About the Program

Paint School is a free master class in the theory and practice of painting that takes place in New York City. This discourse-based program brings twelve fellows together with faculty members who are widely recognized as among the most exceptional painters working today.

Inspired by alternative educational initiatives like Black Mountain College, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Core Program, Paint School is unaccredited but extraordinarily rigorous. Presented in the style of a post-graduate fellowship, this program aims to enrich contemporary painting through peer exchange. Fellows are expected to possess a significant history of engagement with the field and a desire to participate in a community focused on dialogic interchange. This program is best suited for painters who have completed their formal education.

The main content of Paint School is a series of group discussions between fellows and faculty. These discussions use texts selected by faculty and fellows as launch points for critical response. Fellows are expected to complete 2 to 8 hours of reading per month and attend 2 meetings per month, each lasting about 3 hours. In addition, there is a single all-day meeting on January 7 for which fellows must prepare a 30-minute slide lecture.

The theme of the 2020 session of Paint School will be: Character. Readings and discussions will use facets of ideas of character like morality, intention, and perspective as touchstones. Not limited strictly to figuration, character offers a vantage on narrative unshackled from technique. The 2020 cohort will ask: How do painters create stories beyond form? How do they borrow from other figurative media or psychology? How do artists talk about people, society, and culture through paintings? What is the cultural responsibility of the painter? Through a selection of readings and discussions, Paint School will explore character's complex operations as well as imagine its continued potential to structure the approach of artists to life and the discipline of painting generally.

Faculty for Paint School 2020 include: Ellen Berkenblit, Leidy Churchman, Chitra Ganesh, Mark Thomas Gibson, Rob Pruitt, Tschabalala Self, and Kyle Staver.

Applications will be accepted October 25 through November 22 for the 2020 season, which will run January 7 through June 16. Meetings of the upcoming session of Paint School will take place from 6:30 to 9:30pm on January 14 and 21, February 4 and 21, March 10 and 24, April 7 and 21, May 5 and 19, and June 2 and 16; as well as January 7 from 10am to 6pm. All meetings are mandatory for fellows.