About Us

The Washington Studio School (WSS), a nonprofit organization established in 1985, offers classes primarily in drawing, painting, sculpture to adults and high-school teens. We teach students at all levels and provide a community of learning through lecture series, critique sessions, gallery exhibits, and a library. Our emphasis is on learning by doing and on personal attention. True to the best traditions in visual art, we teach what it is to see and to relate to the present.

We have created an environment that allows intimacy in teaching, opportunities for mentoring, and shared learning among students as well as between teacher and students. Our atelier of shared studio space for working artists is one of few located within the DC area. Those who study here are serious about the life-long pursuit of art and are highly motivated.

The faculty members at WSS bring more than experience and training to the classroom – they also bring their work. Displaying work by faculty and other accomplished artists is a valuable extension of the work done in the studio. There are regularly held lectures by our faculty as well as guest artists whose own artistic struggles and discoveries inform our students. Our teachers also take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities available in the Washington area for examining great art. Classes are often scheduled at museums and galleries to study and observe how master artists approach similar problems that we confront in the studio.


To teach the visual language and the skills essential to developing and expressing a personal vision.


  • To teach skills of observation, critical analysis, and material techniques
  • To encourage the use of these skills and techniques in expressing a personal vision through work that is made by the artist’s hand
  • To provide a warm and engaging environment for artists at every stage of their development and career
  • To be a focal point for artists, critics, and art historians who maintain the living tradition of studio art
  • To communicate the importance and continuing relevance of studio-based art


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