DC Guide: Art + Letterpress Workshops

Illustration by Molly Jaques for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Every now and then I receive emails from new DC residents asking about art classes in the area.  So I thought I’d wrap up my little DC guide with a quick post about art and letterpress workshops in the DC area.  For this particular subject I’m expanding my boundaries to include options in Baltimore and Alexandria; it might be a bit farther for some DC residents to travel – but it’s worth it!

Meant to Be Calligraphy (Alexandria and Capitol Hill): Michele offers both Introduction to Contemporary Pointed Pen and Continuing with Contemporary Pointed Pen calligraphy classes, held at the Design Studio of Karson Butler Events in Capitol Hill and her home studio in Alexandria, Virginia. Students receive instruction as well as materials to continue refining their calligraphy skills at home.

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (Silver Spring):  Pyramid Atlantic recently celebrated its 31st anniversary, making it one of the longest-running art centers in the area. With a long list of experienced artists and instructors, Pyramid offers both studio rentals and art classes in a range of subjects, from letterpress printing and book arts to paper making and screen printing. For more experienced enthusiasts, you can also rent printing equipment after 5 hours of one-on-one instruction.

Typecase Industries (DC): Located in the O Street Studios in Northwest DC, this new letterpress, screen printing, and graphic design studio (run by three graduates of the Corcoran College of Art + Design) offers a limited number of workshops.

Baltimore Print Studios (Baltimore):  I had the pleasure of meeting BPS founders Kyle Van Horn and Kim Bentley at the Ladies of Letterpress Conference last year, and you might also remember them from their guest post on letterpress printing. Needless to say, these two know their stuff and are happy to impart their knowledge on anyone interested in learning about letterpress and screen printing.  They offer both classes, workshops, as well as the opportunity to rent presses for your own special projects.

Torpedo Factory (Old Town Alexandria): The Torpedo Factory offers a number of non-accredited art classes for both kids and adults.  You can check out the course schedule here.

Corcoran College of Art + Design (DC):  The Corcoran College of Art + Design is the only art school (that I know of!) located in downtown DC. The Corcoran offers accredited BFA and MFA programs, along with a number of continuing education courses in everything from digital media design to illustration.

Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore):  The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is a full-fledged art school with both BFA and MFA programs.  But like the Corcoran College of Art + Design, MICA offers a number of continuing education courses, from fine arts to photography to ceramics.

p.s. For DC-based artists and designers, did you know that you can rent studio space at the O Street Studios?  Fun!

  1. I just wanted to say, I LOVE that you’re doing a DC guide! I grew up in WDC, and even though I haven’t lived there since the ’90s I have a fond and nostalgic memories there. (Although I’m pretty sure it’s a different city living there as an adult) 🙂

  2. I had purchased these beautiful stamps just the day before because I’m always asking for the “prettiest” new stamps. Could you possibly ever give me some place to take Calligraphy and Letterpress Workshops since I just moved to the Dallas area. Thanks. ♥

  3. The Smithsonian Associates has calligraphy courses, as well as many other studio arts classes, and the prices can’t be beat: residentassociates.com/studioarts

  4. Hi Bee! I’m afraid I don’t know much about the Dallas area or what kinds of letterpress and calligraphy workshops might be available there – hopefully you can find someone local to you who might be willing to point you in the right direction. I’m sharing this information about the DC area since it’s where I live and I hoped this information might be useful for other folks looking for workshops specifically in and around DC. Best of luck!

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