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
Interior 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 2 days/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 1 day/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

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 five concentrations–Film Production & Editing, Drawing/Painting, Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Photography.

Dates: July 6-24, 2015
Times: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
We are now accepting 2015 applications!
Download a 2015 Pre-College Brochure now!



2013 Group

2013 Pre-College Participants

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

  • 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

ScholarshipsDownload our Summer 2015 Scholarship Application for youth classes now! Summer applications due April 20, 2015.


Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison


High-School Internships

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison


Teen InternshipWatkins Community Education wants you to join us as a Multi-Arts Camp Intern! We’re looking for highly motivated high-school JUNIORS or SENIORS 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 their summer break by assisting our professional teaching artists to provide a creative camp experience for kids ages 5-13.

This is an unpaid internship, though participants will gain valuable work experience for their resumé and possibly even letters of recommendation for college!

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

Summer Teen Workshops

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Teen Group PaintingTeens are offered specialized classes that will enhance their college skills and help them explore career options. Teens learn about past and present artists while expanding upon their artistic skills. 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 project for an intensive 1- or 2-day experience.  Dress for mess and bring a bag lunch.  All art supplies are included. Registration for our 2015 teen workshops is open. You can register up to two weeks prior to the start of class.

2015 Teen Workshops

Teen PaintingDates/Times: throughout June, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ages: 14+
1-day workshop: $100
2-day workshop: $150

Monday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 2
Graphic Design: Creative Resumes 
Teaching Artist: Katie Gonzalez
Create a resume while learning the basics of graphic design in this two-day workshop. We’ll discuss the types of skills and experiences to include in a resume, how to best organize one, and how to stand apart from others through great design. This class provides an overview of typography and color theory as well as an introduction to Adobe InDesign, an essential program for designers. Through hands-on use of the software, in-class critiques, and one-on-one guidance, students will create a complete resume design to use when applying to college, internships, or jobs. Basic experience using Mac computers is required, and students should bring their own external storage device.

Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9
Book Arts: Handmade Journals 
Teaching Artist: Katie Gonzalez
Learn to make your own blank book from start to finish, perfect for filling with sketches, taking notes, or displaying photos. This two-day workshop focuses on the Coptic binding style, which features hard covers, decorative stitching across the spine, and pages that lay completely flat when open. Students will personalize their books by choosing from a variety of unique handmade papers and colorful thread. No bookbinding experience required. All tools and supplies included in materials fee.

Thursday, June 11
Still-Life Drawing
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.

Monday, June 15 and Tuesday, June 16
Conceptual Digital Photography
Teaching artist: Heather Hilley
Have you ever wanted to create dream-like images through your photography?  Do you love surreal artwork and want to take your photography skills to the next level?  This class will teach you how to form a meaningful concept, 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) and have a working knowledge of how to use it.

Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25
Mixed Media Collage
Teaching Artist: Richard Heinsohn
This workshop will explore painting techniques and methods for collage including layering, transfers, and text and found object 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 encourage to bring in individual images or objects to personalize their work.


Summer Youth Camps

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Multi-Arts Camps

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. Register online starting January 12!

Kids Camp

June 1-5
June 8-12
June 15-19
June 22-26

Times: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Group A: Ages 5-7
Group B: Ages 8-10

Tuition: $325
Sibling discount: First child pays full tuition. $25 discount applies to each additional sibling. Enter code “Sibling” at checkout.

Special Topics Camps

Special Topics campers will focus on a specific media, project, or theme throughout the week.  Dress for mess and bring a bag lunch.  All art supplies are included unless otherwise noted. Register online starting January 12!

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

June 1-5 
Comic Illustration
Teaching artist: Richard Heinsohn
Learn to make your point with single, double and multi-panel comics. We will practice developing and simplifying characters, drawing scenes and finding humor in everyday observations.  Draw, laugh, and share your insights.

June 8-12
Ceramics: Handbuilding and the Wheel
Teaching artist: Doug Stevenson
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!

June 15-19 
Abstract Painting
Teaching artist: Richard HeinsohnSpecial Topics
This course provides a hands-on study of modern painting techniques, strategies and a little history too! Students will learn how and why abstract painting evolved while developing composition strategies, painting techniques and color theory. While studying the methods of modern masters, students will develop their own style and artistic direction.

June 22-26 
Digital Photography
Teaching Artist: Sam Angel
In this camp student will 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. Note: Campers should bring their own digital camera (all types welcome).


Spring Intersession Camp

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Spring Intersession Multi-Arts Camp

Intersession Camp

Spring 2015 camp has been canceled due to MNPS’s scheduling of make-up snow days. All registered students will be refunded. Sorry for the inconvenience.

March 18 – 20
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuition: $180

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. Register online after November 20, by phone, mail, or in person.

Group A: Ages 5-7
Group B: Ages 8-10
Group C: Ages 11-13

A limited amount of need-based scholarships are available. Spring 2015 Scholarship Application due Monday, February 16, 2014.
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.

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 (615) 383-4848 or stop by 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.”