High School Programs

Pre-Collegiate Visual Arts Portfolio Workshop 2022


In the summer, the Hartford Art School hosts a unique educational experience through it's Visual Arts Portfolio Workshop. This opportunity connects students in grades 9-12 with other artists, challenges them to think in new ways, and teaches them to creatively problem solve over the summer break—all while creating new artwork to build their portfolio!

This in-person program (socially distanced) takes place at the Hartford Art School on the University of Hartford's campus.

July 11 - August 5, 2022

Registration is now full. Thank you for your interest—we hope to see you at another program!
Why you should attend
  • You are serious about studying art
  • You are considering a college track in art or design
  • You are looking to connect with like-minded peers
  • You would like to develop skills and work building towards your college application portfolio
  • You want to develop a strong studio practice to enhance your ability to work more independently
  • You would like to increase your visual communication skills
  • You want to gain the ability to speak about your work and the work of others
  • You want to engage with experienced instructors who are professional artists
Learning outcome

The primary objective of this workshop is to provide an educational experience that allows students to connect with each other, challenge themselves, think critically, and problem solve over the summer break.

  • Register by June 21
  • Payment due by June 30


Drawing Class Student

Observational Drawing (figure & still-life)

Focusing on both the figure and the still-life, you will sharpen your observational skills working from professional figure reference materials and tabletop constructions. You will investigate the nature of drawing as a way of seeing and developing technical skills through the exploration of understanding line, tone, form, and composition. Both gestural warm-ups and long-finished drawing approaches will be employed.

Faculty: Tiago Finato

Tiago Finato moved to the United States from Brazil in 2000. He earned his BFA from the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth and his MFA from New Mexico State University. His current body of work narrates the struggle between manual labor and fine art. His work has exhibited throughout the United States, Spain, and Brazil.

Photography Supplies


A class with emphasis on analog photography, camera, darkroom practices, film developing, and photo printing in color and black and white.

Faculty: Robert Calafiore

Robert Calafiore is a photographer whose work is influenced by a critical look at today's rapidly changing technology and its broad impact on culture. He received his MFA in photography from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his BFA in photography from Hartford Art School. Some notable exhibitions include "For the Love of Things; Still Life," at the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, N.Y. and "Muses," at ClampArt Gallery in NYC, N.Y. He is currently the Associate Dean of Administration and Finance at Hartford Art School. Learn more at

Ceramics Class


A class exploring the use of clay through wheel throwing and hand-building methods. Basic glazing and firing techniques will also be covered.

Faculty: Matt Dercole

Matt Dercole is a ceramicist whose emotional and sometimes disturbing sculptures incorporate illustrative and narrative qualities, reflecting the viewer's own psychological complexities. He received his MFA in ceramics from the University of Iowa and his BA in ceramics from Bloomsburg University. He has participated in multiple artist residencies including Lillstreet Art Center and Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts. He is currently technician and instructor of ceramics at Hartford Art School.

July 11 - August 5, 2022


9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (all sessions)


1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (first half of session)


1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (second half of session)


$995.00, includes supplies and materials.

After registering, please mail payment (checks made payable to Hartford Art School) to:

Rebecca Zablocki
Hartford Art School
200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
Attn: Pre-Collegiate School Workshops

  • Currently, the University of Hartford requires all individuals to wear three-ply disposable, KN95, or N95 masks on campus when indoors. See full mask policy
  • All participants must show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations (including boosters if eligible) at the start of the program. See full vaccination policy. 

Additional High School & Middle School Programs

This annual conference brings hundreds of middle school students and their teachers to our campus for all day studio workshops. Students make watercolor portraits, wire sculpture, digital photographs,  ceramic pots, and everything in between. This partnership we share with middle schools provides a wonderful opportunity to inspire both students and teachers. Please contact the Connecticut Association of Schools for details on the Arts in the Middle Conference.
The annual Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards and Exhibition brings hundreds of middle and high school students and their parents as well as teachers and supporters of the fine arts to our campus for a statewide juried exhibition and award ceremony. More than 500 student works, chosen against thousands, shows at the Silpe Gallery. Awards ranging from cash prizes and art supplies to college scholarships are granted to exceptional students. For more details and for how to get involved, contact the Connecticut Art Education Association.
Each year, the SBM Foundation provides a grant to the Hartford Art School to administer a series of four pre-collegiate studio workshops. The program brings three high schools (Manchester, East Hartford, and Rockville, selected by the grantor) to campus involving 60 students during each visit. These students and teachers have the opportunity to come to the Hartford Art School and participate in studio workshops and lectures over the academic year.  Any schools and grantors interested in a similar arrangement should contact us for details.
We offer one-day workshops for you and your classes in a variety of studio areas. These sessions utilize our regular facilities and are taught by our faculty. Cost to students is minimal and many supplies are provided by the Hartford Art School. Transportation is arranged by your school as a field trip. These workshops are generally offered on Fridays and are approximately three to four hours long. Parental permission is required and for life drawing classes. We can also arrange for teacher workshops in any studio area.

Strengthen Your Portfolio