Athenaeum's School of the Arts Policy


If you register for an art class online, note that our class registration system will list the class as “tickets.” Please feel free to call us and order over the phone if you have any concerns. 


For further information, to register, and/or recieve a copy of our current brochure, please call 858.454.5872.

Financial support is provided in part by the City of San Diego Commission for the Arts and Culture.




Art studio classes are limited to approximately 15–18 students for adult classes and 12–15 students for children’s classes. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Early enrollment is encouraged. Enroll by telephone, in person, online, or by mail. The school sends registration confirmations one week prior to the start of each class or workshop via email.



Tuition must be paid in full to ensure a place in a class, workshop, tour, or concert. Tuition must be paid in full by the beginning of the first class meeting. We do not prorate class tuition. Please, no visitors. If you wish to sit in on a class, you must enroll.



In line with other art schools, a full refund will be given only if a class, workshop, or tour is cancelled, filled prior to receipt of your registration, or if a student is not accepted into a class. A credit for another class may be extended only if a student notifies the Athenaeum's School of the Arts that he or she is unable to attend at least 5 days before the start of the first class meeting. Sorry, no exceptions.



Credits will be valid and kept on file for a period of 1 year, after which time they will expire.



The Athenaeum reserves the right to cancel classes and workshops prior to or at the beginning of the first class meeting. A full refund will be given automatically unless a student would like to apply the funds to another available class.


We reserved the right to refuse service to anybody.


No animals allowed in classes, except certified service dogs with valid certificate.



Classes purchased online are subject to fees and delivery charges.



Materials and supplies can be purchased online at a 10% discount at Just click on the large U (for Universities) in the middle of the homepage, and California and the Athenaeum’s School of the Arts name will come up. You will find a complete class list in order of the teachers’ names listing all the materials you need. Simply check the supplies you need for the particular class you registered for and they will be sent to you at considerable savings! If you prefer to purchase your materials at Dick Blick (1844 India Street) or Artist & Craftsman Supply (3804 Fourth Avenue) you can request a student ID card for a 10% discount!



Students who refer two or more new students to take classes will receive a 20% discount on their next class. Students who refer three or more new students to take classes will be eligible for a tour of their teacher’s art studio.



Have you ever had the joy of helping another student pursue their dream to create art? If you would like to support a student scholarship, please contact Amanda Dahlgren at or (858) 454-5872. Scholarships funded by a private donor have most recently helped two emerging artists at the Athenaeum.


Nostalgic Still Life class has helped me gain more painting skills and the confidence that I need in order to continue my journey in becoming a successful artist. It was an honor being part of the class.

–Desiree Lawrence, scholarship recipient


Nostalgic Still Life painting class was a rewarding experience. The class covered more than just the basics of painting and of a successful composition. We had art talks discussing art as a business and tips on how to go out into the art world and sell. A very rewarding moment from class was the one-on-one talk with the instructor discussing goals with our artwork.

–Karina Velasco, scholarship recipient



Athenaeum's School of the Arts

Since its inception in 1986 as part of the long-established Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, the School of the Arts has grown to reflect the artistic spirit of the San Diego art community. Our mission at the school is to provide educational arts programs which offer meaningful art experiences for all ages and to fulfill the library’s goal of having a depth and accessibility of resources and programs found nowhere else in the region. The School offers classes at two locations: La Jolla (1008 Wall Street) and at the Athenaeum Art Center at Bread & Salt (1955 Julian Ave, San Diego, California). Athenaeum students learn the history, traditions, and principles of the fine arts. School faculty are experienced artists as well as outstanding educators, dedicated to inspiring students of all backgrounds. The School provides the opportunity for individualized instruction in its intimate class sizes, allowing students to develop their own styles and artistic identities. Appropriate for the full range of student abilities and ages - beginner, intermediate, and professional artist - the School's curriculum includes courses that focus on helping students to develop technical skills, creativity, critical thinking, respect for diverse aesthetic and intellectual views, and the pursuit of excellence.  

The School of the Arts currently offers weekly classes and weekend workshops during fall, winter, and spring sessions. Summer classes are typically scheduled in one-week blocks. Courses include drawing, painting, (oil, watercolor, acrylic, encaustic), sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, letterpress, book arts, photography, mixed media, floral design, and new media. The School publishes a quarterly brochure, listing scheduled classes, workshops, and other Athenaeum events. The class schedule is also listed online.