VACI welcomes partnerships with institutions and organizations who are aligned with our mission to further the lives of artists. We are currently collaborating with the institutions listed below by exchanging information, sharing resources and cross-marketing our programs. Our similar missions allow us to build opportunities for students and emerging artists all across the country. We are open to many different kind of partnerships and currently inviting more partners into our exciting VACI Experience. If you would like to join us, please contact Artistic Director Sharon Louden at


AICAD  AU Pamplin ArtandDesign rgbAustin Peay State University logoCaliforniaCollegeArtsLogoColumbiaCollegeWordmarkCornish logo EastTennesseeState Art Design SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology logoFIU Ratcliffe logofredonia logo one line 2c webGeorgia Southern Art Dept LogoGrinnellCollegeLogoHSArtandDesign logoLaGuardia Community College logo.svgMarshall UniversityMassArt Moravian College logoNYSSAA LOGOOhio University CoFA Logo vertPennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts logoPratt Institute logoRINGLINGlogo SAAH and UF 01Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University logoSchool of Visual Arts New York City logoTempleTylerUniversity of Arkansas School of Art logoUniversityofCentralArkansasUniversity of Cincinnati logoUniversity of Houston School of Art primary webSchool of Art School of Art 2UWyomingArtMuseumLogoVCU Arts PAPR wordmark digital color black YaleUniversityLogo


Foundwork logo Golden  WytheHotelLogo


 BPAC BS 2c  KMA logo red black text transparent


GEAE logo

AICAD will share Chautauqua School of Art's residency program applications to all of their members and their students as well as engage in exhibition opportunities for their fellows.

Augusta University will offer one matching or full scholarships to one of their students.

Austin Peay State University: Two APSU students are fully financially supported to participate in the Chautauqua School of Art seven-week program annually. See the news release about our exciting partnership.

Burchfield Penney Arts Center will provide an artist from New York state to speak in VACI's lecture series.

California College of the Arts (CCA) will give $2,000 to a student who is accepted into the Chautauqua School of Art Residency program.

Cornish College of the Arts offers a matching scholarship for one of their students to attend Chautauqua School of Art annually.

Eastern Tennessee State University Department of Art & Design will give $500 toward one of their students to attend Chautauqua School of Art.

Foundwork will give each of the participants of the Chautauqua School of Art Residency Program a presence on their site for free.

Fredonia State University of New York will offer 1-3 college credits for any student who is accepted into the Chautauqua School of Art residency program.

Georgia Southern University will match one or more scholarships should their students be accepted into the Chautauqua School of Art Residency program.

Golden Artists Colors will contribute art supplies to three of the accepted students who will attend the Chautauqua School of Art residency program.

The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and VACI core faculty collaborate curating exhibitions and support connecting local artists to Chautauqua School of Art emerging artists. 

Grinnell College will offer a matching scholarship to one their students.

Thanks to generous funding from a donor, if an alumnus from the High School of Art and Design is accepted into the Chautauqua School of Art, they will receive a full scholarship to attend.

Katonah Museum of Art (KMA) is an active partner in providing opportunities for VACI's mentors and students as well as the Executive Director and KMA members visiting, participating in VACI's programming and providing opportunities for artists from upstate New York surrounding KMA.

Marshall University will offer a matching scholarship to one of their students to attend the Chautauqua School of Art Residency annually.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design will provide a full scholarship to one of their alumni who is accepted into Chautauqua School of Art's residency program.

Maryland Institute College of Art will give $500 toward to one of their students to attend Chautauqua School of Art. 

New York Studio School Alumni Association: $1000 will be given to an alumnus from the New York Studio School should they gain acceptance into the Chautauqua School of Art.

Ohio University will provide a faculty to visit and speak in VACI's lecture series as well as the possibility of scholarships and apprenticeships for their students.

Pratt Institute: The inaugural Pratt/VACI Fellowship in Pedagogy enables a graduate student to teach a course through the training of Hasan Elahi, VACI Core Faculty in Chautauqua’s School of Art Residency Program. For more information, see the PDF at this link.

Ringling College of Art and Design will give a full scholarship to support one of their juniors or seniors.

Tyler School of Art at Temple University will provide a full scholarship to a student should they be accepted into the residency program.

The University of Arkansas will offer a matching scholarship to one of their students to attend the Chautauqua School of Art Residency annually.

The University of Central Arkansas will offer matching scholarships to one or two of their students.

The University of Cincinnati offers two internships to two ceramic students for the summer to teach Special Studies courses and train as young educators at VACI.

The University of Houston will contribute to a student's fees to attend the Chautauqua School of Art.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will offer three matching scholarships to up to three of their students.

The University of Wyoming Art Museum will support a student to work in the VACI Galleries for the season.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is active in an exchange with VACI for the possibility of future support of their students and encouragement for them to apply. 

The Wythe Hotel, the first art hotel located in Brooklyn, New York is generously providing space to VACI faculty and staff for programming meetings and juries of applications for the Chautauqua School of Art Residency.

Yale University is offering an apprenticeship to one of their junior undergraduate students to study with the Chautauqua School of Art core faculty.

While all of our partner schools encourage their students to plan for a summer session VACI experience as part of their professional development plan, many of our partner schools also have established special programs as an additional aspect of their relationship with Chautauqua School of Art. To be clear, applications are judged by merit. A partnership with a school does not guarantee a student or emerging artist acceptance into our School of Art residency program. We encourage those who are not attending these colleges and/or other institutions to apply. For more information about financial aid, please visit our General Information and Costs page on our website.


Every student and emerging artist in the Chautauqua School of Art is invited into the richness of our distinctive visual arts program that offers a range of opportunities we call 
The VACI Experience.

June 27–August 15, 2020

Application deadline is March 2, 2020


lectures VACIgraphicVisiting Artist Lectures: We have lectures on Tuesday and Sunday evenings every week with various thought leaders in the visual arts to discuss the most current cultural topics in the arts today.  



classes VACIgraphicWorking with thought leaders: Our world-class, exceptional mentors meet with participants a minimum of twice a week as a group as well as private, one-on-one studio visits as needed and wished. This is a rare and unique opportunity to share and develop your work with thought-leaders and change-makers of today.


openstudio VACIgraphicWeekly Open Studios: Twice a season participants will open their studios for visitors to say hello and see what they're up to. 




celebrate VACIgraphicCelebrations: Pop-ups, impromptu gatherings, performances — experimentation in all forms is welcomed and strongly encouraged. Participants who attend the residency are encouraged to push boundaries and use resources at Chautauqua to discover more about themselves and their work. In 2019, we had our first Drag Show, mixers with participants in the Theater and Opera companies, and gatherings with VACI Partners.  


exhibitions VACIgraphicExhibitions: Our galleries show a variety of artists and subjects throughout the summer and our critics-in-residence host weekly gallery talks open to the public,



community VACIgraphicCommunity-wide Events: The Chautauqua School of Art exists in the incomparable cultural and intellectual community of Chautauqua Institution. Special Studies courses and various events open to the public will happen during your experience at VACI. Stay tuned for many different offerings to learn and explore the visual arts today. It's for everyone!


workshops VACIgraphicWorkshops & Demonstrations: Through the seven-week session, we offer technical workshops including Printmaking and Digital Media, and host guest speakers to conduct one-day workshops that are challenging and engaging.


collaborate VACIgraphicCollaborations:  VACI encourages collaborations between different fields, schools, artists and disciplines. We encourage collaborative projects and experimentation. We have also developed partnerships with schools across the U.S. to bring a diverse and talented population of students and emerging artists to the Chautauqua School of Art.



Life at Chautauqua

Artists from around the world come to Chautauqua each summer for a unique learning experience. Part of that experience is becoming part of the CHQ community. School of Art participants live in the Bellinger Residence Hall or Lincoln Dorm side-by-side with other students and emerging professionals studying music, voice and dance – all forming relationships that last a lifetime. The School of Art handbook is required reading upon arrival. Transportation information, details of our housing and meal plans, CHQ Connections program, and work-study opportunities are available upon acceptance into the program.

Anti-Bullying Statement

Service and ESA Animal Policy

Housing and Meals


Chautauqua provides residence hall lodging for approximately 280 full-time artists enrolled in the art, music, dance and theater schools. The residence halls are located within walking distance to all of the festival facilities. Dorm rooms are mainly all doubles, but we do have a few triples and quad rooms. Each room comes with a bed, desk and closet for each student or emerging artist and the bathroom is shared with one other room. As the temperatures at Chautauqua usually do not rise above 80 degrees, we do not have air-conditioning in the rooms. We highly suggest you bring a fan if possible and also have some we can loan out on a first come first served basis. Upon acceptance into our program, we provide a list of recommended items to bring for your full comfort and enjoyment at Chautauqua. We will make every attempt to make your stay enjoyable. 

Two full-time dorm counselors are hired specifically for each wing as well as two counselors. Participants of the residency program are housed together based on their age and discipline. Housing will be open for participants to move in as early as Friday, June 26.

Chautauqua offers two housing facilities, Bellinger Hall and Lincoln Dorm. Rooms are shared with another participant in residence. You may indicate your preferences on your registration forms that you receive once admission is granted. Chautauqua Institution does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation.

If you prefer to not stay in the Bellinger Hall or Lincoln Dorm, we are happy to provide you with guidance for housing in the area, however, we cannot guarantee housing other than these options. You can find more about CHQ accommodations that may be of interest here.

Unfortunately, we cannot allow for pets or children to be housed in the shared housing. However, we welcome them to come on to the grounds at Chautauqua and the Chautauqua School of Art if you'd like to provide your own housing. We have classes and facilities for youth activities to play and participate at Chautauqua which you can find here, here and here. VACI also provides art classes in Special Studies for children ages 6–17.

Meal Plans

All artists who live in the residence halls will automatically be enrolled in our full meal plan in the Bellinger cafeteria. This plan includes breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. There is no option to opt-out of the meal plan.

The food service in the residence hall operates very much like a food court. Because we are using the food court set-up, there will be vegetarian offerings at every meal. Please be aware that we cannot accommodate unique or individual dietary requests, however, we will try to accommodate everyone as best as we can.

There are also restaurants in the center of Chautauqua as well as in surrounding towns. 


History of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution

School of Art Faculty Member William Daley with students - 1988

Chautauqua Art Student - 1983

The visual arts programs at Chautauqua Institution have been the launching point for thousands of artists for more than a century, and for over 50 years our galleries have been one of CHQ’s primary links to the world of contemporary as well as historical art.

One of the oldest summer visual art programs in America, courses in art were offered at CHQ as early as the 1880’s, but it was with the construction of the Arts and Crafts Quadrangle in 1909 that a fully active school for visual arts was established. It was designed and built by the team of New York artist Henry Turner Bailey (first Director of CHQ's visual arts program) and renowned architect E.B. Green.

A century later this facility, one of the finest examples of American Arts and Crafts architecture in the country, continues to be flawless in its design as an art school, even though the building was conceived before most of the major art movements in 20th and 21st Century Art had been conceived. It has lived through Cubism, Expressionism, Abstraction, Pop, Post-Modernism, time based media and all that followed, and it continues, through the foresight of its original designers, to create an ambiance which facilitates a natural exchange of ideas among students and faculty, many of whom are working in media that hadn't even been invented when the building was originally constructed. The layout of the quadrangle, with it's U shaped structure overlooking a green expanse leading to one of the best views of Chautauqua Lake in the region, has served it's pedagogical purpose well for more than 100 years.

For decades many of the faculty at the School of Art have been among the most respected "artists who also teach" in America. Many of the prominent artists on the Chautauqua School of Art faculty also teach in top graduate programs nationally, and all are highly respected professionals - artists first.

In 2009 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Chautauqua School of Art with the complete renovation of our historic facilities: more than 50,000 square feet of studios and galleries.

In 1956 the independent Chautauqua Art Association Gallery was founded through the foresight of painting program director Revington Arthur and longtime Chautauquan supporter of the arts Florence Norton. Two years later the annual Chautauqua National Exhibition (now the Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art) was established. Throughout its history jurors for this exhibition have included highly respected artists, critics and museum and gallery directors such as Janne Sirén, Luis Grachos and Douglas Schultz (all Albright-Knox Art Gallery directors), Carlos Guiterrez-Solana (Artists Space)Richard Armstrong (Carnegie Museum of Art), Sherman Lee (Cleveland Museum of Art) ,Tom Messer (Guggenheim Museum), Julian Zugazagoitia (Museo del Barrio), Robert Storr (Museum of Modern Art), Jeremy Strick (National Gallery of Art), and Patterson Sims (Whitney Museum of Art). Among the gallery directors who have selected this show are Denise Bibro, Kim Foster, Michael Gitlitz (Marlborough Gallery), Nancy Hoffman, Jim Kempner, Phyllis Kind and Rachel Vancelette (Barbara Gladstone Gallery). Since the 1950’s a number of artists and critics have also been asked to select the exhibition including Jack Beal, Carl Holty, Leon Kroll, Donald Kuspit, Barbara Rose, and Stephen Westfall.

In 1986 artist Don Kimes became Artistic Director of the visual arts programs at Chautauqua Institution. A year later the original Arts and Crafts Center was renamed the Chautauqua School of Art and Logan Galleries were established in order to showcase the work of contemporary artists, faculty and students. Now in his third decade at CHQ, he expanded the presence of CHQ's visual arts program by bringing visiting faculty of substantial renown, expanding the visual arts lecture program, and enhancing the exhibitions programs.

Under Kimes’ leadership, the independent Chautauqua Art Association Gallery eventually merged with the School of Art and Logan Galleries in 2004, bringing the School of Art, Logan Galleries, the Art Association Galleries and the visual arts lectures series under one umbrella which became known as VACI - Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution. The synergies created by VACI resulted in a tremendous level of interest and support for the visual arts programs. From 2007 to 2009 the School of Art underwent an extensive renovation of its century old facilities and in 2008 the Art Association Galleries underwent a 3.5 million dollar renovation resulting in brand new, museum quality exhibition facilities known as the Strohl Art Center. The art school renovations provided improved individual studios, expanded sculpture facilities, the state of the art Joan Lincoln Ceramics Center, faculty studios in close proximity to student studios, a re-built printmaking studio, a fabulous drawing studio and more.  Kimes served as Artistic Director for more than 30 years.   He and his wife Lois Jubek, who served as managing director since 1989, stepped down from their posts in 2018.  Kimes was named the inaugural and Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Chair of the Resident Visual Arts Program in 2018.

Along with the new Strohl Art Center galleries, in 2008 the Melvin Johnson Sculpture garden was completed as a venue for temporary sculpture installations by contemporary artists. In 2010 the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, with four spectacular galleries, opened to the public after a total renovation. Exhibitions formerly housed in the Logan Galleries were relocated to this elegant and historic 121-year-old facility. Fowler-Kellogg, which is linked to the Strohl Art Center and Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden by an outdoor piazza, gives VACI one of the premier summer program gallery complexes in America.

VACI now presents 11 exhibitions to thousands of visitors every summer as well as to students in the visual art programs. These range from cutting-edge work by nationally recognized artists in all media and shows of significant work that is outside the mainstream gallery world, to the annual School of Art student exhibition. A sampling of some of the artists whose work has been seen in VACI’s galleries ranges from Charles Burchfield, Reginald Marsh, Franz Kline and Jack Tworkov in the1950’s to exhibitions which in recent years have included Mel Bochner, Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Val Cushing, Richard Diebenkorn, Tara Donovan, Caroll Dunham, Nancy Graves, Philip Guston, Keith Haring, Jasing, Jasper Johns, Lee Krasner, Sol Lewitt, Susan Rothenberg, Jessica Stockholder, Cy Twombly, Terry Winters and dozens of others.

Applicants to the School of Art now come from nearly every prominent school of art and art department, as well as from many smaller programs across the country and abroad. For many students, the Chautauqua School of Art offers the opportunity for contact with faculty who have taught in a wide range of schools, as well as interaction with dedicated students from many other programs, as they try to decide where to attend graduate school. For others out of school or already enrolled in graduate programs, it offers an opportunity to deepen their experience with a range of artists from across the country. In any case, all of the students are looking for the opportunity to immerse themselves in the studio and to engage in the ambiance and interchange made possible through their residency at CHQ.

Today VACI is composed of 5 interconnected entities: the Chautauqua School of Art, Strohl and Fowler Kellogg Arts Centers, the Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden and the Visual Arts Lecture series. It is not only one of the most respected summer visual arts programs in America, but as a cornerstone at the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution, it is also the only summer program in the world which brings together in one place such an extraordinarily high level of experience in the visual arts, dance, theater, symphony, opera, literature and intellect in a fashion that is so dynamic, rigorous and relevant to the 21st Century.


Financial Assistance 

VACI offers a low tuition rate relative to other national summer art programs. Even so, there are many artists who request assistance, and financial aid is competitive. Financial assistance from VACI comes in the form of tuition reduction coupled with a work/study requirement. All recipients are asked to work up to 10 hours per week at an assigned job. Artists who accept financial assistance and do not satisfactorily fulfill work/study obligations will be dismissed from the program with no refund. All students who receive full financial assistance are required to work the full 10 hours/week.

Financial assistance from VACI comes in the form of full tuition, half tuition and partial tuition, as well as some additional assistance which also covers housing. Additionally, there may be resident hall assistant positions which cover housing costs for mature students. Residence hall assistant positions are available to students 21 years and older who have had experience in college residence halls or in supervision of young people. 

Work/study assistance is made on the basis of a combination of financial need and artistic merit. Financial assistance outside of VACI’s resources in the form of home institutions and/or generous benefactors come with no work/study requirements.