One of its signature programs is the The Art Institute, a pre-college portfolio development and skill building program designed for motivated and talented high school teens who wish to pursue the visual arts as a career, and hope to obtain merit-based scholarships to college. Since 2000, The Art Institute has helped its students earn over $14 million in merit-based scholarships to prestigious art schools and colleges across the nation.
The Art Institute has adopted a holistic approach to fostering self-expression, communication of ideas, and personal development. It helps motivated students hone their artistic and technical skills through making art with professional artists who approach teaching from a mentor position. The program helps students understand how an artist moves through the creative process to create art, and how to pursue a professional career in the arts. Students are given a firm foundation and explore portfolio/presentation, advanced art techniques, composition, design, critique, shape, color theory, line, texture, space, movement. They experience the importance of observation and classical developmental elements, and the criteria through which art can be evaluated.
Each student is given a thorough review of his/her work and goals are determined on an individual basis. In addition, museum excursions and ongoing meetings with college admission reps are planned each year, as well as a Regional Portfolio Day with 40 top art schools, colleges, and universities. BRAVO recently selected Mill Street Loft for its "Arts for Change Award".