Please note that while Yosemite remains open during the federal government shutdown, services and facilities are very limited, and certain areas of the park are closed. For more information, please refer to the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior: visit and

As the impact of the government shutdown continues to be felt, Yosemite Conservancy remains committed to supporting Yosemite National Park.

Click here for more information on the availability of Yosemite Conservancy programs and services during the shutdown.

Art Classes

Art Classes

urture the artist within you — with a little help from acclaimed artists and artisans — in Yosemite Conservancy art classes.

Monday–Saturday, 10 am–2 pm (April through October)

2019 Daily Art Class Schedule

Nurture the artist within you — with a little help from acclaimed artists and artisans — in Yosemite Conservancy art classes.

  • Art classes are offered Monday–Saturday, 10 am–2 pm. Perfect for those looking to explore the park’s natural beauty through painting, drawing and more.
  • Open to all experience levels. Suggested age: 12+ (adult supervision required for participants under age 18).
  • Online registration is highly encouraged; capacity is 15 people per class.
  • Develop a final piece during a four-hour class, using new techniques and guidance from your Artist-in-Residence, Volunteer Art Instructor. End the class by celebrating your art in an informal, optional show-and-tell.
  • Registration is $20 per person, per class. Some classes have an additional materials fee.
  • Supplies are not included in the registration fee, but are available for purchase at the Art Center. All proceeds benefit the park!

Art classes are typically held outside (en plein air), weather and media permitting. Follow these tips for a perfect plein-air art experience:

  • Please arrive by 9:30 am to purchase supplies.
  • Drop-in and day-of registration is only available as space allows.
  • Bring your lunch, as well as any of your own art materials and equipment that you’d like to use (such as an easel or other hard surface). You can also purchase art supplies, borrow and/or rent equipment, including stools and easels, at the Art Center.
  • The Artist in Residence, Volunteer Art Instructors chooses the class location based on preference, medium, technique, season, accessibility and proximity to the Yosemite Valley free shuttle stops. Please consider that bathrooms are located throughout the park, but not necessarily near the class location.
  • Don’t forget to check the weather! During inclement weather, classes are held inside at the Art & Nature Center.
Sonja Hamilton, Yosemite Art instructor, leads participants on a skill building journey painting watercolor plein air around the park.
May 30, 2019 to June 2, 2019
Four-Day Immersive Workshop: Join artist and instructor Sonja Hamilton as you develop your plein air watercolor techniques in this beautiful springtime location.
Create landscape paintings using flower prints and basic watercolor techniques.
June 3, 2019 to June 15, 2019
Create botanical artwork using watercolor and printmaking techniques.
Students will learn to capture the light while painting en plein air.
June 17, 2019 to June 22, 2019
Capture spring light, shadows and colors in this acrylic painting class in Yosemite.
Learn to shape a visual story through words and watercolor in this painting and poetry workshop.
June 24, 2019 to June 29, 2019
Learn to shape a visual story through words and watercolor in this painting and poetry workshop.
Capture an iconic Yosemite scene by weaving different colors of fiber on a loom. A unique way to create art, this is a hands-on creative experience.
July 1, 2019 to July 6, 2019
Use colorful yarn to weave a special piece celebrating your Yosemite experience.
Lance Davis teaches beginner watercolor techniques in Yosemite Valley, where he grew up.
July 8, 2019 to July 13, 2019
Learn the basics of painting watercolor landscapes in a plein air workshop in Yosemite Valley.

Contact Us

Happy Isles Art and Nature Center is open from April through October. 2019 art workshops start April 1.


Location: Happy Isles Art and Nature Center, shuttle stop #16. Park at Half Dome Village and take the shuttle. Limited accessibility parking available at Happy Isles with valid placard.

Business Hours:  Open daily, 9am–4pm (April through October)

Art Classes (ages 12+): Monday–Saturday, 10am–2pm (starting April 1, 2019)

Kids Classes (ages 4–12): Drop-in available (April through September)

Open Studio or Daily Art Table: Available daily, 11am–3pm (April through October)


Questions? Email or call 209-372-0631.