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

Pre-College 2015 film students working on production

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 two-week intensive summer program. Meet practicing artists and learn from Watkins faculty while creating a college portfolio and earning college credit.

Dates: July 9 – 21, 2017
Times: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday

Important Deadlines

April 1: Application deadline for scholarship consideration
June 15: Regular application deadline
June 16: $300 non-refundable deposit due to secure your spot
June 23: Payment-in-full due
July 9: Orientation
July 10:
Classes begin
July 21: Last day of class, Film Screening and Exhibition Reception


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


Financial need based scholarships are available.

Please 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!

Intersession Deadline: TBA

Summer Camp Application Deadline: TBA

To Apply: Contact with any questions. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.



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.




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.


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.


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.



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



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.



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

Each week in June
Times: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ages: 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.


June 5-9            Group A       Group B

June 12-16        Group A       Group B

June 19-23        Group A       Group B

June 26-30        Group A       Group B



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.




Past Special Topics Camps…

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!



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.”


Teach With Community Education

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Interested in teaching with Community Education?

Watkins Community Education hires exceptional practicing artists to teach courses that encourage creative thinking through instruction in a variety of visual arts media. Teaching Artists guide students through a process of skill development (principles, basic concepts, specific vocabulary, and latest working techniques of the medium) and individual discovery (marked by inquiry and exploration). Teaching artists create a safe and supportive learning environment where students can feel comfortable taking risks and engaging in creative challenges. Key components of creating environments designed to support student learning include demonstrations, critical reflection, references to the work of both historical and contemporary artists, and hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art studios. Individual attention and small class sizes (5-15 students) encourage participation and dialogue.  If you feel this description fits who you are as a Teaching Artist then we would love to add you to our team!

Approximately four – five months before the start of a “term” (spring, summer, or fall) we will post a “Call for Course Proposals” and corresponding “Course Proposal Forms” to be filled out by interested instructors. You can find this form by following the link below. Only those who complete the forms, and submit requested supplementary materials, by the marked deadline will be considered to teach our courses. If you have questions about filling out the forms, please contact Maggie Fansher, director of community education.

Current Opportunities:

Summer 2017 Course Proposals