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The School’s internationally-recognized Marathon programs were developed in 1988 by Dean Graham Nickson, initially as a measure for the rest of the semester at the start of the program year. The program has since expanded to become a core component of the School’s curriculum. Meanwhile, intense outside interest led to the extension of the Marathons to a wider audience of participants outside of the full-time student body. Renowned artists, art historians, dealers, collectors, art educators, writers, journalists and students of all levels and affiliations have since experienced the intensity of the program.

The Marathon course hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm, with a lunch break from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. In some Marathons, there may be critiques. The specific critique schedule will be determined once courses have commenced.

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. Learn more here.


Upcoming Marathons SPRING 2019: January 22 – February 1, 2019

-Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson
-Sculpture Marathon with Brandt Junceau
-Drawing Marathon with Clarity Haynes


Upcoming Marathons SUMMER SESSION 2019: June 3 – July 19, 2019

Session I:
Monday, June 3 – Friday, June 14 (no classes on weekends)
-Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson and guests
-Sculpture Marathon with Bruce Gagnier

Session II:
Wednesday, June 19 – Tuesday, July 2 (no classes on weekends)
-Arbor Vitae Painting Marathon with Graham Nickson and guests
-Sculpture Marathon with TBA
-Portrait Painting Focus with TBA

Session III:
Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 19 (no classes on weekends)
-Why Paint the Figure with TBA
-Color Marathon with TBA

Please email info@nyss.org with any further questions. Hope to see you this Spring!


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Drawing Marathon – with Clarity Haynes

9 am - 6 pm

Drawing as Accumulation and Alchemy Spring 2019 Course Description and Outline We’ve all heard the term: “art heals”. In this class we are going to take that literally, “telling” stories that move us forward into the future, personally and collectively. Destroying, repurposing, transforming materials, we will create talismans of transformation related to life experiences, memories, […]

Drawing Marathon – with Graham Nickson

9 am - 6 pm

Spring 2019 Course full – please apply to our Waiting List. Course Description  In this Marathon, students learn the importance of drawing as the basis of understanding one’s experience of the world. Drawing is seen here as the most direct route to the examination of our perceptions. Unorthodox tools and exercises will be introduced to […]

Sculpture Marathon – with Brandt Junceau

9 am - 6 pm

Spring 2019 Course Description Some of us consider the head the basic unit of sculpture. It’s the one piece of the body that can stand in for the rest, and the one part that we consider a likeness of the whole. Let’s say the old-fashioned mounted bust is a unit of one plus a fraction; […]

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