A cornerstone of DVSA’s programs, The Advanced Studio is designed specifically for students that have particular areas of interest in the visual arts and have established a level of skill. This program offers encouragement and challenges in order to broaden awareness and to reach higher goals and aspirations as an artist. Ideal candidates already have a sense of themselves artistically and are looking to re-evaluate their practice in a more serious and professional manner. You may be preparing for MFA applications or looking to launch your career as a self-directed artist.

Requiring at least four days commitment per week, the course’s educational philosophy recognizes the diversity of backgrounds and the professional experiences of its students. It offers collegial support, a collective exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience as part of a small and committed community of artists — a unique arrangement often unavailable at much larger institutions.

Students are expected to establish and develop a work base in The Advanced Studio. You can expect to be challenged and must be prepared to commit beyond the hours that are being provided at the school in order to study other artists, visit exhibitions and deepen the theoretical basis for your work.

To apply, you are asked to submit a brief (one or two page) statement of intent containing an outline of your envisaged work. This includes the sources of reference which influence you, the process involved and your choice of material, methods and modes of presentation. From this information and further discussion about your interests and experiences, a proposal will be developed. This will be evolved further on a daily basis through individual and collective tutorials, critiques and discussions. The overall objective is to foster self-directed learning and arrive at a true reflection of your artistic interests with a personal vision in an extensive body of work.

Interested artists should Email advancedstudio@dvsa.ca for the application process, schedule and pricing.

Since its inception in 1985, over 80 students have completed The Advanced Studio Progam (formerly known as Mentored Studies and Advanced Studies). The students were graduates of Guelph, Waterloo, McMaster and other universities across Canada and the U.S. Many of the students have obtained placements in graduate schools including Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, York University, Concordia University, the University of Western Ontario, Rutgers University, San Francisco Academy, Maryland Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy, the Royal College of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art and the University of Edinburgh in the U.K. Many of those students have gone on to national and international success as visual artists, designers, filmmakers, curators, historians, professors and teachers.


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

Register now for the Spring term. Classes available in Painting, Sculpture, Pottery, Drawing, Photography, Printmaking and much more.