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The information on this site pertains to the Summer College 2014 program. If you would like to be notified when 2015 information and applications are available, please join the Summer College announcement list. We also invite you to become a fan of our Summer College Facebook Page.


Art as Experience: Drawing and New Media

Dates: June 21-July 12, 2014 (3 weeks)
Credits: 3
Eligibility: Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
(see eligibility requirements)
Status: This program is now full and no longer accepting applications.


Art as Experience is an introductory course designed to expand your understanding of the ideas and practices of art today.

As a student in this three-week program, you'll explore contemporary art forms and the ways in which we experience them, and you'll develop a foundation for understanding the connections between research, studio activity, and exhibition.

You'll be based in an art studio in Cornell's Tjaden Hall and have access to the university's cutting-edge digital equipment and computer labs.

From here, you'll participate in a studio culture of material exploration, collaboration, research, and critique.

You'll work on independent, self-directed projects, using a variety of mediums including drawing, printmaking, collage, and digital photography.

You'll be able to take advantage of some of Cornell's extraordinary resources, including the Cornell University Library and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, and you'll deepen your understanding of contemporary art with readings, discussions, and field trips.

Art as Experience will culminate with a group exhibition, curated and installed by you and your classmates.

Course expectations

This is a class in contemporary art practice wherein technique and craft, though important, are considered in relation to concept. This relation will underlie all our assignments and discussions.

  • Students will work on in-class studio assignments (several of which may be collaborative in nature) in a variety of mediums and modes. No prior technical knowledge is necessary, and students will be assessed on the basis of their individual effort and progress. Some out-of-class studio work may be necessary.
  • Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and critiques. Intermittent readings of modest length concerning contemporary practice will be assigned as homework.
  • Students will be assigned several short written papers in response to topics or readings.
  • Students will document their completed work photographically for a final portfolio.
  • Students will participate in preparing all aspects of their final class exhibition (including curating, publicity, documentation, installation, and de-installation).


You'll be enrolled in Art as Experience (ART 1101).

This course meets Mondays through Fridays, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Maximum enrollment: 16

Note: You may want to consider combining this program with another three-week program to create a six-week Dual Program.

Required 2014 textbooks and materials

Title Author Cost
Ways of Seeing John Berger $16.00
Art Kit $TBD

These titles and materials will be available at The Cornell Store.

Recommended and helpful (bring these items if you have them):

  • Point-and-shoot digital camera
  • Digital photographs of work done in your art classes or on your own
  • USB Flash drive (at least 4 GB) or portable USB External HD

Program director

Leslie Brack

Leslie Brack

Leslie Brack holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited extensively, including venues such as White Columns, Plus Ultra Gallery, Schroeder Romero Gallery, Galerie Jousse Seguin, and the Johnson Museum here at Cornell. She has also curated exhibitions at several New York City galleries including Momenta Art and Winkleman Gallery. In 2009 she co-researched and launched the Womanhouse website which is the most popular internet resource for this seminal feminist-artist collaboration from 1972.

Ms. Brack believes that the artist's role is as much a practice in facilitating community, social participation, and maintaining an on-going practice of self-education as it is in developing independent studio work.

Ms. Brack has received residency and monetary fellowships from institutions such as the Corporation of Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, NYFA, and the Millay Colony.

"What I enjoy about studying and teaching art in the university environment is the way art can be connected to other disciplines with which it intersects and derives its strength. The university is the place that simultaneously gives an artist the room to create but also the ability to better understand what it is she/he is creating. Each work of art produces its own unique world, and this world emerges from an experiential, historical, and philosophical context which is best considered." —Leslie Brack

Samples of Leslie's work and projects can be found at


  • Friday, July 4: In observance of Independence Day, we will not have classes.
  • Monday, July 7: College Admissions Workshop, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
  • Friday, July 11: Art Show Reception, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Student experiences

The following students have attended this program. Read about their experiences!


Hi, I'm Sylvie and I just finished my junior year at Seattle Academy. I've lived in Seattle my whole life, surrounded by the lush, ever-present Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound. I love to travel and experience different cultures, and I'm excited to live in Ithaca, on the opposite coast.... > more


Hi everyone! My name is Hortense. I currently live in New York City but I also lived in France, where I was born, and in the UK. I have just finished my sophomore year, and will be attending Art as Experience for Summer College. I just can't wait to be... > more


Greetings Cornellians, My name is Talia and I am from "the Big Apple." My family is from South Africa and I feel a very close connection to my South African roots. I visit there every December to reunite with my family and celebrate my birthday! I've just finished my sophomore... > more


Hi, my name is Ashley. I am seventeen years old and completed my junior year at Havergal College two weeks ago. I currently live in Toronto, Canada, so spending my three weeks here in Ithaca will be something totally different. Among my activities and interests, art is definitely one of... > more

Quotes and reviews

"My professor and TA were helpful in making me become more risk-taking in the field of art. They encouraged me to not be afraid of anything and make bold choices in creating art. I loved meeting people who share my interest in art and who love what I am passionate about." — Jeanette Sha

"At Summer College I gained friends that I expect to stay in touch with, art pieces for my portfolio, and a connection with a fabulous professor. CUSC was amazing, and I am so glad I attended. Thanks for a great summer! It was truly life-changing. " — Lisebeth Forbes