How it works

In the Pre-College Program, you will develop your artistic vision and strengthen both your technical skills and your critical thinking. You’ll take three core courses, participate in field trips, and display your work in a final exhibition. And throughout the program, you’ll develop an inside perspective on a career in the arts.

Core Courses

  • Foundations. See the world as visual artists do by strengthening your ability to observe, conceptualize, and analyze through artmaking. Explore the methods, materials, and concepts of surface, space, and time-based art.
  • Portfolio Preparation. Learn techniques and strategies for building a strong portfolio that will help you stand out when you apply for scholarships and admission into art college. Receive critiques and college application advice from admissions counselors.
  • Art History. Evaluate, interpret, and analyze works and develop a strong vocabulary to talk about art. Examine both historical and contemporary trends through slides and group discussions.

Field trips and outings

Once a week, you’ll venture off campus to explore Nashville’s vibrant art and design communities with your professors and classmates. Recent outings have included studio visits, museum tours, and trips to local galleries for conversations with local artists, designers, curators, and dealers.

Final exhibition and reception

To celebrate and showcase your work at the conclusion of the program, you and your classmates will plan and install a group exhibition at Watkins’ Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery. Family and friends are invited to the exhibition and reception.