Summer Youth Art Camps & Clay for Kids Scholarships

Summer camps are available for registration online!  Scholarships can be used for after school programs or school vacation camps!

As many of you know, we sell abandoned workshop pottery for $1 each if it’s been here for over 6 months. The proceeds of these sales goes to provide scholarships so local youth can attend art programming here at half cost.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please download the form at the top of our Youth Programming page:

  • Teen Clay Camp Session 1 (June 24th-28th) 2:30pm- 5:00pm
  • Teen Clay Camp Session 2 (July 22nd-26th) 2:30pm-5:00pm
  • Teen Clay Camp Session 3 (August 12th-16th) 2:30pm- 5:00pm
  • Teen Illustration (July 29th- Aug 2nd) 2:30pm-5:00pm
  •  Arts Explorer Camp Session 1 (July 8-12am) 2:30pm-5:00pm
  •  Arts Explorer Camp Session 2 (Aug 5th-9th) 2:30pm-5:00pm

Summer Session Open for Registration!

Crazy enough, just as soon as they were offered, the evening pottery classes have already filled up. Please email info@550arts(dot)com to be added to the evening class waitlist. Things do shift last minute and sometimes spots open up, so let us know if you’re interested!

Other classes to choose from:

  • Stained Glass
  • Soft Pastels
  • Acrylic Painting
  • Drawing
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Clay – Pottery Wheel (daytime and saturday classes)
  • Clay – Hand Sculpting (afternoon and evenings)

Adults and teens 15yo+ are welcome to join. Learn more here. 

Spring Session Open for Registration

We are adding Soft Pastels to the class offerings!

Other classes to choose from:

  • Stained Glass
  • Acrylic Painting
  • Drawing
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Clay – Pottery Wheel
  • Clay – Hand Sculpting

Adults and teens 15yo+ are welcome to join. Learn more here. 

Winter Session Update

There is still space in Oil Painting, Watercolors, Acrylic Painting, Drawing, and daytime stained glass classes.


All clay hand building classes are full, and all pottery wheel classes are full.  Please email to be added to a waitlist.


Spring Session begins early April. Online registration opens 3 months prior.

Handmade Holiday Market!

Handmade mugs, bowls, ornaments, and serving ware for your centerpiece entrees and appetizers! This will be a great place to find last-minute gifts, unique and one-of-a-kind items, pottery for your table, and housewarming gifts. 

Studio 550 is hosting its annual Handmade Holiday Market of pottery and glass art from December 18-23 (Monday-Saturday) from 12-8PM each day, but closed Wednesday. All work was locally made by studio members and staff. There will be two rooms of artisan shopping with the work of over 30 makers on display. 


Art in the Street

It may be cold, but keep your eyes on the lookout! The week before the market, there will be mini-mugs and ceramic ornaments hidden around downtown. Find some art out in the wild, show it to us during market hours and win a prize! All the minis were created by makers selling work at the Market. If you liked the mini version, you’re going to love the normal-sized pots!


Cups for a Cause

The members and staff of Studio 550, plus members of the community, have created over 100 cups and mugs to raise funds for the International Institute of New England. This organization creates opportunities and provides resources for New Americans making their transition to a new life right here in our neighborhood. 


These cups and mugs will be in a separate display, so shoppers know where to find them. Mugs will be sold for an average of $20 each. All proceeds will be donated! 


In addition, there will be:

– Free “Shop Small” tote bag for any shoppers spending over $50, while supplies last

– a handmade gift shop to browse and buy (more pottery, stained glass, plants, soaps, stickers, knitted goods, woodworking, and more…)


For those who give experiences rather than things, Studio 550 is a teaching space! Gift cards can be purchased for any 1-day workshops or 10-week classes. If you are looking for something to do together over the holidays, Studio 550 also offers Art-at-Home Kits with everything you need to make a project at home, the Paint-Your-Own Handmade Pottery tables will be open for booking.


Enter through the Studio 550 handmade gift shop at 550 Elm, and follow the signs to the Holiday Market.

Quality time for Thanksgiving

For the whole month of November, Take-and-Make kits are 20% off!

Order one here:

We will be closed for the Thanksgiving weekend (including Small Business Saturday), so staff can enjoy much loved quality family time! We are encouraging others to do the same with some interactive take-home activities. Not only do you get the fun of doing the activity with loved ones, but you also have the sweet memento afterwards.

You can choose:

  • an open-ended clay kit (1.5lbs of clay + tools) to make a mug, planter, dish, sculpture, etc.
  • A set of two glass mosaic coasters (you choose the glass colors)
  • Paint your own handmade Pottery (choose from a selection of pottery made right here in Manchester, NH to paint your designs on)
  • Holiday ornaments to paint with acrylic paints (a variety of 8 holiday themed shapes)

Online pre-orders are encouraged, as we are often teaching and may not be able to put together drop-in orders right away.

The last day to pick up any kits before the thanksgiving break is 8PM November 21st.

Order kits online, pick them up in the shop (or ship to home), and have fun making some hands-on crafts with your family over the holidays! Some kits (the clay sculpting and the Paint your own Pottery) will require a return trip to the studio to drop off the work to be fired and again to pick up the finished work. The mosaic glass coasters and the painted holiday ornaments do not need to be returned to be finished.

BONUS! Any group that makes it a party with 8+ of the same kit, gets a bonus gift! (for example, if a group of 8 wants to paint pottery, each person can pick their own shape and colors and it still qualifies. However, if four want to make sculpt with clay and four want to make mosaics, no bonus.)

Monster Hunt 2023

Find a Monster. Keep a Monster. Discover Downtown. 


When: Saturday August 26th, 11am public hunt, 10:30am youth hunt

Where: Studio 550 activity hub and Elm Street north to Bridge St.

Why: Studio 550 hopes that by putting art out in the streets people will find joy in walking their city in search of the unexpected. 

What: This is the 11th year of the family-friendly outdoor art hunt, where Studio 550 makes 100 red clay monsters and hides them downtown.  Monster Finders get the immediate reward of being able to keep the monster. All searchers are asked to keep only one, even if they see more, so the joy can be shared by as many people as possible. 

From 11AM-1PM Studio 550 will be hosting a number of low-cost hands-on activities.  In addition to the monster trade-in and raffle to win a Studio 550 Gift Card, visitors can also make their own clay monster, try the pottery wheel, and make a plant habitat for their monster. There will also be sidewalk chalk and bubbles!


Monster Medallions: We are hiding Monster Medallions in lieu of the actual monsters. Bring your medallion to Studio 550 at 550 Elm St that day to trade in the found coin for your one-of-a-kind monster. 


Kids-only Hunt: The DoubleTree Hotel at 700 Elm has graciously allowed use of their river stone green space to host a hunt for little ones before the public hunt! The mini-hunt begins at 10:30AM and is for youth 5 and under.  Look for the colorful pennant flags! There will be 25 monsters available in this youth hunt, and all hunters get a free monster sticker, whether or not they find a clay monster.


Sweet Treats: To sweeten the deal, a handful of downtown businesses will also be offering specials or activities to those who find a monster. The Manchester City Library BookMobile will be at City Hall Plaza, Queen City Cupcakes will have a limited supply of monster cupcakes, and Dancing Lion Chocolate will have an artful chocolate coin for anyone who finds a monster. 


No purchase is necessary, but Monster-Seekers and Monster-Finders are encouraged to stay downtown to eat and to discover what our city has to offer. 


Check out the FB Event page

Master Potter David MacDonald: Visiting Artist Workshop

Watch as David makes some of his iconic works! 

The weekend of September 16-17 David MacDonald will be visiting Studio 550 Art Center and demonstrating how he makes some of his iconic works. Large platters, stacked vases, teapots, geometric carving and patterning are all potential subjects.  View his work here:

He has been working with clay for decades, is a retired ceramics professor at Syracuse University, and has over 40 years of teaching experience. His work is stunning and refined, to say the least.

Saturday will be demo from 11-2 and 3-5, with lunch on your own and a potluck to follow in the evening. Sunday will be demos from 11-2 to finish up work, and have sign ups for 1-1 crits with David. 

There are limited public spots available. Sign up for the two day workshop here:

One day rates and college/high school student rates are available. Email to inquire.

Oils, Acrylics & Drawing in the Fall

Join us in the Fall to learn either Oil Painting, Acrylic Painting, or Drawing with our new instructor Phoebe-Agnès!

Phoebe-Agnès Mills is a figurative and portrait painter who grew up in rural Tennessee. Having earned a Bachelors in Philosophy and Art from the University of the South, she has also studied at New York Academy of Art, Florence Academy of Art, and as an mentee under contemporary painter Mia Bergeron. See more of the instructor’s work:

These 8-week classes begin the week of Sept 5th and are open to beginners.

Acrylic Painting: Mondays 6-8PM, $255

Drawing: Wednesday 6-7:30PM, $225

Oil Painting: Wednesdays 3:30-5:30PM

Acrylics & Drawing classes are back this summer

This summer Studio 550 Art Center is excited to welcome a new teacher to offer acrylic painting and drawing to the class line up.

Phoebe-Agnès Mills is a figurative and portrait painter who grew up in rural Tennessee. Having earned a Bachelors in Philosophy and Art from the University of the South, she has also studied at New York Academy of Art, Florence Academy of Art, and as an mentee under contemporary painter Mia Bergeron.

These 8-week classes begin the week of June 19th and are both open to beginners.

Acrylic Painting: Mondays 6-8PM, $255
Students will experiment with color mixing, composition, and mark making through a series of short term projects designed to investigate color, texture, light, and shadow.

Drawing: Wednesday 6-7:30PM, $225
Learn the basics of how to draw from real life. Students will start with line drawing, observational skills and work up to proportions and shading.

See more of the instructor’s work: