Kent Blossom Art Intensives Bring a Rich Visual Arts Experience to Northeast Ohio

Visiting artist Grant Garmezy (center) works with glass students during the 2018 intensive in glass.

Imagine an artist oasis where you can focus on your work while conversing with seasoned and sometimes idolized artists in your field for two weeks, without interruption. Is this just a dream or perhaps something that only exists in California or Cape Cod? Neither are true. This program exists and it’s been right here in Ohio for over fifty years.

Many people are surprised and excited when they hear about the history of Kent Blossom Art Intensives (KBAI) at Kent State University’s School of Art. Since 1968, college students and individual artists have been participating in these two-week studio intensives which boast a roster of visiting artists such as Alex Katz, Dale Chihuly, Ann Hamilton, Ron Nagle, Carolee Schneemann, Diana Al-Hadid and Philip Pearlstein. Individuals who participate in the program get a truly unique and unforgettable summer experience. Students learn techniques and skills from these artists and benefit from discourse, discovering aspects of what it means to be an artist in today’s world.

So, what’s with the name? The program was started when the Cleveland Orchestra moved to a new summer home at Blossom Music Center about fifteen miles from the Kent State campus. Under an agreement with the Musical Arts Association, Kent State University instituted two new programs: an intensive musical apprenticeship program using the Cleveland Orchestra members together with visiting musicians, and an equally intensive art program with carefully selected students and a distinguished group of visiting artists.

Kent State has continued this tradition into the present day, providing exciting opportunities to work alongside and engage with visiting artists from around the country every summer. Each of these intensive courses focuses on one medium, including painting/drawing, sculpture, jewelry/metals/enameling, ceramics, glass, print media, or textiles. In 2019, the School of Art is providing KBAI opportunities in each of these seven areas, which is a first for the program. These courses are open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as individual artists who would like to expand their skills or body of work.

Visiting artists for 2019 include: Holly Coulis and Patrick Berran (painting), Raine Bedsole and Todd Slaughter (sculpture and expanded media), Valerie Hammond and Emily Arthur (print media), De La Torre Brothers (glass), Judith Salomon and Joanna Powell (ceramics), Samantha Bittman and Chinami Ricketts (textiles) and Marissa Saneholtz (jewelry/metals/enameling). Applications are open through April 30 and the sessions begin May 26. More details and applications available at


Kent State University School of Art
325 Terrace Drive
Kent, Ohio 44242