Women's Art Institute 

Summer Studio Intensive Course
June 5–29, 2017


  • 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 women 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 2017 sessions must be received by May 3.


  • 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.

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.

Harriet Bart creates evocative content through the theater of installation, the narrative power of objects, and the intimacy of artist’s books. Her work is exhibited internationally.

Hazel Belvo is a professor emerita at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a mentor at the Grand Marais Art Colony. Her current project is a series of paintings called Resurrection: Feminist Perspective.

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 over 40 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, and her new work involves dissolving black female grief through ancestors.

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 teaches art history as an associate professor at St. Catherine University. In her research and in her classroom, she examines the varied representation of women in contemporary art and visual culture. She is also engaged in experimental pedagogy and in art history as social practice.

Shana Kaplow, a professor at St. Cloud State University, is a painter and video artist whose work explores the tension between interconnectedness and individualism. Her work has been screened in the Walker Art Center’s Women with Vision film festival and at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Joyce Lyon, 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 an artist whose work focuses on healing and connection, and has been shown throughout the U.S. and Europe. She is the co-founder of Feminist Video Quarterly, a local artist screening of video work.

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


While attending the Women's Art Institute I experienced a deep sense of community and encouragement. It was a turning point in my career, as one of the first places where I felt truly recognized and appreciated as an artist. I realized how women approach the arts with a hesitancy that men don't experience. I was in the company of VERY talented women, and we were all struggling to find peace with our choices where it conflicted with our other family obligations and societal expectations. My eyes were flung open to the hurdles women artists have faced historically and contemporarily and I realized how deeply those same prejudices persist even today. I became a better artist because I attended; it was one of the best things I've ever done for my career. Dakota Hoska
The Women's Art Institute provided me a space and a permission to question my inherited beliefs and values and test my assumptions about art and gender roles. The program provided a trusted intimate space for students to disclose their innermost thoughts and to out loud explore where their art comes from. What inspires. What motivates. Hend al-Mansour
During June of 2015, while attending the Women’s Art Institute, I began painting with collected Mississippi River water. It was a choice to be intentional with my materials and to elevate the intimacy of my painting process. It would not have happened as quickly or as eloquently without my choosing to wholly delve into WAI. Those days were filled with invigorating classroom discussions, inspiring artist talks and one-on-one meetings with instructors. Every day, all of us as women artists, regardless of our diverse experiences, came together for our art. Ever since WAI, I have been able to expand my body of work with a higher level of commitment to my developing art career. Annie Hejny
  • 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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