Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
|Location||39 Art School Road
Madison, Maine, United States
The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture is an artists residency located in Skowhegan, Maine. Every year, the program accepts online applications from emerging artists from November through January, and selects 65 to participate in the nine-week intensive summer program. Admissions decisions are announced in April. The School provides participants with housing, food, and studio space, and the campus offers a library, media lab, and sculpture shop, among other amenities. The tuition for the program is $6,000, however aid is available, ensuring that everyone accepted into the program can attend, regardless of financial need.
While on campus, the participants interact with five or six resident faculty artists for the duration of the program, as well as five to seven visiting faculty artists, both of whom are selected by Skowhegan’s Board of Governors. Participants are not allowed to bring family or friends with them to Skowhegan, nor are visitors allowed on campus. Lectures by faculty artists, which are generally held on Fridays, are open to the public.
During World War II, New England portrait painter Willard C. Cummings was stationed in Alaska in the Army Art Unit. There, he shared his idea for an educational model “where young artists could study with leading artists of the time” with Sidney Simon, a sculptor also in the Unit. Upon returning from the War in 1946, with the help of Simon, Henry Varnum Poor, already an established presence in American Art, and Charles Cutler, a New England stone sculptor, Cummings turned his family farm into a functional alternative school run by artists for artists.
The School, as the name indicates, was originally focused on the traditional art forms of painting and sculpture, but gradually, the program began accepting artists of all practices, even being the alleged site of the first contemporary Land Art piece in 1968 by Douglas Leichter and Richard Saba.
Similarly, while The School originally offered classes such as life drawing or plein air painting, the school eventually forewent traditional forms of instruction save for weekly faculty lectures, and all classes on campus are now self-directed by participants. Fresco instruction, however, has always been a part of the program. Today, The School is unique in that it is one of the few institutions in the United States that teaches this technique. Since 2010, N. Sean Glover has been the fresco instructor.
Since 1952, The School has recorded the lectures given on campus by resident and visiting faculty artists. They now comprise an archive of over 700 lectures and are accessible to artists and researchers in select repositories including The Colby College Museum of Art, The Archives of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty Research Institute, and The Museum of Modern Art
Skowhegan alumni have included a number of well-known artists, including:
- Ellen Altfest '02 
- Nicole Awai
- Lee Bontecou
- Brian Bress 
- Christopher Carroll
- Sarah Cain '06 
- Dan Corson
- Victoria Fu '06
- Chitra Ganesh '01 
- Diana al-Hadid '07 
- Isabelle Johnson
- Robert Indiana
- Alex Katz
- Ellsworth Kelly
- Cabot Lyford '47
- Enrique Martinez Celaya '94 
- John J. O'Connor (artist) 
- Sheila Pepe '94 
- William Pope.L
- Naomi Safran-Hon '12 
- Jean Shin '99 
- Hugh Auchincloss Steers '91
- Nari Ward '91
- Pae White
- William Zorach 
- Karl Zerbe 
- Henry Varnum Poor (designer) 
- Jack Levine 
- Herb Aach 
- Berenice Abbott 
Awards to alumni
Artist's Lifetime Achievement Award, National Academy Museum– Alex Katz ('49, '50)
National Artist Award, Anderson Ranch Arts Center– Enrique Martinez Celaya ('94)
Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant– Jennie C. Jones ('96)
Adolph and Clara Obrig Prize, National Academy Museum– Robert Andrew Parker ('52) Susan Louise Shatter ('64)
American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards– Brian Alfred ('99) Ellen Altfest ('02) Matt Blackwell ('80) Mark Ferguson ('94) Stephen Mueller ('68) Dana Schutz ('99) Gedi Sibony ('99) Arthur Simms ('85) Emna Zghal ('04)
Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome– Daniel Bozhkov ('90)
William H. Johnson Prize, William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts– Edgar Arceneaux ('99)
Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship– Marie Watt ('95)
MacArthur Fellowship– Whitfield Lovell ('85)
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships– Danielle Abrams ('92) Patricia Cronin ('91) Peter Dudek ('78) Alessandra Exposito ('97) Heather Hart ('05) Wayne Hodge ('06) Shih Chieh Huang ('01) Yoko Inoue ('00) Jihyun Park ('02) Michael Rakowitz ('96) Peter Simensky ('03) Shinique Smith ('03) Steed Taylor ('97) Mary Temple ('99) Hank Willis Thomas ('05) Traci Tullius ('02) Nari Ward ('91) Saya Woolfalk ('04) Charles McGill ('87)
Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant– Cris Cristofaro ('70)
Art Matters Grants– Sanford Biggers ('98) Daniel Bozhkov ('90) Wayne Hodge ('06) Shaun Leonardo ('04) Charles McGill ('87) Kori Newkirk ('97) Clifford Owens ('04) Cauleen Smith ('07) Allison Wiese ('99) Saya Woolfalk ('04) Leslie Hewitt('01)
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Grant– Donna Conlon ('02)
Gwangju Biennial Prize– Allora & Calzadilla - Guillermo Calzadilla ('98)
Creative Capital Grants– Brody Condon ('01) Allison Wiese ('99) Wayne Hodge ('06)
Fulbright Senior Research Grant– Margaret Lanzetta ('81)
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Grant– Jon Cuyson ('06)
Penny McCall Foundation Grant– Allora & Calzadilla - Guillermo Calzadilla ('98)
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants– Marcus Bjernerup ('04) Sarah Cain ('06) Beth Campbell ('97) Christopher Duncan ('75) Katie Grinnan ('92) Iva Gueorguiva ('05) Kirsten Hassenfeld ('97) Eric Hongisto ('98) Young-Min Kang ('04) Elanit Kayne ('07) Haegeen Kim ('06) Tracy Miller ('92) John O'Connor ('00) Jean Shin ('99) Hong Zhang ('03)
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts 2012 Fellowship - Charles McGill ('87)
Cintas Fellowship– Allora & Calzadilla - Guillermo Calzadilla ('98)
- "Mission", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "List of Residencies | ResArtis". www.resartis.org. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- Gourley, Hugh J. (1990). Willard W. Cummings: the Artist. Waterville: Colby College Museum of Art. pp. Introduction.
- "Skowhegan at 70! | Common Street Arts". commonstreetarts.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- Glueck, Grace (October 15, 1967). "Wholes". The New York Times.
- "Skowhegan Lecture Archive". MoMA.
- "Bontecou, Lee", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Bress, Brian", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Indiana, Robert", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Alex Katz", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Cabot Lyford obituary". Portland Press Herald. 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
- "Pope.L, William", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Hugh Steers". yamp.org. Yale AIDS Memorial Project. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "White, Pae", Skowhegan Art, Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Skowhegan School of Art website