Forms in Clay

Forms In Clay class is designed for beginner to advance students. The Swanson Studio is equipped for hand building and wheel throwing, and utilizes an electric kiln for firing. The beginner student will learn the 3 basic hand building techniques, and if interested, an introduction to wheel throwing. Intermediate students and advance students have the flexibility to follow their own artistic direction. Forms created in class range from functional vases, bowls etc. to non functional sculptural art pieces.

For more information or to sign up: email or call 434-792-5355  •  9:00am - 5:30pm 

Cost: Member / $95.00  •  Non Members / $105.00
Materials: Includes 25 lbs. of clay, glazes and firing
Location: Swanson Studio - across from the Museum


Life Drawing

Life Drawing Session / Still Life Drawing

On the last Thursday of every month, the Swanson studio lights are switched on by a collective group of avid drawers. This is a Life Drawing session life model/sitter when a model is available. Other sessions will be Still-life Drawing. All five easels for this session are spaced six to eight feet apart and the model is placed in the center. Limit of 5 attendees per class. A mask must be worn. Please contact us at for more information. Members of the museum will get a free workshop after attending five workshops.

Fee: $15.00 per session

Date: Last Thursday of the Month

Time: 6:30 - 9PM

Location: Swanson Studio - across from the Museum

Monoprint Workshop

Printmaking Workshops

Executive Director Elsabé Dixon will offer DMFAH members the first in a series of Printmaking Workshops. Learn about Monoprinting, Silkscreening, Block Printing. Limit of 5 attendees per class. A mask must be worn. Please contact us at for more information. Members of the museum will get a free workshop after attending five workshops.

Fee: $15.00

Date: Third Thursday of the Month

Time: 6:30 - 9PM

Location: Swanson Studio - across from the Museum

Printmaking workshop will focus on Monoprints and all materials needed for printing will be made available for free. Monoprinting is a type of printmaking whose true origins are unknown. Its unique process incorporates elements of painting and drawing, ensuring that no two prints are exactly alike and making editioning impossible. Hercules Seghers was a Dutch painter who lived from about 1589 to 1638. Seghers is one of the first-known artists to use a process similar to monoprinting, incorporating line work with different-colored inks and dyed papers to create landscapes.

Collograph WorkshopWe will be heading back into the Swanson studio for a distanced and masked studio experience, while making collograph plates for printing. These plates need to dry before being printed so this will be a two-part workshop. One workshop will be building the printing plate/plates and the next workshop will be printing the plates. Collography (sometimes spelled collagraphy) was introduced in 1955 by Glen Alps, who was a University of Washington professor teaching a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing.

October: Silkscreen Printing - Screen Printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto paper fabric or any other surface you would like to print on. Traditionally, the process was called silkscreen printing because silk was used in the process. If you have ever wanted to know more about the silkscreening process but thought it would be too difficult, think again. The "Silkscreening is for Everyone" Workshop offered at the museum is for beginners through advanced. Come give it a try!


Due to COVID-19, in-class instruction for ArtSmart has been postponed until further notice. A Clay Class Video is posted online below.


The DMFAH ArtSmart program provides art education services for low-resource children in Danville, Pittsylvania, and surrounding counties. Danville Museum presents an educational, SOL-based, pre-school program titled ArtSmart. ArtSmart explores the Elements (Line; Color; Form; Shape; Value; Texture and Space) and Principles of Art to preschoolers through the use of painting, collages, sculpture, interactive stories, and artwork from the Museum’s collection produced by recognized national and international artists. 

The children learn to recognize and recreate primary and secondary colors, eleven different shapes including cylinder, pentagon, hexagon and octagon, which are all SOL-based requirements for kindergarten. This is a hands-on learning experience for many children who would not otherwise be able to afford such training. The socio-economic condition of much of our area prohibits many children from attending this learning activity. 

The Museum’s goal is to extend this offering to as many children as possible through the ONLINE ArtSmart program. We anticipate serving 400 children through 27 or more classes during the 2021-2022 school year.  

ArtSmart takes place in the See & Do Children’s Room at the Museum in addition to several of the galleries and is taught by a qualified educator. ArtSmart is available for three, four, and five-year-old children in preschool and kindergarten classes, and HeadStart programs located within the city of Danville and Pittsylvania, Henry and Campbell Counties. This program is particularly intended to serve those children who are usually excluded from such learning experiences due to socio-economic conditions.

Art is important in child development for motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness and creativity, cultural awareness, and improved academic performance. ArtSmart is a program where the Danville Museum can provide additional support in performance levels for area preschoolers and kindergarteners, reinforcing SOL requirements within a unique museum environment and by engaging with teachers and teaching assistance in hands-on workshops.   

Since the pandemic of 2020 the museum is working to create more accessible online education units engaging young students from the Headstart and Public School classes with the Elements and Principles of Art. 

ArtSmart coordinates with the school calendar, beginning in September and continuing through May.  Each class lasts approximately 45 minutes, and class numbers are between 15 and 25.  Our online ArtSmart Art Elements and Art Principles education units for teachers and students will be launched in August of 2021.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about ArtSmart at 

We would like to thank the Womack Foundation for providing consistent support for this program. The number of participating preschoolers has increased, and the Museum has added several new schools as ArtSmart partners this year. Busing has been provided for these students through the generosity of the Philip N. Daly and Frances K. Daly Charitable Lead Unitrust. During the pandemic year of 2020 the Daly Charitable Trust has funded education fellows for SOL updates and videography for online programming.