Art Summer Camps for High School Students

Written By Trent Lorcher

When applying for colleges, applicants paint the best picture of themselves, drawing upon their accomplishments and abilities to sculpt the best resume. These art summer camps for high school students will enhance your college admissions portfolio as well as your art portfolio.

Art Summer Camps for High School Students

It's time to sketch a plan for the summer, one that involves art summer camps for high school students.

Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Summer Art & Design Program

The RISD Pre-College Summer Program gives students an intense six-week curriculum that motivates young artists and designers to push their artistic limits. Students get to work alongside hundreds of highly-motivated students who inspire each other to produce their best work. At RISD, high school students follow a college-level curriculum with studio classes, visits to the nature lab and RISD museum, and critiques and projects that "will forever shape the way you approach art and design."

The RISD Pre-College Program is open to incoming high school juniors and seniors between 16-18 years old who are highly committed to art. There are no admissions tests or portfolio requirements for admission.

San Francisco Art Institute Pre-College Program

The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) Pre-College Program provides motivated art students opportunities to build foundational skills, develop a portfolio, experiment with new media, learn from their peers, and receive guidance and instruction from artists. The camp takes place at SFAI's beautiful campus in the heart of San Francisco's Russian Hill District.

Interested students must submit 5-8 examples of art that reflect imagination and originality with their completed application. They must also include a one-page artist's statement and a letter of recommendation from a current or former art teacher. Those applying must have completed their 10th-grade year of high school.

3D Art Studio at Syracuse University

If spending summer mornings learning new techniques and practices in the field of sculpture art sounds like a great way to spend a couple weeks, then you're the perfect candidate for Syracuse University's two-week Art Studio Summer Program. It's more than mornings learning new techniques, the program involves afternoons in the studio working on individual projects. Reviews from peers, teachers, critiques, and professional artists help young artists grow. The program culminates with a collaborative project curating a group exhibition in the Sarah A. Coyne Gallery of Art.

Students must be at least 15 years old at the start of the program and in good academic standing at their school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students are required to submit a portfolio to be considered for the pProgram.

Cornell University: Art as Experience: Drawing, Photography & Printmaking for High School Students

Students have access to Cornell University's cutting-edge digital equipment and computer labs as they gain experience in art research, material use, exhibition, and art collaboration. In addition to studying the theory and history of contemporary art, students gain practical experience with projects and a group exhibition at Cornell's Fine Arts Library.

The program is open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have demonstrated "academic ability, maturity, and intellectual curiosity necessary to undertake college-level work. " No prior technical knowledge is necessary. International students must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

BFA Preview at the University of Michigan

As the name implies, the University of Michigan's BFA program for pre-college students is a preview of what they should expect if they were to enroll in the BFA program after high school. Each student takes four classes modeled after the actual undergraduate program at the university. These courses include Drawing Studio, 2D Studio, 3D Studio, and 4D Studio. The summer camp curriculum includes portfolio review with the school's administration, campus tours, and field trips to cultural institutions, such as the University of Michigan Museum of Art and Stamps Institute.

Applicants to the program must provide a portfolio with 5-8 work samples, a 250-word personal statement, one letter of recommendation, and a recent photo.

High School Summer Art Intensive at NYU

New York University's four-week summer art program attracts students interested in studying art at a prestigious New York City university. The program uses studio projects, instruction, and cultural activities to help students develop core skills for building a strong college preparatory portfolio. Classes include painting, printing, 3D sculpture, art theory, and field trips to New York's best art museums.

The program invites high school students entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grade to apply. Students work directly with practicing art professionals.

Summer Art Intensive at Cooper Union

In a city with as much art as New York, there's more than one outstanding art summer camp for high school students. One of the best is the Summer Art Intensive at Cooper Union. The Cooper Union program helps high school students prepare an admissions portfolio worth of the nation's top undergraduate art programs. Professional working artists teach all portfolio preparation classes. The program finishes with a student exhibition, art publication, and a public animation screening with reception.

Upon acceptance, students choose one of four disciplines: Drawing Intensive, Digital Photography, Graphic Design, or Animation. All students are required to take drawing classes and Art Issues and Writing.

Now that you know about art summer camps for high school students, it's time to draw up a plan and get to work.



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About the author

Trent Lorcher has taught high school English for 19 years. In addition to hosting a foreign exchange student from China, he's traveled extensively, including 18 months in Central America, 2 years in Italy, and additional time in Mexico, France, Morocco, and Spain. He dreams of one day retiring to Spain with his beautiful bride in a place big enough for their 5 kids to visit.

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