Summer Institute for Art Educators at Maine College of Art & Design

The Summer Institute is getting a makeover and we'll be back in Summer 2023!

The Summer Institute for Art Educators at Maine College of Art & Design (formerly Feed Your Soul) is a week-long studio- and academic-based program designed to provide rigorous studio and research opportunities for high school art teachers before the start of the new academic year. This week will allow art educators to connect to their own practices as artists as well as provide structured academic and professional development time dedicated to honoring their roles as teachers.

This residential program at MECA&D is designed as a full week of instruction in the studio, in the classroom, in galleries and museums, and in the natural and urban environs of Portland, Maine. The week will include:

+ Morning studio workshops with MECA&D's BFA Faculty
+ Afternoon lectures, talks, classes, guided tours, and outings
+ 24/7 access to Maine College of Art & Design's campus, including elective studios and classrooms
+ Week-long access to the Joanne Waxman Library at MECA&D and the Portland Museum of Art for research and inspiration
+ Networking and professional development opportunities with high school art teachers from across the country, as well as with Portland, Maine-based artists, curators, educators, and organizers
+ Opportunities to study and make in the center of the Arts District in Portland, Maine — a gem of a city within walking distance to the ocean

Sample Schedule + Programming

Morning Workshops

The program offers one intensive workshop (minimum of 16 hours of in-class time) taught by MECA&D's BFA faculty and 24/7 elective studio and classroom access over the course of the residency. Representative workshops include:

+ CERAMICS: Handbuilding and Clay Surfaces
+ DRAWING/PAINTING: The Figure in a Contemporary Painting Dialogue
+ PAINTING: Plein Air Painting
+ PHOTOGRAPHY: Black and White Film Photography
+ PRINTMAKING: Screenprinting Posters and Shirts

Afternoon Classes

The afternoons at the Summer Institute are designated for more academic-based learning (minimum of 14 hours of in-class time) in the form of workshops, classes, talks, and guided tours of museums and galleries. These classes will be led by a selection of BFA Faculty, visiting artists, curators, and Portland-based educators and organizers. Typical programming includes:

+ Tour of the Portland Museum of Art
+ Visiting Artist Lecture
+ Professional Development Workshop
+ Portfolio Development: Creating and Curating an Admissions Portfolio
+ Scholastic Art Awards Info Session
+ Arts District Gallery Tours


Residents for the Summer Institute for Art Educators will be housed in MECA&D's Monument Square apartments in the heart of downtown Portland and just two blocks from the main studio building.

Each apartment has a bathroom, washer and dryer, and full kitchen equipped with a refrigerator, freezer, oven, stove, dishwasher, microwave, and sink. Apartments have both heat and AC adjustable per room. The floor plans are open; residents share bedrooms in the apartments. All rooms are furnished with a standard twin bed, dresser, desk, and desk chair for each resident. Rooms are equipped with both WiFi and ethernet.

Please note: we cannot accommodate partners, spouses, or children who are not attending the Summer Institute as participants, nor can we accommodate pets.


All travel expenses, including parking, are the responsibility of the participant. It is not necessary to have a vehicle in Portland during the duration of the program, as Portland is a very walkable city with several transportation options, including an airport, train station, and two bus stations. Uber, Lyft, and taxis are available 24/7.

Continuing Education Units

The Summer Institute for Art Educators at Maine College of Art & Design can offer three (3) Continuing Education Units upon successful completion of the program. To receive these credits, the following is required:

+ Attendance and participation in the morning studio workshop (16 hours)
+ Attendance and participation in afternoon classes (14 hours)
+ Be in good standing with any costs and fees for the program
+ Return all keys and leave housing and studios in good condition

Refund Policy

Refunds for the Summer Institute for Art Educators (full or partial) must be submitted in writing to and include the participant's name, refund request (item and cost), and the subject of the email should include "Summer Institute Refund." Housing and/or parking fees are refundable until June 30, 2020. After June 30, they are not refundable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

We welcome art educators from the United States who are actively working and teaching in public or private high schools. Art educators that are teaching in elementary and middle schools are welcome to apply, but primary consideration will given to high school art educators.

This program is best suited to participants who are practicing visual artists who would like to spend an intensive week in the studio and in the academic classroom. This year, and in future years, in order to receive 3 Continuing Education Credits, participants will need to be present in the studio workshop for 16 hours and in classes, lectures, talks, workshops, and guided tours for 14 hours during the week. It is a rigorous program designed for studio and academic immersion.

If you have attended Feed Your Soul in the past several years, you will note that the Summer Institute for Art Educators is markedly different from Feed Your Soul. While there is still a morning workshop component, there is less focus on individual studio work and requires attendance at afternoon lectures, talks, classes, and workshops as part of your week and professional development credit.

Can my partner/friend/colleague(s) and I apply together or collaboratively?

We will review all applications separately, and there is no guarantee that we can accept friends, colleagues, or partners together. If you are both/all accepted and would like to be housed together, we will do our best to accommodate that.

What kind of facilities do you have?

Maine College of Art & Design has a wide breadth of elective studios and classrooms for students. The following studios, classrooms, labs, and resources are available to Feed Your Soul participants: Ceramics studio classrooms (including glaze room and kilns), computer labs, Drawing classrooms, Fab Lab, Institute for Contemporary Art at MECA&D, Joanne Waxman Library, meditation and prayer room, Painting studio classroom, Photography studio classrooms and digital output lab, Printmaking studio classrooms (including the spray booth, darkroom, acid baths, screen room, and presses), Sculpture studio classroom and spray booth, Textile + Fashion Design studio classrooms.

We cannot offer individual studio spaces, but all elective and studio classrooms are available for your use. Woodworking tools and equipment may be made available with presence and permission of a technician.

How are participants selected?

A committee including Admissions staff, Continuing Studies, and a representative from the Executive Administration will review all applications together. Participant selection is based primarily on the fit of the program to the applicant (i.e. demonstrated interest in both the studio and academic aspects of the program), the perceived benefit the participant might have from attending the Summer Institute for Art Educators at this point in time, the resources available, and the media the participant will be working in. Preference is given to high school art educators.

Can I bring my partner, my family, or my pets?

We are not able to accommodate guests, families, or pets on campus. If your family would like to accompany you in Portland, we would be happy to give you suggestions for off-campus accommodations.

For More Information

Each year the website will be updated with information relative to that year’s program, including program dates, schedule, workshop options, and costs. If you have any questions regarding the program, please feel free to contact us at