The Oxbow School: Summer Art Camp & Semester Program | Summer Program Guide | Teen Ink

The Oxbow School: Summer Art Camp & Semester Program

The Oxbow School's Semester Program is for high-school students in their junior and senior year, as well as for those taking a gap year. Our mission is to strengthen students’ abilities in creative and critical inquiry by combining rigorous studio art practice with innovative academics. Our vision is for Oxbow students to develop a stronger sense of identity, self-worth, and the confidence to embrace the responsibility for their own learning and lives.

Oxbow Summer Art Camp is for rising 9th-12th graders. Each year, we bring together an inspiring group of artists who are passionate teachers, learners, and creators. We build an open-minded community in which teens can deeply engage in studios and activities. Participants discover and develop their art practice and sense of self. We believe there is no limit to what teens can create given an environment of high-level instruction and support.


What draws teens to your program?

Our programs emphasize the exploration of teens' talents, inside and outside the studio. There are many different ways to ignite creativity, which is why we offer our students exposure to many different mediums, techniques, and approaches to making art. Teens return home with concrete evidence of their personal growth.

What type of teen attends your program?

Teens who are passionate about art! No portfolios or previous art training are required-just the desire to dive in and see what happens!

Where do your participants come from?

Across the United States and abroad!

What's a typical day like?

Oxbow’s Semester and Summer Program are focused on creating project-based art. Each day, our students mix studio time with participation in activities such as inspiration evenings, campfires, yoga, hiking, film screenings, and visits to local art exhibitions. Teens enjoy exploring their independence and making new connections with their peers and mentors.

In both of our programs, students will have the opportunity to work on a Final Personal Project. They will select a topic, their medium of choice, and work closely with staff to bring the idea to fruition. They will engage all steps of the artistic process, from idea to creation, critique, and exhibition.

What should participants expect to learn or take away from your program?

At Oxbow, studio art practice is not about waiting for inspiration; we believe that artists design problems and then solve them, opening up new ideas and possibilities while responding to materials that re-shape the originating question. Students leave Oxbow with a set of skills that can be reconfigured to meet the challenges of ever-changing goals and environments.

What are past participants saying about your program?

"The Oxbow community is diverse, accepting and open, kind, and committed to art."


“I have become more confident in making art and realized that I have a lot more creativity and talent than I gave myself credit for.”


"Being able to access all of the resources that camp has to provide and creating your own piece that means something to you was an amazing experience."

– Eliza

“I loved being part of a community in which everyone knew each other and was so open, but also allowed me to grown as a person and artist…My art now feels as though it has the potential to gain more depth and expand to new horizons.”


“I found it really inspiring to create a piece where I had total control and had different materials that I hardly ever work with…I’ve definitely grown as an artist and as a person. Over the past two weeks, I’ve learned to be myself and to be open.”


“The Oxbow community is very inclusive and open…I have developed into a more skilled artist here, but above all, a more happy and outgoing person…Here, I have found how to come out of my shell and be myself. I have gained courage, a trait that I have long struggled with obtaining.”


“I loved the feeling of being part of a community that embraces the weirdness. The Oxbow community is a driven, inclusive, positive group of individuals. I have expanded my knowledge of the art community and I have learned to be true to who I am.”


“It is really special how we're all encouraged to fearlessly be ourselves and are totally accepted…I’ve grown by being away from home and becoming more independent as well as creatively. I’ve learned about different types of art and been inspired to let my creativity lead me to new heights.”


Ages: 14-17

Gender: Co-Ed

Type: Overnight/Residential

Physical & Mailing Address:
The Oxbow School, 530 Third Street
Napa, CA USA 94559

More Information:

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