Earn 4 College Credits!

Shape your own artistic direction by exploring a wide range of media. At SMFA we recognize that disciplines converge and influence each other, and that contemporary art is truly interdisciplinary. We encourage all students to build solid foundations and acquire skill sets in numerous disciplines in order to create new possibilities and forms of artmaking. In the Pre-College Summer Studio you will explore painting, drawing, printmaking, video, digital photography, sound art, installation, sculpture, and performance. This core curriculum will encompass basic skills, experimentation, conceptual thinking, collaboration, problem solving techniques, critique and discussion. The program will also include presentations, resources and one-on-one guidance in regard to portfolio building, career paths in the arts and the college application process.


2D: Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
This two-dimensional area will emphasize both traditional foundations and contemporary issues of drawing, painting, and printmaking. Experimentation with diverse materials, methods, and techniques will enable you to develop a fundamental understanding of each medium. You will also develop a high level of technical proficiency in your work through structured investigations and challenging training. As a group, we will explore problems and possibilities of the two-dimensional image through art history as well as contemporary art discussions.

3D/4D: Sculpture, Installation and Performance
Sculpture introduces ways to create form and meaning through materials. Based in contemporary methods ranging from found object sculpture to light construction techniques, this area will encourage you to explore new relationships between viewer and object. Installation focuses on the creation of environments. You will learn how to incorporate various media and create work that is site-specific, public, or environmental. Combining these skills with collaboration and performance, students will learn about contemporary artists engaging in site-specific performance. Through a series of structured exercises and team-building activities, students learn new ways of generating material for any medium. This course presents an opportunity to truly embrace the interdisciplinary methodology of the program.

Digital Studio: Video and Digital Photography
In Digital Studio, we will explore digital art through moving and still images. We will examine how digital images have become a dominant force in our society, while interacting with and hearing presentations from contemporary artists working in digital media. You will learn how to use digital still cameras, mini-DV video camcorders, and sound recording instruments. You will also learn how images transform and morph using software such as Adobe Photoshop and FinalCut Pro.

Additional Programming

Professional artists and teachers will instruct you in studio work and lead discussions about the artmaking process. Our unusually low student to faculty ratio ensures that you will get the attention you need as you develop your portfolio. You will also be matched with a graduate student mentor from our Master of Fine Arts program who, during regular meetings, will help you to further cultivate your individual vision. In addition, accomplished visiting artists engage with students through weekly presentations.

Visiting Artists Program
Each week, visiting artists are invited to present their work and workshop with students. Visiting artists have included Mary Ellen Strom, Leon Johnson, Gerry Bergstein, Andi Sutton, Jim Dow, Chantal Zakari, Ahmed Abdalla, Matthew Nash, Hannah Barrett, Carla Herrera-Prats, Hiroko Kikuchi and Raul Gonzalez. Learn more about them here.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
In addition to unlimited access to the MFA's permanent collections, you will also enjoy presentations by Museum professionals working in conservation and exhibitions, as well as behind-the scenes tours of special collections.

Portfolio Development
Whether or not you are looking to apply to art school, you will leave with a strong portfolio of work. In the final week of the program, our admissions staff provides optional one-on-one review sessions. We also provide further resources on the college application process, career paths in the arts and hands-on opportunities to test your skills in putting together the final exhibition.

Studio Space
All students are assigned a studio space to pursue independent work and class projects throughout the program.

Town Meeting
Each week the entire Summer Studio community comes together: all students, faculty, teaching and resident assistants, graduate mentors and program staff. These sessions provide a space for students, staff and faculty to step out of their current roles and deepen their sense of an artists' collective. Whether the time is used for showing faculty work, playing dodge-ball or participating in a drawing competition, it is an essential part of the week.

Final Exhibition
Pre-College Summer Studio programs culminate in a final exhibition or, depending on the program you choose, a review of  your work.

Our program gives you an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in an artists' community. Intensive classes culminate in a final few days that are dedicated solely to the installation of a professional final exhibition. Faculty and staff work with you individually as the entire community comes together to produce a show of 200+ works. Skills in curating, marketing and installation are built as you develop your portfolio and deepen your sense of community. This program awards college credits upon successful completion.