visual arts landing page

Stimulate your senses with art classes. We offer a variety of art classes for all ages and interests. Work with an array of mediums while you explore your creative side and discover new talents.

 


  • kids playing with paint and creating art

    18 MONTHS TO 6 YEARS ART CLASSES

    Creativity and a variety of sensory rich mediums combine in this fun hands-on exploration that builds confidence, creativity, and self expression. Young artists will be exposed to beginning visual art concepts and vocabulary while developing essential life skills, discovering and sharing their world.

    See class descriptions below

    Side By Side

    18 Months to 3 Yrs

    Be a part of your child’s first art encounter. Together you will make mixed-medium art that will stimulate fine motor skills while exposing your child to enriching tactile and sensory experiences.

    NEW! Wiggle and Sing

    18 Months to 5 Yrs

    We all need to get our wiggles out! Parents and kids, come join our DJ for 45 minutes of dancing and karaoke on Saturday mornings!

    Afternoon of Art

    3 to 6 Yrs

    Enjoy clay for 40 minutes then learn how to draw for 40 minutes. Don’t forget to bring a snack which you’ll enjoy between classes.

    Register Now!

     

    Art & Swim

    3 to 6 Yrs

    Come to the pool to enjoy a half hour swim lesson. Y staff will help with the changing of clothes and transfer you to the art studio for an hour of art. Adults need not be present to transfer your child.

    Register Now!

    Clay & Swim

    3 to 6 Yrs

    Come to the Art Studio to enjoy an hour of clay. All pieces are fired and glazed. Y staff will transfer you to the pool and help with the changing of clothes. Adults need not be present to transfer your child.

    Register Now!

    Messing Around With Art

    3 to 6 Yrs

    We’ll do it all in this class - drawing, painting, sculpture, real, imagined. You name it and we’ll try it.

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    Morning of Art

    3 to 6 Yrs

    Enjoy clay class first and then learn how to draw using shapes. Don't forget to bring a snack which you'll enjoy between classes.

    Register Now!

    NEW! Morning of Music & Art

    3-6 yrs

    A mixture of eclectic music and art to fill your fabulous Friday mornings. Don't forget to bring a snack which you'll enjoy halfway through the morning.

    NEW! Preschool Art

    3 to 6 Yrs

    If the week is too busy for you, enroll your child in a Sunday art class where they‘ll explore drawing, painting, and creating.

    NEW! Preschool Ceramics

    3 to 6 Yrs

    Use slabs, coils and pinch pots to create fun and functional items. All pieces are fired and glazed.

  • Youth creating art

    YOUTH ART PROGRAMS

    Through art classes, participants experience activities that foster self-expression and build self-esteem, develop imagination, critical thinking and valuable social skills. Our instructors will encourage your child to explore different mediums such as ceramic, clay, paints and pencils.

    YMCA Arts programs and classes are excellent opportunities for youth to gain exposure to a significant aspect of our culture. Through the arts, participants experience activities that foster self-expression and build self-esteem, develop imagination, critical thinking and valuable social skills. Our instructors will encourage your child to explore different mediums such as ceramic, clay, paints and pencils. For more information, contact Cathie Winnie, Visual Arts Director.

    See class descriptions below

    Advanced Art

    5- 8th Grade

    Learn how to use artistic principles to express your personality and create your own style of art. Realism and abstract art will be explored using pencils, pastels, paint, ink, and recyclables.

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    Adventures In Art 101

    2nd-5th grade

    This very popular class is child driven and encourages imagination and creativity while working on many 3D projects.

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    NEW! Adventures in Art 102

    5-8th Grade

    Like 101, this very popular class continues to be driven by the students. They suggest ideas we tweak and develop, opening up imagination, creativity, and spatial awareness. Most of the projects are 3D.

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    NEW! Beginning Knitting

    2-8th Grade

    Come learn how to knit from a pro: all you need are size 8 needles! The yarn will be provided for you courtesy of Plymouth Yarn Company.

    Register Now!

    Building

    1-5th Grade

    If you like to tinker then you’ll love this class. Use everyday objects to build items such as a marble run or a race car.

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    NEW! Canvas

    3-8th Grade

    Each student will create their own work of art on canvas using any mediums desired. This class is great for individually minded students.

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    Ceramics & Sculpture 101

    K-3rd Grade

    Tactile projects are fun for everyone, and what better way to create them than out of clay, plaster, or other mediums? All clay pieces are fired and glazed in our kiln.

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    Ceramics & Sculpture 201

    4-8th Grade

    Continue the fun with this advanced ceramic class. Learn how to create more intricate pieces along with decorative techniques as well. All clay pieces are fired and glazed in our kiln.

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    Drawing & Painting

    K-3rd Grade

    This class is a great way either to learn how to draw or to continue honing your drawing skills. Students will learn basic art principles.

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    Elements of Art 101

    K-2nd Grade

    Is your child serious about learning art, but you'd rather not commute to the Art Institue? Projects are designed to incorporate art principles such as design, drawing techniques, and color theory. No class on 3/4, 5/13.

    Elements of Art 201

    3rd-6th Grade

    If art is your thing, then you’ll want to continue to learn about art mediums and art principles such as depth, perception,line shading, pattern, perspective, color, space and more. No Classes on 3/4, 5/13.

    NEW! Faces, Features & Hands

    4th-8th grade

    Learn to draw faces, features and hands in a fun, non-repetitive way using 2D and 3D projects.

    Special Needs Art

    For those with special needs who will enjoy and benefit from a smaller classroom setting.

    NEW! Printmaking & Silkscreening

    4th-8th Grade

    Ever wondered how to make a print or silkscreen a shirt? Here's your chance to explore the world of printing.

    NEW! The Next Step

    4th-8th Grade

    Keep expressing yourself as you learn new art principles and techniques and how to incorporate them into your own artistic style.

  • Adults in watercolor creating paintings with Fran

    ADULT ART CLASSES

    Express your creativity. Make a masterpiece. Take a minute to unwind. Art at the NSYMCA art isn't just for kids, you deserve some fun too! What are you waiting for? Paint a beautiful watercolor work of art with the talented Fran Veil. Feel your creativity take shape as you craft a pot with your very own hands, or if crafting is your thing, we have something for you too!

    NEW! Art Ability

    For ages 14 years and up who need assistance with motor planning, following instructions and a smaller classroom setting.

    NEW! Beginning Knitting

    Come learn how to knit from a pro: all you need are size 8 needles! The yarn will be provided for you courtesy of Plymouth Yarn Company.

    NEW! Unwind

    Life can be hectic. Unwind in this class by experimenting with a variety of art techniques that will give you the courage and confidence to start creating on your own.

    NEW! Ceramics

    Learn how to hand-build and decorate intricate clay pieces in this BYOB class. All pieces are fired and glazed in our kiln.

    Watercolors with Fran Vail

    Would you like to explore the subtle complexity and delicate beauty of watercolors? Join our esteemed teacher, Fran Vail, to learn how to layer watercolors in a casual, supportive class setting. A minimal supply list will be given to you at the first class. Watercolor class begins 9/5. Fran also teaches the Adult Drawing class on Thursdsay mornings, for those who would like to fine-tune their drawing skills. *No class on 2/6. .

    Register Now!

  • A child in Digital Media creating a drawing off a computer tablet

    DIGITAL MEDIA CLASSES

    IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN CREATE IT IN THE NSYMCA'S DIGITAL MEDIA LAB

    • Create a digital masterpiece
    • Produce graphic novels
    • Manipulate digital images
    • Inspire your inner music master with beats
    • Give your imagination wings to soar
    Give your imagination wings to soar. Bring your vision to life!

    OUR NEW DIGITAL MEDIA LAB IS HOUSED WITH EQUIPMENT THAT WILL HELP YOU BRING YOUR MASTERPIECE TO LIFE

    • 3D Printer
    • Digital Printer
    • Touch Screen Drawing Tablets
    • Variety of Digital Media Software and Applications

    See our Class decriptions below

    NEW! Anime & Beyond

    Offered in Spring & Winter 2018

    Anime & Beyond - Grades 3-8

    Do you love to draw anime or other cartoon characters? This is a great chance to hang out and create with other kids who have similar interests! Even if you are new to anime or cartooning, you'll have fun developing your own characters and using them to tell stories.

    Creating Claymation Characters & Movies

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Creating Claymation Characters & Movies - Grades 3-8

    Create claymation characters out of clay, then learn the basics of stop-motion moviemaking, including narrative development and storyboarding.

    Digital Maker Space

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Digital Marker Space

    Grades 5-12

    Wednesdays 6:30pm - 8:00pm

    Are you a free-spirited digital artist who just wants to do your own thing in a friendly, supervised environment with the latest art apps at your fingertips? Come with an idea and create it on the tablets in our Digital Media Lab. When you buy a Maker Space card, you can come to either the Art Studio or the Digital Maker Spaces as often as you like! For more information, please contact Cathie Winnie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Please note, this is not a structured class and the teacher in the room is a proctor and not an art instructor.

    NEW! Film/ Movie Techniques

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Film / Movie Techniques

    Do you dream of making movies? Learn how to turn your ideas into a fun, short video clip! We'll touch on film concepts such as editing, voiceover recording, lighting, staging, and more.

    NEW! Gaming Design

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Gaming Design

    Learning design principals in gaming by building a game with levels, prizes, opponents, and missions.

    NEW! Graphic Illustration

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Graphic Illustration - Grades 3-8

    In this fun, hands-on class, you will turn your visual ideas into digital sketches and create designs based on a theme of your choice!

    NEW! Lego® Moviemaking

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Lego® Moviemaking - Grades K-5

    Use our LEGO pieces to contruct scenes for your next LEGO movie while learning the basics of narrative development, storyboarding, sound recording, and more.

    NEW! Music Production

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Music Production - Grades 4-8

    Immerse yourself in every aspect of music production: multi-trak recording, creating digital music from samples and loops, editing and blending tracks, developing a professional sound, and how to be a DJ!

    NEW! Superheros

    Offered Winter & Spring 2018

    Superheros - Grades 1-5

    Develop your own superhero characters with unique personalities and superpowers! Then learn how to build an effective storyline around them to create a digital superhero book!

  • Maker Space is now at the NSYMCA

    Maker Space and Digital Maker Space

    Are you a free-spirited artist who just wants to do your own thing in a friendly, supervised environment full of amazing art supplies? Come with an idea and create it using our fully stocked Art Studio. When you buy a Maker Space card, you can come to either the Art Studio or the Digital Maker Spaces as often as you like! Please note, this is not a structured class and the teacher in the room is a proctor and not an art instructor.

    STUDIO MAKER SPACE

    5th-12th grades

    Tuesday From 6:30-8:00pm

    DIGITAL MAKER SPACE

    5th-12th grades

    Wednesday 6:30-8:00pm

    DIGITAL MAKER SPACE JR

    2nd-5th GRADES

    Saturdays 8:45-11:30am

  • Free Classes at the public library

     

    Join us once a month at the Northbrook or Glenview libraries for a FREE art classes. Please contact the libraries to reserve your spot.

  • Private Swim

    Community Art Gallery

    Each month the NSYMCA hosts a community art gallery. Local artists showcase inspiring and creative pieces throughout the Y. High quality art is for sale at all price levels, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the NSYMCA Strong Kids Financial Assistance fund. The Strong Kids Financial Assistance Fund offers families and individuals in our community, that may be facing financial hardships, the opportunity to participate in life changing programs.