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Portfolio Development

All MassArt Youth Programs will be offered virtually through Spring 2022.



January 15 & 16, 2022
10:00am - 3:30pm with 45-minute break


Registration Period: November 18 - December 19


March 1 - May 16, 2022
Classes are held weekly from 4:30pm- 7:30pm

Different Start dates:
Mondays: March 7 - May 16, no class April 19
Tuesdays: March 1 - May 10, no class April 20
Wednesdays: March 2 - May 11, no class April 21
Thursdays: March 3 - May 12, no class April 22

Spring 2022 Registration Period: January 3 - February 7


This two-day course in mid-January offers high school students (Grades 9-12) a unique opportunity to dive deeply into their creative process in the MassArt community of makers. Strengthen both observational drawing skills and cultivate a personal point of view. This studio gives students the platform to explore artistic ideas while developing strong fundamental elements essential for their portfolio. Composition, line, balance, pattern, space and movement are all elements that will be explored through both exercises and personal imagery. Students attend both days of the workshop.
For students in Grades 9-12, the Portfolio Development program helps students increase both the inventive and expressive portions of their artistic portfolio. A variety of courses are offered in both fine art and design, ranging from Observational Drawing to Comic Book Art to Fashion Design. Students may participate in one or multiple courses. Students develop skills and work habits in their studio(s) of choice, building confidence in their artistic development. Prior experience is not necessary: Students from a variety of backgrounds are welcome, and students ultimately gain a better sense of their strengths as an artist. The Portfolio Development program offers insight into building a portfolio for higher education and the art school admissions process through presentations with Admissions during the semester. One-on-one portfolio reviews with an Admissions Counselor are encouraged as well.


MassArt Youth Programs will be offered virtually through Spring 2022. To participate, students will need access to a computer, laptop, or smartphone with video/camera capabilities, and a reliable internet connection. 

Online studio offerings include:

  • Live presentations from faculty and check-ins each class
  • Time for creative art making, both independently and in class
  • Break out sessions in small groups
  • One-on-one and group critiques with faculty
  • Online resources such as virtual museum tours, TED Talks, external demo videos, “visiting” artists, virtual collaborations, etc.

Every studio will utilize Zoom and Google Classroom. Zoom will be used for virtual meetings, and Google Classroom will be used to organize assignments and other class content. More information will be provided in your Orientation Packet.


Spring 2022 Program Fee: $609 per class

Winter Portfolio Workshop 2022 Fee: $189

Materials and supplies not included in the program fee and are purchased by the participant.


Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served and space available basis. Submission of a registration form does not guarantee enrollment in a class. If you submit a registration form and your preferred classes are full, you will be placed on the waiting list and notified as soon as possible if a space becomes available.


Scholarships are based on financial need and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please indicate on your registration form if you would like to request a scholarship. To be considered, you will be asked to provide family financial information on the registration form (required).

Cancellation Policy (Fall 2021)

Students may cancel their registration up to 21 days (three weeks) prior to the start of the program. Notification of cancellation must be received in writing to MassArt Youth Programs requires notification during this time period in order to allow students to enroll from the waiting list. MassArt reserves the right to cancel courses in the event of an insufficient number of registrations. Students will receive a full refund in the event that a course is cancelled for this reason.

Refund Policy (Fall 2021)
Full program fee will be refunded if the request to cancel registration is received in writing to prior to the start of the program. Students who fail to notify MassArt Youth Programs of their registration cancellation prior to the start of the program will not be eligible for a refund.



Fall 2021 SESSION

Participants may sign up for more than one class.

after school studios: grades 7 & 8
Stories in Motion (Grades 7 & 8) | Tuesdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
Take a look around you and find the stories that are hidden at your fingertips: from your daily routines, to your dreams. Together, we learn to craft stories from personal experiences. Students will be introduced to basics video capture, animation, editing tools, and film language. Collaboration through discussion and group activities will encourage students to unpack their ideas and expand their creative thinking. What's your story?
Fashion Design (Grades 7 & 8) | Wednesdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
Learn how to reinvent your wardrobe! In this class, students will explore creative fashion illustration, surface design, hand sewing and machine sewing techniques as you upcycle a garment. Weekly lessons will include natural dye, fabric stamping, embroidery, applique and fabric manipulation as options for creative expression. The final project for this class will be re-designing a garment of your choosing using these techniques and more, to create a one-of-a-kind outfit. Sewing machines are not required for this class but can be used.
Architectural Design (Grades 7 & 8) | Thursdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
How does an architect create a sense of place or community? How does an architect suggest the division between public & private spaces? These are some of the big questions that architects can address. Students develop skills in both drawing and model building as they explore these big questions and envision their architectural ideas. Any student who feels intrigued or impacted by their surrounding environment is encouraged to participate in this studio! The daily agenda will include remote lectures, demonstrations, critiques, and work time with individual meetings to provide a strong framework of architectural understanding and guide students’ designs throughout the process.

portfolio development: grades 9-12
Drawing from the Figure (Grades 9-12) | Mondays, 4:30-7:30 PM

This class will be an introduction to drawing the human figure using a variety of art materials, techniques, and artistic approaches. The purpose of this course is to help students obtain the basic skill of drawing the human figure, including anatomy.  Observe the human form through exercises in gesture, contour, outline, and tonal modeling. (If live models are being used they will be clothed.)

Fashion Design (Grades 9-12) | Mondays, 4:30-7:30 PM
Explore the possibilities of fashion design and build your portfolio in this fun, virtual classroom environment. Meet other creatives as you design and illustrate a mini collection and create at least one of your designs. We will discuss fashion terminology, research types of fabrics, sustainability and contemporary fashion history. Learn technical skills including sewing, pattern making and textile manipulation techniques to create shape and style. Students will have the option to reconstruct found garments or start from scratch to make a new garment. Receive feedback about your work during critiques to develop your critical thinking process and concept development. 

Color Dynamics + Experimentation (Grades 9-12) | Mondays, 4:30-7:30 PM
Through practice, experimentation, and discussion, students think more critically about how their color choices affect the visual impact of their work. Mostly within the context of 2-dimensional problem solving, students use a variety of mediums (gouache, collage, pastels, or color pencils) to explore color relationships using both abstract and observational approaches. This course introduces students to basic color theory using elements and principles of design that are fundamental to all fields of visual art.

Observational Drawing (Grades 9-12) | Tuesdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
This course offers high school students a unique opportunity to strengthen observational drawing skills and cultivate a personal point of view. Students explore traditional and innovative ways of rendering the observed world through a variety of styles and media.

Visual Thinking (Grades 9-12) | Wednesdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
This studio gives students the platform to explore their artistic ideas while developing strong fundamental elements essential for one’s portfolio. Composition, line, balance, pattern, space and movement are all elements that will be explored through both exercises and personal imagery.  

Animation Toolkit (Grades 9-12) Wednesdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
Create narrative, abstract, and experimental art as we explore the fundamental principles of animated movement. This course will dive into the use of drawings, stop-motion puppetry, digital animation and more, introducing students to the wide range of artistic and professional outlets for this diverse and contemporary medium. Students will experiment with an array of techniques and materials to gain a solid foundation in animation, resulting in unique and outstanding pieces for a college portfolio.

Comic Book Art (Grades 9-12) | Thursdays, 4:30-7:30 PM
Comic Book Art focuses on the visual narrative and plot development. How can the visual experience communicate the story line? Students work to develop skills editing how stories are organized, building a stronger understanding of panels and page layout. Students will create their visual narrative to communicate clearly and flow creatively.