Westerly Education Center is closed until the spread of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to public health. Please check back for updates on the resumption of courses


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Students in southern Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut can take advantage of a number of art and design courses from Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education (RISD CE) that, until now, required commuting to its Providence campus. A select group of RISD CE courses are now offered at the Westerly Education Center, giving students the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty in a range of visual arts and design disciplines. RISD CE course offerings in Westerly span a variety of creative choices in artistic mediums, but all focus on developing the key building blocks to establish a working knowledge of spatial organization and visual problem solving to further your abilities as an artist.

Clink on the course links to register or visit ce.risd.edu when you enter keyword "Westerly" in the keyword search field.

(Students: Follow RISD|CE instructions during COVID-19 closures)


Interior Design: Introduction

Thursdays, Feb 27 - Apr 2 | 1-4pm
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365
This introductory course focuses on the process of design as it applies to interior spaces. Students build an acute awareness of core principles -- scale, proportion, light, circulation and progression -- as a means to create visual harmony. Functional, utilitarian, economic and safety requirements of interior spaces in an architectural framework are examined and students develop a process book that is a document of their new appreciation for lighting, acoustics, textiles and materials choices. Through exercises and a final project, students learn to apply the basic principles of visual design to interiors, and to better understand how form and function can be translated into practical designs for livable interior spaces.

Interior Design: Introduction II
Prerequisite: Interior Design: Introduction or Fundamentals of Interior Design I
Tuesdays, Apr 7 - May 19 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 4/14
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365
Did you take Fundamentals of Interior Design or Interior Design: Introduction at the Westerly Education Center, and are you looking to learn more about color, drawing for interiors and the business of interior design? Using what you learned in the first course as building blocks, you'll continue to explore the world of interior design. You'll learn about color and how it affects the interior environment, and get an overview of what it is like to run an interior design business. You'll also be introduced to computer software that will allow you to create 2D and 3D drawings.

Drawing I
Thursdays, Feb 27 - May 21 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 4/16
12 sessions | 36 contact hours | tuition $525 | model fee $30
Drawing is an essential means of communicating, and central to every artist’s and designer's practice. This class is a more rigorous and sustained introduction to the drawing medium. Drawing I students begin learning to define shapes and forms with line: investigating weight, direction and speed through gesture, contour and planar analysis. Then moving on to value, using both additive and reductive ways of working, they learn to utilize the power of light and dark to create a sense of texture, volume and space. Spatial systems, including perspective, are investigated as well as fundamentals of composition to construct dynamic imagery. Measuring and attention to negative space are essential skills used and reinforced throughout the learning process. Transcribing what is seen or imagined into visual form utilizing multiple approaches -- from note taking to rendering to diagramming and sketching -- is explored. The course is structured around demonstrations, guided exercises, and sustained drawing of varied subject matter including still-life, landscape, architecture and the human form. Note: This course uses nude models. Please note that in addition to the lab fee, you can expect to have to buy additional supplies for this class. We try to keep this cost under $100, but for specialized classes (jewelry, wood, metals) this may be higher.

Photography: Introduction

Thursdays, Apr 9 - May 21 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 4/16
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365
This course for new and amateur photographers introduces ways of seeing through the lens and illuminates the underlying two-dimensional design issues and visual concepts hidden within the photographic image. Through weekly assignments and critiques, students explore ways to use photography and photographic conventions for their unique personal expression. Lessons include the technical operations like focus, shutter speed and aperture common to all cameras, and how they influence artistic choices. Whether students are interested in traditional or digital photography, this course provides a strong foundation for any subsequent photographic pursuit.

iPhone Photography Workshop

Saturday, Mar 14 | 10am-1pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $85
Your iPhone is about to get even more useful to you -- even if you didn't think that was possible! In this workshop you'll learn how to take professional-looking photos with just your iPhone. Whether you're looking to photograph your own artwork, or seeking the perfect social media aesthetic for your brand, these skills can be applied to many aspects of your creative life. You'll develop tricks, tips and insights into a few of the instructor's favorite (free) photo editing applications; how to take product/food shots; and how to make use of natural light. You'll also gain resources on local printing companies to print all of your favorite shots.

Graphic Design: Introduction
Thursdays, Apr 9 - May 21 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 4/16
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365 | lab fee $10
A graphic designer is a creative problem solver who conceptualizes, plans and executes a design that communicates a message. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of working in the field of graphic design by examining the meaning of graphic design, the design process and the role the graphic designer plays in society. Students respond to presentations and engage in hands-on assignments intended to provide a glimpse of the RISD CE Graphic Design certificate program and the broader field of the professional graphic designer.

Egg Tempera Painting
Saturday + Sunday, Apr 18 - 19 | 10am-4pm
2 sessions | 12 contact hours | tuition $275 | lab fee $20
From Byzantine icons to Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, egg tempera is one of the oldest and most radiant of painting mediums. The paint, a mixture of fresh raw egg yolk, water and pigment, shares properties of both watercolor and oils. Like watercolor, it allows for thin, transparent washes and rapid drying. Like oils, tempera can be built up in layers of luminous color. Additionally, each layer painted becomes water-resistant, so that one application of paint can be rapidly followed by another. The two layers don't mix -- allowing one color to appear through the other, giving it its unique quality of luminosity. The course includes demonstrations on both preparation of the paint and technical applications including brushwork and sponging. On the first day, students start with practice panels and work from an in-class setup. On the second day, work can be from an in-class setup in class or individual imagery. Pigment origins and their unique characteristics are discussed, and historical examples of work done in egg tempera are shown for students to see its breadth of visual possibilities.

Woodworking at Westerly
Thursdays, Apr 9 - May 21 | 5-8pm | No Class: 4/16
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365 | lab fee $30
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of working with wood using power and hand tools. Step by step, students learn the safe and effective use of machinery, and how to develop and execute a realistic plan/design for a simple piece. Students are introduced to ways of understanding wood, both in what to look for in selecting it and considerations when shaping it, work with table saws and sanders, and learn which machines are most effective in achieving their chosen project. Demonstrations and presentations further the learning. This hands-on introductory class helps students gain confidence with machines and working with wood and is ideal for beginners.

Applied Color
Tuesdays, Apr 7 - May 19 | 1-4pm | No Class: 4/14
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365 | lab fee $15
Color is one of the most powerful, and complex, tools at the artist's disposal. Bridging the divide between color theory and color practice, this studio course distills the essentials of color mechanics into workable studies and projects. Students explore color through creative exercises using collage and paint to understand color and how to use it effectively. Explorations of the role of light, the psychological impact of color, and how such factors as hue, value and intensity affect design are integral to the learning. Slide-illustrated presentations address the historical background of the use of color. Through the process of experiencing the interface of color theory and color application, guidelines toward developing a personal palette are discussed. Mastery of color is essential in the work of artists, illustrators, craftspeople and designers, making this course an ideal starting point. Please note that in addition to the lab fee, you can expect to have to buy additional supplies for this course. We try to keep this cost under $100, but for specialized courses (jewelry, wood, metals) this may be higher.

Fashion Illustration: Introduction
Wednesdays, Apr 8 - May 20 | 5:30-8:30pm | No Class: 4/15
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $365 | model fee $40
Realizing fashion ideas usually starts with strong fashion drawing skills. Students in this course are introduced to the croquis, the nine head fashion figure, as a foundational tool for designing. Working from observation, class begins with gesture drawings of models as students learn to capture the movement and direction of both the figure and clothing. Focus is on how to represent the fabric and draping based on how a garment hangs on the body, while suggesting the form underneath. Attention is paid to proportions and scale while capturing the essentials of drawing faces and other details. Students also learn to express attitude by drawing their own fashion. Flat sketching techniques to incorporate garment construction details, including front and back views, are introduced. Mood boards help students to convey concepts, color stories and themes for individual collections, as well as identify strands of interest. Use of a sketchbook to explore fashion style and point of view, as well as exploration of different media, is encouraged.

Acrylic Painting: Technique Intensive
Saturday + Sunday, Mar 28 - 29 | 10am-4pm
2 sessions | 12 contact hours | tuition $275 | lab fee $15
Experience with acrylic paint lays a foundation for learning to work with other paint, such as oil or gouache. Through acrylic paint, students in this workshop gain in-depth knowledge of color mixing, composition and paint application -- essential skills for any painter, illustrator or designer. The workshop is designed to help students quickly gain a command of color and an understanding of the process of painting. Students then use these fundamental skills to create dynamic compositions and to explore paint application. The first day, students practice simple painting methods through exercises, including how to mix colors, apply paint, create layers, control opacity and transparency, and create thick vs. thin paint. On day two, students prepare a background for painting, create a preliminary drawing, and learn how to transfer the drawing onto that background. Everyone works from a simple subject of their own choice. Clear, step-by-step instructions enable students to fully understand the process. This workshop is intended for absolute beginners, as well as for experienced artists who want to gain confidence and skill with the medium.



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One of the oldest colleges of its kind in the US, Rhode Island School of Design stands out as a leader in art and design education. RISD Continuing Education educates students of all ages in art and design with high quality, accessible programs. The division serves more than 4,000 individual students per year in its non-credit courses, six-week Pre-College program for high school artists and designers, and Summer Programs for college credit. RISD CE also offers non-credit certificate programs for adults and teens. For more information about RISD Continuing Education, visit http://ce.risd.edu