For questions please contact us HERE.

Suggested donation tickets and workshop registration fees are nonrefundable, unless the event is cancelled. Credit for future programming can be allotted. Refunds will be automatically dispursed if SSSA cancels an event for any reason.

Helpful Reminder: Our "Sessions" do not mean "Level", as in "level of expertise. But when you see "Level", that means "level of expertise." Cool?  :)

Session III: Spring April 5 - May 12 - CANCELLED



Session IV: June 5 - August 2

no class 6/29-7/5

All classes include all supplies!

Camera Basics w/ Doug Hanson

Tuesdays 6-7:30pm

In the Lab

Students will learn to use their camera in the most effective way to realize their creative vision. They will learn all the modes, metering, focus, lenses and basic lighting. Any level of student with a DSLR is encouraged to take this class.

ages 12+


Darkroom Photography w/ Chris Arrecis

Saturdays 10am-12pm

In the Lab

Students will learn to expose and develop black & white film and make prints from negatives in the photography darkroom as well as exposure control & other creative decisions.

Ages 12+



Egg Tempera Painting w/ Natalie Pivoney

Mondays 6-7pm

In the Lab

What is egg tempera painting? Are there contemporary painters who use this process? Participants will learn how to separate eggs to create tempera paint and learn how to prepare panels to create their own egg tempera painting. They will bring in an original design or a reference and will create one painting.

Ages 18+


Improv for Beginners w/ Nick Mataragas

Mondays 6-8pm

In the Theater

Students were learn the fundamentals of improv, culminating in a performance at the end of the course.

Ages 12+


Intro to Drawing for Adults w/ John French

Wednesdays 6-8pm

In the Lab

Intro to Drawing covers the basics of illustration; working with line, value and proportion to develop an understanding of form and dimension.

Ages 18+


Painting Foundation & Process w/ Karl Jahnke

Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm

In the Lab

This class is a specific study in the foundation and process of creating a painting. Through guided projects, students will learn to develop confidence in their work and shed some of the preciousness that can limit enjoyment and creativity. Students will also learn about color schemes, painting from a reference and tool selection.

ages 12+



We are thrilled to be expanding our summer programming for young artists this year to include our brand new LAB ARTS FOR TEENS programming. More focused and intensive sessions, featuring specialized instructors and more advanced techniques. These sessions will allow young artists to expand their creative voices, without losing the spirit of the Small Wonders programs they have loved for years. Each week includes Each week may include outdoor park time and will culminate in a final exhibition/performance featuring their original creations. 

Grades 7-12      1-4pm  Monday-Friday

individual sessions $110/8 sessions for $800

(Payment plans available. Email us HERE for more info.)

All supplies are provided! Daily snack included.


June 8-12 Painting & Drawing

Students will learn basic drawing and painting techniques, such as transferring an image or sketch using a grid system, color mixing, and presenting a finished product. We will work in two-dimensional media of each student's choosing from the following: charcoal/graphite, watercolor, tempera paint, colored pencils, or collage. At the end of the session students will have about 1-3 finished artworks, depending on their idea and how quickly they like to work.

June 15-19 Performance Techniques

Artists will work both individually and as a team to create their very own original variety show. Create for creatives and performers – artists will write, choreograph, build sets, and so on.

June 22-26 Install

Artists will develop, build, and exhibit their own installation work, each receiving their own space throughout Side Street to create an original world of their own. This session featured 3d creation, painting, mixed media, sculpture, and so on.

June 29-July 3 3D Arts - Kinetic Sculpture

We will focus on composition, balance, and weight distribution using a variety of materials to make awesome sculptures that move!

July 6-10 Photography

Explore creative photography in this unique hands on session. Students will have the opportunity to shoot film, take photo walks, make darkroom prints, and build their own pinhole cameras. Throughout we will work on creative visioning as well as the classic concepts of composition and exposure. Each student will be encouraged to create work that is unique to their sense of expression. Students are NOT required to bring a camera but can do so if they wish.

July 13-17 Textiles

Make your own custom shirt and a beach hat from scratch! Learn how to read a pattern, make a hem, add elastic, design special pockets, and more!

July 22-26 Into the Wild, includes camping trip

Combine love for the outdoors with art making through our Into the Wild camping adventure camp. Returning for a second year, this session will be spent in the wonderful outdoors creating artwork inspired by nature! Young artists will learn about and explore the woods and prairies of Macomb, IL, and create art using natural materials. Young artists will join SSSA Artist-Educators for a three-night camp out at Horn Field Campus in Macomb, IL. Please note the dates: Small Wonders will take place at SSSA July 22 in anticipation of our camping trip. Then, we will leave from SSSA for camping Thursday, July 23 at 2pm and return Sunday afternoon. Detailed info to come, upon registration. No final exhibition/performance this week. (VA)

July 29-August 2 Elgin Fringe Festival Camp

w/ EFF Artistic Director Nick Mataragas and Executive Director Erin Rehberg

New for 2020, an exciting collaboration with the 7th annual Elgin Fringe Festival. Young artists will create an original performance work to be set on professional artists and presented during the 2020 Elgin Fringe Festival! From idea to script development to costume design and direction, young artists will work collaboratively with professional performance artists to have their creation presented live on stage.

Side Street Studio Arts employs highly experienced, professional artist-educators to facilitate all workshops, and educational classes and programs, of whom we stand by wholeheartedly. With mixed-aged classes in particular, we encourage parents of younger artists to carefully reflect on whether their young artist is able to learn and create in an environment where adult students are present. We ensure that classrooms are supervised by our talented staff of artist educators, assuring that no class or presentation consists of gratuitous, or explicitly controversial images or terminology. Art, including instruction and discussion, are subjective. Therefore, all students must understand that some classes may involve themes, terminology, visual components, and experiences that may lie outside their own personal beliefs or feelings. We at Side Street Studio Arts take this very seriously. We pride ourselves in creating safer spaces for students of all ages to work, play, and develop their process and educational pursuits. If you have questions about any of our programming that may pertain to your student, child, family, or friend, feel free to reach out to us. 


*Some classes may contain adult themes, terminology, or visual components, including but not limited to classical works.

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15 Ziegler Court, Elgin, IL 60120

© 2020 Side Street Studio Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.