Summer Workshops for Teens

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Experience a Summer Camp Like No Other

4 Weeks to Create and Connect Through Art

At Putney, we stress the importance of practice and exploration in art making rather than focusing on portfolio building. We know that finding the joy in artmaking and discovering a personal voice will organically lead to a portfolio that is an authentic representation of the student’s passion and skill.

Program Details

Dates: July 1-28, 2023

Ages: 14-17 rising 9th to rising 12 graders

Boarding Tuition: $9,100 ($8,750 for applications received before January 15, 2023)

Includes room, board, workshop materials and activities

Day Student Tuition: $3,100 (Permanent resident within 25 miles radius of school)

Includes workshop materials and activities

At the end of each summer, students leave Putney with a diverse body of work that is representative of their growth and experiences. At Putney we grow as a community and as artists.

Workshops are designed for students at all levels of experience and focus on each student’s individual trajectory. Students select two workshops as their main focus, and each workshop meets for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon.

Explore Workshops for Teens





Fashion Design


Graphic Novel & Illustration

Life Drawing

Metal Jewelry

Narratives in Photography







Vocal Ensemble

Vocal Ensemble

Weaving & Fiber Arts

Writing Stories of Self & World


Outside of the chosen workshops, students gather and engage with one another and faculty in both organized and informal settings. Activities and events include student and faculty performances, a trip to town, afternoon sports activities, an overnight camping trip, and more. 

Each summer we build an intentional community. We create a space that is  open and supportive of each student as they dive into their creative work and navigate their growth as individuals. Dorm living, workshops, daily sing, meals, camping, and all campus-wide events are important parts of our community building. We are committed to supporting the range of experiences and expression that students share at Putney and to creating a community of understanding of one another that enriches all. 

To this end, summers at Putney are an experiment in analog living, where students turn in their cell phones and other internet-ready devices at the beginning of the session and commit to being fully present with one another, in the dorms, studios and all other aspects of the program.


Part of the fun of summers at Putney is the opportunity to make new friends. Living in a dormitory and with a roommate is part of that experience. The dormitory living spaces at Putney are rustic and quaint with a common living room, shared bathrooms and mostly double rooms. We encourage students to bring a fan for their room as rooms are not wired to support air conditioning units and nights can be warm. Dormitory life is close-knit, safe, and comfortable.

We have male, female and all gender spaces available to choose from, each staffed with college-age dorm heads. Visits between students from different dorms are allowed only in dorm living rooms during supervised visiting hours. Our dorm assignments are made to meet the needs of each member of the community. We do not honor requests from friends and family members to room together. Preference is given to students who need to be in the spaces they have selected based on a dorm form filled out before arrival. We encourage students and parents to have a conversation about the dorm selections available.

The Putney School Summer Arts builds a community built on trust, honesty and respect. Dorm rooms do not have locks on them, and members of the community should behave in a manner that reflects the values of the community. All members of the community should respect the privacy and property of others and share in the creation of an environment that protects the physical and emotional well-being of each dormitory resident.


Wholesome and plentiful meals are served in the central dining hall (the K.D.U.). The school grows many of its vegetables and produces milk and dairy products. Vegetarian and vegan selections are available at meals. Our experienced kitchen staff plans daily menus to meet the needs of students with food allergies. A wood-fired oven, stoked and fired in the morning, provides fresh bread, pizza, and other baked goods. 


In the evening you’ll enjoy shorter activities, artist talks, and open studio time. The Evening Arts program offers you the opportunity to continue to develop your skills from one of your main workshops or select an entirely different art form. You’ll choose two activities that each meet for a series of seven classes over the course of four weeks. 


Weekend events and field trips are planned to capitalize on our commitment to the arts, the Vermont landscape, and our dedication to creating a memorable experience. Students enjoy dorm activities, all-campus field trips, faculty presentations, fiction and poetry readings, dances, open studio time, a film festival, and other local activities. As part of our commitment to community and to experiencing this natural setting, we spend one morning each session in service to the campus and one night sleeping outdoors on our “leave no trace” outback overnight. 

Students will need to bring a sleeping bag for an overnight camping trip to one of several campsites on campus. This is a great opportunity for the community to connect with nature, and each other, as they set up their campsites, prepare meals over a fire, enjoy s’mores together and play games to pass the time. There will be time for deepening friendships, bonding with new people, and self reflecting.

Academic Credit

Students receive written, narrative evaluations and a certificate of successful completion in the program. Students seeking academic credit for participation in Putney’s workshops may request course descriptions, teacher credentials, and teacher evaluations for student participation be sent to their school registrar. 


During the summer, our health staff, program director, and the administrative team will make informed decisions regarding the care of every student. In order to do the best we can to assure that all students have an enriching, positive and safe experience at Putney, all parents/guardians must disclose any emotional and physical medical conditions their child may have. This information helps us be best positioned to support all of our students.

We encourage students who are in regular therapeutic counseling to consider scheduling a check-in appointment, once or twice during the program, between 4:00pm and 5:45pm, M – F. The Putney School Summer Arts will have a part-time school counselor available for limited check-ins but not for ongoing care. 

If cutting or other forms of self-harm are things that a student is currently involved in or becomes actively involved in during the course of the programs, they will need to leave to be in the care of their family. The Putney School Summer Arts is not staffed for nor can we provide the necessary support for students who are actively self-harming.


Students who come to Putney each summer forgo their cellphones and other internet-ready devices at orientation and take part in an experiment in analog living. Students commit to being fully present with the community through all the different aspects of the program. Students will not be able to access their cellphones or other devices during the session at any point. This may or may not be a challenge for you.

There is limited access to a computer lab two nights a week, where students will be able to check email and communicate with family. This is NOT a time to access social media or to stream other forms of media. Due to the limited number of computers available and the number of participants, usage time is limited.