Women's Art Institute

Summer Studio Intensive Course | June 7–July 1, 2021

About the Summer Studio Intensive

The Women’s Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive course is for contemporary women and non-binary artists of all ages and backgrounds interested in refining their artistic process and exploring questions around women and art. Creating a community that shares, reflects and produces art, the Institute is a rich experience that offers you intensive studio work and one-on-one coaching from faculty.

The four-week program includes sessions Monday through Friday with field trips and presentations from guest artists, critics and art historians. You will have all-day access to the large, sunlit studios and shop facilities of the Visual Arts Building on the University’s beautiful campus.

This innovative and rigorous program is designed for artists from a variety of disciplines who have mastered basic skills and are now seeking deeper levels of understanding and expression in their work.

Woman paints in gallery as part of the Women's Art Institute
  • Defining your goals as a woman/non-binary artist
  • Deepening your studio work with individual tutoring emphasizing intention, form, content and context
  • Developing your portfolio of work
  • Gaining insights into the work of contemporary women and non-binary artists
Two women work on large paintings at the Women's Art Institute

Practicing artists and art students from any discipline must have a minimum of two years of college-level art training or the equivalent. Undergraduate credit is available.

Applications for the June 2021 sessions must be received by May 3, 2021.

Download an application

Email for more information

Women's Art Institute participant at work on her art piece
Guest Artists, Critics, and Art Historians

The Women’s Art Institute invites artists, curators, and historians from across the country to discuss a variety of issues and topics.

Many readily admit, “I don’t give this presentation anywhere else!” Their unique perspectives will deepen your experience and inspire your creative process.

Roster of Guest Artists, Critics, and Art Historians

What Participants Say

The Women’s Art Institute helped me understand what subjects were relevant to me as an artist and how to express them through my work. Since completing the WAI, I have received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step grant, and I became a recipient of the MCAD-Jerome Foundation Early Career Artist Fellowship.— Marjorie Fedyszyn

The Women’s Art Institute creates a space for women to see themselves reflected in the innovative artists of the past and the captivating artists of our present. I was immensely challenged and given space to grow and experiment in my medium, which enabled an artistic growth and freedom to create.—  Julia Nellessen

The WAI became a life-changing experience through thoughtful instruction, reflective classroom sessions, engaging artists and art historians, and hours of studio work while taking risks without judgement [sic].  — Kathy Daniels

WAI was a huge catalyst in my art career. With guidance from the faculty, fellow students, and the many guest artists I met, I made so much progress in my artwork. And even more importantly, I grew to embrace my identity as an artist. — Vatina McLaurin


Director and Instructor: Patricia Olson

Professor Emerita of the Department of Art and Art History of St. Catherine University, Olson is a founding member of WARM (Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota) and holds an MFA in Visual Studies from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. A painter and designer, her work addresses myths, cultural stories and art history from a woman’s perspective. She has exhibited her work nationally, and public collections include Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Historical Society and Wilson Library, University of Minnesota. Olson and founder Elizabeth Erickson have been designated “Changemakers” by the Minnesota Women’s Press in 2009 and 2014 for their work with the Women’s Art Institute.

Instructor: Paige Tighe

Paige Tighe is an artist, educator and curator. They have a BA in studio art and art history from the University of Minnesota-Morris and an MFA in public practice art from Otis College of Art and Design. Their first year of graduate school was spent intensely working as an assistant production manager for Suzanne Lacy's Ford Foundation-funded project, Reunion:Reunión in Laton, California. Their performance piece Walk with ME has been shown nationally and internationally. In a world where human connection is shifting and changing, their artwork explores what we hold onto and what we let go.