2023 RISD Summer Teen Art Institute at the HD Shanghai School

RISD Continuing Education is excited to announce the return of the Summer Teen Art Institute in Shanghai, China. After a successful inaugural program in 2022, the institute will return in 2023 bigger and better than ever. The RISD Summer Teen Art Institute is a residential program hosted at the HD Shanghai Bilingual School. This is an exciting opportunity for students to immerse themselves into critical art and design practices. Students are given the chance to experience RISD’s renowned approach to art and design education while further developing their skills, goals and artistic voice.

The 2023 institute will offer back-to-back art and design experiences for rising 10–12 grade students (and recent grade 12 graduates). Students will engage in a vibrant creative experience that will help them define strategies for portfolio development and next steps in their visual arts education.

Student artwork (above, left to right) by Kevin Z., Annabel D. and Mindy M., 2022 participants

New students can enroll in the full five-week program, or can choose to only participate in the three-week foundation experience. Returning students can continue their experience by enrolling in the two-week major intensive.

  • 3-Week Foundations Experience: The institute will start with a three-week foundational program, which incorporates the fundamentals of drawing explorations, design essentials, process, materials, rigorous inquiry, and conceptual thinking. Students in this program will participate in two courses: Design Essentials and Drawing Explorations. This three-week experience runs from July 9–29, 2023.
  • 2-Week Major Intensive: By popular demand, the institute will offer a two-week in-depth exploration of a specific discipline. Students will have the opportunity to build on their foundational work by selecting a major, which will allow them to focus on a particular field in design or fine art. This intensive program will allow students to explore the methods and approaches of specific industries and the ways in which art and design education can be applied across society. This two-week experience runs from July 30–August 12, 2023. Please note: Students must already have completed (2022) or plan to complete (2023) the three-week foundational experience in order to participate in this Major portion of the program.
  • 5-Week Intensive: Students who are admitted to both programs can bundle these experiences for a discounted rate. Both portions of the program inform and build upon one another to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The full five-week program runs from July 9–August 12, 2023.

In studio, coursework is project-based and experiential, and provides students the opportunity to be challenged in new ways of thinking, explore meaning in their work and give voice to their personal visual expression—key assets sought by art college portfolio reviewers. Emphasis in studio work is on exploration and inquiry through demonstrations and assignments, research and material investigations. Students will participate in critiques and receive verbal and written feedback on their work. Critique is crucial to creative process and advancement; it provides students with a visual language that can reinforce, challenge and change ideas. Throughout the program students will develop a series of visual studies—investigation through sketching and prototyping—that will inform their portfolio development.

Both programs will include live Zoom meeting times with RISD faculty (18 hours per course), daily studio work facilitated by on-site RISD alumni instructors, enrichment and developmental opportunities, open work time for assignments and a final exhibition, and small group collaborations or personalized support from on-site tutors. Additional coursework and engagement will occur through Canvas, our learning management system. The program will conclude with a final exhibition and a certificate of completion.

Courses are taught by RISD faculty who are professional artists adept at pushing students to focus on process and experimental-based artmaking to help achieve unexpected results. Instructors provide final assessments and feedback for a student’s continued artistic and portfolio development, as well as insight into potential education and career opportunities.

Foundation Experience (3 weeks):
$7,200 Tuition
$990 Residential Fee
$60 Application Fee

Major Intensive (2 weeks):
$5,400 $4,800 Tuition (special rate for returning 2022 students)
$660 Residential Fee
$60 Application Fee

5-Week Bundle:
$12,600 $12,000 Tuition
$1,650 Residential Fee
$60 Application Fee

Note: Tuition includes all necessary art supplies.

For inquiries about the residential and logistical aspects of the program please contact risdsummerprogram@hdschools.org

For more information, please email

Application opens: February 1, 2023
Application deadline extended: April 23, 2023

How to Apply

  • Create an application on the Application Dashboard. At the bottom of the page, First Time Users, click “Create an account” to start a new application.
  • Once you have created an account, click “Start New Application” at the bottom of the page.
  • In the drop-down menu, select application type: “2023 Shanghai Summer Teen Art Institute”
  • Complete all steps before submitting your application.

Hear what participants of the 2022 program have to say:

“I really liked the summer program. I think it was definitely much more challenging than I thought, but meeting people with the same interests as me and trying things I haven’t tried before was a really great experience.”

“I think this program really gave me the opportunity to explore things outside of my comfort zone. I was able to challenge and push myself beyond my normal limits and create works that I’m proud of. Through all the open-ended assignments, I was able to get in touch with different mediums and I think that really helped me get a clearer vision of what possible directions I would want to go in for future art majors.”

“It was honestly a great experience. This was the first time I had ever been taught by college level teachers, and even though learning and working in the beginning was definitely tough, I feel as if I have greatly improved as an artist after taking this course. The best part of this experience was definitely receiving critiques from the teachers and TAs, as I received truly insightful advice on my work, and have a better idea of what art colleges look for in a potential student and have also become more comfortable with stepping out of my comfort zone. Also just got a bunch of work done, and now have a lot more refined pieces ready for my portfolio!”

Parent/Guardian Survey

In a survey of parents/guardians of students in the 2022 program:


Highly likely or likely to recommend the program to others


Helped them and their student decide on next steps and goals for their education


Saw significant or exceptional improvement in their student’s artwork and overall development

Student artwork by Adonis L.

Student artwork (above, left to right): Angelina G., Daniel Z. and Adonis L., 2022 participants