Picture this: You're a high school artist spending your summer learning from world-class faculty from one of the premier arts campuses in the US. You spend your time participating in classes, workshops, studio tours, lectures, and events that excite and stretch you as an artist. You spend three full weeks 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 in a digital format. This is what you'll find at the Summer Art Residency Online (SARO), an immersive 3–week online residency at the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center.

About the Program

The Summer Art Residency Online (SARO) takes place July 5–23, 2021.

Application Timeline:

  • Applications will be reviewed in the order we receive them and accepted until seats are filled. Apply now to secure your spot!

Program Events:

The Summer Art Residency Online (SARO) is a unique opportunity to work with world-class faculty in an online environment. SARO 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 Printmaking. Finally, there will be Flex Time for Artist Talks, studio tours, or group work to round out your day.


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 9-12 (current academic year) may apply. We are admitting students on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the better.

Abbreviated application includes:

  • One essay question on what inspires you as an artist
  • Two samples of your art


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:

  • Content of essay and supporting materials
  • Letter 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.  You may only attend SARO only once.

Ready to Apply?

Applications for this program have closed. However, you may still log in if you have already applied.

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 cost of SARO is $2,200. We know that times are hard for many students and their families right now. Fortunately, the Iowa way is to support one another, so financial aid and payment plans are available to families who qualify. Additionally, the Belin-Blank Center will provide an automatic scholarship of $500 to every SARO student accepted to the program, bringing the total for families to $1,700.

The fee covers instruction, materials, and 2 semester hours of undergraduate credit from the University of Iowa.

Payment Options

There are three options for payment of program fees:

  1. Pay the entire amount on a credit card.
  2. Pay in three 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 belinblank@uiowa.edu.

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.

International students are not eligible for scholarships or financial aid for SARO.

Daily Schedule

9:30-10:30 Drawing East

  • For those of you who live in the Eastern half of the US, you will participate in drawing class in the morning. Through the essentials of line and mark, shape and form, this class will focus on developing a visual vocabulary that will assist you in advanced two- and three-dimensional courses.

10:30-noon Structural Approaches to Art

  • You will be given instruction in the skills of representation and principles of abstraction as an introduction to form, creativity, and greater discrimination of the visual world.

12pm-1:00pm BREAK

1:00-2:30 Elective

  • You will get to do both painting and design!

2:30-3:00 Flex Time

  • Artist Talks*, industry experts, special projects, and more.

3:00-4:00 Drawing West

  • For those of you who live in the Western half of the US, you will participate in drawing class in the afternoon. Through the essentials of line and mark, shape and form, this class will focus on developing a visual vocabulary that will assist you in advanced two- and three-dimensional courses.

*Past Artist Talks have been given by painter Susan Chrysler White, ceramicist Andrew Casto, sculptor Isabel Barbuzza, mixed media artist T.J. Dedeaux-Norris, and more!


As a university student you will be using the University of Iowa's digital learning platform, ICON, to manage course discussions, materials and assignments.  The University also uses Zoom for in-person discussions.  Please make sure the device you plan to use during the Summer Art Residency Online is capable and that you are comfortable with these platforms.

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. A $100 cancellation fee will be retained for all cancellations. Cancellations after June 1st may not be refunded.

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