3 Ways Franklinton Can Make You a Better Artist or Designer

Franklinton, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Columbus, is experiencing a creative renaissance. From galleries to tech and design centers, Franklinton has plenty of opportunities for people to pick up a paintbrush, throw around some clay, or even fly through the air. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in the creative community just west of downtown.

Be a better artist and designer in Columbus

Figure Drawing Session at The Vanderelli Room

Not only is The Vanderelli Room — started by CCAD alum AJ Vanderelli — a hot spot for art and music in Columbus, but it also offers artists the chance to hone their skills by offering figure drawing sessions.

Experienced artists and novices alike are welcome to join the first and third Friday of every month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a suggested donation of $10.

Sessions also run every Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon for a suggested donation of $20 with coffee and refreshments provided.

Students with a valid college ID can take advantage of half-off sessions.

Visit The Vanderelli Room website for more information.

Classes at 400 West Rich

East Franklinton became home to 400 West Rich in July 2011 and now houses 101 artist studios, four music studios, and 16 offices that are home to local start-ups and non-profits. Not only does 400 West Rich have three galleries with new exhibitions open to the public every month, but you can also brush up on your creative skills by taking one of the many classes offered throughout the building. Here are just a few:

Aerial Dance Classes

Classes meet throughout the week in the evenings with new participant workshops — for those who have no experience with aerial movement — at the end of each month. Classes range from $15 to $25.

Group Ukulele Sessions

Billed as “part ukulele class, part karaoke, part campfire sing along,” this once a month, drop-in class meets on Thursday evenings (check Facebook for dates). Each class is $5, and participants will walk away each night having learned a new song for the ukulele.  

Ceramics Class

Columbus Clay Works offers beginning classes ($40 per class) as well as open studio time ($15 an hour) for advanced artists. Clay can also be purchased for 50 cents a pound with your choice of firing technique including bisque firing, raku firing, and horse hair firing.

Bob Ross Painting Classes

Ever wanted to paint like your favorite childhood PBS star? Certified Bob Ross instructor Kathy Kelly teaches classes in painting happy little clouds at 400 West Rich. A class runs $35, materials are provided, and at the end you’ll go home with your own Bob Ross masterpiece.

Actor’s Workshop

Steve Black, a graduate of Otterbein College, hosts workshops and seminars for the public on the last Tuesday of every month. All skill levels are welcome, and each workshop runs $10.

Relief Printmaking

Every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Pedro Prieto opens his studio for a relief printmaking class and access to his press. Each class is $50 and includes paper, ink, carving tools, and use of the press. Come prepared with your own sketches.

SOMO Painting Classes

From kids art classes to adult classes, SOMO hosts a wide variety of painting experiences for every skill level and special event. SOMO provides canvases, paint, and supplies and asks that you bring old clothes, snacks, and an open mind. Classes range in price from $20 to $60.

Columbus Idea Foundry Memberships

Originally founded in 2008 in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood, Columbus Idea Foundry has called Franklinton home since 2014. With more than 65,000 square feet of maker-space packed full of equipment for woodworking, metalworking, welding, and blacksmithing, Columbus Idea Foundry has something for the creative maker at every level.

Classes are available in everything from casting, to bladesmithing, to wood turning, to jewelry smithing, and even 3D printing. Entrepreneurship seminars and business development sessions are also offered.

Want access to the equipment at the foundry? Memberships are also available after successfully completing two classes and the orientation-level class on any tool you wish to use. Full memberships start at $35 a month.

For more information about memberships and classes offered at the Columbus Idea Foundry, visit their website.


Read more in our series CCAD & Columbus.


Learn more about CCAD or apply here