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Meadows Academy for Young Artists Offers College Prep Training for Aspiring Artists

New program gives high school students authentic college art experiences

Chris Calloway (B.A. '11 - Music)
High school art classes differ from college art classes in several respects. In high school, a student might have an hour and a half of class time each day to take a studio art class in drawing, painting or digital media. By contrast, college students spend up to six hours a day in studio classes and take additional courses in contemporary art and art history. College students also are allowed to create art based on “live” or nude models. “Nudity is not allowed in public high schools,” says Southlake Carroll High School art teacher Monica Lapierre-Hayslip, “but in historic and contemporary arts education environments of significance, ‘life drawing,’ or the drawing of nude figures, is often a core component of the curriculum.”

The Meadows Academy for Young Artists originates in part from Lapierre-Hayslip’s goal of giving her high school students the “real deal” on what it is like to study art in college. “Last year, I invited a few art professors from the North Dallas community to my high school to talk to students about what they can expect in a college environment,” she says. “When Dr. Michael Corris, SMU Division of Art chair, visited, he brought up the idea of a college prep academy at SMU. We went from there to design a program with classes that high school students could take at SMU that would include live models and prepare students for attending a major art university.”

MAYA offers a studio drawing class featuring live models two Saturdays of every month in the spring. During the summer, MAYA offers both a residential program from June 19-July 3 and a commuter program from July 11-29. The residential program gives students the opportunity to live in the dorms and study in the classrooms of SMU. Each weekday involves six hours of studio time in a student-chosen core class – drawing & printmaking, digital media, painting or sculpture – and evening classes in which students critique films, discuss contemporary artwork and learn about art history. Students also take field trips to the major art museums of Dallas and Fort Worth over the weekends. The Monday to Friday commuter program offers the same weekday curriculum of the residential program, but does not have weekend activities. Both programs conclude with a student exhibition. Pre-college students who successfully complete their coursework and final student exhibition can receive 3 credits at SMU Meadows School of the Arts if they are accepted to SMU.

Any high school student can apply for admission to MAYA. For more information, visit the webpage for MAYA on the SMU Meadows School of the Arts website.

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