Arts at the Academy, formerly Samford After Sundown, offers a variety of art classes and courses, including painting, drawing, photography, calligraphy and much more. New classes are added weekly, so check back often for our latest additions.

To register for classes, call (205)726-2739 or click on the link below. Click the box next to the magnifying glass for a list of classes, then select the class you're looking for.



Antiques with Dan Brooks

Tuesdays, 2-4 p.m.
February 21-March 28
Instructor: Daniel Brooks

Explore the world of antiques and culture with an exciting new series taught by veteran instructor Daniel Brooks. Join fellow antiquarians as the Samford Antiques Class marks Brooks’ 30th anniversary with exciting new lecture topics and field trips.

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Calligraphy I

Session B: Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m., March 7-April 25 (No class March 14)
Instructor: Steve Logan
$195 + $15 supply fee

Learn the art of beautiful handwriting. This is an introductory course to two of the most popular and useful lettering styles – Italic and Engraver’s script (also known as copperplate or roundhand). No prior experience is required. All supplies will be provided in the first class.

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Introduction to Pottery

Mondays, 1-3 p.m., March 6-April 24 (No class March 13)
Instructor: Carolyn Wass

Explore hand building and wheel throwing with local clay artist, Carolyn Wass. We will be using different clay bodies and glazing techniques. All skill levels welcome.

Pottery image

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Children’s Classes

Children learning to create pottery.

Art for Children

Explore sculpture, painting, pottery, drawing, printmaking with local artist Carolyn Wass.  Each course is tailored for each group of students.  Emphasis is placed on individual creativity and craftsmanship

Mondays, 3:30-5:30 p.m., March 6-April 24 (No class March 13)
Instructor: Carolyn Wass

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Creative Writing

Writing professor and class

Introduction to Creative Writing with a Southern Theme

Mondays, 6-8 p.m., March 6-May 1 (No class March 13 or 27)
Instructor: Anna McCain

Share your Southern experiences in fiction and nonfiction writing. This course is for beginner and intermediate writers.

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Dean’s Patron Series

Dean Joe Hopkins and arts patrons

A Patron’s Guide to Birmingham Arts

Monday, 10-11:30 a.m.
February 20-April 10 (No class March 13)
Instructor Joe Hopkins

The dean of Samford’s School of the Arts teaches on subjects related to upcoming Birmingham arts events.  Special guests provide an inside perspective on the arts and how to make the most of each opportunity. 

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Open painting

Introduction to Acrylics

Mondays, 6-8 p.m., March 6-April 24 (No class March 13)
Instructor: Scott Thompson

This is a course designed for acrylic and oil painters of all skill levels. It teaches students how to improve every aspect of a painting. Lesson plans will include: color mixing, color temperature, value relationships, working with layers, the illusion of atmosphere, depth, texture, and composition. Supplies required.

Abstract Painting with Liquid Acrylics

Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.
March 9-April 27 (No class March 16)
Instructor: James Knowles

This class is an introduction to abstract painting techniques using liquid acrylics. Students will learn how to pour and manipulate the paints to create beautiful abstract designs. Students will also learn how to unleash their imagination and incorporate images into their paintings. Supplies required.

Abstract Painting

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Photography Certificate

Photography I: Basic

Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m.
March 21-May 2
Instructor: Mike Nelson

This course is designed to help you make effective images using the capabilities of your DSLR camera. Topics include exposure, selecting the appropriate aperture and shutter speed, lens choices, lighting options, and basic principles of framing and composition. Equipment needed: DSLR camera. Prerequisite: Understanding Your Canon/Nikon DSLR

Photography II: Advanced

Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m.
March 7-April 25 (No class March 14)
Instructor: Chris Bisset

This advanced course is designed to take you beyond photography basics and will increase your skills so you can take your images to the next level. You will learn advanced composition and lighting techniques. You will be encouraged to begin developing a personal style. Equipment needed: DSLR camera. Prerequisites: Understanding Your Canon/Nikon DSLR; Photography I: Basic

Understanding Your Canon DSLR

Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., March 9-April 27 (No class March 16)
Instructor: Chris Bisset

Are you intimidated by your camera? Don’t settle for photographs that are less than what your camera is capable of delivering, and don’t be left in the dark concerning the vast array of features that you can use to take professional quality images. Learn to navigate the menus, submenus, options, and settings of Canon digital SLRs to your best advantage. Beginning with the basic camera controls and progressing to the most advanced options, learn to unlock your camera’s potential to suit your individual needs.

Adobe Photoshop - Being Creative

Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
March 28- May 9
Instructor: Butch Oglesby
Prerequisite: Photoshop Basics

This is a continuation of Photoshop Basic. You will develop Photoshop skills using artistic tools and techniques. Prerequisites: Photoshop Basics

Architectural Photography

Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m.
March 7-April 25 (No class March 14)
Instructor: Meg McKinney

Join us as we discover architectural photography. The emphasis of this course will be on composition, lighting, and challenges faced when on location. Field trips will be discussed at first class meeting. Prerequisite: Basic SLR Photography

Capstone Course

Thursday, 6-8 p.m.
First scheduled meeting March 2nd
Limited to four students
Instructor: Mike Nelson

This is the capstone course for those seeking the photography certificate and have completed all the core and elective courses. A student will be required to enroll one time in this course, even though the work may not be completed in one 7-week session. The course will be run as an independent study with no formal class meeting times. Each student will meet one-on-one with his/her advisor to review and critique his/her body of work, discuss what should be included in a portfolio, suggest additional post-processing and additional images to complete the portfolio, and advise on the selection and preparation of images for the judging of his/her portfolio. The mentor will guide the student in writing the artist’s statement. Attendance of first class meeting on March 2nd is mandatory. Other meetings will be scheduled by appointment.

Photographing Babies and Children

Mondays, 6-8 p.m.
March 6-April 24 (No class March 13)
Instructor: Lindsey Culver

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and principals of photographing babies and children.

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Stained Glass

Stained Glass photo

Introduction to Stained Glass

Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m., March 7-April 25 (No class March 14)
Instructor: Andrew Burrow
$195 + $60 supply fee/session

The course will introduce the art of stained glass. Students will learn the basics of copper-foil stained glass and create a stained glass panel of their very own. Class is limited to six students.

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Teens’ Classes+

Teens learning pottery.

Art for Teens

Thursdays, 4-5:30 p.m., March 9-April 20 (No class March 16)
Instructors: Carolyn Wass and Jimmy McGowan

In this six week class, students in grades 7-12 will explore clay by hand building and wheel throwing. Students will also take a still life from drawing to acrylic painting.

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Making Money with Photography – Workshop

Saturday, February 25, 1-5 p.m.
Instructor: Mike Nelson

This workshop will explore the options for making money with photography.

Essential Digital Color Printing – Workshop

Saturday, March 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Instructor: Chris Bisset

This class is designed to help the photographer and artist create a good print and learn the qualities of a good print. Participants will learn about the art of presenting the print which will include paper choice, matting, and framing.

Linoleum Block Printing – Beginner Workshop

Saturday, February 25, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Instructor: Chris Bisset

Print making offers the chance to make something beautiful which can also be broadcast to the many. In the class, students will learn how to cut a printing block along with how to pull a print from your own block. Supplies Provided.

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