RISD CE logo

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.

Register for Westerly courses on ce.risd.edu when you enter keyword "Westerly" in the keyword search field.

Summer Courses!

Registration is open so hurry to secure your spot. 

Grow This: Terrarium + Houseplant Workshop
Saturday, Jul 14 | 10am-4pm
1 session | 6 contact hours | tuition $130 | lab fee $35
Spend a few hours creating mini indoor gardens -- no green thumb required! Learn how to create your own houseplant terrarium incorporating a personal focal point, and then create a Kokedama (hanging fern moss ball). You'll also receive a hypertufa pot handmade by the instructor, and have the opportunity to decorate it with paint before repotting a root-bound houseplant. Note: Please bring a root-bound houseplant you'd like to re-pot.

Color Personalities
Tuesday, Jul 10 | 6:30-9:30pmcolor choices
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75 | lab fee $10
Artists and designers understand colors as they apply to canvas, collages, and other physical projects, but you may not realize that color can be associated with personality type. In this workshop, you will take the Color Q personality assessment and discover your own primary and secondary colors, as well as whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. You will also learn the personality color types of the other artists, craftspeople, illustrators, designers and creative types -- and how to interact with them in different situations. You'll participate in a collaborative project in which you will experience how working with other personality color types can influence the execution of an art piece -- whether it's an installation production, a mixed media creation with multiple contributors, a graphics portfolio to present to a potential client, or any other type of artwork that requires multiple contributors. You will also explore how applying the color personality concepts can help you advance your career as an artist and build a more powerful understanding of yourself and your contributions to your community.

Color Theory in Oil Painting
Sunday, Jul 8 | 10am-1pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75
This oil painting color workshop will give an overview of the different ways of categorizing the colors found in oil paints: earth colors vs. prismatic, opaque vs. transparent, and warm vs. cool. We will cover hue, value and saturation; different color palettes; the benefits of working from a limited palette; different colors used for under-paintings; when to use opaque vs. transparent paints; and different ways of neutralizing colors. After a lecture, we'll spend the rest of the time making color wheels and charts.

Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home
Thursday, Jun 21 | 6:30-9:30pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75 | lab fee $10
In this workshop, you'll learn the methods used by designers to choose the right shade of paint for your home's interior or exterior. You'll explore the interactions between color and paint, and how they affect one another. You'll examine why there are different paint finishes and the difference lighting can make on the color. You'll learn what pigment truly means in the world of interiors, and apply these lessons to your own home redesign projects. You'll receive your own color wheel and paint color booklets.

Bracelet Workshop
Tuesday, Jun 26 | 6:30-9:30pm 

bracelet workshop2018/SE-JEWEL-4113
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75 | lab fee $30
Here's your chance to make a leather wrap bracelet. You'll choose from hundreds of different colors of fire-polished Czech glass beads, as well as numerous shades of imported leather. You will have the option of making several short (single or double) bracelets or one that will wrap five times around your wrist. Choose your button closure from the instructor's collection of vintage and antique buttons. All materials and tools will be provided.

iPhone Photography
Saturday, Jul 14 | 10am-1pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75
Sunday, Jul 15 | 10am-1pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75
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 to perfect your 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.

Jewelry Studio: Scrimshaw
Sunday, Jun 24 | 10am-4pm
1 session | 6 contact hours | tuition $130 | lab fee $45
Scrimshaw, an art form with deep roots in Rhode Island, refers to a process of scratching and carving lines and shapes onto a hard surface (originally bone and ivory) and then inking the carved area to make it come into view. Whalers practiced this art form in their spare time and brought it into prominence during the heyday of the whaling industry. In this course scrimshaw techniques are demonstrated and practiced, along with ways of inking individual pieces. The technique itself can be done anywhere, with limited tools and expertise. Work is done on a variety of materials including bone, mother of pearl and natural findings. Students utilize the technique to develop an individual design or image that tells their own contemporary story. Students push the technique to its limits as they create one-of-a-kind artistic objects and jewelry. 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.

Introduction to Painting with Acrylics: 9 Techniques
Tuesdays, Jun 19 - Jul 31 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 7/3
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $345 | lab fee $35
Learn nine different acrylic painting techniques and how to stretch your own canvas. The canvas will be divided into nine gridded sections, with each one depicting a different approach to using acrylics with other painting mediums. Students will demonstrate fundamental artistic behaviors while exploring their own aesthetics via color theory, textures, patterns and composition. Experimenting and creating this visual exemplar composition will allow students to continually reference the techniques and apply these methods to future paintings. By the end of the course, students will have gained skills to paint intriguing textures and unique patterns, and use creative color theory and a multitude of mixed media approaches.

Knitwear Design: Finishing Techniques
Tuesday, Jul 17 | 6:30-9:30pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75 | lab fee $15
Proper finishing can make the difference between a project you love and one that sits languishing in the bottom of a bag. In this workshop, we'll explore different seaming and finishing techniques such as mattress stitch, grafting, and weaving in end. We will also cover the importance of blocking and different methods that can be used. Picking up stitches for button bands and other edges will also be covered. In addition to the homework swatches we will use in class, feel free to bring a project in need of finishing or one in need of some finishing help.

Knitwear Design: Colorwork
Saturday + Sunday, Jul 21-22 | 10am-1pm
2 sessions | 6 contact hours | tuition $130 | lab fee $15
In this workshop, we will cover a variety of colorwork methods: stripes, slip stitches, mosaic, stranding, intarsia and entrelac. We will create a variety of swatches as we explore the design possibilities these techniques offer.

Knitwear Design: Hat Construction
Thursdays, Jun 21 - Jul 26 | 6:30-9:30pm
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $345 | lab fee $15
Hats are the perfect canvas to learn the basics of knit design. In this course, you'll look at various construction methods, and how to incorporate lace, cable, or colorwork designs. This course is a great starting point for those who want to explore design and pattern writing.

Bracelet + Bangle Stack
Mondays, Jun 18 - Jul 23 | 6:30-9:30pm
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $345 | lab fee $35
Create a bracelet and bangle stack! Students will learn basic techniques for creating several styles of beaded leather wraps. The palette will include fire-polished glass Czech beads, Japanese seed beads, and European leather in a variety of colors. Once students have mastered basic beading techniques, they will move on to working with metals. Students will learn to shape, texture, stamp, patina and finish copper and brass bangles utilizing cold-connection techniques. There will be an opportunity to 'graduate' and work with sterling silver. This course culminates with students creating their own signature bracelets incorporating these and other techniques, materials, and designs. No experience necessary.

Retail Experience: Designing the Future
Tuesdays, Jun 19 - Jul 31 | 6:30-9:30pm | No Class: 7/3
6 sessions | 18 contact hours | tuition $345
In this introduction to retail experience design, we'll review the history of this evolving area of design, as well as the future outlook of retail. We'll examine examples of no-tech, lo-tech, and hi-tech executions that are or have been in the market, and what makes them successes in the eyes of the modern consumer. Utilizing new knowledge of retail experience and industry, you'll be asked to develop no-tech, lo-tech, and hi-tech solutions for a local product that is currently on market or headed to market. Students will critique classmates’ solutions, and develop their ideations into a final concept, determining the best approach to the final design pitch to the client.

Acrylic Painting: How to Paint a Flower
Tuesday, Jul 17 | 6:30-9:30pm
1 session | 3 contact hours | tuition $75 | lab fee $10
In this workshop, you'll learn how to paint flowers using acrylic paints. Using a hands-on approach, you'll learn the fundamentals of compositional structure, color theory, and critical thinking while painting various flowers. From abstract to more traditional, you will find your favorite way to capture the beauty of botanicals.

Painting Coastal Tote Bags: Fashion + Art
Saturday + Sunday, Jul 14-15 | 10am-1pm
2 sessions | 6 contact hours | tuition $130 | lab fee $35
Have you ever wanted to capture the charm of your favorite destination in a way that you could carry around with you? Learn how to add distinct style by applying the iconographic methods of cartographers as you design and paint a tote bag -- turning a classic essential into a statement piece you can gift or keep for yourself! The possibilities are endless: Whether you love vacationing in Venice, rambling through Reykjavik, or beaching at a Block Island home, you'll interpret your scenic memories, shape and contours of the landscape into a home accessory.

Room Redesign: Interior Design Workshop
Saturday + Sunday, Jul 21-22 | 10am-1pm
2 sessions | 6 contact hours | tuition $130
This workshop guides students through the interior design process while they redecorate a room in their own home. Students explore basic design principles and learn how to apply those to the interior environment. Students will learn tips and tricks for selecting paint, furniture, lighting, and window treatments. At the end of the workshop students will have a plan that they can implement to redecorate their room.

Understanding Design
Saturday, Jun 23 | 10am-2pm
1 session | 4 contact hours | tuition $95
Thinking and making are the parallel competencies of thoughtful design practice, whether graphic, interior, advertising or web. Award-winning graphic designer and teacher Dina Zaccagnini Vincent will introduce the conceptual development phase of design workflow, which functions as the foundation for a successful project.



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