Summer Pre-College Art

Pre-College Art motivates, stimulates and prepares emerging artists and creative problem solvers. Modeled after the rigorous undergraduate School of Art program, students are taught by practicing artists and professors, in cutting-edge facilities, at a school ranked among the top ten in the country. Using both traditional tools and new technologies, students develop and hone technical skills and critical thinking. Students are introduced to the spirit and substance of the School of Art's culture through challenging courses, critique, stimulating workshops, portfolio development and energetic interaction with dedicated faculty and talented peers.

The programs mission is to teach students as artists and to help students understand how their personal vision and ambition can be harnessed as art-making material. By merging curriculum that focuses on technical skill with coursework that pushes students to think conceptually, Pre-College Art provides the essential building blocks for future study in a competitive college art setting or for applying creative thinking to pressing social issues, in whichever field they may choose.


The Experience

During Pre-College Art, students attend morning and afternoon classes, Monday through Thursday. Students work in our beautiful, spacious studios in the historic College of Fine Arts building and the School of Art’s Doherty Hall fabrication facilities. In addition to structured class time, students participate in weekly workshops, open studios and portfolio reviews.

The Pre-College Art faculty is comprised of accomplished artists with experience teaching teenagers as well as in undergraduate and graduate level environments. Small class sizes allow students to benefit from individual attention, intense instruction and substantial constructive feedback. Undergraduate teaching assistants provide support for both instructors and students, and add valuable insight into the School of Art’s BFA program.


Individual instruction, in-class work sessions, critiques, demonstrations and lectures are all part of the classroom experience. Students should expect to attend nightly open studios in order to complete work outside of class. The Pre-College Art curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of technical skill as well as the growth of conceptual thinking and how those elements are applied to personal artistic practice.

During session one all three and six-week students take the following courses: 

  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Animation
  • Concept Studio 

All six-week students take the following courses during session two: 

  • Painting
  • Digital Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Concept Studio (a continuation of session one)

An exhibition of student work occurs during the Pre-College Family Weekend celebration. Students, faculty and teaching assistants plan and hang the show together.

Each Friday, students participate in elective workshops. These morning and afternoon sessions present introductions to a wide range of topics and skills. While attendance is required, students aren't evaluated on their performance in workshops—fostering an atmosphere of experimentation, exploration, trial and error, and freedom. Students will be prompted to sign up for workshops once they've enrolled in the program.