How do I Choose the Best Art Summer School?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

When choosing a good art summer school, it is best to first identify your needs as a student. First of all, you must decide if you can travel or commute for your studies or if you need a school that is close to your home. If you can go out of town for the entire summer, then your options are greatly expanded. If you need to go to an art summer school that is within a commutable distance from your home, your options will be fewer.

Students should decide what area of art they want to focus on before choosing a school.
Students should decide what area of art they want to focus on before choosing a school.

Once you have set the geographical parameters that your art summer school must fall within, you can begin narrowing down your options until you find the best school for you. Make a list of things that you hope to get out of your time in school. Here are some brainstorming questions:

  • What kind of medium do I want to study?
  • Do I want to study more that one medium or study mixed media?
  • How many hours per day or week can I devote to going to school and completing assignments?
  • What kind of class size is ideal for me?
  • Do I need to go to a program where I can earn college credits?
  • Is it important for me to study under famous or award-winning artists?
  • Is it important for me to attend a school with a well-recognized name?
  • How much money can I afford to spend on art summer school?
  • Do I need a school that offers scholarships or financial aid?

Take a few minutes to jot down answers to these questions and then begin searching for an art summer school that meets your requirements and is located within your geographical parameters. You may not be able to find your ideal school that meets all of your requirements, but doing this kind of brainstorming should help you to identify the best option that is available to you.

If there is nothing in your area that even comes close to satisfying your list of requirements for an art summer school, you may want to consider taking an online class or participating in a low residency program. There are many schools that offer both of these options. The great thing about online classes is that there is absolutely no commute required. You only need access to a computer and, most likely, a digital camera and scanner so that you can submit images of your completed work. Low residency programs can be very effective because they allow students to meet with their teachers face-to-face, but require a minimal amount of travel.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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