Archive for the ‘Community Education Content’ Category

Pre-College Fine Arts

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Drawing & PaintingIn the Fine Arts Track, you will participate in three core courses, a studio concentration, field trips and a final exhibition. Fine Arts students strengthen technical skills and critical thinking as they learn to develop their own artistic practice.

Concentration (Meets 4 days/week)

Students choose from:

Drawing & Painting
Graphic Design

Download the full descriptions of our concentrations.

Core Courses:

Foundations (Meets 2 days/week)
This course will help you see the world as visual artists do by strengthening your ability to observe, conceptualize and analyze through artmaking.  Emphasis will be placed on the methods, materials, and concepts of surface, space, and time-based art.

Graphic DesignPortfolio Preparation (Meets 1 day/week)
Learn techniques and strategies for building a strong portfolio and gain a distinct advantage when applying for scholarships and admissions into art college. Professional admissions counselors will offer critiques and guide you through the college application process.

Art History (Meets 2 days/week )
In this course you will learn to evaluate, interpret and analyze works and develop a strong vocabulary to talk about art. Slides and group discussions will aid you in this learning process as you study historical and contemporary trends.

Field Trips and Outings (Meets 1 day/week)Zeitgeist Field Trip
Each week you’ll venture off campus to explore Nashville’s vibrant art and design communities. Past outings have included studio visits, museum tours and trips to local galleries for conversations with local artists, designers, curators and dealers.

Final Exhibition/Reception
You’ll gain practical experience planning and installing an exhibition to showcase your work.  Family and friends are invited to Watkins’ Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery to celebrate your work at the program’s concluding exhibition and reception.

Gallery Exhibition

As a Fine Arts student you will:

  • Earn college credit
  • Study and apply the principles and elements of art
  • Prepare a first-rate portfolio
  • Spend time in the studio or lab
  • Exhibit your work
  • Explore Nashville’s art scene
  • Discover what it means to be an artist or designer

Pre-College About

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison
Chas Portrait

Self-portrait by Chasmin Foster, 2013

Apply Online



What is Pre-College?

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film offers highly-motivated high-school students the chance to experience the life and culture of an art college through a three-week intensive summer program. Choose between two tracks of study, Film or Fine Arts. Within those tracks we offer four concentrations–Film Production & Editing, Drawing/Painting, Graphic Design, and Photography.

Dates: July 11 – 29, 2016
Times: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday

Important Deadlines

EXTENDED DEADLINE MAY 15: Application and scholarship deadlines (materials must be in our office by that date; this is NOT a post-mark date)
May 20: Acceptance notifications sent to applicants
June 3: $300 non-refundable deposit due to secure your spot
June 20: Payment-in-full due
July 11: Classes begin
July 29: Last day of class, final exhibition/screening


Develop your art and hone your skills in a program that will challenge you to:

2013 Group

2013 Pre-College Participants

  • Grow artistically and personally
  • Learn new techniques and media
  • Discover contemporary trends and potential career tracks
  • Study with faculty who are practicing artists, designers and filmmakers
  • Enhance your college portfolio
  • Relate with other students who are inspired by art
  • Earn college credit

Learn more from our 2010 Pre-College participants:

Watkins PreCollegeProgram 2010 from Jayson Wall on Vimeo.


Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

KATIESKETCHFinancial need based scholarships are available. Download our Summer 2016 Scholarship Application for youth classes now! Applications for summer camp scholarships are due May 2, 2016.  Contact with any questions.


Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison



Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison


IMG_9405Watkins Community Education wants you to join us as a Multi-Arts Camp Intern! We are looking for highly motivated high-school and college students who:

  • Love making art
  • Have experience working with kids (babysitting, helping younger siblings, previous work or volunteer experience, etc.)
  • Are responsible, personable, positive, and proactive.
  • Want to gain work experience for their college resume.
  • Want to get the most out of Spring Intersession by assisting our professional teaching artists in providing a creative camp experience for kids ages 5-13.

This is a competitive, unpaid internship, where participants will gain valuable work experience for their resume and possibly even letters of recommendation for college!

Now Accepting Internship Applications for our Spring Intersession Camp, March 16 -18, 2016 & our Summer Art Camps!

Intersession Deadline: February 10, 2016

Summer Camp Application Deadline: May 1, 2016

To Apply: Please complete the following form. Contact with any questions. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

2016 Spring Intersession Internship Application

2016 Summer Art Camp Internship Application


Summer Teen Workshops

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Summer Teen Workshops

Teen PaintingTeens are offered specialized classes that will enhance their artistic skills, help build their college portfolio, or help them explore careers in the arts. Teens learn about past and present artists while expanding upon their artistic knowledge and ability. Emphasis is placed on both the finished product and the process of thinking, designing, communicating and creating. Teen workshops invite high school students to engage in a specific media or projects for an intensive 1- or 2-day experience.  Dress for mess and bring a bag lunch.  All art supplies are included. You can register up to two weeks prior to the start of class.



Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7 (two-day workshop)

In this workshop you will gain an extensive view of the fashion industry, ranging from history and design to branding, illustration, and trend forecasting. We will look at historical photos and fashion shows to see how world events shape trends and styles. You will learn how to develop a specific source of inspiration and create mood boards to aid in designing a mini cohesive collection.


Wednesday, June 8 and Thursday, June 9 (two-day workshop)

In this workshop you will learn how to form a meaningful concept for your photography, plan and organize your message so that it is clear to the viewer, work with models & props, and edit your vision using Photoshop.  Students will leave with the skills and techniques they need to continue generating creative ideas for their work as well as advanced Photoshop skills. Students should bring their own digital camera (all types welcome; smartphone are discouraged) and have a working knowledge of how to use it.


Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 14 (two-day workshop)
Teaching Artist: Katie Gonzalez

Learn to bind your own sketchbook from start to finish in this two-day workshop. The hardcover sketchbooks will be stitched by hand using the Coptic binding style, which features decorative stitching across the spine and pages that lay completely flat when open. Students will personalize their books with unique handmade papers and colorful thread, and they can add pockets or envelopes to stash drawings and found objects. Each student will leave the workshop with a completed handbound book, as well as ideas and inspiration to make sketchbooking part of their creative practice.



Thursday, June 16 (one-day workshop)
Teaching Artist: Katie Gonzalez

Bring a blank sketchbook, and spend a day discovering creative ways to fill it, both inside and out! We’ll start with a series of prompts, exploring different materials and techniques, and embracing spontaneity. Then, students will embark on a sketchbook scavenger hunt, heading outside the classroom to search for inspiring patterns and scenes, hunting for found papers, and transforming their blank books into works of art. Students will leave the class with a sketchbook filled with their own drawings and observations, and the inspiration to continue exploring and documenting the world! This workshop pairs well with Handmade Sketchbooks



Tuesday, June 21 (one-day workshop)
Teaching Artist: Richard Heinsohn

Drawing from life not only trains the hand, but also sharpens your powers of observation, perception and critical thinking. Still-life drawing is a necessary skill for most students interested in pursuing an arts education or developing their portfolio. In this course students will use charcoal and graphite to learn essential techniques like contour, rendering and perspective.



Tuesday, June 28 and Wednesday, June 29 (two-day workshop)
Teaching Artist: Richard Heinsohn

This workshop will explore painting techniques and methods for collage including layering, transfers, and text inclusion. Students can work in representational or abstract approaches, but all will learn concepts of composition, color theory, texture and balance. All materials are provided, but students are encouraged to bring in individual images or objects to personalize their work.

Summer Youth Camps

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Summer Multi-Arts Camps: Ages 5-10

Our Multi-Arts Camps provide an enriching week for your child to experience the fun, stimulation, and joy of making art and friends in our state-of-the-art studios. Campers will work on age-appropriate projects in a variety of media including drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, collage, printmaking, textiles and more! Multi-Arts Camps are offered without duplication of projects, so campers can enroll in multiple sessions for something new and exciting each week. Dress for mess and bring a bag lunch. All art supplies are included.

Special Topics

Dates: Each week in June
Times: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Group A: Ages 5-7
Group B: Ages 8-10
Tuition: $325 per week
Sibling discount: First child pays full tuition. $25 discount applies to each additional sibling. Enter code “Sibling” at checkout.


YAPSpecial Topics Camps: Ages 11-13

Our Special Topics Camps focus on a specific media, project or theme throughout the week. Each week provides a chance to learn something new and exciting! Dress for mess and bring a bag lunch.  All art supplies are included unless otherwise noted.

Dates and times: Each week in June,
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ages: 11 – 13
Tuition: $325 per week
Sibling discount: First child pays full tuition. $25 discount applies to each additional sibling. Enter code “Sibling” at checkout.


June 6 – 10


Explore the basics of comic design by creating single, double and multi-panel comics. We will practice developing characters, creating storyboards, and finding humor in everyday observations. You’ll draw and laugh your way through this camp while learning to put a comical spin on your art!


June 13 -17


Learn how to take beautiful, creative digital photos! Camera handling skills, composition, lighting and basic editing will all be covered through a variety of creative shooting assignments. Campers should bring their own digital camera (any type welcome; smartphone cameras are discouraged).


June 20 – 24


Create your own mixed media sketchbook to document your personal stories, experiences, adventures, and thoughts. Techniques addressed will be pen and ink drawing, watercolor painting, collage, photo transfer, and on-site sketching. You’ll walk away having learned important habits for long-term creative practice and expression!


June 27 – July 1


Spend the day creating unique ceramic pieces using both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. Campers will learn the basic techniques of this ancient medium as well as deeper knowledge of the form through hours of hands-on experience. Perfect for beginners and as well as experienced artists!



Spring Intersession Camp

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Spring Intersession Multi-Arts Camp

Intersession Camp

Our Spring Intersession Multi-Arts Camp provides three days for your child to experience the fun, stimulation, and joy of making art and friends in our state-of-the-art studios. Campers will work on age-appropriate projects in a variety of media including drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, collage, printmaking, and more! Dress for mess and bring a bag lunch. All art supplies are included.

March 16 – 18
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuition: $180


Group A: Ages 5-7
Group B: Ages 8-13

Register online or email for more information. Registration Deadline: March 2

A limited amount of need-based scholarships are available. Spring 2016 Scholarship Application due Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

Sibling discount:
First child pays full tuition. $25 discount applies to each additional sibling. Enter discount code “SIBLING” at checkout.


We also have Internships available for motivated, high-school students interested in arts education.  Application are due February 3, 2016.

Gift Certificates

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Gift CertificatesGift Certificates

Empower your family and friends to embrace their creativity by giving them a gift certificate for a Watkins Community Education class. Great for any occasion and available in any amount! To purchase a gift certificate please contact the Community Education offices at or stop by our offices located in Metro Center, 2298 Rosa Parks. Blvd.


Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison



“Watkins is always a good place to learn and grow.”

“I haven’t taken an art class in years and really enjoyed revisiting my creative side with great people!”

“The class was so much fun and the instructor was great!”

“I simply wish I could have taken the class longer! I look forward to taking the next class at Watkins in the next session.”

“The class was challenging, but easy enough to have fun. I think we were all pleased with what we produced.”

“Weekend options are great for those who have a busy weekday schedule or come from out of town.”


Tal's Letter

A recent review from Akiva 1st grader, Tal Ginzburg.

“I loved every part of this camp.”

“Excellent program all around. My son had a fantastic time and learned a lot!”

“My child really liked the stop-motion animation during the spring intersession!”

“The times were convenient. My older child did well with the 7 hour day.”