Saratoga Arts - Arts Center | Arts Council

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The Arts Center Partners

In addition to Saratoga Arts' own arts education offerings, The Arts Center is home to the following private programs: 

European Language Connection:
Etudes Music School:
Kathleen Bowman, Cello lessons
Jill Levy, Violin Lessons

For more information about any of the artists or organizations above, please click on the link provided or contact them using the number provided.  

Our Community Arts Education Program

For nearly 15 years, Saratoga Arts has been dedicated to offering quality fine art and fine craft classes, taught by regional artists, to students of all ages and at all artistic levels. In that time we’ve grown our program to its current capacity, where it now serves over 950 students a year and works with nearly 50 art teachers.  

Located in the Arts Center at 320 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Arts has several fine arts classrooms, a weaving studio, a 110-seat theater, two gallery spaces and a darkroom. We have on occasion, when our facilities can not accommodate a class, offered classes off-site as well.


Classes & Workshops


Workshops with Nationally Acredited Instructors

Autumn Light in Pastel with Robert Carsten
From Photo to Canvas: Painting Landscapes from Photographs Successfully with Ann Larsen
ooking Out - Looking in: Painting Doors and Windows in Watercolor with Robert O'Brien

Drawing Classes                        Pastel Classes

Sketching Saratoga                            Color Harmonies in Pastel & Oils
Drawing for All Levels                        Pastel for Beginners
Basic Drawing                                     Intermediate - Advanced Pastel
Basic Drawing II                                  Inspired by the Masters
Drawing for Exhibtion
Portrait Drawing
Open Studio - Fall Session I                       
Open Studio Fall  Sesssion II

​​Painting Classes                                      Fine Craft & Writing Classes       

Painting the Landscape                                      Finding Your Voice                 
From Concept to Canvas                                    Writing Dialogue           
Drama of Still Life in Watercolor                        Silversmithing
All Media Portrait Workshop                               Weaving               
Watercolors for Beginner - Intermediate           The Sculpted Portrait 
                                                                               Introduction to Creative Writing

Classes for Children



Autumn Light in Pastel
with Robert Carsten, PSA-mp, IAPS-mc

Capture the beauty and unique splendor of Autumn light in this workshop taught by the ever popular Robert Carsten. Whether you choose an autumnal townscape or country scene, Robert will help you capture that special light that the northeast is so lucky to experience when the leaves change and the days grow shorter. Robert will present and demonstrate distinguishing features and techniques of  each with the aim of enhancing drama, strength, expression and beauty in your pastel paintings. Working from sketches and photos in the landscape subject matter of your choice, learn to build form by layering strokes with an expanded palette of color and limited value range. Composition, linear and atmospheric perspective, practical color theory, and attention to achieving vibrant, textural surfaces distinguish this workshop by a very popular, nationally acclaimed instructor, arts writer and exhibitions juror. This one-day fun and educational workshop will consist of demonstrations, critique, and lots of painting time. This class is designed for students of all levels and no experience is required. Class size is limited to 14 students.

Sunday, September 13, 2015: 10am - 4pm
$120 for members / $130 for non-members

Award-winning artist Robert Carsten, PSA, attended the Art Students League of New York, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Accademia di Belle Arti (Italy). He is a master pastelist and signature member of the Pastel Society of America, master circle artist in the International Association of Pastel Societies, Lifetime Honorary member of the Southwest Florida Pastel Society, signature member of the Connecticut Past Society, and Honorary Board member of Pastel Society of America. Robert is a contributing writer to Pastel Journal and The Artist's Magazine. He teaches workshops nationally and his pastel paintings have been shown in many museums and galleries and are collected worldwide. Visit his website:

From Photo to Canvas: Painting Landscapes from Photographs Successfully!
with Ann Larsen, AWAM, AIS, RMPAP, OPS

Have you ever painted from a photo and wondered why your paintings haven't turned out as you expected? This workshop will help answer those questions. You will learn how to use the photograph as a tool in creating a painting. Bring some photographs you have taken yourself to the class and learn how to create solid compositions, understand the limitations of photography, work with black and white images, manipulate the photographic image to see contrast & value relationships, and understand why photographic colors aren't truthful. This will be a very informative workshop on the ins and outs of working with photos. Almost all artists use photos at some point. So, take the frustration and guess work out of the equation! Class size is limited to 12 students. 

Sat. and Sun.: 9am - 4pm
December 5 & 6
$240 for members / $260 for non-members 

Ann Larsen says "I strive to simplify and strengthen my compositions.  There is nothing more powerful in painting than a well composed, reserved and solid statement.   Such a painting can stir your soul and take your breath away!" Ann is a Master Signature Member of American Women Artists and Past President;  Signature Member of Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, Signature Member American Impressionist Society; member Oil Painters of America and Laguna Plein Air Painters.   She is represented by Sorelle Gallery, Albany, NY; Saunders Gallery of Fine Art, Glens Falls, NY; Shavano Fine Arts Gallery, Salida, CO;  TrueNorth Gallery, Kennebunkport, ME and Davis & Blevins Gallery, Saint Jo, TX. Ann has been in over 20 gallery and museum exhibitions and most recently the Booth Museum of Western Art Museum and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Visit Ann's website at

Looking Out - Looking in: Painting Doors and Windows in Watercolor 
with Robert O’Brien, AWS, NWS

Learn to paint the beauty of doors and windows in this two-day watercolor workshop with a watercolorist with more than 40 years of experience. Students will learn elements of composition and perspective, painting light and shadow, and how to render the unique beauty of doors and windows in a realistic manner. This two day class will begin with a demonstration followed by class painting. A critique and class discussion will be held at the end of the class. This workshop is open to all levels of painting ability, with some drawing experience.

Wednesday and Thursday:10am - 4pm
October 21 & 22
$240 for members/$260 for non-members 

Robert O’Brien has been painting in the watercolor medium for over forty years. A traditional painter of landscape, architectural studies and more, he has studied with James Whatford, Tony Couch, and Marshall Joyce,  NA  AWS. Since moving to Vermont in 1977, he has focused his work on landscape and architectural studies and finds beauty in the ordinary, subtle reminders of everyday life in rural New England. Vermont, with its distinct four season climate, provides the artist with a wealth of subject matter and ever changing light effects. He has taught and exhibited throughout the eastern United States as well as in Provence, France, where the region’s sun-splashed landscape and nameless quality of light has added new dimension to his paintings.  In his own words, he is driven “to capture the vanishing landscape in my paintings” before they disappear forever as a result of the steady hand of “progress”. Visit his website:

Drawing Classes

Open Studio - Figure Drawing 

A wonderful opportunity to continue or expand your art without the formality of a class, the Open Studio sessions offered by Saratoga Arts are great practice for any artist interested in working from a live  model.  Open Studio sessions are informal group meetings where artists can talk about their work, share ideas and discuss a variety of methods and mediums.  There is no teacher or moderator for these sessions, serving instead as a forum for artists to come together and grow among their peers.  Recommended for ages 15 and up, participants can work in the medium of their choice.  Please bring your own supplies.  Pre-registration is encouraged for the Open Studio sessions, but not required. 
Drop in rates: $12 for members / $14 for non-members. Did you know the Open Studio has a website?

Fall Session I - Mondays: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
September 21, 28, October 5, 19, 26, November 2, 9
*No classes on Columbus Day, Oct. 12* 
$70 for members / $90 for non-members    

Fall Session II - Mondays: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
November 16, 23, 30, December 7, 14, 21
$60 for members / $80 for non-members     

Sketching Saratoga     

with Carolyn Justice

Capture the quick moments and celebrate the day to day life of Saratoga by learning one of the most important practices for all artists: sketching. A fun, easy, and wonderful way to keep records of travel or ideas for future paintings, Carolyn Justice will work with you in some of Saratoga’smost beautiful spots, such as Yaddo, Saratoga State Park, and downtown this fall.  This class is for all levels and no drawing or painting experience is required.  Please bring a small sketchbook, fine tip marker and folding chair to each class.  A travel watercolor set is optional.  The first class will meet at The Arts Center where students will enjoy sketching the architectural and landscape elements of Congress Park.  Students will receive a schedule of meeting places at the first class.

Mondays: 10am-12pm
September 14, 21, 28, October 5
$70 for members / $80 for non-members 

Drawing for All Levels     

with James D’Andrea

How many things do you see every day and wish you could draw that?  Drawing is for everybody and this class is a drawing free for all!  Structured to be wide-open with demonstrations, lessons in the fundamentals of drawing and drawing techniques, gentle critiques, and lots of one-on-one time - this class is perfect for students who are new to drawing or have been drawing for years.  Students should bring a 9" x12" heavy bond drawing pad, 12" x18" charcoal pad, 4b-4h pencil set, hard and medium vine charcoal, a kneaded eraser, a white plastic eraser, a knife, s ruler, sharpeners, a 12-18" thin rod (knitting needles work well), a sandpaper block, and a smudger.

Wednesdays: 7pm - 9pm
September 16, 23, 30, October 7

$70 for members / $80 for non-members 


Drawing for Exhibition: Get Ready for the Members' Show!

with James D'Andrea

Creating and preparing a piece for exhibition can be intimidating, but instructor James D'Andrea can help! In this workshop participants will learn about the concerns of presenting drawings at an exhibition and how consideration of these concerns can influence the drawing process. Points of interest will include hanging and framing, materials, viewing distance, and image verses object arguements. 
Saturday, October 24: 10am - 12pm
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Basic Drawing        

with James D’Andrea

For those who are new to drawing or simply returning to art after being away from the easel for a prolonged time, Basic Drawing will give you the foundations and tools to build upon through still and live models. Designed specifically for those who are interested in learning the basic concepts, techniques, materials, and process of drawing, the class will cover use of pencils, ink, and charcoal on various papers. Perspective to portraiture will be covered. This class is perfect for students of all levels..

Thursdays: 10am - 12pm
October 29, November 5, 12, 19, December 3, 10

*There will be no class on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26*
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Basic Drawing II

with James D’Andrea

Building on the basics, this class is designed to help students develop ideas and define their personal creativity while building on the skills they already possess. Advanced fundamentals of drawingwill be covered and students will have the opportunity to spend each session working on drawings of their own design with one-on-one help and gentle critique from instructor and artist James D’Andrea. Basic Drawing I is not a requirement for this class. Please bring lots of photographs or objects for reference.

Thursdays, 1pm - 3 pm
October 29, November 5, 12, 19, December 3, 10
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Portrait Drawing     

with Tom O'BrienFor those who have struggled with portraiture or are simply interested in learning new techniques and tricks used to draw the human face, this course is for you. Learn to create successful portraits by using using simple math: measurement, geometry (shape) and comparison of sizes and shapes. Add to that an understanding of values (light & shade), a few tricks with hair and you’ll be on your way to creating a dramatic portrait! Perfect for beginners as well as intermediate-advanced students who would like to improve upon their skills, with lots of one-on-one help from the instructor to address your specific needs and questions.  Registration cost includes model fee.

Wednesdays: 7pm - 9pm
November 18, 25, December 2, 9, 16
$100 for members / $110 for non-members 

Painting Classes

Painting the Landscape: Opaque and Transparent

with Tom O’Brien

The quality of light and the vibrance of landscape can be captured in a variety of ways. This workshop, specifically designed for artists all levels, will help students learn the tricks and techniques of painting opaque and transparent using watercolor and gauche as well as acrylics. Through demonstration and one-on-one instruction students will learn and understand the basic elements of design and composition inherent in a variety of different landscapes.  Students will also learn the basic rules for color mixing, methods and techniques for applying paint and preparing the paper.  Class size is limited to 12 students.  This class is open to all levels, from first-timers to advanced students.

Wednesdays: 10am - 12pm
September 16, 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21

$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Color Harmonies in Pastel and Oil
with Takeyce Walter

In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye - color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order - and it can be a real stumbling block, even for experienced painters. This workshop will introduce basic formulas related to color harmony and will include practical exercises and all students will complete a color chart for future reference when painting. This workshop is a must for any new or established painter interested in learning about the fundamentals and how they can effect your work. Students can work in oils and/or pastels for this workshop.  Please look at the sidebar on our education page for the complete supply list. This workshop is designed for students of all levels and no experience is required!

Saturday, September 26, 2015: 10am - 4:00pm
$85 for members / $95 for non-members


Watercolors for Beginner to Intermediate 

with Tom Ryan

Whether you’re a beginner looking for advice as to where to start or someone with a bit of experience with the medium, artist and instructor Tom Ryan can help you bring your work to the next level with this workshop. Join this fun workshop and learn how to mix and paint clean, transparent, and vibrant watercolors. This workshop will include elements of good composition, values, and the importance of light. Exercises, demos, individual attention and critiques, are included. Participants will work on a painting of their choice by using their own photos, reference materials, or imagination. Instructor photos will also be available for participant use. A suggested supply list can be found on our website.

Sunday, October 11, 2015: 10am - 4pm
$90 for members / $100 for non-members 

Intermediate - Advanced Pastel     

with Carolyn Justice

Designed as a continuation of Pastel for Beginners,  students will learn to interpret more complex subjects, explore contemporary directions in drawing, and continue to develop a mastery of technique. There is also more emphasis on originality and the development of a personal style.  Students will further develop their skills and abilities, and be encouraged to find increasingly creative solutions for a wide range of different types of projects. Please bring non-oil pastels, a kneaded eraser, masking tape and several sheets of paper to each class.  Class size is limited to 14 students.

Tuesdays: 10am - 12pm
October 13, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17, 24, December 1
$110 for members / $120 for non-members 

From Concept to Canvas: Getting Ready for the Members' Show

with Takeyce Walter

Have you always wanted to submit a piece for our Members’ Exhibition but just haven’t found the time to sit down and create something? Work with artist Takeyce Walter, in this relaxed, fun workshop to finally make it happen! Focusing on images, forms, shapes, color and a variety of painting techniques used when painting on a smaller scale, students will complete a with plenty of time to be included in the Members’ Exhibition! Students can work in oils and/or pastels for this workshop. A complete supply list can be found at our website - This workshop is open to students of all levels and no experience with pastels or oils is required!

Saturday, October 17, 2015: 10am - 4pm
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Pastel for Beginners

with Carolyn Justice

Learn the basic concepts of pastel while exploring the wide range of possibilities that this medium has to offer.   This emphasis of this course will be on experimenting with a variety of papers, use of color and becoming comfortable with the medium. Please bring non-oil pastels, a kneaded eraser, masking tape and several sheets of paper to each class.  Class size is limited to 14 students.  Pastel for Beginners is recommended for students who are new to the medium, but is open to all pastel students.

Mondays, 10am - 12pm 
October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 23
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

The Drama of Still Life in Watercolor
with Susan Wiley

Create drama and dynamic in your still life paintings during this six week course. With plenty of one-on-one attention and guidance, each student will work on his own project and provide his own references.  Susan will help each student develop their own painting from composition through execution and on to the completed painting.  There will be demonstrations as needed during each three-hour session.  Please come to the first class with drawing materials for thumbnails and plenty of good reference photos, a half sheet of 100% rag watercolor paper, and your watercolor supplies.  Must have a 1” angle brush and a #12 round.

Tuesdays: 1-3:30
November 10, 17, 24, December 1, 8, 15
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

All Media Portrait Workshop     

with Corey Pitkin

Learn to achieve not just a likeness, but to create depth and capture the personality and emotion of the human face within a portrait working within your chosen medium. Working with a live model, this full day workshop will start with an oil painting demonstration in the morning and will allow participants to work with one-on-one instructor guidance in the afternoon. All mediums and all skill levels welcome.  Oil painters, please bring: oil paints - at least a red, a blue, a yellow and a white, a 11”x14” or larger canvas or panel, a mix of brushes (the larger the better), odorless mineral spirits or other oil painting medium (no turpentine), a palette, and palette knife; pastelists, please bring assorted pastels, multiple sheets of colored, textured paper, a kneaded eraser, and masking tape. Registration includes model fee.

Saturday, November 14, 2015: 10am - 4pm

$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Inspired by the Masters: Pastel

with Takeyce Walter

Artists have always used the masters as inspiration for their work - whether artists are learning the masters’ techniques, modeling compositions based on their masterpieces, even using their work as an inspiration for palate choice.  In this workshop, Takeyce will discuss the work and processes of the great pastel masters like Edgar Degas, William Merritt Chase and Mary Cassatt, demonstrate their techniques and offer individual assistance to all students.  Please bring a bag lunch.  A complete supply list can be found at our website - This workshop is designed for all levels and no experience is required!

Saturday, November 21, 2015: 10am - 4pm
$70 for members / $80 for non-members 


Fine Craft & Sculpture Classes

Silversmithing & Metal Fabrication     

with Matt Balint

Have you been looking for that perfect piece of unique jewelry? Perhaps you are interested in exploring the world of small scale sculpture in metal. Saratoga Arts’ Silversmithing & Metal Fabrication class offers an opportunity to learn the basic techniques of silversmithing and allows participants the opportunity to create a piece of functional or non-functional art, jewelry or sculpture in sterling or fine silver. This class also provides an introduction to a number of techniques and approaches to two and three-dimensional design and establishes a foundation for the fabrication of jewelry with a primary focus on lamination (soldering), piercing, bezal making, and stone setting. All of the necessary tools will be provided. Class size is limited to 10.  There will be a $30 materials fee due to Matt at the first class. 

Tuesdays: 7pm - 9pm
October 6, 13, 20, 27, November 1
$90 for members / $100 for non-members 

with Nancy Sharples

Celebrate the ancient craft of weaving and learn the diversity of techniques that make up the art of yarn and thread. This class will allow both the experienced weaver as well as the curious beginner work on a 4-harness floor or table loom to create such projects as a wall hanging, scarf, table runner, or small rug.  Please bring a good pair of scissors.  A materials fee of about $15.00 (depending on project) will be due at first class.  Class size is limited to 10.  This workshop is designed for all levels and no experience is required!
Saratoga Arts’ Weaving Studio is open daily to all registered weaving students to work on projects outside of class hours. Weaving Studio hours are: M-F, 9am - 4:30pm and Saturdays 11am - 4:30pm.

Wenesdays, 1pm - 3pm
October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 18
*There is no class on November 11 in observance of Veteran's Day
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

The Sculpted Portrait     
with Tom O'Brien
Discover that the basic principles used in creating a 3D portrait are not so different than drawing one in 2D. Using clay to create the volume of the head, neck and shoulders with correctly placed features will produce an exhilarating portrait bust. The principles learned in this class will also help you draw better!  All materials for this workshop will be provided, but students are welcome to bring additional sculpting tools.  Registration fee includes sculpting medium and model fee.  This workshop is for students of all levels.
Saturday, October 10, 2015: 9:30am - 2:30pm

$90 for members / $100 for non-members 
Registration for this workshop ends 10 days prior to the start of the event.

Writing Classes

Finding Your Voice: Experimental Writing, Personal Essay, and Memoir

with Juliet Barney

We all have stories to tell, and this class will help you learn to tell them This creative writing class, open to all skill levels, will focus on non-fiction in all its forms. In this 8-week class, students will learn to mess with plot to create non-linear essays and memoirs. Throughout the 6 weeks, students will work to present themselves as a character while creating stories around personal experience. This is a chance for students to tell their own stories in various forms. Emphasis will be placed on the learning process and exploring various entry points into a story. Students should bring a notebook, pen, and plenty of ideas to class. 

Thursdays, 7pm - 9pm
September 17, 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22
$85 for members / $95 for non-members 

Talk To Me: Writing Dialogue for Screenplay and More

with D. Bergman Friscia

Spend two days learning what it takes to write successful dialog in this fun, hands-on, hands-off workshop for all levels. This workshop will also help with any type of writing that includes dialog, such as short fiction, playwriting, and more. Students will spend time on their own viewing film excerpts, reading dialog handouts provided by the instructor, and writing their own work to review, workshop, and discuss in the next class. 

Sundays, 10am - 4pm
September 27 & October 4
$70 for members / $80 for non-members 

Introduction to Creative Writing Workshop

with Juliet Barney

Itching to write the Great American Novel but not sure where to start? Or maybe you've just got a lot of ideas and you don't know how to get them down on paper. Whatever your goal, Introduction to Creative Writing will help you get the process started. Covering the major writing mediums including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in all it’s forms, students will start with the basics—working through imagery, voice, characterization, and plot. This workshop will cover a variety forms and content, and in the end, students will gain an understanding of the basics ofwriting across genre. This is also an excellent class for high school students to strengthen their basic writing and grammar while exploring the English language. For ages 12 through adult! 

Saturday, November 7: 10am - 4pm
$70 for members / $80 for non-members 



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Registration Form

Emergency Contact Form (for children)

Scholarship Request Form (adults)

Scholarship Request Form (children)

Supply List Book: includes

Autumn Light with Robert Carsten
Plein Air with Ann Larsen

Doors & Windows with Robert O'Brien
Landscape in Opaque & Transparent
Basic Drawing

Drawing II
Drawing for All Levels
Portrait Drawing
Watercolors - Beginner to Intermediate
Color Harmonies in Oil & Pastel


Community Arts Education Program scholarships available for residents of Malta.  This year, Saratoga Arts was 
the awarded a grant from the Global Foundries - Town of Malta Foundation.

 Scholarships are available for our adult classes and for our summer camp and school break programs.  To learn more about Saratoga Arts Scholarship Program, contact Tanya Tobias, 
Associate Director - 
or 518-584-4132



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