area for any amount of time — you’ve probably heard of Canvas and Cocktails. The Centennial-based business is well known for being the perfect destination for a night out. Luckily, Canvas and Cocktails is still holding virtual classes. Online courses are being offered nearly every single day in June. Whether you’d like to learn how to paint a llama or a calming Rocky Mountain landscape — Canvas and Cocktails has a seemingly endless selection. Once you register, you’ll receive a link for a Zoom meeting. You can even reserve materials from Canvas and Cocktails and pick them up curbside. This is perfect if you’re in search of a judgement-free way to unwind and have fun with loved ones. Click here to find more information and to register for classes.

 Colorado Free University

The Lowdown: Based out of the Lowry neighborhood in Denver — Colorado Free University is an excellent resource for busy adults looking to attend a class or two. The organization defines itself as a learning network rather than a traditional school — and has moved most of its courses online. The classes vary widely — from drawing to acting to voice-over lessons — any of the programs are sure to pique your interest. Most of the courses do require a registration fee, but Colorado Free University is set on making them affordable for everyone. Click here to find a full list of online courses.

 MBodied Art Studio

Photo courtesy of MBodied Art Studio’s Facebook page

The Lowdown: Based out of Arvada, MBodied is a women-owned studio committed to serving the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MBodied is offering all of its courses for the price of one. The studio also offers a library of prerecorded video lessons as well as materials needed. All courses are currently being held over Zoom. If you’re interested in traditional painting, drawing or art therapy — be sure to check out MBodied. Click here to learn more and register for classes.