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



Our Animal Friends

Ages: 6-8
Dates: July 10-14, 1-4 pm
Location: Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center

Whether it’s a family pet, a favorite zoo creature or the backyard squirrel, campers will create artwork inspired by our furry (and not so furry) friends in this fun art camp. Draw, paint and sculpt with the Portsmouth Museums!


Art Explorers I

Ages: 6 – 8
Dates: July 31-Aug 4, 1-4 pm
Location: Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center

Cost: Members $65 half day, $135 full day / Non Members; $70 half day, $145 full day
Campers can sign up for a half day session or both morning and afternoon sessions to make a full day (9am- 4 pm, campers bring their own lunch and lunch supervision provided.)

Take a trip through Australia – dive into the artwork of Aboriginal artists and cultures using various techniques. We’ll focus of four geographical areas, taking time to learn about the art that comes from each one!


Art Explorers II

Ages: 9-12
Dates: June 26-30, 1-4 pm
Location: Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center

Emerging Artists examine recent art of the Americas. Be amazed by the variety of Contemporary American art by painting, sculpting, and drawing.


Help Your Selfie!

Ages: 9-12
Dates: July 24-28, 9 am-noon
Location: Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center

Artists have been taking “selfies” for a long time. Even before the invention of cameras and smart phones, artists found ways to create their self image. Campers will create their own selfies using a variety of techniques and mediums – no selfie stick required!



First Weekends



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


POSTERS & PROPAGANDA: British Recruiting Efforts During WWI Illustrated

Saturday, August 5, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Presentation by Brett Bebber

Expanding on the topic of World War I for this year’s anniversary exhibition at the museum, Dr. Brett Bebber will present on the successes and failures of British propaganda posters from 1914 to 1915, assessing the various government initiatives at the time. These posters have garnered widespread attention for their daring images and manipulative approach to attracting recruits. With a Ph.D. in Modern European History, Brett Bebber teaches at Old Dominion University, specializing in topics surrounding the British Empire.


WOODROW WILSON: WWI Government Policies & Race Relations

Saturday, September 2, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Presentation by Dr. Eric Yellin

The focus on World War I this First Saturday will take a look at racism in the context of Woodrow Wilson’s administration. Dr. Eric Yellin will be the guest presenter, discussing the federal racial policies during the War and how Wilson’s segregationist administration dealt with African Americans at the time. How did African Americans respond to the call "make the world safe for democracy," despite their exclusion from this ordeal and their own freedom? Dr. Yellin is Associate Professor of History and American Studies for the University of Richmond.




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.

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!


Paint Your Tote Bag to Carry Your Wine

Wednesday, July 26, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Instructor: Leslie Renn

No one will suspect what is in the bag when it is decorated with your painted design. Spend an evening with some old friends and make new ones as you unwind and create a tote bag worth one-thousand-plus Instagram likes. The instructor, Leslie Renn, is an artist and designer specializing in fiber arts and printmaking. She currently teaches art programs for the Norfolk Public Library. The cost is $40 per person / $35 for Portsmouth Museum Members, it includes all materials and light refreshments. Parking is free after 6pm. Space is limited so register early by calling 757 393-8543.



Storytime Art

Fridays, August 4,11,18,25, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Instructor: Leslie Renn

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.

Copyright 2017 City of Portsmouth, VA
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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.