Adult Classes and Workshops

If you have questions about any of the following programs or need further assistance, please contact Toni Thomas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 904-280-0614 X 1206.


Painting Classes with Master Artist Ellen Diamond

Ellen Diamond

Meet Ellen Diamond

As a young child, Ellen Diamond was enthralled by the beauty and imagination that artists created on their canvases. Unlike most youngsters, she grew up in a home that was totally enmeshed in the world of art. Her father, Ben Clements was a renowned portrait painter, and served as her inspiration. She found her joy and passion in the museums of New York City where the works of Matisse, Monet, Bonnard and other 19th and 20th century masters inspired her. These formative years have served her well and enabled her to master the techniques that now place her as a leading contemporary impressionist.

Ellen Diamond

As Ellen explains, “Nature sparks my passion to paint, and the love for the subject matter becomes my inspiration to express and share the excitement that I am feeling. Color is my most important tool—I use it to capture the essence of the subject and to represent my emotional response to the visual experience. Color uplifts one’s spirit and transports us into a mood of serenity or excitement. My passion finds its expression in the effect of shifting light and spontaneous directness of brushwork.”


Wine and Watercolors with Ellen Diamond
Located at First Coast Cultural Center
3972 Third St. South in Jacksonville Beach
Friday, October 21 from 5:30-7:30pm
All Skills Welcome
Non-members: $70; members $55

Our local master artist, Ellen Diamond, will guide participants on how to sketch with watercolors while traveling.  Artists of all skill levels will learn how to choose a subject, layout the scene and bring your subject matter to life with color. Open to every skill level. Students will secure supplies from a supply list that will be provided; supplies will be available at PV Arts and Crafts.





 Online Series with Ellen Diamond – Tuesdays (4 sessions)
Online Zoom classes: four-course series
Tuesdays, October 25 and November 1, 8, and 15
3:30-4:45pm weekly
Cost: $90 bundle for non-members; $70 bundle for members

Ellen will be painting from inspiration photographs from her time spent in locations around the world, discussing a plein air style of painting, and hope that the students will familiarize themselves with different scenes inspired by her photographs or discovered in nature.  She will do some demos and critique selected work.  Take inspiration from her instruction and create your own masterpiece!

Please download Zoom prior to the start of the workshop. Learn about Zoom here. 

If you register, a link with the class information will be sent to you prior to the class. Contact Toni at First Coast Cultural Center for assistance if needed.



 Extreme Portrait & Abstract Sculpture in Clay with Master Peter Rubino: Three-Day Workshop
Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6, 10 AM – 4 PM daily
$429.99; member price $399.99
Located at First Coast Cultural Center
3972 3rd Street South, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Beginners welcome!


“Earth” by Peter Rubino

Renowed sculptor Peter Rubino will lead participants on an artistic and technical journey toward understanding the dynamic and creative forces in developing a larger-than-life size portrait sculpture in clay. Returning students have an option to work on a project of their choice at any time during this workshop. Individual projects must be approved by Peter one week prior to the workshop.

• On day one, learn Peter's easy to follow step-by-step method of blocking in the foundation, establishing facial planes, and hair mass associated with the human head.

• On day two you'll learn how to create various surface textures with tooling techniques, refine all features and capture facial expression, with a live model on-site Saturday afternoon.

• Day three participants have on option to continue working on their clay heads or start a new abstract form. Rubino encourages students to go big and develop their own individual artistic style. Peter will discuss the firing process and review patina techniques.

In class, as Peter says, “we don't make mistakes, we make adjustments.”

Watch Peter’s technique in action: Symphony in Clay II

Artist Bio

Peter Rubino achieved international acclaim for his 12-foot historic monument “Mother of All Life,” which graces the Boyko Research Center at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel. Other monuments include “Angel,” a 35-foot figure created for Disney Corporation, and “Remembrance,” a national symbol and tribute to America’s fallen war heroes. Mr. Rubino is the author of "The Portrait in Clay" and "Sculpting the Figure in Clay ''. His books are translated in 5 languages and distributed worldwide by Penguin Random House publishers. Peter presents sculpture workshops throughout the US and abroad, including the Brooklyn Museum Art School, NYC. and The National Academy Museum School of Fine Art, NYC as well as Tuscany, Italy. Mr. Rubino exhibits extensively in the US and specializes in portrait sculpture capturing the likeness of President Barack Obama, jazz icon Dave Brubeck, and baseball legend Babe Ruth and to name a few. Artist Website:
Student Supply List
Students are responsible for securing the following supplies:
• 50-75 pounds of low fire no grog, water based clay.
• One Armature consisting of a 12" x 1/2" diameter pipe and 1/2" flange screwed into a 12" x 12" x 1/2 " board
• The Rubino Tool Set (from the Compleat Sculptor NYC)
• Books by Rubino: The Portrait In Clay and Sculpting the Figure in Clay
• A small wire brush
• One square foot of burlap

Note: photo and purchase of tools and books are available at this Compleat Sculptor's link:

Clay will be available for purchase on-site at First Coast Cultural Center for $25 per 25 lb bag.



Ceramics Classes with Autumn Harrison

Autumn Harrison

Autumn Harrison will teach a variety of ceramics classes, including adult classes and youth classes, and a mix of one-off project-focused classes as well as recurring 4-week classes, focusing on hand building or throwing clay on the pottery wheel. Check out our “Seasonal Ceramics” classes for fun one-off classes where you will make a holiday-themed creation, or join a recurring 4-week class to truly build on your new skills. Member discounts are available.

Autumn Harrison grew up in North Florida before moving to Vancouver, Canada where she worked as a motion graphics artist specializing in 3D digital sculpting. Growing up, she always had a passion for the arts, but found her true love taking an introductory wheel throwing class after moving back to Jacksonville. She especially enjoys experimenting with new forms while incorporating different surface design and glazing styles. When she isn’t in the studio, Autumn enjoys exploring the local waterways on kayak, traveling with her kids, and spending quality time with friends.


Seasonal Ceramics: Stand-Alone, Holiday Project Workshops
Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30PM
Open to adults as well as teens ages 15+
No experience necessary
Each Seasonal Ceramics class is a stand-alone (one-time) class
$45 for Cultural Center members; $50 for non-members
Supplies are included

In these Seasonal Ceramics classes you will learn about the pinch pot method of hand building ceramic pottery. You will receive step-by-step guidance on all facets of creation from beginning stages to surface decoration.

Pinch Pot Pumpkins
September 27th

Ghost Luminaries
October 4th

Fall Leaves Trinket Bowls
October 11th

Thanksgiving Serving Plates
October 18th



Introduction to Hand Building and Throwing Clay - 4-Week Class for Adults
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm
This class is comprised of 4 sessions: October 5, 12, 19, 26 - 6:30 - 8:30pm
Open to adults
No experience necessary
$180 for Cultural Center members; $200 for non-members
Supplies are included

Satisfy your curiosity about clay! Come get your hands dirty in this fun and thorough introduction to hand building and throwing clay on the pottery wheel. This 4-week class will provide hands-on instruction covering the fundamentals of wedging clay, centering, opening, pulling up and shaping your pots on the wheel. You will also learn hand building methods using pinching, coiling, and slab-building techniques for making both functional and sculptural ceramics.

You’ll learn about the stages that clay goes through – from wet, to leather-hard, to bone-dry and about the hand-tools used for trimming, decorating, and creating texture on pots. This class will provide hands-on instruction covering the fundamentals of wedging clay, centering, opening, pulling up and shaping your pots both on the wheel and with hand building techniques. Kilns and firing stages will be touched on and you’ll learn how to decorate and glaze your ceramic work for the final firing.



Virtual Private Piano/Violin/Cello Lessons with Sabrina Krisberg
Timing as convenient for student and instructor


 For more information, please contact Toni Thomas, Programs Manager at 904-280-0614 ext.1206 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Don’t miss your opportunity to unleash your creativity in one of our many art classes and workshops. If you are an artist, novice or professional, we have programs that will enhance your creative process. Please review our Program Policies before registering. If you are unsure about the status of your membership, please call 904-280-0614 ext. 1206.  If you would like to become a member of First Coast Cultural Center, please visit membership. Supplies are not included unless otherwise noted. Our dedicated hotel sponsor, Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra, provides special room rates for First Coast Cultural Center workshop attendees, click here to learn more and book a room to use during your workshop.

 These programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

wheelchair accessible

"Cal Cook is a very thoughtful instructor, able to instruct students at all skill levels and always providing helpful insights along the way."

- Ceramics Student

"Anna Miller creates an atmosphere of enthusiasm and inspiration. The room is set up for painting. You have a good facility and the art shows are inspirational."

- Abstract Painting Student

"This is the first class that I have taken at the Cultural Center and I am wishing I never took so long to sign up!"

- Marisa Yow's Painting Class Student


3972 3rd Street South
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Phone: (904) 280-0614


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Monday - Friday
10:00am - 4:00pm

(After Hour Appointments Available)


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 Cultural Center At Ponte Vedra Beach
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Phone: (904) 280-0614

Gallery Hours
Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
(After Hour Appointments Available)

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The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with tax ID #59-3238148

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