Visit the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center


The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center offers classes, camps and workshops for youth and adults throughout the year.


Classes & Camps



A THOUSAND WORDS: Community Writing Project

Saturday, October 7, 2017
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.,
2:00 – 3:00 p.m., 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Annex

Portsmouth adult and youth groups are invited to participate in a free writing experience where they will use the current exhibits “From the Unknown: Portsmouth and the Great War”, “Suzanne Stryk: Notes on the State of Virginia” and “Outdoor Sculpture” to create new essays, stories, poems or cartoons.  Writing mentors will offer guidance on how to use the visual experience as inspiration.  Light refreshments will be provided. This program is free thanks to support from the City of Portsmouth.  Each start time is limited to 20 participants, however drop-ins are welcome.  Deadline for group registration is Thursday, October 5 by 4:00 p.m.  To register, call 757-393-8543 or online.




Instructor: Leslie Renn
Every Friday through October 12, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Art Annex

Parents and their kids will gather together in the galleries, surrounding themselves with the art on display.  In this setting they will listen to a story, read by the instructor Leslie Renn, connecting the participants with art and the exhibits.  Following the story, kids will have time to create their own art based on the narrative they’ve just heard.  For preschool ages 3-5.  This program is included with general admission to the gallery but we ask that you please register for each week by calling 757 393-8543 or online. Class size is limited to 20. 




Instructor: Randy McKinney
Every last Sunday of the month through October from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Annex

Participants will get first-hand experience sculpting living trees, dwarfed by potting and wiring.  Randy McKinney will guide participants with information needed to start and succeed in bonsai.  Mr. McKinney has been winning distinguished awards for his amazing trees, including Best In Show from the Virginia Bonsai Society and the International Bonsai Club Award of Excellence, both in 2012.  He’s been teaching bonsai for ten years and growing bonsais since 1975, with some trees in his collection reaching over 40 years old.  The cost for each class is $40.  Participants will need to bring their own trees and tools.  Please call 757 393-8543 to register.

First Weekends



Come enjoy and support artists and musical favorites every first weekends of the month.




Saturday, October 7, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Illustrated Presentation by Jim Bruns

Jim Bruns, Director of the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington DC, will present an illustrated lecture on the art and science of naval camouflage and the razzle-dazzle paint designs developed for ships during the First World War.  This program and admission to the WWI exhibit is free and open to the public.


Farm-to-Table Tastings

Every Third Saturday of the Month
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Courtyard

The Farmer’s Market is open each weekend and continues throughout the growing season. This year, in addition to purchasing fresh veggies, fruit, eggs and more, visitors may join us in the courtyard to sample new tastes and explore ways of preparing familiar and unfamiliar veggies and fruits prepared by special guest chefs. This is sure to please and answer questions on what to do with some of the market’s great offerings. May features special guest Nicolas Hagen, chef and owner of HomeGrown Pizza, 455 Court St., Portsmouth.




Workshops and Gallery Talks may require advance registration and fees. Be sure to review each event for details. Contact us at 757-393-8543 for additional information.

NOTES OF NATURE: Drawing Workshop

Art Instructor: Suzanne Stryk
Saturday, October 14, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

Suzanne Stryk’s collective body of work is on display at the museum in the exhibit Notes on the State of Virginia (see the section on Exhibits).   The workshop begins at PACC where Stryk will share her techniques for quick-sketching, followed by a trip to Paradise Creek Nature Center where participants will journal their own art while immersed in nature.  Enhancing observation and recording experiences will be the goal of this seminar.  Students should bring a bag lunch, 5”x8” sketchbook, kneaded eraser, and pencils.  Naturalistic specimens will be provided but students are welcome to bring their own.  The cost is $50 ($45 for members).  Class size is limited to 15.  To register, call 757 393-8543 or online.



Yoga in the Courtyard

Continuing every Saturday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Instructor: Neve

Join us in nature for a yoga class for all levels and ages. No experience is required. Neve teaches alignment based hatha yoga style which focuses on safety and relaxation. Her humor and grace will have you smiling during and after class. Come stretch, build strength, practice balance and enjoy being outside! Please bring your own yoga mat to the courtyard and any other props you like to use. We practice on the bricks so if you want to double up your mat for more protection or bring a blanket feel free to do so. Updates about the class will be posted on Facebook. If it is raining we will not have class. This class is a suggested donation of $5+ dollars. No registration is required just come, stretch, strengthen and have fun!

Copyright 2017 City of Portsmouth, VA
website by Arengee

400 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8543
Mailing Address: 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, housed in the 1846 Courthouse, is devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences in the arts through rotating visual art exhibits, lectures, classes and performances.