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The Holyoke Creative Arts Center offers classes for members and the general public. If you would like to attend a single class as a drop-in student, please contact to make arrangements.



Led by master upholsterer Gary Clarke, this class is taught using an apprentice model. Students bring their own pieces (your grandmother’s antique chair or perhaps a thrift store find?) and transform them into custom, functional art. The Center’s shop is filled with professional-grade equipment, including high powered staple guns and specialized hand tools. As one of our most popular classes (and one of very few offered in the area), we typically offer both day and evening sessions.

Students may bring their own chair or other small piece as a project. For sofas and large pieces, contact Gary Clarke for approval. The Center also has several donation pieces for students to use for practice.

Chair Caning

Restore your heirloom pieces with a traditional craft of a bygone era: chair caning. This class is taught open studio style by Kathy MacLean, an experienced crafter who has been teaching caning for over 25 years. The class is open to beginners as well as advanced students. Kathy encourages new students to stop in with their project a few weeks prior to class in order to order necessary supplies.


Always wanted to make or alter your own clothes, curtains, or home furnishings? Take our sewing basics class to get started, or dive into other specialized courses offered throughout the year. We are looking at expanding our sewing classes in the near future - please check out our course offerings regularly!


Our painting courses are taught by Anne Mueller, a classically trained studio painter. Equally facile in almost any medium, she prefers to work in oil, watercolors or pen and ink. A realist, she is noted for her landscapes, portraiture and still life paintings. Anne was chosen by Channel 40 in 1990 as Spirit of the Bay State for her paintings of the vanishing family farms in Massachusetts.

Wood Carving

Look up at the beautiful hand carved sign outside our building and you will see the craft of our gifted instructor Jim Barrett. Jim’s vibrant class will have you producing durable and beautiful art pieces out of wood in no time. This course will cover a variety of topics such as types of wood carving, wood, wood finishing and tool selection, care and use. This course is taught in a flexible manner mixing formal instruction with unstructured participation. 
Beginning students will carve a wall plaque in low relief that will be followed by a carving in the round of a selected small bird or other animal or human figure. 
More experience or advanced students are encouraged to bring their projects in progress or work on projects of their choosing.

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