Learn at Sweetwater

Sweetwater Center for the Arts is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers nearly 400 classes, workshops, and lectures annually in the visual, performing, literary and culinary arts for children, teens, and adults at every skill level, from beginner to experienced. Sweetwater's multidisciplinary approach includes classes in ceramics/sculpture, cooking, drawing, painting, photography, jewelry & metalsmithing, fiber arts, traditional crafts as well as private music lessons.


Virtual and In-person options!

If you haven’t done so yet, set up an online account by clicking here. Once you have created a User ID and Password, you will then be able to log on to our online class registration system anytime and register for classes without picking up the phone. You are always welcome to call our office or stop by to register in person. 412-741-4405.

Education programs at Sweetwater Center for the Arts are supported in part by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Allegheny Regional Asset District, private foundations and businesses, and the generous contributions of many individuals.

The Center offers:

  • Artist-instructors with outstanding qualifications
  • Classes for beginners and experienced students
  • Small, intimate class setting
  • Full and partial need-based scholarship opportunities


Featured Classes

“Plein Air” Watercolor Workshop with Barry Jeter PA07

Dates: 05/01/2021 – 05/02/2021
Times: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM (1 Saturday & 1 Sunday)
Ages: Ages 18+
Instructor: Barry Jeter

Join master artist Barry Jeter in this two-day "plein air" workshop! Come celebrate the arrival of warmer weather and join old friends or new on a discovery of watercolor painting.

Note: A minimum of eight students is required to hold the class. Cancellations will be communicated by Monday, April 19th. In the event and a full refund will be given. Please be mindful of potential cancellations related to your purchase of any supplies - we do not reimburse for the cost of supplies.

Barry will begin with a quick review of the basic principles he believes contribute to an accomplished painting:
1. Good composition
2. Strong use of values (lights and darks), and
3. Understanding how color changes the mood of a painting

These are important building blocks.

This workshop will take a unique approach to gathering images for our paintings....“semi-plein air”, if you will. After a quick morning brief, class participants will spend the first one to two hours on the surrounding streets of the quaint town, Sewickley, collecting images via phone cameras, i-pads, Kindles or just by the good ole way of a quick sketch. Barry will be available to help select possible subject matter, pointing out strengths and weaknesses of options. The images will be used on that day and the following day as well.

After a half hour lunch break at Sweetwater (there is a deli nearby or students may bring a lunch and store it in a fridge) students will pick out their best images to work from and then, sketching and painting will begin. Barry will be available for any and all questions regarding your painting while in progress, helping you get through that awkward “middle” phase of a painting with which so many artists struggle. Other questions regarding materials, different techniques, or what makes a “good” or “weak” painting will be welcome.

Barry will be available with one on one instruction and a quick demo or two that will reveal some of the techniques that he has employed to achieve the wonderful results he has enjoyed over his many years of painting.

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Friday Fun in the Ceramics Studio CS12

Dates: 05/28/2021 – 05/28/2021
Times: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (1 Friday)
Ages: 16+ (Flexible - please contact Sweetwater details)
Instructor: Tammy Mignanelli

Join us for a fun evening making ceramic art! You will have the opportunity to create a clay masterpiece of your choosing - whether it is a large hand built platter, your new favorite mug, or a vase for your spring flowers. Choose from our variety of molds or start making your own shapes.

Safety measures for Covid-19 include the following:
Small class sizes, temperature reading and review of health systems prior to each class, appropriate social distancing and hourly disinfection of high-touch points. Materials are supplied and sharing will be limited where possible - supplies will be sanitized between use.

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Meet Our Instructors

Sweetwater is proud of our dedicated and talented team of Teaching Artist instructors. These artists lead classes for students of all ability levels, from beginner to advanced, while ensuring the highest artistic standards. Our instructors provide outcomes-based experience for our students to prepare them to explore their own artistic endeavors.

Meet the Instructors

Scholarships for Sweetwater

Scholarships are available for adults and children demonstrating financial need. Scholarships are sponsored by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (ARAD), The Clarke Family Foundation and the generous support of individuals via the Arthur L. III & Ann Coburn Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Learn More


When you or a family member is looking to take an art class, view an exhibition, or attend a cultural event, where do you turn? If you're like most in our community, you go to Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

$1,000 Sponsors an event.
$750 Covers building operational costs, upkeep, and preservation.
$500 Provides technology updates and improvements.
$400 Aids Outreach Programs for at-risk youth and underserved communities.
$250 Sponsors a teaching artist.
$100 Supports the purchases of ceramic studio glazes and supplies.
$50 Provides one art supply package for classes and workshops.

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