Visual Arts Summer Institute (VASI)

Boston University College of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts 

  • Dates: June 30th – July 26th 2024
  • Grade level: Students entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in fall 2024

The Boston University School of Visual Arts Summer Institute offers students ages 15-18 the opportunity to experience college life at a leading university while developing technical and conceptual abilities in a rigorous fine arts program. 

Whether preparing portfolios for college admissions or working to improve skills, students are introduced to materials and methods used in professional artistic practice. Through classes, studio time, critiques, and discussions, VASI students become a community of artists who use their abilities to realize personal and artistic growth. 


VASI is modeled on the Boston University School of Visual Arts undergraduate foundation curriculum.  Drawing, as a critical skill for any artist, is the key component of the VASI curriculum. Students spend a minimum of 12 hours a week in drawing classes with a focus on working from observation, including from live (nude) models. Students also take classes in painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Individual studios provide students with the space to work on class assignments or individual projects. Regular critiques provide students with guidance on their work during the program and suggestions for further study. 

In addition, VASI offers several short workshops to expose students to new art forms. Past workshop topics have included design, photography, watercolors, color theory, ceramics, and community-based art. Each week, VASI students, faculty, and staff gather for Art Conversations, a time to discuss topics including contemporary issues in the arts, portfolio development, and the college admissions process. 

The VASI faculty consists of faculty and alumni of the School of Visual Arts who are committed artists and exceptional teachers. Current School of Visual Arts students, as counselors and teaching assistants, work alongside the VASI students in the studios and become trusted mentors in college life and artistic development. 

In addition to classes and studio time, students visit and study works of art in area museums and experience summer in Boston.  Students earn three college credits at the program’s completion. 

Residential and commuter options are available. 

For more information, visit the Visual Arts Summer Institute website.