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The information on this site pertains to the Summer College 2015 program. If you would like to be notified when 2016 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.

Please see our Upcoming program dates page for 2016 program dates.


Art as Experience: Drawing and New Media

Dates: June 25-July 15, 2015 (3 weeks)
Credits: 3
Eligibility: Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
(see eligibility requirements)


Art as Experience is an introductory course led by Leslie Brack designed to expand your understanding of the ideas and practices of contemporary art.

As a student in this three-week program, you'll explore ways to engage in the material practice and experience of contemporary art, and you will develop a foundation for understanding the connections between research, studio activity, and exhibition. You will be based in an art studio in Cornell's Tjaden Hall and will have access to the university's cutting-edge digital equipment and computer labs. From here, you will participate in a studio culture of material exploration, collaboration, research, and critique.

You will work on independent, self-directed projects, using a broad range of mediums from drawing and collage to digital photography and video installation. You will have the opportunity to draw from a live, nude model as you explore ways to engage in the material practice and experience of contemporary art.

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 combine this program with The Fashion Studio or any other three-week 2 program to create a six-week Dual Program.

Required textbooks and materials

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

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

Special scheduling


  • Monday, July 4: In observance of Independence Day, we will not have classes.
  • Monday, July 11: College Admissions Workshop, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
  • Friday, July 15: Art Show Reception, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Checkout dates and times

Before making travel plans, review the checkout dates and times for your program. We strictly adhere to these deadlines.

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.

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

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

Student experiences

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


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