Picture this: You're a high school artist spending your summer learning from world-class faculty on one of the premier arts campuses in the US. You spend your time participating in classes, workshops, evening tours, lectures, and events that excite and stretch you as an artist. You spend three full weeks living and learning with other students from all over the world who are as consumed with art as you, and you finish off the summer by showcasing your creations to your peers, teachers, and the public. This is what you'll find at the Summer Art Residency (SAR), an immersive 3–week residency at the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center.

About the Program

SAR takes place July 9–28, 2023.

The Summer Art Residency (SAR) is a unique opportunity to work with world-class faculty in a world-class facility. SAR consists of demonstrations, workshops, critiques, and studio time involving a range of expressive opportunities. Each day includes a drawing class addressing the formal and conceptual bases of drawing and contemporary approaches to effective visual communication. Structural Approaches to Art will expand on the drawing class and assignments will draw on varied genres. After lunch, you will take electives in Painting and Design/Printmaking. Finally, there will be Flex Time for Artist Talks, studio tours, or group work to round out your day.

The School of Art and Art History, under the Direction of Steve McGuire, is partnering with the Belin-Blank Center to provide this exciting program designed for talented high school artists from across the country. Instructors include University of Iowa faculty, graduates, and graduate students from the School of Art & Art History, and special visiting artists.

I loved being here and being able to share my passion and love of art with everyone else. I feel like this was an amazing opportunity to come together, not only as a community but as a family, to do what we love most.

SAR Student

How to Apply

While the application process is straightforward, planning ahead is essential. Here's all the information you'll need in order to submit your application.

Application Process

Students in grades 9-11 (current academic year) may apply. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full.

Here’s what you'll need to submit in your application:

  • Enter your demographic information
  • E-mail addresses from an art teacher who knows your abilities as an artist and another mentor that can speak to your character (this must not be a family member or friend). Each reference will be sent an electronic recommendation form which must be completed and submitted to the Belin-Blank Center.
  • Two essays:
    • Essay 1: Tell us about your work. What inspires you? (500 words max)
    • Essay 2: Recognizing that we will receive many high-level art applicants, what makes you uniquely and exceptionally qualified to participate in this program? On a personal, intrinsic level, what do you hope to gain from this summer residency? (500 words max)
  • Two samples of your work
  • Have you participated in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards? 


Completed applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of faculty and staff from The University of Iowa. The selection committee will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

  • Samples of your work
  • Content of essays
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Participation in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

While priority will be given to students who have participated in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, we invite all interested artists to apply. 

Ready to Apply?

Applications open soon!

After You're Accepted

You can look forward to a fun and enriching summer! Here you can find answers to all the pressing questions you may have while making your plans to join us.

Cost & Financial Aid


The total program fee for SAR is $4,050. The fee covers your room, board, materials, admission to all regularly scheduled activities, and 2 semester hours of undergraduate credit from the University of Iowa.

The program fee does not include transportation to and from the University of Iowa or incidental expenses, such as souvenirs and snacks. You and your family are responsible for these expenses.

Payment Options

There are three options to payment program fees:

  1. Pay the entire amount on a credit card.
  2. Pay in four equal monthly installments using a credit card.
  3. Set up an individualized payment plan. Payment plans are available by contacting the Belin-Blank Center at 800-336-6463 (+1-319-335-6148 internationally).

Financial Aid

You may be awarded financial aid for up to half the cost of the program. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, while funds are available. Eligibility is typically determined by qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch. After your information is reviewed, a decision will be made, and you will receive an email regarding the amount of your award. Awards will be applied directly to your program fees. Additional scholarships may be available.

Daily Schedule

You will attend classes from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The typical schedule for each day looks like:

  • 7:30—8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:00—10:30 Drawing Class
  • 10:30—12:00 Elective - (rotating between Painting and Graphic Design)
  • 12:00—1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00—2:30  Elective - (rotating between Painting and Graphic Design)
  • 2:30—4:00 Flex Time 
  • 4:00—5:00 Leisure time
  • 5:00—6:00 Dinner
  • 6:00—10:00 *Artist Talks / **Studio Tours / Evening activities
  • 11:00 Lights out

*Past Artists Talks have been given by visual and performance artist TJ Norris, painter and sculptor Susan Chrysler White, sculptor and printmaker Isabel Barbuzza, printmaker Terry Conrad and more!

**Past Studio Tours have included printmaker Diego Lasansky, ceramicist Andrew Casto, Steve McGuire's Bike Lab, and more!

Evening and weekend activities include special seminars, off-campus field trips, and cultural and recreational activities. We carefully select activities to complement the program. For this reason, all activities, including the weekend activities are required.


You will be supervised at all regularly scheduled events and activities. Supervision at the residence halls will be provided by a Belin-Blank Program Coordinator and residence hall staff specially selected and trained to work with and supervise students. There is approximately one resident advisor for every ten students. You are expected to live within the policies of the residence halls, the university, and the program.

Living on Campus

You will be housed in a residence hall located near the Blank Honors Center on the University of Iowa campus. Most program activities will take place within brief walking distance of the residence hall. Male and female students will be assigned to separate floors and all students will share a room with at least one other student.  Accommodations will be made for non-binary students.

In addition to academic programming, you will be able to participate in a variety of scheduled recreational activities selected by the staff. You will also have access to the University of Iowa libraries, studio facilities, and creative spaces.

Family Visits

We ask that your family inform staff of their plans so that arrangements can be made to facilitate any family visits. Because the program is dedicated to the development of a cohesive community, you may not have non-family visitors during the program.

Check-in / Check-out

Check-in for the program will be held from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm on the first day of the program. The check-in process will begin at the residence hall front desk. If you are unable to check in during these times, please contact the Belin-Blank Center. A brief student orientation will begin at 4:00 pm.

Check-out for the program will be held after lunch on the last day of the program. You should pack all of your belongings prior to class that day.

Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel, please call the Belin-Blank Center at 800-336-6463 as soon as possible to decline the acceptance so that a student on the waiting list may attend. Your non-refundable down payment equal to 25% of the total fee will be retained for all cancellations. Cancellations after June 1st may not be refunded.


You may request a roommate once you have been accepted to the program and are asked to fill out enrollment forms. If you do not have a specific request for a roommate, you will be matched with another student from the program. Students who identify as non-binary, have medical conditions or other unique circumstances, may request a single room.

Arrival / Departure

If you need to arrive a day early or depart a day late, you will have an opportunity to make these arrangements once you have been accepted to the program and are asked to fill out enrollment forms. If you will be arriving by air, your destination is the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID).  You may arrange transportation through the airport shuttle service.  It is approximately a 30 minute ride to campus.

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