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Reawaken Your Creative Spirit with These 5 Art Classes at the AVA Art Gallery and Art Center

Jan 18, 2019 11:59AM ● By Kevin
Are you looking to reawaken your creative spirit this winter? If so, there are hands-on classes and workshops for Upper Valley residents and visitors of all ages at AVA Gallery and Art Center. From painting and photography to ceramics and metalworking, these educational offerings include two- or three-day workshops, weekly classes and vacation camps for children and adults. Classes are open to all skill levels unless otherwise noted.

AVA students will learn from passionate, accomplished regional and national artists, actively participating in a low student-teacher ratio setting. The facilities at AVA are state-of-the-art, spacious and full of light, also housing many challenging and unique exhibitions, which provide further inspiration.

Founded in 1973, AVA Gallery and Art Center (Alliance for the Visual Arts) promotes the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that nurture, support and challenge New England artists, while providing art classes for children, teens, and adults of all levels and abilities. 

“AVA’s programs—including special events that foster interaction among artists, patrons of the arts and the community, and which emphasize sustainability—are dedicated to recognizing the ways in which art enriches our lives.

Scholarship, internship, and volunteer opportunities are integral to AVA’s programming,” the nonprofit’s website says.

There are plenty of programs to check out at AVA. We took a deeper dive into five of our favorites as a recommendation for our readers to check out.


Winter Vacation Art Camps (Special Children’s Program)

Build, animate, paint and create during AVA’s fun winter school vacation art camps for children of all ages.

Programs take place Feb. 18 – 22; choices include:

  • Winter Wonderland (ages 6-9)
  • Stories in Art (ages 6-9)
  • Lego Mindstorms Robotics (ages 9-12)
  • Go! Go! Go! (ages 9-12)
  • Krazy Comix (teenagers)
  • Relief Printmaking (teenagers)

If your child is enrolling in both morning and afternoon art camps, a supervised bring-your-own lunch hour is included. To accommodate working families’ schedules, AVA offers early drop-off (8:15 a.m.) and late pick-up (5:15 p.m.) for $15 each for one week.

‘May the Force Be With You’ – Somatic Painting (Adult)

Explore your life force through art making! Cultivate the tools to open and direct the flow of your Qi or Prana through meditation, movement and mark making. Painting is approached as an opening to one's embodied presence. The self becomes the subject to be explored in a sequence of layers in ink. Please wear comfortable clothes to allow your energy to flow from its source and follow its path. This class takes place Feb. 2 and 3, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Michelangelo Madness – Introduction to Stone Carving (Adult)

Wield hammers, chisels, files, and rasps! Create a stone sculpture using a variety of techniques. Bring your ideas or an image or drawing or let the stone dictate your design. Learn how to use simple hand tools in the reductive method of sculpture. Novice and experienced artists are encouraged to join in making small scale full round or relief carvings. This class takes place Jan. 25 – 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Colorful Clay (Children)

Designed for middle school children, approximate ages 10-14, Colorful Clay takes place on Wednesdays from Feb. 27 to March 27, from 3 to 5 p.m.

 Polymer clay comes in many brilliant colors and its creative uses are endless. There will be lots of polymer clay, clay tools, cutters, and hand-crank pasta machines for conditioning clay and blending colors. Opportunity abounds for experimentation;  creating miniature villages, fish ponds, and creatures are just a few ideas.

Metting and Framing for the Artist (Adult)

Matting and framing your own work can be especially rewarding and cost saving. Learn to choose the materials that best complement your work, the pros, and cons of different backings, and glazings. Come with a favorite work on paper 11" x 14" or smaller, or a work on canvas or panel 16" x 20" or smaller. Each artist will take home a framed piece of work. This class takes place on March 9, from 1 to 5 p.m.

 AVA is located in the Carter-Kelsey building– the former H.W. Carter Factory– at 11 Bank Street in Lebanon, NH, right off Colburn Park (Lebanon Green), on Route 4. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Thursday until 7 p.m.), and by appointment. The office is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There are added benefits to becoming a member to the museum, which includes 15% off all AVA classes, camps and workshops, discounts on special events for which admission is charged (Silent Auction, bus tours, etc.), eligibility to submit artwork to AVA’s Holiday Exhibition, discounted submission fee to be considered for participation in AVA’s bi-annual Summer Juried Exhibition, invitations to AVA’s exhibition openings and special events, and more.

For more information about becoming a member or other classes, AVA has to offer, call 603-448-3117, email [email protected], or visit

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