Aspiring Artists

A special scholarship opportunity for high school students.

a man and woman painting

About Aspiring Artists

Aspiring Artists is the League's fully-funded professional-level program for talented high school juniors and seniors who are interested in developing their painting skills. Students who are selected to participate in this rigorous program receive a full scholarship that covers tuition and materials.

The Aspiring Artists class is taught by the renowned urban landscape painter Bennett Vadnais. Interested students must apply with a portfolio, and up to 20 students are selected to participate in the program each year.

This program is an extraordinary opportunity to study at the nation's oldest and most influential art school and participating students can expect to see tremendous growth in their already advanced artistic abilities.

Applicants who are accepted should make a full commitment in attending the program weekly for 8 months.

How to Apply

The Aspiring Artists program is open to junior and senior high school visual artists working in drawing or painting. Applicants are required to submit a statement of Artistic Intent, and five images of your artwork. Photographs and artworks that use digital software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch or Procreate) will not be accepted.

The 2023/24 Aspiring Artists program runs from October 15, 2023 – May 19, 2024.
Applicants for 2023/24 have been chosen. We will begin accepting applications for the 2024/25 program starting in May 2024.

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Who should apply to the Aspiring Artists program?

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The Aspiring Artists program was designed as a professional-level opportunity for high school juniors and seniors who show advanced talent and skill in painting or drawing. Students who seek an intensive education in painting specifically will benefit greatly from the program, and many Aspiring Artists students use their time in the program to develop portfolios to apply to undergraduate art programs.

When are applications for Aspiring Artists due?

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The application deadline for the Aspiring Artists program is typically mid-Fall during the year that the program begins. The program itself typically runs from October–May.

When does the Aspiring Artists class meet?

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Typically the Aspiring Artists class runs on Sunday afternoons, from October–May.

What do students in the Aspiring Artists program learn?

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Instructor Bennett Vadnais is a master of the medium of oil paint. In class, students will paint directly from life as they learn the fundamentals of oil painting: light, color, form, space, and composition. These are the building blocks of individual expression, and many students use the program to develop their style and build a portfolio to apply to undergraduate art programs.