First Friday Richmond . . .
Friends. Fun. Art for Everyone.

Come see for yourself why we topped’s list of fun budget date spots in the RVA! Come on inside for a creative family outing, date, or Girls’ Night Out that’s sure to make an impression!

  • Sampler registration begins at 5PM.
  • All samplers are drop-in first come, first served.
  • There are 2 sessions for each sampler, (Session 1) 6-7:15PM + (Session 2) 7:30-8:45PM.
  • PLEASE NOTE: There is only 1 SESSION of both the Raku and Handbuilding samplers. Raku starts at 6PM with firing at 6:30PM and Handbuilding runs from 6:30PM-8PM.  

If you have any questions about First Friday Samplers, please feel free to contact our front desk at (804) 353-0094 ext. 210.

Confirmed Workshops for 3/4/16:


  Fused Glass 33

Fused Glass: Dive into the world of fusing and slumping glass.  In this workshop you will explore cutting colored sheets of glass, grinding glass to form specific patterns, layering patterns, using frits and stringers to create a unique, one of a kind piece of art.  Open to all levels. $20. Ages 10 and up.

VisArts_Adult_Clay_ClassDemo3  Handbuilding

Clay Hand Building: Love to learn more about the ancient art of hand building with clay? In this brief class, students will learn the three basic hand building techniques; pinch, coil, and slab – all of which can be used to create functional work.  Select one of your clay creations to be fired, then return to VisArts during the next First Friday to retrieve your completed work of art! $10 to have your piece bisque fired $15 to have your piece dip-glazed by a VisArts staff member. All ages.

Letterpress  Letterpress 3  

Letterpress: Letterpress makes an impression! Come make personalized art that is timeless! Note cards, posters and stationery are all fun options to try your hand at this classic medium. $10. Ages 15 and up.

Raku 2_sq  Raku 3_sq

Raku: Feel the heat with this traditional method of Japanese pottery firing! We’ll fire a piece you glaze and then smoke it in a fire-filled can while you enjoy the campfire like atmosphere on our patio! Bring your own piece to be fired for $10, or choose one of our hand-crafted bowls for $15! Prices are per piece. (2 piece maximum per person unless kiln space permits more). All ages.

2013-10-04-18.57.09-2-1024x1024 (250x250)  Wheel Throwing

Wheel Throwing: Get 75 minutes of hands-on training from one of VisArts’ talented clay instructors,  select one of your clay creations to fire, then return to VisArts during the next First Friday to retrieve your completed work of art! $10 to have your piece bisque fired or $15 to have your piece dip-glazed by a VisArts staff member.  Ages 12 and up.


Book Making for Youth & Adults: Do you doodle? Do you draw? Wouldn’t it be nice to make a new sketchbook to store all these things? Come explore the endless possibilities of bookmaking with us in this brand new workshop! Learn the basic principles of bookmaking and walk away with your very own one-of-a-kind sketchbook. $10.

Session I (6-7:15):
Ages 13 and under
Use simple construction methods to make books that are durable and ready for adventure.

Session II (7:30-8:45):
Ages 14+
Make signatures using basic stitching techniques, then create a unique book cover.

Past First Friday Workshops have included:


Lantern_img1  Image by Terry Brown

NEW! Maharaja Lantern-Making with 1708 Gallery: To kick-off this year’s InLight Richmond festivities, 1708 Gallery is once again partnering with VisArts for a Lantern-Making First Friday Sampler! You’ll make individual Maharaja paper lanterns that will be used during the InLight festival on Friday, November 13th. You can find out more about InLight Richmond here.  FREE All ages.

71gPCN7+5CL._SL1280_  Handbuilding1

NEW! Handmade Ceramic Lanterns: Use basic hand building techniques to create a unique and functional ceramic lantern! Your creation will be fired and available for pickup on 11/12, just in time for 1708’s InLight festival on Friday, November 13th. You can find out more about InLight Richmond here! FREE. All ages. *There will be 2 sessions offered for this workshop, which will run 6pm-7:15pm and 7:30pm-8:45pm.

Shibori_1  Shibori_2

NEW! Shibori Fabric Dyeing: Fold, twist, and bind cloth to create an array of intricate patterns. Shibori techniques date back to the 8th century and continue to be used as a popular fabric dyeing method today. Dye a handkerchief provided by VisArts, or bring your own fabric item. $10 to dye your own item, $15 to dye a handkerchief provided by VisArts. All ages. *Limit of 2 dyed items per person.

Beadmaking 2s  Beadmaking 3

Glass Bead Making: Learn and practice the basics of bead making! Using a propane torch and glass rods, you will learn to wind hot glass onto a mandrel to create simple, yet fun glass beads. All materials and safety glasses are included, just bring yourself, and wear some comfortable, natural fiber clothes. $20. All supplies included. Ages 15 and up.

Screen Printing    

Screen Printing: Try your hand at screen printing! There will be a number of inspiring screens to choose from or combine them to create your own design: Birds, bikes, mustaches, aquatic creatures, the Visual Arts Center 50th Anniversary and more! You are welcome to bring your own shirt, tote, or apron to print on. Paper and all other materials will be provided. $10Ages 12+

IMG_8740 (250x250)  IMG_8739 (250x250)

Ceramic Garden Tiles! (NEW): Support our garden and make your mark on VisArts! In our ALL AGES Clay Tile Workshop students will learn how to create a unique ceramic tile with their own personalized imagery! Finished tiles will be installed for permanent display in our community garden and mosaic wall. ($10) All ages.

Papermaking  Papermaking1

Handmade Paper! (NEW): Make beautiful, colorful, handmade paper with deckled edges by reusing household and office recyclable paper, discarded fibers, and found objects. Work with blenders to mix colors and manipulate texture. Use screens to pull paper pulp out of the water. You can’t believe how easy and fun this is! Take paper home damp to use as stationary or substrate for further art processes.  Enroll in this sampler again and again! ($10) All ages.

Art Lab (Just for Kids!): We’ve got a First Friday Sampler just for kids! Enter the art laboratory and create an eclectic variety of art works. Depending on the session we will use a variety of media from clay and wire, to fabric and paint, to create extraordinary art. $10.  Ages 6 to 9.

Up-Cycled Fabric Flower Pins: Create your own eco-friendly jewelry using recycled materials! Personalize with a wide array of fabrics and wear your jewelry when you come to view our Radical Jewelry Makeover Exhibition! $10. All ages.


Glamorous Glazes: Throw a pot during our wheel throwing sampler, then glaze it for a one-of-a-kind look that’s all your own! One of our instructors will lead you through basic glazing techniques, we’ll fire your piece and you can pick it up next First Friday! $10. All ages.

 Color Finishes for Metal - Mulcahey  

Powder Coating Metal: Come learn the art of Powder Coating! Similar to enameling but 10x stronger, this process is a quick and easy way to add a bright pop of color to any metals project. We will be making “Gem Stones” that can be added to bails, pendants, or key rings. $10.  All supplies included.

Silver Metal Clay Charms: Metal clay is a miraculous new jewelry making material that is easy to learn and work with. In this short workshop, watch the instructor demonstrate how to form and fire a small piece of jewelry and then choose from the instructors samples to make a “push mold” charm of your own! Return the next week to retrieve your pure silver jewel. $20 Ages 15 and up.

photo 2

Crazy Knitted Coasters: Make and take an attractive knit coaster. Its a fun, easy, and quick way to learn the basics of knitting: casting on, the knit stitch, & binding off. Make a coaster and take away the skills you need to knit the projects you’ve always wanted. $10All supplies included.

Handmade Prints:  Create artful images using collagraph printmaking! Learn to make your own cardstock plates and print with them, or use plates supplied by the instructor and combine your imagery in an endless array of colorful possibilities.  $10.  Ages 12+

 Samplers are subject to change. Please call 804.353.0094
for up-to-date details. Thank you!