How it works

In our Pre-College Program, you will develop your artistic vision and strengthen both your technical skills and your critical thinking. You’ll take college-level courses, participate in field trips, and display your work in a final exhibition. And throughout the program, you’ll develop an inside perspective on careers in the arts.

Program Description

The Pre-College Studio Art program is a two-week, intensive course for highly motivated high school students who wish to experience the life and culture of art college. The program prepares students to apply to competitive college-level art programs. Students engage with a curriculum that encompasses a wide variety of media and disciplines including: graphic design, illustration, photography, printmaking, figure drawing, color theory, art history, and 3D.

The program runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day and spans studio classes, lectures, field trips, artist talks, open studio time, and fun activities.

Field trips and outings

During the program, you’ll venture off campus to explore Nashville’s vibrant art and design communities with your professors and classmates. Recent outings have included a tour of the Frist Museum, Westwood-Houston galleries (where Watkins’s gallery is located), Cheekwood, and the Parthenon, among others.

Final exhibition and reception

To celebrate and showcase your work at the conclusion of the program, you and your classmates will receive a certificate of completion and have a group exhibition at Watkins’s Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery. Family and friends are invited to the awards ceremony, exhibition, and reception.