Women's Art Institute 

Summer Studio Intensive Course
June 4–28, 2018


  • About the Summer Studio Intensive

    The Women’s Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive course is for contemporary women 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 some field trips and evening 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.

    Goals for the Institute Include:

    • Defining your goals as a woman 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 artists

  • Admission

    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 2018 sessions must be received by April 30.


  • 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.

Linda Brooks is a photographer, teacher and parent of over 40 years. Her photo series convey the “social and personal, contradictions and tensions brought about by living in our culture.” Brooks’ work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center and the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, as well as in more than 80 group exhibitions worldwide, and in the anthology Reframings: New American Feminist Photographies. She has also curated many shows, including Young Voices: photographs of/by girls/teens/women.

Brooks holds a BFA and MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has received artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation. She recently retired from teaching at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

Hend al-Mansour makes art that is both contemporary and authentically Arab, seeking to rediscover the neglected aesthetics of Arab culture. She holds an M.F.A. as well as an M.A. degree in art history.

Leslie Barlow is an oil painter whose current work employs the figure and narrative elements to explore social issues such as race, representation, multiculturalism and "otherness." She has exhibited her work both locally and nationally, and currently teaches at the University of Minnesota and Juxtaposition Arts.

Harriet Bart creates evocative content through the theater of installation, the narrative power of objects, and the intimacy of artist’s books. Her work will be honored with a retrospective exhibition and monograph at the Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota in 2020.

Hazel Belvo is a professor emerita at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a mentor at the Grand Marais Art Colony. Her series of paintings, Resurrection: A Feminist Perspective, was shown at the 2017 Women’s Congress for Future Generations.

Patricia Briggs is Director of Galleries, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College, New York. She is an art historian, curator and critic whose writing appears in Artforum International, Women’s Art Journal, and other print and online journals.

Gabrielle Civil has premiered almost 50 original performance art works around the world and was lead organizer for the historic “Call Response: Black Women & Performance" symposium. She is the author of Swallow the Fish, a memoir in performance art (2017). The aim of her work is to open up space.

Elizabeth Erickson, Institute founder and professor emerita of Minneapolis College of Art and Design, is a painter, poet and educator. Her interests include Hildegard of Bingen, the prairie landscape, light and the mark.

Linda Gammell is a photographer and college instructor in media and photography. She has a deep interest in social issues, including land practices, food, gender and feminism.

Amy K. Hamlin is an associate professor of art history at St. Catherine University. In her research and classrooms, she considers the politics of representation and intersectionality in contemporary art and visual culture. She is also engaged in experimental pedagogies, art history as a social practice, and advocacy for the arts & humanities.

Shana Kaplow is a visual artist and professor at St. Cloud State University whose work plays with notions of psychology, absence, global systems and furniture. She has recently shown her work at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Tinajin Art Museum in China.

Johnnay Leenay is the Diversity in the Arts Curatorial Fellow at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul. She is interested in how art can contribute to critical conversations around social issues.

Joyce Lyon, visual artist (drawing and artist’s books) and professor emerita at the University of Minnesota, is interested in pilgrimage as it relates to journey — physical, intellectual, spiritual — and to the process of translating experience into art.

Diane Mullin is Senior Curator at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarly and curatorial work focuses on modern and contemporary art, including gender issues in 1970s body work and changing notions of subjectivity.

Nancy Robinson's surreal self-portraits have won many grants and awards. She has exhibited her work both locally and nationally, including a 2009 solo show the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Michal Sagar is the Visual Arts Department Head at Breck School in Minneapolis. She has worked in paint, encaustic and sculpture, bringing a sense of the essential mark into these materials. Her new drawings focus on the interplay between what is cultured and what is wild.

Erica Spitzer Rasmussen creates handmade paper garments and small editions of hand-bound books. Her current work explores issues of identity and corporeality. She is a professor at Metropolitan State University and exhibits internationally.

Sandra Menefee Taylor is an installation and book artist whose work was recently celebrated with a retrospective and book at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND.

Paige Tighe is a visual and performance artist. Her work Walk with Me performed and created connection between herself and a participant. She co-founded Feminist Video Quarterly, and is currently working on a meditation art series and weaving on a Saori Japanese loom.

Dyani White Hawk is a painter and curator of Sicangu Lakota, German and Welsh ancestry. She has exhibited her work nationally and is currently a 2017 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Mentor Artist Fellow. From 2010 to 2015, White Hawk was a curator for the Minneapolis gallery All My Relations.

Petronella Ytsma is a photographer whose work is concerned with social justice and ecological issues. She explores remnants and legacy, memory and mirror, and reflects on the civil contracts inherent between image maker, giver and viewer.

Visiting and guest artists, critics and art historians are subject to change.

  • What Participants Say


During the Woman’s Art Institute, I learned that my work and journey as an artist is important. I am part of a larger group of women in history whose ideas and creations matter. Ana Laura Juarez
WAI was full of robust creative exchange with talented artists from diverse backgrounds. The experience bolstered my artistic voice and was a potent incubator for new work. Sarah Kusa
I experienced a powerful coming together of other female artists to share our talents, our doubts, our fears, our knowledge and, most importantly, our support for one another. Bre Atkinson
For me, the WAI was a critical point of development in my work that has informed my creations for the past decade. Carolyn Halliday
  • Faculty

    Patricia Olson, Institute director and associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History at St. Catherine University, has practiced painting and design for more than 30 years and is a founding member of the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM). She received an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

    Anna Garski Institute co-instructor, is a painter who also works in video installation and performance art. She has a long history of commitment to the Women’s Art Institute: she first attended as a student, and has served twice as a teaching assistant. She is a magna cum laude graduate of St. Catherine University with a double major in studio art and women’s studies, and earned her MFA and MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute.

    Elizabeth Erickson, Institute founder and professor emerita of Minneapolis College of Art and Design, has been a painter, poet and educator for more than 30 years. Her career highlights include participation in Global Focus in Beijing in 1995, and in Art and Healing at the Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College in 1992. While retired from daily teaching at the Institute, she continues her deep involvement and interest.

Download the Application

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