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Summer Intensives

Build Work for a Portfolio


Summer 2020 Dates Coming Soon

Full Day Studios: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Morning Sessions: 9:00am - 12:30pm
Afternoon Sessions: 1:30pm - 5:00pm


Summer Intensives in art and design offers high school students serious about fine art and design a choice of focused studios to help develop technical skills and build studio practice. Studio choices are available in both fine art and design, including a number of all day design and media focused studios. Students have an opportunity to develop work for their portfolio.

The nature of this program is that of a rigorous art school. Students complete homework assignments and engage in individual and group critiques. The program meets Monday through Friday for two weeks. Students can attend morning or afternoon studios, attend two different studios for the week choosing a morning and afternoon studio, or attend a full day studio. For students attending full days, lunch is taken independently. Residential options are also available.

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Program Information and Cost

  • $720 for Half-Day Program
  • $1,440 for Full-Day Program
  • Residential Option (includes meal plan): $1,335

A $100 non-refundable deposit must be sent with the registration form. Registrations are accepted based on available space.

To be considered for a scholarship, please submit a copy of your 2017 or 2018 tax return with your registration form. Scholarships are based on financial need and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
Full program cost, less the deposit, will be refunded if the request to drop is received in writing by June 3. MassArt reserves the right to cancel courses in the event of an insufficient number of registrations.

Residential Option

For rising 11th and 12th grade students attending Summer Intensives for the full day, a residential option is available contingent on space. For those who wish to experience summer in the city, MassArt offers accommodations in the comfortable air-conditioned MassArt Smith Residence Hall.  Move-in for students electing the residential option is July 7, 2019.

Contact • 617.879.7170

FULL DAY STUDIOS in art and design

The following studios meet for a full day, allowing students to focus in one medium for the duration of the program:

Graphic Design
Graphic design is the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, Designers are creative problem solvers who express their ideas visually. This course introduces the skill and concepts fundamental to graphic design, including process, conceptual thinking, making and production. This course is not computer based.

Architectural Design
Students are exposed to a variety of tools and techniques that architects use to design: models, technical drawing, sketching, site analysis. Students develop designs through multiple drafts, teacher and peer feedback, and present their work in critiques.

Industrial Design
This course provides an introduction to the practice and rigor of thinking and problem solving like a designer. Students explore a selection of skill based tools for informing, investigating, and communicating design ideas including sketching, model making, prototyping, color exploration, material investigation and more. Projects are informed through a brief survey of design history and a critical look at contemporary design. After study and exploration of skills and processes, students work on a project of their own design.

Black and White Photography
Students learn fine art photography working with traditional analog 35mm film cameras and in the darkroom. Students become familiar with darkroom processes and materials and learn the basics of exposure, film speed, aperture, shutter speed and depth of field. Composition and perspective are a focus of this class, as students consider the formal elements of their work and what that communicates to the viewer. Class time is spent on both photo shoots and developing photographs in the darkroom. Skills learned in this studio provide a fundamental understanding of terminology and processes that translate to digital photography and the digital darkroom.

This two-week hands-on documentary filmmaking course covers video and sound recording techniques, story development, interviewing and editing. Students learn the basics of what creates a compelling film, including structure and basic technical skills through a series of exercises and a final project. No previous experience with filmmaking is required. Basic familiarity with Macintosh or Windows computers is encouraged.

Animation Intensive - FULL
This full day studio allows students interested in animation to go beyond the basics and explore applications of techniques to develop narrative structure. Prior experience or knowledge of animation is encouraged.

Morning Studios

Studios run from 9:00am to 12:30pm.

The Figure in Two Dimensions
Students explore traditional and innovative ways to render the human figure in 2D. A variety of mediums and styles are presented. The nude model will be used; parental consent is necessary.

Drawing Fundamentals
Students learn different tools to help develop drawing skills and techniques and expand their visual vocabulary. This class covers basics of linear and aerial perspective as well as a number of traditional and less conventional approaches to composition and drawing.

Screen Printing
This studio explores various methods of screen printing. Students gain skills in additive and photo process printing. The history of screen printing and contemporary registrations of the process are discussed in class.

This studio stresses basic drawing techniques using graphite and colored pencils along with water-based media. Emphasis is on creating a narrative and developing skills to interpret the story line. Students contextualize their own work by studying and researching the history of illustration.

Jewelry and Metalsmithing
Students practice basic jewelry making and metalsmithing techniques, including sawing, filing, soldering, annealing and forming metal into ornamental and wearable art. Students also earn setting techniques for stones and found objects and are introduced to basic chain making. Contemporary artists and practices serve as a source for inspiration to encourage students to combine metalsmithing methods with personal voice through 3D problem solving assignments.

Afternoon Studios

Studios run from 1:30pm to 5:00pm.

Fashion Design
Students develop skills in fashion illustration, pattern making, fabric selection, draping and garment construction. The final project is the creation of a piece to be viewed and critiqued by peers and instructors at the conclusion of the program.

Animation Toolkit
Basic principles of computer animation are explored through a variety of techniques. Students create narrative story lines which they render in different forms of animation including hand made flip books, stop motion, Flash and claymation. Students view contemporary pieces to provide context for their ideas in relation to the media and greater art world.

Drawing Fundamentals
Students learn new tools to develop their drawing skills and techniques while expanding their visual vocabulary. This class covers basics of linear and aerial perspective, as well as a number of traditional and less conventional approaches to composition and drawing.

Designing Character: Might, Myth & Magic
Enter fantastic worlds and conjure characters based on some of our favorite stories. Students create projects from concept to model to portfolio, through supportive critique. This class explores re-imagined popular heroes and villains, making it an ideal experience for anyone creating children’s books, comics or graphic novels, animated cartoons or video games.

Painting from Observation
Students work from the live model as well as the observed environment. Students build their painting and observational skills through a variety of exercises, ranging from quick gestural studies to longer studies. Some class time is spent looking at old masters as well as contemporary artists for examples and inspiration.

Soft Sculpture
Working with a variety of fiber techniques such as sewing, crochet, tapestry weaving, knitting, coiling, students gain experience working with 3D language including texture, weight, tension, volume, scale and color. Students are exposed to contemporary and historical examples of artist’s working with soft sculpture and learn 3D problem solving strategies. Students will construct a maquette and ultimately create their own original soft sculpture pieces.

Before there was digital printing there was letterpress, which is a form of relief printing with wood or metal letters and images set into a press. This course is an introduction to the craftsmanship of letterpress printing and manual typesetting. Students learn to compose words in metal and wood type. Using a Vandercook proofing press, students print on special papers to create individual works such as artists’ books and posters.