The student and emerging artists program at VACI is centered on working with the mentors in small and intimate group settings that emphasize one-on-one conversation. Because all of the mentors wear multiple hats as they engage in multiple disciplines, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, craft, digital media, performance, social engagement, installation and the undefinable. If you are curious, hard-working, and generous, we are interested in having you. 

In addition to working with these exceptional mentors, a residency at Chautauqua will offer you access to all of its incredible programming, including lectures, events, and programming outside of VACI. The seven-week residency runs from June 22nd to August 10th, 2019.

Students and emerging artists will interact with both faculty who will be there for most or all of the 7 weeks and visiting artists that will come in for short stints throughout the seven weeks. The schedule for faculty visits will be posted on a calendar on this website at the time of registration. 

Each student/emerging artist receives his or her own partitioned studio space with 24-hour access. They also have 24-hour access to communal studios in painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. Each student and emerging artist is required to work with two of the faculty of their choice and can sign up for as many one-on-one sessions as they wish.

Facilities at the School of Art include a digital media studio, a full printmaking studio, a large drawing room, sculpture facilities including welding equipment, a full ceramic facility and large outdoor areas to stretch out and make work.

VACI offers the opportunity for the kind of sustained and focused study that is not available in academic settings, but the program is not designed for everyone. Those who need continual instruction or who cannot work in a community setting would find the long days, the requirement for self-motivation, and the demanding nature of the program difficult to adjust to. But for those artists who think about their work 24/7 and are hungry to engage with exceptionally serious artists, Chautauqua in the summer is an invaluable experience.

Estimated costs for this program: $4,575 which includes tuition, studio space, access to all of the School of Art facilities and Chautauqua grounds, gate pass, registration fees, room cost and meal plan for 7 weeks, 3 meals per day. 

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.