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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