The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Penn State School of Visual Arts Annual High School Summer Art Camp

2016 Summer Art Camp

If you are a high school student with a strong interest in the visual arts, Penn State School of Visual Arts' (SoVA) Summer Art Camp, Portfolio Thinking, was created for you!

"It's a really different type of camp, and it's a lot of fun," said a previous participant. "If you're considering it, just do it. It's so much fun, and there are a lot of people and you learn so much," said another.

"This is a great program for students interested in a career in the arts," said Dr. Natalia Pilato, SoVA alumna and camp coordinator. The camp will take place June 25 - 30, at the University Park campus. Open to high school students entering grades 9 through 12 (and just-graduated seniors), the camp provides an intensive residential studio workshop program across various art media. A commuter option is available for students unable to attend full-time in residence.

A primary goal of the SoVA Summer Art Camp is to help young artists develop a distinctive vision and voice by learning new artistic and technical processes that enhance the creative process. "The creative decisions that you make when creating an artwork are similar to the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that artists and designers use in their studios" said SoVA Director Graeme Sullivan.

The camp’s theme, Portfolio Thinking, underscores the goal of the program, which is to help students learn how to develop their innate creativity and visual thinking skills in planning, and making artwork. "Participants get introduced to many different mediums and ways of looking at things at a university level, getting a glimpse of what it takes to be a professional, practicing artist," Pilato said. "Students get to see SoVA in a broader context relating to a larger university. It's a great opportunity for networking and seeing how artists work at many different levels from the beginning artist to the very advanced artist."

Campers immerse themselves in life as a Penn State School of Visual Arts student, producing portfolio-quality work, as well as participating in film nights and social activities within a university setting. The camp schedule includes workshops focused on a range of studio areas, such as drawing, printmaking, photography, and video.  Workshops are taught by experienced M.F.A. instructors, and take place in SoVA's art and digital studios. Last year, campers paraded wearable creations as part of a runway fashion show on the last night of camp, which was a fun way to round out the week's activities.

Each year the Edwin W. Zoller Gallery, SoVA's professional gallery space, is transformed into the camp's central hub, serving as the studio space where students display and critique their work produced throughout their time at the camp. On the final day of camp, SoVA hosts a closing exhibition reception for campers and their families.

Click here to view a video about the camp and hear from former campers about their camp experience.

For complete information about the camp, visit: If you have questions, please contact Autumn Spotts at or 814-863-5100.

Click here to register.