Fall Marathons 2017

Drawing Marathon

The School's internationally-recognized Marathon programs were developed in 1988 by Dean Graham Nickson, initially as a measure for the rest of the semester at the start of the program year. The program has since expanded to become a core component of the School's curriculum. Meanwhile, intense outside interest led to the extension of the Marathons to a wider audience of participants outside of the full-time student body. Renowned artists, art historians, dealers, collectors,  art educators, writers, journalists and students of all levels and affiliations have since experienced the intensity of the program.

The Marathon course hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm, with a lunch break from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. In some Marathons, there may be critiques. The specific critique schedule will be determined once courses have commenced.



Originally designed to address the importance of drawing as the basis of understanding one's experience in the world, the Marathons are based in an exploration of this most direct route to an enriched understanding of the language of the plastic arts. The innovation inherent in the Marathon program reawakens the way that drawing is experienced by artists and appreciators alike.

The Marathons are intensive, all-day programs that run for two weeks at the beginning of each semester and during the Summer Session. Drawing, Painting and Sculpture marathons are offered, both by full-time faculty and distinguished visiting artists, who are present for the entire session. All programs operate along the same basic model of immersing the student in their chosen discipline.

The level of commitment reached by participants during the Marathon is extraordinary. Each individual must confront the problems of drawing, painting and sculpture with vigor and intensity if they are are to show that they are equal to the fierce demands of concentration and stamina necessary for the program. Not only are participants fully engaged in the physical aspects of making art, they are also intellectually challenged and stimulated by extensive group and individual critiques. The strong and surprising works made often work as catalysts for future work.

Marathons are open to beginning and advanced artists, regardless of their affiliation. Fees for the ten-day course must be paid in full one week prior to the start of the Marathon.






Drawing Marathon - Graham Nickson and Guests

2 weeks: Tuesday, September 5 - Friday, September 15, 2017

In this Marathon, students learn the importance of drawing as the basis of understanding one's experience of the world. Drawing is seen here as the most direct route to the examination of our perceptions. Unorthodox tools and exercises will be introduced to broaden the student's drawing vocabulary.  The class meets every day for two consecutive weeks from 9:00AM - 6:00PM, five days a week. Evening critiques will be held during both weeks. Times of the critiques will be announced during the session. Attendance to each session is mandatory.   Cost: $1,625.

Drawing Marathon: Abstraction & Surprise - Fran O'Neill

Week 1: Tuesday, September 5 - Saturday, September 9, 2017

Abstraction & Surprise will encourage students to make many works and studies, with the idea of pushing students past their thresh hold of what they might consider to be the final product. We will begin by visiting the MoMA and looking at works from the permanent collection, with the objective being to explore ways to push this image further into abstraction, focusing on how one image can inform the next. Various approaches via drawing will be explored; not limited to, but may include explorations of: shape, line, intersections, scale, collage and mark making. Students should be committed and care deeply enough to be willing to recreate or destroy a work in order to allow a new and different process to come into play.  This will be a jumping off point to explore abstraction and how to achieve a new exploration of an image(s) based on pre-existing geometry and exploring subtle (and not so subtle) shifts that can occur, via scale and a variety of mark making, and could result in a very different image than what the original source. This course is for anyone with a curiosity to explore and may develop differently for each participant.

Cost: $890.

Drawing Marathon: Drawing (as a Verb, as a Thing):  Now and Forever

  - James Siena

Week 2: Monday, September 11 - Friday, September 15, 2017

The goal of this five-day intensive marathon is to establish drawing as an essential component in each student's studio practice.  It will employ both traditional and non-traditional modes of drawing and seeing, and will include two critiques and at least one site visit, to the study room at the Metropolitan Museum.  Each day will begin with two hours of life drawing, focused on the mechanics of seeing and mark-making, dissociated from each student's particular "brand".  This will be followed by individual work, with specific visits from the instructor.  A model will be available for the remainder of each day if any student desires one.  There will also be class discussions on the distinction between preparatory, spontaneous and finished drawings, and critiques will take place on the second and fifth days of the marathon.

Cost: $890.

Sculpture Marathon - Garth Evans

2 weeks: Tuesday, September 5 - Friday, September 15, 2017 

This Marathon offers physically demanding exercises that provoke exciting dialogues between work in two and three dimensions. In the past, students of all levels who have completed the full two weeks of this course have experienced important breakthroughs. The class meets every day for two consecutive weeks from 9am to 6pm. Critiques will be held during the first week and at the conclusion of the second week. Times of critiques will vary and will be announced during the session. Attendance throughout each session is essential. This course is an introduction to working in three dimensions. For experienced students, this course will provide additional experience, which will be integrated with important aspects of the language of sculpture. For more advanced students, this course will facilitate a reconsideration of one's practice. The instructor will be present for all, or part, of each scheduled daytime session. Students will be expected to continue to work independently in the evenings and/or early mornings.

Cost: $1,625. Materials Fee: $50


Application Deadline: August 25, 2017






If you are currently enrolled as a full-time student at NYSS, or if you have successfully completed a Marathon or full-time program within the last five years, you are not requiredto submit an application in order to enroll in upcoming Marathons.


Please e-mail the Student Services Coordinator Tanya Steinberg at tsteinberg@nyss.org and provide: (1) the name of the upcoming course in which you would like to enroll; (2) the name of the program you most recently attended; and (3) the semester and year of the program that you most recently attended.


We will ask you to verify your contact information and update your Emergency Contact information.  We will also ask that you submit a non-refundable $45 processing fee along with a $500 Tuition Deposit (which will be applied to your Tuition payment) in order to secure your place in the upcoming program of your choice. 


We look forward to welcoming you back to the New York Studio School!


The earlybird special deadline for Fall 2016 Enrollment is July 25th, 2016

The final deadline for Fall 2016 Enrollment is August 26th, 2016.

**Applications will be reviewed as they are received; we encourage you to apply early as some courses may reach full capacity before the deadline.**


Please note: Courses are subject to change and cancellation depending upon enrollment.