Current Classes & Workshops



Volcano Art Center’s Cancellation and Refund Policy

If for any reason you need to cancel, please call 72 hours before class begins for a full refund. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm, (808) 967-8222. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made less than 72 hours prior to the start of class. If class is cancelled due to insufficient enrollment or unforeseen circumstances, you will receive a full refund.


Ongoing Classes & Workshops

Stained Glass Open Studio

Volcano Art Center is pleased to offer stained glass open studio sessions on Monday evenings from 2pm – 5pm. Studio drop-ins are available for artists with some experience in Copper Foil Stained Glass who wish to use the equipment, hand tools and facilities independently. There will be a resource person for project help and questions. Fees are $10 per session or $40 for four sessions which includes a grinder bit. All other materials and supplies are not included in the fee. If special project help is required, please notify VAC prior to Open Studio. Pre-registration is required.





August 2019

Food From Wood: Growing Edible & Medicinal Mushrooms on Logs, Stumps, and Wood Chips, 8/31

It’s back! Instructor Zach Mermel will teach the basics of mushroom cultivation in the “Food From Wood: Growing Edible & Medicinal Mushrooms on Logs, Stumps, and Wood Chips” workshop on Saturday, August 31, 2019, from 9am – 2:30pm at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.

Wondering what to do with those undesirable exotic trees on the Back Forty? By teaming with certain fungi, you can turn that pesky plant problem into an edible solution. A wonder drug or just darn tasty, the humble mushroom belongs to a kingdom seldom explored. Mushrooms are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and nutrition with the added bonus of “easy to grow”. Their health benefits are well known and their ecological advantages are just now being fully realized.

Now you can learn basic fungal biology and how fungal mycelium colonizes different materials, particularly wooden logs, stumps, and wood chips. You’ll also discover the health benefits of different edible and medicinal fungi in Hawai‘i.

Course fees are $50 for VAC members and $55 for non-members. Pre-registration is required. Each participant will depart with a shiitake mushroom log kit, as well as a King Stropharia mushroom kit. Participants will meet at VAC’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village for a slideshow lecture, then drive to Shaka Forest Farms on Wright Road in Volcano Village for the hands-on segment of the workshop. Participants will meet at VAC’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village for a slideshow lecture, then drive to Shaka Forest Farms on Wright Road in Volcano Village for the hands-on segment of the workshop.

If you’re an eager epicurean, avid horticulturalist or just interested in mushrooms, Zach encourages you along with farmers, gardeners, and homeowners seeking to incorporate the growing of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms into their lives and livelihoods to attend.






Healing Through Words with Dr. Heather Rivera, 8/31

Have you always wanted to write a book but don’t know where to start?  Is fear holding you back? Do you wonder where you’ll get the time to write?  You know the story needs to be told—your voice wants to be heard. You feel it deep in your soul. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back.

Join Dr. Heather Rivera for the 1 ½ hour creative writing workshop, “Healing Through Words” on Saturday, August 31 from 10am – 11:30am at Volcano Art Center Ni‘aulani Campus. She will use imagery, visualization, and prompts to help you tap into your creative muse and discover the healing power of writing. You will also have the opportunity to share your writing in a safe supportive environment, if you choose.

Amazon best-selling Author, Heather Rivera, found healing while writing her first novel and has been sharing the power of writing in workshops. Find your voice and let the words flow. Class fee is $35/$30 VAC Members.

Dr. Heather Friedman Rivera obtained her Ph.D. in Parapsychic Science in 2011, her Doctorate in Law in 2002 and is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in Past-life Regression. She trained with Dr. Brian Weiss at The Weiss Institute. Heather is also a retired Registered Nurse with over 25 years of experience. She is the author of nine books, contributing author in seven books, and author of numerous articles. She serves as an editor for the International Journal of Regression Therapy. Heather has been featured in print, radio, and web television. Heather holds workshops and retreats on writing and past life regression, and coaches writers from dream to book-in-hand.




September 2019

The Business of Art Workshop with Ira Ono, 9/7

Volcano Art Center is pleased to offer the popular “Business of Art” workshop by Volcano artist Ira Ono. He will help you navigate basic business principles in this one-day intensive workshop. From the initial pros and cons of being your own boss to copyright basics to branding your product, you’ll discover what’s right for you and your art. This is a wonderful opportunity for fine artists and crafts people to gain unique insights resulting in profitable solutions.

Sponsored by the Volcano Art Center, the workshop will be held Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 9:00am – 4pm at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Cost for the full day workshop is $55 or $50 for VAC Members.  Participants are encouraged to bring samples of their own art work for Ira to review.

Class topics covered include:

  • Pricing your artwork for profit
  • Creating presentations that focus on gallery buyers, gift shops, and department stores
  • What to look for in hiring trustworthy associates
  • Internet marketing, catalog sales, trade shows
  • Visual merchandising, and affordable display techniques
  • Packaging and presentation for wholesale, retail and fine art galleries
  • Creating multiples for increased sales
  • Internet marketing and getting free publicity

Ira Ono is an internationally known artist. His works are featured in the Hawai‘i State Art Museum and private collections in the U.S., Europe and Japan. He is the founder of annual Trash Art Shows throughout the state and well versed in every aspect of marketing fine arts and crafts here in Hawai‘i and beyond. Ira is also the owner and director of Volcano Garden Arts gallery in Volcano, Hawai‘i where he exhibits his personal works along with over 100 local artists from across the state. Visit Ira’s website here!






Celtic-Inspired Zentangle Knot Work with Ellen O’Dunn, Certified Zentangle Teacher, 9/14

Saturday, September 14, 2019


Celtic art, and Celtic knots in particular, has fascinated me since I was a young lass. Celtic knot work and spirals decorated the pages of my storybooks about King Arthur and Camelot as well as many of the fairy tale books I so loved. I began doodling the two link pattern (minus the tangles!) when I was about 6 or 7. Is it any wonder that I fell in love with Zentangle, an art form that allows me to imagine myself as a monk of St. Columba’s order, working on the Book of Kells ,  lost in the lines and swirls created by my quill?

All art supplies will be provided (returning students are encouraged to bring their favorite supplies). While not required, I highly recommend that students taking this class have some prior experience with Zentangle. You will learn several Celtic-inspired tangle patterns and be working with Zentangle Renaissance tiles, all to a peaceful background of beautiful and relaxing Celtic music.  This is a potluck so please feel free to bring some food to share. Cost is $35/$30 VAC Members plus a $10 supply fee.






Zen Pen – Writing as Spiritual Practice with Tom Peek, 9/21

Spiritual explorers, grab your pens! Have you ever tried writing as a spiritual practice—using a pen to deepen the conversation with your soul? Would you like to gain better insight into your life and the world around you by exploring your own thoughts and feelings?

Then join award-winning novelist and longtime Big Island writing teacher Tom Peek in his acclaimed workshop “Zen Pen – Writing as Spiritual Practice” on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.

“Writing is a potent way to understand the human spirit, increase our awareness, examine our lives and foster compassion for others and ourselves,” says Peek.

Peek’s inspirational techniques and simulating exercises have helped hundreds of islanders explore their creative minds and unique voices. Students always go home enthused, praising his workshops as “enlivening,” “revelatory,” and “the best Saturday I’ve spent in a long time!”

Workshop cost is $75/$65 for VAC Members. No writing experience is necessary. Students are asked to bring a personal object from your home, car, workshop, office or boat, and a handheld mirror, as well as a lunch.

Peek has taught his popular workshops since 1991 through the Volcano Art Center, UH Hilo and other venues on the islands of Oʻahu, Maui, Lanaʻi and Hawaiʻi, as well as in Canada. He’s written for three decades, both professionally and to process and guide the experiences of his life. His work ranges from university publications to late night radio comedy, and includes fiction, newspaper commentaries, magazine articles, national park exhibits, and award-winning video productions. His Hawaiʻi novel Daughters of Fire won a Benjamin Franklin Award from the national Independent Book Publishers Association.






Beginner & Intermediate Mixed Media Encaustic, 9/21 

Join artist Mary Milelzcik for the Mixed Media Encaustic workshop on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 10 am – 2 pm at Volcano Art Center Ni‘aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Encaustic is a mixture of beeswax, damar resin and pigment, which is applied to a solid absorbent surface. Each time a new layer is applied, it must be fused. The layers can be enhanced by carving with tools or drawing with pigment, oil sticks etc. Photographs can be transferred and other materials imbedded to create a variety of amazing results with depth.

Mixed Media Encaustic is a hands-on workshop, where you’ll learn safe studio practices, all the encaustic painting basics, and how to make your own medium.  Encaustic techniques along with wet and dry shellac burns will be demonstrated. After instruction and experimenting, you will have the opportunity to create two encaustic paintings to take home with you.

Mary will provide panels and handmade paper to use as substrates and an assortment marking tools and brushes, and interesting papers, photographs, minerals, fibers, and other natural and found materials for students to incorporate into their paintings. Students are encouraged to bring other items they’d like to use. Advanced students can consult with the instructor in advance regarding specific projects. The class fee is $60/$55 for VAC members plus a $25 supply fee.

Mary Milelzcik has a B.A. degree from Sonoma State University’s School of Expressive Arts, a radical two-year upper division interdisciplinary experimental program that existed for several years in the 70’s. This transformative educational experience set the path for an interesting career as a mixed media artist and photographer; as the Curator at Highways Performance Space and Gallery in Santa Monica CA; and teaching experimental mixed media art and printmaking. Photography is an important tool in her creative and documentary projects as well as for capturing images to use as a base for mixed media encaustic paintings and prints.  She also gathers pigments and organic materials to incorporate into her work. Her artwork has been shown internationally. In her spare time, she provides strategic consultation and grant writing for small to medium sized nonprofits in Hawaii and California. She has a studio in Pahoa and specializes in mixed media art and printmaking. She experiments with local minerals and plants in her encaustic paintings.