The Summer Session 2020 application is open and online. Be assured enrolling is risk-free, as described in this letter from the Director (March 16, 2020). 
Be sure to apply early and reserve your seat for the Best Summer Ever!
Morning Programs

The Express Program

Multi-media studio art courses and portfolio development—from beginning to advanced

For students entering 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade
Are you an aspiring artist? Have you always wanted to improve your artistic skills? The only prerequisite for enrollment in Cushing’s Express program is a desire to learn. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced studio artist, your vision of yourself as an artist is enhanced by this program. This course introduces you to the fundamentals of color, composition, line, and space as used in drawing, painting, pottery, and metalsmithing. During the span of this summer program, you learn the techniques that are introduced in class through hands-on practice. Not only do you gain a new appreciation for your improving talents, but you also sharpen your eye for the beauty all around you.

Offered to students with a range of artistic abilities and interests, the Express program is an intensive academic art curriculum that exposes students to a variety of media.
Students will spend the entire morning fully engaged in the artistic process, rotating through drawing and painting classes, metalsmithing classes, and pottery classes.
There are three levels of instruction in the Express program:

  • If you are a newcomer, you are provided with intensive instruction in basic techniques and guided as you discover your specific interests.

  • If you are an intermediate student, you refine your skills through assistance provided by our experienced faculty, who work closely with you as you develop advanced skills and diversify your portfolio.

  • Advanced student? Consult with the faculty and show them examples of your work. Together, you develop an appropriate course of study that targets your specific interests and goals.
In addition to daily hands-on studio work, students at all levels study each of the art forms in context—the history, the cultural impacts, applications, traditional techniques, and aesthetics.

Trips to museums in and around Boston also enrich students’ knowledge and appreciation of particular artists and different artistic movements, as do supplemental readings of primary and secondary sources and art-related films.

The course culminates with an end-of-summer art show that brings together the unique and creative accomplishments of all Summer Session art students.

Express Classes

List of 4 items.

  • Painting & Drawing

    Your instructors will provide an introduction to traditional painting techniques and processes (watercolor, gouache, and acrylic) for students at all skill levels. Students acquire techniques in paint application and blending, composition and design, and color theory and color mixing and base their painting on a fully realized drawing.
  • Pottery

    Roll up your sleeves, don your apron, and be ready to get your hands dirty! Not only will you explore a variety of techniques for working in clay, including hand building and throwing on the potter’s wheel, but you will also master basic glazing processes and decorative styles. After choosing a design rendered by another artist or creating one of your own, you are instructed in how to load an electric kiln. (You are also welcome to observe and collaborate with our master potter as they process your work in the raku kiln.) As you develop your technical proficiency, you will be encouraged to express your creativity through your work. In just a short time, you develop an eye for what makes a successful piece and practice your newly-acquired skill by critiquing your own work and that of your classmates.
  • Metalsmithing

    Have you ever thought of crafting something unique out of metal? If so, discover metal as an art medium through metalsmithing, or develop skills in three-dimensional design by learning to shape silver, copper, and brass. While you will commence this hands-on learning experience with simple, rudimentary designs, you are strongly encouraged to create original pieces. Your teachers will train you in the most up-to-date techniques in shaping, soldering, fashioning bezels, and finishing your pieces.
  • Portfolio Preparation

    Advanced art students who intend to pursue art as a major in college create a portfolio of their work for their college application. With the help of your instructors, you develop a cohesive body of artwork that represents your overall achievement in art.

    Working within the structure of our summer program, as a portfolio student you are given time to develop pieces in any of the media available to you. Instructors assist you with portfolio presentation, including photographing artwork, matting, mounting, and writing an artist statement.

    Note: Three nights per week students spend study hall (8:00 to 10:00 pm) working in the Art Center. A fee of $350 for textbooks, supplies and transportation for additional class trips is required.
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Cushing Academy Summer Session

39 School Street
Ashburnham, MA 01430-8000

Tel: 978.827.7700
Fax: 978.827.7087

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.