Summer Marathons 2017


Summer Session Student Painting the Figure

The Summer Session offers a unique opportunity for interested artists to experience the intensity and rigor of the Studio School's perspective in a condensed manner.

The Summer Session is comprised of two-week courses that focus on specific concentrations in drawing, painting, and sculpture. Students may choose to participate for two weeks, four weeks or for the full six-week path. All classes are Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm, unless otherwise noted.

NYSS offers partial scholarships for the Summer Program. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please include in your application a 500 word (maximum) essay outlining your financial need and the ways in which a scholarship to attend will benefit your development as an artist.






Please click on the Course Titles to view the pdf version of the course syllabus.

SESSION I: June 5-16, 2017

Drawing Marathon: Graham Nickson and Guests. June 5-16, 2017

Intellectually rigorous, physically challenging, and surprising in its stratagem for discoveries, this marathon gives the student a real understanding of the language and importance of drawing, today and in the past.  The quest for form, space, and scale is a strong element.  The role of drawing in painting is also explored.  It is a very ambitious program pushing personal vision to an extreme. Cost: $1625.


Sculpture Marathon: Lee Tribe and Guests.  June 5-16, 2017

It is not uncommon for an artist to find an object (a stone, bone, a piece of driftwood) selected from a myriad of other things whilst out walking. These objects can be of the natural world, maybe from industry, or from human intervention. We spy them, relish them and their beauty, or are intrigued by their forms, their twists and turns, holes and spaces, their textures, their colors. We bring them into our homes, use them as weights or put them on a shelf. We look, we enjoy them. …Some artists use them: in this Marathon we will use them as the basis of our work. Each student will be asked to arrive with a selection of 4 to 6 things, "found art", and present them to the class, extolling their merits. Two pieces per student will be chosen as starting points. We will take what we see as sculptural from the small wonders that we have found and use these qualities to create new work.  We shall enlarge them, play with a selection of materials to exaggerate different qualities. We will start with what we observe and explore, clarify and enhance what delights us in the found to make it our own. Play and experimentation will be encouraged, as will drawings and using a wide range of materials. Cost: $1625.  Materials Fee: $200


SESSION II: June 19-30, 2017

Painting Marathon: Arbor Vitae Landscape Painting with Graham Nickson and Guests. June 19-30, 2017

In this painting marathon, students will have the rare opportunity to combine working from perception and synthesizing that information with a model in a studio setting. The class will work approximately half of the time in the quiet splendor of Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, working from the landscape. These paintings/studies will be used within the studio setting, allowing the student to amalgamate the different ideas onto a single (or multiple) canvas'. Intense color research methods bring students into new territory in terms of their palette and their ability to understand and apply the use of metaphor within their own work. Various strategies will be utilized to explore aspects of visual language: imagery, composition, scale, form, value, and hue. Students engage in multiple daily critiques in order to enhance their ability to read paintings and to help track their progression.  Cost: $2075.  Additional Activities Fee: $250.

Sculpture Marathon:  Sculpture & Place

with Jilaine Jones and Guests. June 19-30, 2017

This Marathon focuses on the conception of sculpture as generated from the subject of place, not our own image but what we feel and see surrounding us. Creation myths were often equivocated with sculpting: the land was chiseled from sky or the earth was a bowl and the sky a lid. This Marathon will begin by taking a more perceptual and receptive approach to the idea and then, by the middle of the second week, turn to a more conceptual approach. Initially, participants will work outside (near the Studio School), drawing and making topographical studies of different, self-selected sites. The ambiance and facts of the volumes of space, ground plan, nature, and architectural boundaries, as well as how the space is investigated, will be the subject of these studies. This on-site work will be the basis for a series of larger sculptural "portraits" (created in the studio) that will explore the spatial dynamics of the site itself; the assembling of a set of interaction over time with the site; specific experiences of the site as it affects the artist optically, physically, psychologically. Discussions, with visual examples, regarding how place has become relevant to sculpture as a body will mix with the transition of sculptural work that is increasingly independent from the primary site source. A range of materials will be used including: clay, papers, wood, wire/metals, plaster and mixed media. Cost: $1625.  Materials Fee: $200

Painting Marathon: Portrait Painting Focus

with Joe Santore and Linda Darling. June 19-30, 2017

This is an opportunity for serious painters to spend two full weeks focusing in on the figure. The class will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate the changing light.   Students will attempt to develop strong images (portraits) through a series of drawings and studies before beginning to paint.  Scale will be stressed and the power of the image in the rectangle. Students will work in oils beginning with a limited palette and eventually building toward a full range color.  The physical process of painting will be stressed especially the idea of paint as flesh.  The tradition of portrait painting will be discussed during the course of the two week and since we have access to a terrific library, images will be easily accessible.  A morning or afternoon trip to the Metropolitan museum will offer students an opportunity for students to look at great portraits directly.  A final critique will take place after the last painting session and everyone is required to attend. Cost: $1,625.

SESSION III: July 5-19, 2017

Painting Marathon: Why Paint the Figure

with Elisa Jensen and Guests. July 5-19, 2017

This two-week figure painting class will explore in depth the development of figurative imagery in art.  Focus will be on finding a personal imagery and developing that imagery to the fullest extent by working from life,  from the imagination and from memory. Frequent visits to the museum and to contemporary gallery shows will be made to study specific works, contemporary to ancient, and western to nonwestern in order to inform the work in the studio.  We will work very small to life size, making many studies and drawings in different media, including drawing, water-based paint to oil. Cost: $1,625.


Drawing Marathon: COLOR

with Kaitlin McDonough and Guests. July 5-19, 2017

"The aim of such study is to develop--through experience--by trial and error--an eye for color. This means, specifically, seeing color action as well as feeling color relatedness." -Josef Albers, Interaction of Color

This Marathon will elevate and expand our sensitivity to all aspects of color. We will place practice before theory to explore the wild richness of color functionality and mutability. Exercises will expand our understanding of hue, tone, saturation, deception, intervals, boundaries and color relatedness. We will prioritize conclusions drawn from what we observe firsthand and will trust our sense of sight above any preconceived notions of how a color might behave. Using colored papers and the teachings of Josef Albers, we will sharpen our awareness of the many ways that colors shift, bend, vibrate, radiate and co-create on the page. We will internalize a deep awareness of color and ways to work with color confidently. All levels welcome!  Cost: $1,625

6 Week Summer Session Reduced Cost- $4,200





If you are currently enrolled as a full-time student at NYSS, or if you have successfully completed a Marathon or full-time program within the last five years, you are not required to submit an application in order to enroll in upcoming Marathons.

Please e-mail the Student Services Coordinator Tanya Steinberg at and provide: (1) the name of the upcoming course in which you would like to enroll; (2) the name of the program you most recently attended; and (3) the semester and year of the program that you most recently attended.

We will ask you to verify your contact information and update your Emergency Contact information.  We will also ask that you submit a non-refundable $45 processing fee along with a $500 Tuition Deposit (which will be applied to your Tuition payment) in order to secure your place in the upcoming program of your choice. 

We look forward to welcoming you back to the New York Studio School!

The deadline for Summer 2016 Enrollment is May 27, 2016

**Applications will be reviewed as they are received; we encourage you to apply early as some courses may reach full capacity before the deadline.**

Please note: Courses are subject to change and cancellation depending upon enrollment.