DVSA Programs

The Advanced
Studio In Fine Art

About our programs

About
The DVSA Advanced Studio

Full-time study in DVSA’s Advanced Studio offers an innovative and alternative art education for both the post-secondary and mature student. Rather than a conventional approach consisting of a number of separate courses, each of The Advanced Studio programs consists of one course encompassing a wide range of interrelated theoretical and practical experiences. The curriculum is flexible and based on the individual needs and interests of each student. A small class size offers personal one-on-one instruction in a supportive, challenging and collegial atmosphere — a unique arrangement often unavailable at larger institutions.

The Advanced Studio is directed by John Wilkinson, N.D.D., R.A.S. (Dist).

Three programs of study are available in The Advanced Studio:

Foundation Studies in Visual Art

This 1-year introductory program is divided into four stages, beginning with intensive perceptual, formal, experimental and theoretical study, and ending with work on an independent project in a major and minor discipline.

Defined objectives at each stage form a natural learning progression, creating a structured and integrated program. Three interconnected courses are 1) Drawing, Observation, Understanding and Interpretation; 2) Contextual Studies; 3) Visual Studies (2D & 3D) and Time Based Studies.  The accumulated skills and understanding will encourage a more personal, self-initiated approach towards your major study.

You will have an opportunity to explore a wide range of materials and mediums within a multidisciplinary environment. Disciplines include painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video, sculpture, installation and performance. Throughout the year, there are scheduled field trips, visiting artist lectures and workshops.

This program is ideal for:

  • high school graduates looking to gain a solid theoretical understanding of art and design and to build their portfolio in order to apply to a college/university program
  • mature students seeking an immersive environment in which to develop a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the visual art process, theory and practice

The Foundation Studies in Visual Art program requires a minimum of four days commitment per week.

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How to apply

Prior to applying, you are strongly encouraged to book an appointment to see the Advanced Studio space, meet the Program Director and, where possible, talk with current participants. A tour of the school’s facilities will help you understand the range of opportunities this unique program provides.

Interviews can be booked by emailing the program director: advancedstudio@dvsa.ca.

Interested applicants may apply with a one to two-page letter of intent, stating your reasons for wanting to attend Foundation Studies. Share your reasons leading to your decision to apply. You may also discuss the skills and information you wish to gain from the program and where you wish for your learning to lead in the future. We are looking for enthusiastic students ready to make a serious commitment to learning and growing as a creative visual artist.

Letters should be sent as a Word or PDF document to Advanced Studio Director John Wilkinson – advancedstudio@dvsa.ca.

Acceptance onto the program is based upon a follow-up interview with faculty and a portfolio review. Your portfolio may contain drawings, paintings, sketchbook(s), photography, photographs of two-and three-dimensional work and any other work deemed to be considered visual art.

 

Independent Study in Fine Art

This program is designed for artists who have established a level of skill and have developed specific interests and seek encouragement and further challenges in order to broaden their awareness and reach higher goals and aspirations.

Independent Study is tutorial-based and structured around your specific interests, providing a broad range of practical and theoretical experiences in the creative exploration of the visual arts. Over the duration of the year, the aim is to nurture a level of self-direction and personal identity.

The course is structured around your statement of intent (required when applying). From this information and further discussion about your interests and experience, a program of work is determined. This is then followed on a regular basis with individual and collective tutorials, critiques and discussions. You’ll be provided with a studio space and the opportunity to take, at no charge, other courses offered by the school. You’ll also participate in group exhibitions in the school gallery. The program requires a minimum of four days commitment per week.

The overall objectives of the program are to:

  • foster self-directed learning
  • arrive at a true reflection of your artistic interests
  • establish a personal vision articulated through the development of an extensive body of work
  • build on a knowledge of history and contemporary art and theory
  • maintain a journal and statement of intent
  • apply for exhibitions outside of the school
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Residency in Fine Art

For graduates of fine art degree programs, this program is ideal for students wishing to concentrate on their studio practice in preparation for MFA applications or to transition into full-time application as a self-directed artist. The faculty will meet regularly with you to provide feedback, support and guidance.

You’ll be provided with a studio space and the opportunity to take, at no charge, other courses offered by the school. You’ll also participate in group exhibitions and have your own solo show in the school gallery. The program requires a minimum of four days commitment per week.

Since its inception in 1985, over 80 selected students have completed DVSA’s Residency in Fine Art program. Many of those students have gone on to national and international success as visual artists, designers, filmmakers, curators, historians, professors and teachers. Many of the students have obtained placements in graduate schools including: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, York University, Concordia University, and the University of Western Ontario in Canada, Rutgers University, San Francisco Academy, Maryland Institute, and the Pennsylvania Academy in the United States and Leeds University, the Royal College of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art and the University of Edinburgh in the U.K.

Scholarships are available for the Residency program (must be a university degree graduate). For more details, please contact DVSA Executive Director, Claire Loughheed, at clairel@dvsa.ca.

 

How to apply for Independent Study and Residency in Fine Art

Prior to applying, students are strongly encouraged to book an appointment to see the Advanced Studio space, meet the program director and, where possible, talk with current participants. A tour of the school’s facilities will help you understand the range of opportunities these unique programs provide.

Interviews can be booked by emailing the program director: advancedstudio@dvsa.ca.

The application process is straightforward: submit a 1–2-page statement of intent containing an outline of your envisaged work. This includes your influences, your choice of material, methods, process and modes of presentation. 20 images of your most recent work should be included with your submission for both programs. Applications for Residency should also include a C.V., a copy of postsecondary transcripts and the names and phone numbers of two referrals.

Letters should be sent as a Word or PDF document to Advanced Studio Director, John Wilkinson – advancedstudio@dvsa.ca.

If accepted, this material will be reviewed during a formal interview.

 

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The Advanced Studio Essentials

  • You’ll be provided with studio space in which to work and have full access during regular school hours. The School is open 7 days a week (excluding holidays) during the fall, winter and spring terms.
  • You must be prepared to commit beyond the hours that are being provided at the school – to study other artists, visit exhibitions and deepen the theoretical basis for your work.
  • The course’s educational philosophy recognizes each student has a diversity of backgrounds and professional experience. You’ll work with the program director at your own level and pace to develop self-directed projects.

Additional benefits to ensure success upon leaving the program:

  • Participation in DVSA’s professional skills workshops
    Artists Talks and opportunities for one-on-one critiques of your work with guest artists
  • Multiple opportunities over the course of the school year to exhibit your work in the School’s Gallery. This includes training in preparing the gallery space, hanging and lighting exhibitions, as well as the development of your artist’s statements, pricing and the interpretation of one’s own work
  • Exposure of your artwork to a wide-ranging and well-educated audience of DVSA students, faculty and members of the community
  • As a result of the small size of the program, you’ll receive collegial support and the benefit of a collective exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience — a unique arrangement often unavailable at larger institutions.

 

2019-2020 Fees

Fees can be paid in advance or paid on a pro-rated monthly basis over the course of the term. For details on pro-rated payments, please contact Business Manager Kathron Hann at kathronh@dvsa.ca or 905-628-6357, ext. 228.

Please note: 2019-20 terms vary from 8-12 weeks in duration.

2019 Fall Term: September 16th – December 6th (12 weeks)

  • Foundation Studies $1,700 + HST
  • Independent & Residency $2,035 + HST

2020 Winter Term: January 6th – April 3rd (12 weeks)

  • Foundation Studies $1,700 + HST
  • Independent & Residency $2,035 + HST

2020 Spring Term: April 27th – June 19th (8 weeks)

  • Foundation Studies not offered
  • Independent & Residency $1,357 + HST

 

Questions?

We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us during regular business hours.

Advanced Studio Director John Wilkinson: advancedstudies@dvsa.ca or by calling 905-628-6357, ext. 227 (not available Summer term)

Executive Director Claire Loughheed: clairel@dvsa.ca or by calling 905-628-6357, ext. 205.

Business Manager Kathron Hann at kathronh@dvsa.ca or by calling 905-628-6357, ext. 228.