summer art course

Summer Art Institute

The Art Effect’s Summer Art Institute/SAI (including Junior Art Institute/JAI) is a summer art immersion program for youth ages 11-19 designed to help students develop ideas and build skills in the visual and digital arts. Students who’ve taken classes with The Art Institute can expect an intensive version of what they’ve experienced in the year-round Art Institute. Advanced classes give students a strong foundation for their visual art education and provides a sequence of techniques and chosen electives that advance student portfolios. We explore the depth of shape, color, line, texture, space and movement as well as the importance of both realism and conceptualism to help students develop scholarship-level portfolios.

This summer’s introductory and intermediate tracks take students with a love of art and minimal to no formal experience to the next level through the discovery of creative self expression while learning new skills in painting, 3-D sculptures, and mixed media. Projects intended for middle school youth ages 11-14 and beginner level high school students ages 14-19 are adaptable to the level and interest of each student through a “youth centered” teaching approach. Students explore the foundations of good art-making practices including composition, color relationships, camera fundamentals, illustration, line drawing, painting, lighting, character design, storyboards, photography, editing tools, and portraits.

Skills and Techniques

The artwork students produce in the most advanced majors exhibit principles of art, and personal conceptual themes that colleges seek in students applying for arts programs. The foundations majors help define students’ creative direction in preparation for more advanced visual arts instruction. Mediums and techniques may include:

  • Drawing with graphite, charcoal, pastels, pencils, ink
  • Painting with tempera, watercolor, acrylic, oil
  • Sculpture, clay, assemblage, cardboard, paper mache, styrofoam, mixed media, collage
  • Photography, videography, filmmaking, animation
  • Digital painting, media art, sound design, production, editing
  • Composition, color theory, color schemes, proportion, figurative, character design, figure drawing, self-portrait, still life,  landscape, balance, value, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, unity, variety, form, texture
  • Portfolio development, professionalism, studio practice, critique, mentorship, career, vision

Summer Art Institute sessions may vary each year and typically include drawing and painting, digital art and illustration, and advanced art. The Art Institute also hosts several college visits and residencies when able throughout the summer for high school students in the program. College admissions representatives engage with our students, and families, talk with representatives, show their portfolio artwork, get feedback, and learn about the application process. 

The Institute provides one-on-one mentoring throughout the year to support students’ college applications and helps students secure merit-based scholarships to art schools and colleges. Our students have been awarded over $56 million in scholarships to the nation’s finest art schools across the nation. Learn more about the Art Institute here.

Become a member of The Art Effect to receive member pricing on camps and year-round arts courses. As a member, you will also receive invitations to exciting events like our annual gala – Art After Dark – and the PKX Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photo Festival. More importantly, your membership helps us build a bright, creative future for youth in the Hudson Valley. Call 845.471.7477 or go online to join today!


Instructors are professional visual and media artists who mentor students through projects, encouraging students to build their skills while becoming well-rounded and diversified in the visual and digital arts. They include illustrators, photographers, and exhibiting visual artists.