Schoolhaus (and the ‘Schoolhaus / A4‘ program) is a interdisciplinary experiment in non-institutional art and design education. Through reduced-cost (sometimes free) intensives, small-scale social classrooms, real-world project-based goals, self-directed outcomes, one-on-one mentorship — and a multitude of other hyphenated attributes — we are working to produce an art education experience that is as creative, responsive, and human, as the act of art-making itself.

We’ve tried to hone that description before, give it some killer elevator pitch of some kind, but even Schoolhaus attendees have a hard time encapsulating what actually happens at Schoolhaus. Here’s a few testimonials:

“I leave every class so energized and full of creative power, I go home and anything I touch turns into something amazing. And at the same time, it’s overwhelming. It’s kind of like opening Pandora’s box, in a wonderful and terrifying way.”

“This is the design class I never had the chance to take. It’s impacted me paramountly, even outside of art; raising questions like ‘what is art?’ and ‘what is this place that we are creating from?”

“The collaborative aspect was important, so important. I don’t think I ever thought about that until I took this course.”

“I really would like to see more programs like this in the future. This has really changed my ideas, my mind, my whole reference point as to why I create art and why it’s important to me.”

The experience of Schoolhaus is extremely more organic than the standard classroom, and much more diverse than a mentorship. It feels a bit like an art and design social club, or maybe some temporary educational commune. The energy lies not with just the curriculum, but with the entire group’s shared response to the curriculum, and to each other. Does this sound like some kind of pedagogical mumbo-jumbo? That seems to come with the territory when a new idea is literally “unprecedented”.

First initiated in the fall of 2013, Schoolhaus is still in its infancy. But with the overwhelming success of our most recent “Schoolhaus / A4”, we are excited to offer another session, and anticipate more sessions and more opportunities available to any and all artists and designers interested in helping contribute to the redefinition of art education. If you would like to help us build Schoolhaus, please consider donating today.