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Welcome to Holyoke Creative Arts Center! We offer six core classes with experienced teachers, designed to expand your skills and knowledge in the arts. Our classes are offered as a four-week session. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment where students of all levels can come to learn and grow.


Prospective students are welcome to contact us to request attending a single class as a drop-in student before committing to a full course.


We look forward to helping you develop your passion for the arts!



Are you interested in transforming your furniture into custom, functional art? Then enroll in our popular Upholstery Class and learn from the expert, master upholsterer Gary Clarke. Our studio is filled with professional-grade equipment, including high powered staple guns and specialized hand tools. Best of all, our classes are available in day and evening, weekday and weekend sessions, so you can find the perfect time to learn this timeless craft.

Students may bring their own chair or other small piece as a project. For sofas (reserved for advanced students) and large pieces, instructor must review and approve. HCAC also has several donation pieces for students to use for practice.

Upholstery Basics

We're excited to offer an Upholstery Basics class, designed specifically for beginners in mind. This course offers a hands-on approach to basic upholstery techniques, with an emphasis on building foundational skills. Our experienced instructors provide the guidance and support needed for anyone looking to take the first steps in the world of upholstery arts.

Chair Caning, Rush Seating, and Basket weaving


Join our Caning class and learn the traditional craft of restoring heirloom pieces. Whether you're a beginner or advanced student, you'll receive expert guidance in an open studio setting that encourages collaboration and creativity. This class offers a unique opportunity to learn a craft of a bygone era and bring new life to cherished family treasures. Students select their own projects which may include chair caning, rush seating, and basket weaving.  

Soft Furnishings For the Home

Learn the art of sewing and create your own clothes, curtains, or home furnishings with instructor Janet Lyon. Our Sewing Basics class is perfect for beginners while our Soft Furnishings for the Home class offers intermediate to advanced sewers the opportunity to craft something beautiful. We also offer specialized courses throughout the year to help you expand your knowledge. The best part? Not only is sewing a sustainable choice, but it also provides a sense of pride and accomplishment. Sign up now and start your sewing journey!


Look up at the beautiful hand carved sign outside our building and you will see the craft of our gifted instructor Jim Barrett. Join Jim's vibrant woodcarving class, which will teach you how to produce durable and beautiful art pieces out of wood in no time! Our woodcarving class covers a range of topics, including types of woodcarving, wood finishing, and tool selection, care, and use. Enroll today and start creating artwork that you'll cherish for a lifetime. This class 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 experienced or advanced students are encouraged to bring their projects in progress or work on projects of their choosing.

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Our knitting class, with instructor Maria Daigle, is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill or improve your knitting techniques. With a focus on creating fun and unique projects each month, our class covers all the basics of knitting, including knit stitch, purl stitch, adding and picking up stitches. And with all levels of experience welcome, everyone can join in on the fun!

"Gary is one of the last true master craftsmen in America. The art of upholstering heirloom furniture is lost in today’s throwaway society. Anytime I believe I have perfected a technique I watch Gary and I’m instantly humbled."

Randy S. - Longmeadow, MA

"Upholstery class with Janet is fun, supportive and educational. She brings her considerable expertise and positive attitude to the classroom. It's a great learning environment and it's fun to see the creativity unleashed!"

Mary F. - Suffield, CT

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