Adult Visual Arts

Exercise your inner artist at the Durango Arts Center with our workshops for the novice or the master.

DAC strives to provide excellent art instruction in a cooperative and inspiring learning environment.  Featuring classes in most mediums for all ages and abilities. 

For more information about classes, please contact Sandra Butler, Education Director at (970) 259-2606, Ext. 15 /

In addition to workshop fees, DAC adult workshops are supported by:


Summer / Fall 2017



  • Wednesday, June 21 – Figure/portrait drawing with a clothed model
  • Wednesday, July 5 – Figure drawing with a nude model
  • Wednesday, July 19 – Figure/portrait drawing with a clothed model
  • Wednesday, August 2 – Figure drawing with a nude model
  • Wednesday, August 16 – Figure/portrait drawing with a clothed model
*DAC Members: $15 per session or $25 per month
Non-Members: $20 per session or $35 per month for non/members
*College students with ID will receive the member’s discount.  
Pre-registration not necessary, just drop-in!
Bring your own drawing or painting supplies. Drawing boards, easels and the model are provided by DAC. Enter the building from the North door, located in the City parking lot. Parking is free after 6 PM. Ring the upper doorbell for entry to the Education Studio.

Portrait Drawing

with David Riedel
Saturday-Sunday, July 15 & 16 | 9am-4pm
$150 Members / $175 Non-Members + $30 Model fee paid on the first day

Ages 18+

In this workshop students will work from a live model and study how to create form and beautiful marks with the conte or hard pastel. The goal is to see the head as a solid, 3-dimensional object in space, and to understand how to choose the right information to convey this form. Students will learn how to make decisions that imply form from the myriad of choices possible. When the form is understood, the artist can make the subtle choices that convey the individual sitter.  This practice is about knowing which marks to make to create the forms we are seeing, and which to leave off.  The class will explore the wide variety of marks possible with the hard pastel or conte; a well-placed smudge, a flat plane or a precise fine line.

Instructor, David Riedel, will perform several demonstrations, intermixed with lecturing and will provide some handouts.  The poses will range from 25 to 50 minutes max. Emphasis will not be so much on completing a finished piece, rather to practice a way of seeing form.

David Riedel was born in 1956 in Indiana anDavid Riedeld lived there until moving to Tempe, Arizona to study art.  He fell in love with the Southwest, graduating from Northern Arizona University in 1982 with a BFA in printmaking. For many years David lived in the Southwest near Taos, New Mexico.

In 1986 David began attending courses at the Art Students League in New York City. It was at the Art Students League that David first began the serious study of painting under the internationally acclaimed teachers there.

Similar to the Old Masters’ style, Riedel’s works are characterized by their chiaroscuro and deep background color, lending a certain vibrancy and energy to his subjects. His use of dramatic lighting and rhythmic color, combined with a sense of solid composition, produces work that is timeless in its appeal. David considers his primary instruction to be from David Leffel, yet he also feels the importance of many fellow artists in both Taos and New York. The excitement of interacting with other artists creates a milieu in which he finds opportunities for artistic growth.

In 2009 Riedel won the first place American National Award of Excellence in the Oil Painters of America National Show in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also won the Still Life Merit Award in the Salon International Show sponsored by Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, Texas. Mr Riedel has also won awards with the OPA western region in 2013 and 2014, as well as the Greenhouse Salon in 2013 and 2014.  Moving to Portland has inspired David to explore his love of landscape painting and the northwest outdoors.

“The still–lifes al contain objects that are individually beautiful, But the starting point is when objects interact with light, shape, and color to form a larger dynamic. Some Paintings will focus on a quieter play of light within an environment, or perhaps I will focus on strong contrasts of value or color. I enjoy creating a sense of depth and contrast where I can explore ways to balance the different elements and build a sense of movement into the painting.”


OPENINGS: Netting and Looping – 2 spots left!

with Pat Hickman
Saturday-Sunday, September 9 & 10 | 9am-5pm
$250 members / $275 Non-Member 
+ est. $35 materials fee payable to DAC on first day of class 
(Payment can be made in two installments. To register in two payments, call Doug Gonzalez at (970) 259-2606, Ext 13 or Sandra Butler, Ext 15)
Limited to 12 students

This workshop will encourage participants to explore visual ideas suggested through openwork textile structure, primarily that of knotted netting and knotless netting. Reserving space for air and the importance of what is “not there” will be built into conceptually based quick studies and studio projects, both 2-D and 3-D. There will be exploration with a variety of materials, including gut (hog casings), Hickman’s signature material, using it as both structure and skin in netting. Other materials include colored wire and waxed linen thread. The workshop is less a “how to”, more an experience in discovery, questioning, and ongoing ways of working. No previous knowledge of these textile structures is required, just a willingness to explore and learn.

Pat Hickman will be featured in a solo exhibit, Here, Still, in the DAC Art Library, September 8-October 28.  Join us for the opening reception on Friday, September 8 at 5pm.

Pat Hickman is a prominent conceptual fiber artist who creates unique forms in her signature material  of animal gut and hog casings. She thoughtfully offers titles, clues to her silent communication; titles suggest metaphors; metaphors reveal stories.