Art Events

Arts Alive! 2022

Arts Alive! 2022 is the perfect way to experience the rich offerings of our community arts organizations. Join us for an afternoon of performances across multiple stages, both indoors and outdoors, and celebrate your local arts community on Sunday, September 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. This free, family-friendly festival is co-presented by the Prince William County Arts Council and the Hylton Performing Arts Center and is fun for-all-ages.


  • Hands-on activities and live demonstrations for all ages
  • Live performances and exhibits by local artists and arts organizations
  • Visual art on display and for sale
  • Local writers reading and selling their work
  • Food and beverages available for purchase, and more!

Check back through September 11 for the full schedule of events and performances at for information, or visit

Announcements Art

Calling All Virginia Artists!

The “Power of Home” digital art contest open to all Virginians as part of Virginia Housing’s 50th anniversary.

The contest will award a total of $20,000 to multiple winners across three categories – school-age students, adult amateurs and adult professionals. Artwork will be showcased at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference in November

Important Details:

  • The contest opens Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.
  • Virginia residents are invited to create and submit up to three digital images of one piece of original art that represents what the “Power of Home” means to them.
  • Acceptable 2D and 3D mediums for the original piece include painting (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel), pen and ink, marker, crayon, photography, sculpture, mixed media, charcoal, digital paintings, and drawings.

How to Enter

Helpful Links

For a full list of contest rules, prizes and instructions on how to take a digital image of original artwork, visit


Please send an email with your questions to

Art Events

Spring 2022 MCAA Student Art Showcase

Mason Community Arts Academy features student works from Spring 2022 Art Classes—Art Adventures (ages 4-7), Art Foundations (ages 8-11), and Art Explorations (ages 12-18)—on Saturday, April 30th, 11 am -12 pm at Buchanan Hall Atrium. The Art Adventures class created works about commemorative and magical objects in Ancient Egypt, the Art Foundations class explored art through Popular Culture, and the Art Explorations class focused on historical art making methods and contemporary art. Free and open to the public, the showcase provides the perfect sneak-peak into our art curriculum and classrooms, which are located in the Art & Design Building on the Mason Fairfax Campus.

WHAT: Spring 2022 MCAA Student Art Showcase
WHEN: Saturday, April 30, 2022, 11am-12pm
WHERE: Buchanan Hall Atrium, Mason Fairfax Campus
PARKING: Visitors can park in the adjacent Lot A for free (this Saturday only) or the Shenandoah Parking Deck for $8.

Due to one class cancellation, all three classes will meet at 10 am at the School of Art Building on April 30th. Classes will migrate to Buchanan Hall before the exhibition. We ask that families do not remove any student work from the gallery before 11:45 a.m. so that all may enjoy the work of our students & teachers. Academy staff and instructors will be available for questions. Please call the Academy office during regular business hours at 703-993-9889 if you need more information.

Acting Art Community Outreach Music

New Free Digital Resources for Art-Making from Home

This Spring, a free digital library of educational resources is available for the public thanks to Mason Community Arts Academy’s latest community outreach initiative, MCAA: Creative Collection.

Funded by the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts, the collection delivers tutorials, performances, and activities across the arts, from music and theater education and performance, music technology, and visual art education. Each week, a new video made by students and faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University will be released to provide an arts enrichment project for a specific age group or skill level of learners.

“In this COVID restricted time, it’s more important than ever for the Academy to connect with our communities and reach out to broader populations through the arts,” said Elizabeth Curtis, MCAA Executive Director. “I’m so proud of the initiative and dedication our Mason students and teachers have shown in bringing this dynamic collection to life. We hope it continues to enrich the lives of our students and serve our community.”



Since its launch, three instructional videos are shared on the platform, including “Drawing with Markers for First Graders,” by Ms. Lisa Eaton; “Tone Quality on String Instruments,” by Ms. Elana Oleinick; and “The Ins and Outs of Clarinet Embouchure,” by Ms. Katie Repka.

“I am excited that I can share my passion for the arts with students viewing the Creative Collection,” said Ms. Eaton, who recorded a drawing tutorial by using markers and basic art elements. “I love that I can help students learn and grow as I have a passion for art that started when I was very young.”

The Creative Collection is created after the COVID health and safety restrictions have limited students’ access to in-person instruction, particularly for communities that face additional difficulties in accessing instruments, supplies, and arts programming.



“I love that I can give back to a Mason program like this after receiving a wealth of knowledge and skill through my coursework in the Master of Arts in Teaching program,” said Ms. Eaton. “I was learning so much making my videos. As a teacher, I will be learning right along with my students. It is a continuing process.”

“The initiative allows me to share my love of music and the arts with the community,” said Ms. Elana Olenick, cellist and music educator, who is pursuing her music education licensure at George Mason University. “I am thrilled that Mason is providing this wonderful opportunity and look forward to watching my peers teach about their passions as well!”



Samantha Clarke, MCAA Community Outreach Coordinator, spearheaded the creation and coordination of the Creative Collection, explaining that students are intimidated to learn independently without the teacher’s support.

“As a music educator, I understand the great privilege we have as teachers to inspire and enrich the lives of our students through the arts,” said Clarke. “By providing instructional and performance videos through MCAA: Creative Collection, we can help address the challenges that teachers and students are currently facing through virtual instruction while providing opportunities for students and faculty of Mason’s CVPA to teach, perform, and inspire.”

To watch the latest video from the initiative, visit MCAA: Creative Collection homepage HERE.


Acting Art Film & Video Music Publicity

Summer 2020 Highlights


Mason Community Arts Academy concluded its Summer Arts at Mason 2020 programming online with new records. Throughout the week, hundreds of students engaged in live-streamed classes, guest artist presentations, and one-on-one coaching with Mason faculty, industry professionals, and special guests. Some of the students participated from different time zones, logging on from the West Coast, and even from other countries. Here is a snapshot of Summer 2020 at the Academy:

  • 1023 participants in Summer Arts at Mason Online Programs
  • 74 online programs for all ages
  • 5 creative categories: acting, music, film & video, visual art, and teacher training
  • Students were streaming from 11 countries and 32 states, including District of Columbia
  • More than 100 faculty and guest artists teaching in at least one of the online programs
  • 70% of our teaching staff, guest artists, and program assistants are Mason faculty, students, and alumni
  • 306 students continued online private music lessons throughout summer
  • 1954 music lessons booked in summer 2020

We are extremely proud of our accomplishments and cannot thank enough to our students, families, faculty, and staff for their continuous support.


Looking Forward

This fall, the Academy offers 22 group classes in music, acting, and visual art for 18 months to adult. Some new additions include:

All classes will be held in a live-streamed, interactive format with supplemental materials or videos for more individualized learning.


Full Class List

Announcements Art Events Film & Video

Off the Wall, Saturday, February 22

George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts invites the Academy family to Off the Wall, a family-friendly design, media, and fine arts festival featuring creative cuisine and local brewery and distillery tastings!

WHAT: Off the Wall fundraising benefit
WHEN: Saturday, February 22, 2020  |  2-5 p.m.
WHERE: Art & Design Building, Mason Fairfax Campus  See Map
PARKING: Event participants can park in the nearby Parking Lot A
$30, General admission
$20, Mason alumni, faculty, and staff
$10, Ages 14-18
Free, Children 13 and under

Every Spring George Mason University opens its Art and Design Building to alumni, parents, prospective students, and the public for a hands-on showcase of the visual arts at Mason. Tour 15 open studios and hands-on exhibits with student and faculty artists, enjoy the music, plus create your own works of art—it’s a great party!

Ticket and sponsorship proceeds support arts scholarships and guest artist residencies. Sponsorship opportunities begin at $500. For more information, contact Emily Rusch at 703-993-3872 or




Mason Art Hosts Portfolio Day and Open House Nov. 2

George Mason University School of Art will host a Fall Open House from 10 a.m.-noon, and the National Portfolio Day from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, November 2, in the Art and Design building at the Fairfax Campus. Both events are free and open to the public with prior RSVP.

Fall Open House
Students and their families can join the School of Art for a tour of the facility and meet current students to gain a better understanding of the art programs at Mason. The event has limited seating, and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested students and their parents must register online by October 28 at

The School of Art provides seven areas of study, including drawing, graphic design, new media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The art programs at Mason focus on creative process and problem-solving. Students will achieve academic excellence and artistic training through dedicated faculty and artists who are driven to new ideas and challenges.

National Portfolio Day
The National Portfolio Day is designed to provide constructive feedback for current high school students on how to prepare for their future college admission materials. Students who participate in the program will receive a one-on-one meeting with college representatives and learn insights on how to best make their portfolio, providing feedback on their artwork, and discussing educational and career goals.

More than 50 representatives from prestigious art institutions and colleges will attend, such as Mason School of Arts, Pratt Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Fashion Institute of Technology. Students who want their portfolio to be reviewed during the day must arrive at 10:30 a.m. for check-in. For more information about the schedule, list of attending schools, or registration for the event, please visit:


Academy Young Artist Finding Her Passion in Arts

Five years after discovering her love of art, Neda Cengiz, a third grader at Eagle View Elementary School, was awarded with “Outstanding Artist Award at Fairfax Pyramid Art Show” in April. Her winning ingredients: determination and patience.

Whether it’s making special gifts or art pieces for her family members and friends, Neda’s love for the arts started at a young age. Her parents discovered Neda’s talent when she was four and recognized her passion in various art media, colors, and charcoal drawings.


Neda Cengiz


“Her first word was ‘everything,’” said Dr. Mahmut Cengiz, Neda Cengiz’s father who is a faculty member at George Mason University’s School of Policy and Government. “Seeing art in everything makes her love art more. She wants to eternalize her memories by drawing them the way she sees it.”

Believing students who are good at both art and science use their brains effectively, Neda’s parents hope that art helps to improve her social and intellectual skills.


Neda Cengiz


With full support from her parents, Neda continues to explore different types of art, and her parents quickly realized that they cannot answer some of her specific questions.

“That is why we have preferred Mason Community Arts Academy, who is professionally providing various art programs.” said Dr. Cengiz.


Neda Cengiz


In the past two years, Neda has enjoyed improving her art skills by attending various academy programs such as Art Foundations for Children (Ages 8-11) and Creative Discoveries Summer Camp (Ages 6-8). In July, Neda will attend the Stop Motion Animation Studio Summer Camp (Ages 9-12) where she will continue to improve her art skills.

“She wants to be a professional in charcoal and nature drawings,” said Dr. Cengiz, “We will be supporting her interest in art. We are proud of her determination and patience in pursuing art.”

Art Film & Video

Students Create Animation Film Sets & Videos At STEAM Art Camp

Our Stop Motion Animation Art Camp (July 8-12 or July 15-19) is a fun STEAM-based program that gives students ages 9-12 the opportunity to build sets and set pieces, use stop motion film techniques to create a short film, and tell a great story. Family and friends will be wow-ed and entertained by the final outcome!

Fairfax County Public School Art Teacher Casey Shannon instructs this dynamic program, in collaboration with Mason’s School of Art. Located on the Mason Fairfax campus in Fairfax, VA (in the Washington, DC Metro area), the camp takes place in the university classrooms and computer labs in the Art & Design Building. The director of Mason’s Art Education Master’s program, Dr. Justin Sutters, oversees the program along with the other visual art camps.



“Stop Motion Animation is an incredibly fun way to practice problem solving and creative/critical thinking,” stated Mr. Shannon. “The animation process involves creating a vision, and working through trial and error to make that vision come to life. Each camper works collaboratively to make their vision become a real animation.”

Students use a large variety of materials to build their sets and characters, including clay, paint, drawings, and Legos®. Interesting materials are used to create special effects. From there, students use photo imagery and special software to create their short animated film.



“I always enjoy the last day of camp, when all of the parents come into the classroom, and we watch the final animation films together,” said Mr. Shannon. “Everyone is laughing and enjoying, and it is a really fun way to end the week.”



Would you like to become a storyteller, a set and prop builder, a cinematographer, and a film and special effects editor in one week? Stop motion animation is a collaborative and fun way to tell any story you’d like!





Photography Camps Give Teens The Tools To Express Themselves

Our line-up of summer photography camps includes Digital Photography Intro (June 17-21 or July 22-26), Traditional Photography Intro (July 15-19) and Advanced Photography (July 29-Aug 2). Each program is designed to give students ages 13-18 techniques and skills to create great and thoughtful photos, and the instructors encourage unique ideas and expression.

Mason Graduate Art student Sam Fedorova (aka “Strange Lens”) brings her unique perspective and talents to the Digital and Traditional courses, utilizing the Darkroom and computer labs in Mason’s School of Art, located on the Mason Fairfax campus in Fairfax, VA (in the Washington, DC Metro area). Mason alum Jason Wellington returns to teach the Advanced course, which includes both digital and traditional aspects.



In the Intro courses, students will learn basic photo skills, how to use a variety of darkroom (traditional) and digital techniques, and software for editing and creating their own unique photo pieces.

“Along with all of the important basics, I will be encouraging creativity and experimentation,” explained Ms. Fedorova.

In the Advanced course, students will learn advanced digital and analog photography, Photoshop, and studio lighting techniques. Techniques like free lensing, light painting, and double exposures will be explored.

“Students will gain one on one training in the art of photography,” stated Mr. Wellington. “They will learn how to express themselves visually through photography.”


Artwork at summer photography camp


“The part when they showcase their work at the end is very exciting because we’re able to see the progress students have made through the week and how unique everyone’s vision and style are!” exclaimed Ms. Fedorova.

“I absolutely enjoy seeing the amazing work that the students create,” said Mr. Wellington. “Having students return from previous years and seeing how much they have improved is really rewarding.”


Art Photo Flier 2019


If you would like to go beyond “selfies” and learn the artistic approach to photography, the Intro programs will teach you basic skills, encourage your creativity, and also be a whole lot of fun. The Advanced course will teach you photography tips and tricks to make one of a kind images!




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