Applying to VACI School of Art

Applications to the VACI School of Art program will be accepted beginning on December 1, 2018. Eligibility is limited to students and emerging artists who are juniors in college and older, with an emphasis on artists whose work has not yet been recognized internationally. Up to 38 students and/or emerging artist positions are available. The entire Core Faculty and Artistic Director as a group will select students and emerging artists who will enter into this program.

Requirements for application include:

  • 8 images of your work, all media accepted, including video.
  • Complete application including answering a few questions designed to tell us about your artistic practice and why you want to come to Chautauqua.
  • PDF of your current resume.
  • $25 non-refundable fee. Everyone who applies will receive a response and feedback from their application no matter if their application is accepted or not.
  • All eligible artists will be considered with no preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, or age.

Applications open on December 1, 2018

Deadline for completed applications is March 1, 2019

All applicants will be notified on April 5, 2019

For 38 students and emerging artists who receive the opportunity to visit Chautauqua, their work will be shown the first day of the School of Art residency in the main galleries at the Chautauqua Institution. Curated by gallery Director Judy Barie and Curators Yasmeen Siddiqui and Alpesh Kantilal Patel, this will be the first introduction of accepted applicants’ work to the Chautauqua community.


We are open and excited to work with many mission-aligned nonprofit organizations, universities and schools to bring students and emerging artists to the School of Art. Our focus is on sharing resources and finding ways to offer opportunities to students and faculty worldwide.

Contact Us

For more information and all inquiries, feel free to email Sharon Louden at We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

June 22–August 10, 2019

2019 applications will open December 1, 2018

About Chautauqua School of Art

The School of Art is a centerpiece of Visual Arts at Chautauqua (known as VACI –pronounced VAH-chee). The School is an incubator of inclusive and expansive programming in the visual arts composed of classes, workshops and one-on-one time with mentors covering all media. The curriculum intentionally breaks apart the traditional methods that silo disciplines from each other and instead embraces a full range of studio and pragmatic studies including professional development for artists, the art of pedagogy, writing in the 21st century, and the relevance of art history today. 

The 2019 artists-in-residence program at VACI welcomes students and emerging artists who have yet to receive wide recognition of their work, including artists as young as juniors in college. Artists who engage in all media are encouraged to apply. This is an environment that promotes collaboration, exchange, and an openness to other art forms at Chautauqua, which includes dance, theater, music and more.

The program has a base core-faculty along with visiting artists who will hold workshops and give lectures through the summer. All core-faculty will host weekly one-on-one conversations with students and emerging artists and will conduct classes of their specialties, which are described below:

Core Faculty 

Hrag photo Aram Jibilian 2Hrag Vartanian
Hrag Vartanian is Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of Hyperallergic, critic, curator, artist and photographer.  He will be critic-in-residence, developing VACI’s first writing program for artists and critics that will look at arts writing and how it is evolving in the 21st century. | | | | | 



Patel Dec 2016 2Yasmeen Siddiqui 2Alpesh Kantilal Patel is a contemporary art historian, critic, and curator based at Florida International University, Miami, where he directed the MFA program in Visual Arts from 2012-2017. Yasmeen Siddiqui is the founder of Minerva Projects and a curator, essayist, and lecturer committed to voicing unorthodox narratives about artists today. Alpesh and Yasmeen will share art movements and global exhibition histories through weekly lectures and discussions in the galleries; collaborate with the gallery director to consult and curate exhibitions within its galleries; explore topics such as whiteness and decolonization, both with an awareness of the weight of history and locating/identifying overlooked stories; and collaborate with students, emerging and visiting artists — all in the service of empowering artists to consider artistic practice as theory. | |

WendyRedStar 2Wendy Red Star
Wendy Red Star is an artist who works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society, informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. As an artist and educator, Red Star will offer mentorship and guidance to students to expand their knowledge of Native American art with a focus on research and intergenerational collaboration. Wendy is believed to be the first Native woman artist to teach at Chautauqua Institution in its history. | |


Hasan Elahi 2Hasan Elahi
Hasan Elahi is an artist, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland and board member of Creative Capital.  He will be working with participants at Chautauqua on developing new formal and informal academic curricula that respond to a changing creative economy while focusing on a balanced academic and artistic life. | | 

Jean Shin 2

Jean Shin

Jean Shin is an artist whose large-scale installations speak to identity and community.  Jean is on the faculty at Pratt Institute and a board member of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Jean will engage students in multi-faceted projects in the public realm, including site-specific installations and socially engaged works. |


Tia Simone Gardner 2Tia-Simone Gardner

Tia-Simone Gardner is an interdisciplinary artist and Black feminist scholar who’s practice draws on ideas of geography, mobility, and stasis, particularly in relation to creating Black sense of place. While at Chautauqua she will do a series of guided readings on Black feminist theory and time-based practices. |  

Filsoofi Image 2Raheleh Filsoofi
Raheleh Filsoofi, a member of the faculty at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work incorporates ancient and contemporary media such as ceramics, poetry, ambient sound, and video to make commentaries on border, immigration, and inter-cultural communications. She will give students the opportunity to explore the ceramic medium in the wider context of contemporary art by focusing on specific projects that concern multiplicity in installation. | | 



Professional Development

Students and emerging artists will engage with the Artists Thrive self-assessment tools to help guide their professional development experience while at Chautauqua. Artists Thrive is meant to be customized, adapted, and applied to many situations to support your work.

Technical Workshops and Visiting Artists

Technical workshops in printmaking, drawing, sculpture and ceramics will be offered throughout the summer. Visiting artists will also come for short stints to provide unique experiences with students, emerging artists and the Chautauqua visiting public. Technicians will also be on-site for general assistance.

ashmore headshot 2Bonnie Ashmore
Artist and Educator
Young Artists, Printmaking

Kyle Houser Jpeg resizedKyle Houser
Ceramic Studio Coordinator

Sam Peck 2Sam Peck
Artist and Educator
Young Artists, Printmaking

d rogers 2David Rogers
Artist and Educator
Life Drawing, Digital Media

 The VACI Team

SML Headshot1 June2016Sharon Louden
Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Artistic Director of the Visual Arts
Artist, Educator, Advocate for Artists, and Editor of the "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life" series of books | | | 

Chip McCall 2Joshua (Chip) McCall
School of Art Manager


Hauth Headshot 2

Paul Hauth
School of Art Supervisor of Operations and Facilities


Sara resize 2Sarah Malinoski-Umberger
Manager, Chautauqua Schools of Performing and Visual Arts


Gallery Staff

judy barieJudy Barie
Susan and John Turben Director of VACI Galleries



Lynn LeFauveLynn LeFauve
The Gallery Store Manager




The 2019 artists-in-residence program welcomes students and emerging artists who have yet to receive wide recognition of their work, including artists as young as juniors in college. Applications open on December 1, 2018! 

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Cost & General Information


The School of Art is an incubator of inclusive and expansive programming in the visual arts. Find cost and financial aid information here. 

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Housing and Life at Chautauqua

IMG 8376School of Art students and emerging artists live in our dorms side-by-side with other students and emerging professionals studying music, voice and dance – all forming relationships that last a lifetime. 

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 62A1277v2Exhibitions, openings and special events take place throughout the summer season.

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History of VACI

 62A1300Become part of a rich and celebrated visual arts tradition.

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VACI Artist Lecture Series

VACI thumbVisiting and Resident Artists discuss their work, process and inspiration.

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VACI Partners

fowler sculpture 063011 features.gfThumb

VACI Partners promote awareness, education, appreciation and excellence in the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (VACI).

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2018 CHQ Faculty/Visiting Artists/Critics


Advisory Council to the Artistic Director
Denise Bibro, Director, Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC
Michael Gitlitz, Director Marlborough Gallery, NYC
Judy Glantzman, Artist
Glenn Goldberg, Artist
Louis Grachos, Director, The Contemporary Austin
Donald Kuspit, Art Critic and Historian
Sharon Louden, Artist
Barbara Rose, Art Critic & Historian
Robert Storr, Dean, Yale School of Art
Stephen Westfall, Artist & Critic Art In America
Julian Zugazoitia, Director Nelson Adkins Museum, Kansas City

Previous Faculty

2017 School of Art Faculty List 
2016 School of Art Faculty List
2015 School of Art faculty bios
2014 School of Art faculty bios
2013 School of Art faculty bios
2012 School of Art faculty bios
2011 School of Art faculty bios

A partial list of faculty since 1990:



Bonnie Ashmore
Pam Avril
Olive Ayhens
Flavia Bacarella
Jake Berthot
Al Blaustein
Harvey Breverman
Riley Brewster
Larry Brown
Nathan Brujis
Howard Buchwald
Ken Buhler
Charles Cajori
Zoe Charlton
Glenn Cebulash
Ron Cohen
Steven Cushner
Tomas vu Daniel
Carol Diamond
Stuart Diamond
Jane Dickson
Tim Doud
Kathleen Dugan
William Dunlap
Louis Finkelstein
Sharon Fishel
Stephanie Franks
Joanne Freeman
Dorothy Frey
Nancy Friese
Bruce Gagnier
Tony Gant

Judy Glantzman
Robert Godfrey
Carol Brown Goldberg
Glenn Goldberg
Lester Goldman
Ron Graff
Margaret Grimes
Barbara Grossman
Dan Gustin
Allan Hacklin
Gerard Haggerty
Alison Hall
Mary Hambleton
Louise Hamlin
Julie Heffernan
Robert Henry
Dan Hernandez
Vera Iliatova
Ron Janowich
Suzanne Joelson
Deborah Kahn
William Kelly
Leonard Koscianski
Gabriel Laderman
Julie Langsam
Heidi Leitzke
Ron Cohen
Julie Heffernan
Sharon Louden
Barry Nemett
Lise Lemeland
Mark Lewis

Stanley Lewis
Ying Li
Pat Lipsky
Ro Lohin
Lynette Lombard
Jeremy Long
Sharon Louden
David Lund
Marcia Marcus
Margo Margolis
James McGarrell
Clayton Merrell
Raoul Middleman
Ben Frank Moss
Kathy Muehlemann
Dona Nelson
Barry Nemet
Laura Newman
Garry Nichols
Graham Nickson
Joe Nicoletti
Wilbur Niewald
Jay Noble
Jennifer Nuss
Hearne Pardee
Don Perlis
Jeneen Piccuirro
Katherine Porter
Marjorie Portnow
Colleen Randall
Alberto Rey
Matthew Rich

Carole Robb
George Rose
Deborah Rosenthal
Alyse Rosner
Amber Scoon
Chris Semergieff
Ophrah Shemesh
Elena Sisto
Don Southard
Charles Spurrier
Clintel Steed
Gary Stephan
Craig Taylor
Morgan Taylor
Dannielle Tegeder
Esme Thompson
Selina Trieff
Josette Urso
Audrey Ushenko
Costa Vavagiakis
John Walker
Albert Weaver
Gina Werfel
Stephen Westfall
Kevin Wixted
Alice Zinnes
Olive Ayhens
Vera Iliyatova
Matthew Rich
Alyse Rosner

The Art Program

The Art Program

Each student receives their own partitioned studio space with 24 hour access. They also have 24 hour access to communal studios in painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. The faculty represent a wide range of viewpoints and approaches. The media in which students and faculty work are also broad. However, the common link among these varying sensibilities, which remains primary in importance, is that a genuine dialogue with both faculty and peers is established so that an intensive continuity of working experience is maintained.

This intensive studio program is designed for students with a high level of commitment. In many ways motivation is more important than what some might call ability. The School of Art presents the opportunity for the kind of sustained and focused study in studio art not available in academic settings.

The program is not designed for everyone. Those who need continual instruction or who cannot work

in a community would find the long days, the requirement for self-motivation and the demanding nature of the program difficult to adjust to. But for those hungry to engage themselves with exceptionally serious artists, those who wake up in the morning thinking about being in the studio, this is home.

Drawing plays an important role. Many view it as the link between disciplines, the vehicle through which one thinks as an artist. Our session begins with a two-day drawing marathon taught by all of the resident faculty in the school at the start of the session. This not only introduces students to the faculty in a very direct way (before students set up their schedules for the remainder of the summer), but it also emphasizes the importance of drawing in the context of the larger role that it plays as an intrinsically meaningful bridge within the school. 

Collectively the artists/faculty who participate each summer are represented in major museums and galleries throughout the world. They are also highly respected artists who, altogether, have taught in nearly every major art program in America. Most of the artists who teach at CHQ are resident faculty. Resident faculty members teach, work and live o the grounds of the Institution for extended periods of time (two to seven weeks). Visiting faculty are generally present for one to three days of critiques and/or teaching. A final biographical listing of this summer’s faculty is available on this web site in late February.





"The faculty, students, lectures, studio spaces, concerts, etc. were all wonderful. Only time went by too fast. It is a rare thing to find a place where you have no worries and just have to get into your studio in the morning."

– Sarah Miller, BA student, Sorbonne, Paris