Classes, Lectures & Workshops

The learning never stops at Tohono Chul – discover this for yourself in our Classes, Lectures & Workshops!

We’re all about connecting our members and visitors to the amazing world around us, offering them opportunities to make their own discoveries about the nature, art and culture of our region. Read on for our latest listings of classes, lectures and workshops designed to engage and delight!

Cancellation Policy

We reserve the right to cancel or postpone an event due to lack of enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. A full refund will apply. If however, you cancel your registration in a class or lecture (generally priced $6-$20), there is no refund. If you cancel your registration in a hands-on workshop, there is a full refund if your space can be filled.

Copper Basketry Vessel


Gourd artists Sue Brogdon has designed a striking vessel that features sea grass and straight and twisted copper strips. In her spring workshop, students will color and seal their gourds and learn three weaving techniques: twining, coiling and couching. Beads and a large copper embellishment complete this unique piece. Brogdon provides cleaned and prepped canteen gourds, dye inks, sealant, dyed sea grass and copper wire. Students should bring a bucket, old towel, apron, a wire cutter and a brown bag lunch.

iPhone Photos = Digital Works of Art


“iPhoneographers” Peggy Steffens, William Walther and Ron Shannon are here to unleash your inner Michelangelo and help you create beautiful and unique works of art with your iPhone, turning photos into digital paintings, sketches and other stylized works of art. Designed for anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level using only their iPhone. This class is for any level of “iPhoneographer.” Participants must have an Apple iPhone 6S or newer running the current IOS.

Agave Mandala


Mosaic Artist/Instructor David Jarvinen has designed a dynamic mixed media mosaic inspired by the unfurling of agaves and succulents. In this hands-on class, learn mandala layout principles and then, focusing on pattern and repetition, design a nature-inspired abstract mandala design. Using porcelain tiles for the mandala design and glass tiles for the background, learn about nipping and fitting both materials while designing your mosaic art. All materials included. Class has no formal breaks, so please bring lunch/snack & beverages. 

The Saguaro Cactus


What more recognizable icon of the desert southwest is there than the majestic saguaro? A human-shaped sentinel standing watch for decades, if not centuries, it is the emblem of the Sonoran Desert. The largest and tallest cactus in the U.S., it is both familiar and mysterious, an object of fascination and curiosity. Authors David Yetman, Alberto Búrquez, Kevin Hultine and Michael Sanderson have crafted a complete natural history of this iconic plant from its biology and role in the ecology of the desert to its sacred place in Indigenous culture. These essays bear witness to our ongoing fascination from its “discovery” by early explorers to its anatomy to its role in human society. Join us for an afternoon with Dr. David Yetman, research social scientist at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona and well-known host of the PBS series “In the Americas with David Yetman,” as he shares some of the many saguaro insights to be found in The Saguaro Cactus: A Natural History. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.

Silver Earrings


Short, long, narrow, wide, casual, dressy…and the list goes on. Earring designs are endless, and with silver clay artist Lyle Rayfield, the process of crafting them is easy. This workshop is all about learning to work with fine silver metal clay to create one or more pairs of earrings that suit your style, your mood, or an upcoming occasion. Make a simple design to hang from an ear wire or go fancy and add a dangle for more bling. Lyle will demonstrate how to properly roll, texture, shape, refine, fire, and finish metal clay creations (no experience necessary). Students will need to bring round-nosed pliers (for attaching ear wires), a magnifying lens and apron, all other materials provided.