"Refuge has been nothing short of a blessing for my family. It has helped shape my son into a much better all around artist that is willing to step out of his comfort zone. As a parent, nothing makes me prouder than being able to watch my son grow as a person and refuge has given me that opportunity." - Julianne, Parent
FAQ: How it works
How are programs structured at Refuge?
Our programming is broken down into 3 semesters annually:
Fall - Portfolio and technical skills
Spring - Polishing work and exploring concepts
Summer - Topics on specific mediums, skill sets and community projects
What do I need for the first class?
It is always super helpful for us to see the prior work of a student, so that we can better assess a student's strengths, and identify areas for improvement. We encourage students to bring previous work on their first class in addition to a current sketchbook.
If I have paid for the semester pack and I miss a class, can I make it up?
We like to keep classes to 10 students, maximum. Please message Nikki ahead of time if you are hoping to make up a class. If there is availability in another class during the week your child may make that class up. Drop-ins and class packs are only valid within the semester they were purchased for.
What if I need to cancel a class that I have already paid for? (Cancelation Policy)
Should you need to cancel a purchased class, a refund of half the original cost can be made 2 weeks prior to start of the class. Cancelations made within 14 days prior to the start of class are not eligible for a refund as tuition subsidizes the cost of scholarships for local youth.
What do you learn in Portfolio Development?
Each class starts with a technical or conceptual lesson prompt (approx. 20-45 mins long). In the remainder of the class students have the option to continue developing the work from the original prompt, work on personal projects, or start a individually assigned project tailored to the students needs.
Class sizes are small by design and there are multiple Artist/Teachers available for feedback and guidance.
Do I need to be preparing a Portfolio to take Portfolio Development?
You do NOT need to be preparing a portfolio for college to attend Portfolio Development classes. We love having students that express a raw need to create and that are open to being pushed in new directions and we believe that mixings ages of artists is to the benefit of our students. Students who take Portfolio Development range in ages from 10-22.
How long are Portfolio Development classes and how often can I take them?
Most students choose to do one of the two days a week, but taking both classes each week is also an option. The classes run like a traditional 3-hour college studio class, providing the necessary time and structure needed to develop ideas and skills sets.
Fall & Spring Portfolio Development Programs run:
Wednesday evenings 5:30- 8:30pm
Saturday mornings 10am-1pm
Ages (10 and up)
What other College Portfolio services do you offer?
In the Fall, we offer portfolio documentation sessions so that students can document their portfolio professionally. We have found that this is crucial to ensuring that each student's portfolio strongly represents the student's visual voice in its most genuine and polished form for college admission. Make a list of your deadlines and let us know your earliest deadline so that we can begin preparing and schedule your documentation.
The fall is also a time for portfolio reviews with a range of College Representatives from Mass Art, SCAD, Lesley, MECA, SAIC, Monserrat etc. These free evening events are incredibly beneficial for students who are looking for feedback on their work, learning about new schools, and the unique aesthetics that colleges seek in portfolio submissions. We cannot recommend this experience enough!!
Are there any other art programs at Refuge?
Summer Classes focus on special topics, designed to encourage an exploration of mediums, styles, disciplines and concepts. The variety in summer programs gives students the opportunity to explore a range of directions like fashion, digital photography, perspective drawing, embroidery etc. This variety of medium exploration is especially beneficial for guiding students so that they may better understand their own interests & possible directions to take once in college. Plus, trying new things is awesome!
We love our middle schoolers! As Refuge is a place of experimentation we will be exploring a new class that is 2 hours long and will run on Mondays this Spring! This program will place a special emphasis on exposing students to specific artists, themes, concepts, mediums and structured projects.
Refuge values the act of place-making in the community of Refuge, Western Avenue and Lowell through projects such as large-scale murals and permanent installations. These projects happen annually and include Refuge artists in the execution of the work. A portion of all tuition helps to fund local youth in Lowell so that we can help bridge the gap of providing equitable visual arts education to young artists.
Are there classes for younger artists?
During the summer we offer a program called Studio Art for Kids for children 5-10. This program gives kids the opportunity to experiment, explore and learn new mediums, with a shorter class time.
How can I get started?
Looking to Register for a class?
(cash/checks will also be accepted day of the first class, this option can be selected in the online checkout)