Ox-Bow School of Arts - Saugatuck MI / by Sarvin Haghighi

In case you have not heard of Ox-Bow so far, I encourage you to make a trip to this beautiful Art School and experience all the amazing things they have to offer, Through its affiliation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow offers year around programs, summer benefits, workshops and so much more. 

As mentioned on their website, courses are a unique experience to work closely alongside artists from across the country with world-class instructors. The courses are diverse, ranging in focus from the functional to the sculptural; from traditional to contemporary; from representational to conceptual. During intensive and immersive one & two week courses, students delve deeply into their practices. Housing or commuting options are available. For a closer look at Ox-Bow's grounds and life on campus during the summer, visit their information page.

I was thrilled and honored to have been approached by this amazing school to teach a one week workshop. I wanted my students to learn as much as possible throughout this week. Designing the sessions and what to do on each day took a while but it did worth the time spent on it as by the end of it I was sure that no matter the level of my students, they will either become inspired or add on to their current creation process. 

The location is stunning, located close to the beautiful town of Saugatuck and Douglas, once you get to the campus, you are immediately captured by the beauty and greenery around you. The campus offers Artist Residencies in many fields. Each studio is filled with art enthusiasts creating Art with different mediums. 

If you intend to teach a class for few days, I would suggest considering below points:-

  • Design and map out your teaching strategy, what are you going to teach each day, give time to your students to practice. Whatever you do, you want to make sure the last days of the workshop is rewarding for attendees. 
  • Get the full list of attendees in advance and familiarize yourself with the level of students if possible. You will then have a full picture to help you map out the sessions better. For example if you have a mix of beginners and experts, your sessions will be planned differently whereas if all are beginners. 
  • Check out with the location to ensure they have all you need, prepare in advance by sharing the list of materials as well to make sure you have enough for everyone. 
  • Patience is very important throughout the workshop, to ask every question and help those who might need more assistance, make sure everyone try out their learnings at their own time.
  • Give everyone a chance to use their own imaginations. At the end of the day, you want them to create what they want based off the knowledge they gain from the workshop.

I can not wait to go back next year. This experience was so rewarding for me as well. I connected with the art of teaching in ways I never had before. 

OxBow School of Arts is located at : 3435 Rupprect Way, Saugatuck, MI 49453

View from our class...

View from our class...

My amazing students...It was such an honor to teach them.

My amazing students...It was such an honor to teach them.