Program Goals & Details

Telluride Painting School Program Goals & Details

Who we are

The Ah Haa School for the Arts was established in 1990 by visionary book artist Daniel Tucker as an independent, non-profit studio art school in beautiful Telluride, Colorado. Ah Haa is a cultural center for art education and exploration, and offers workshops and classes year ‘round for both children and adults. Ah Haa founded the prestigious American Academy of Bookbinding in 1993, and the Telluride Painting School in 2012. Under the direction of Artistic Director Robert Weatherford, the Telluride Painting School provides a framework for an intense learning experience through programs of study that are delivered in the fall and summer.

Mission Statement

Nestled in the phenomenal landscape of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, the Telluride Painting School is a unique program of excellence that encourages artists and students of all levels to find their artistic voice through the creation of deeply meaningful and uniquely personal work. This intensive program offers instruction from and interaction with a diverse faculty of working painters, inspiring curiosity and innovation in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Class Format

Telluride Painting School classes meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday for two weeks. Students have 24-hour access to the painting studio, for non-instructed painting time beyond the class. All classes are based from the Ah Haa School’s historic Depot building, though some classes may paint en plein air within the Telluride area. Class sizes are kept small, with a maximum of 10 students, in order to allow extensive, individualized attention from the instructor. The Sunday before the first meeting of each class, Telluride Painting School students, instructor and Ah Haa staff will gather for a casual ‘meet and greet’ during which time students are welcome to set up their materials for class the next morning.


Students enrolled in Telluride Painting School classes are encouraged to use oil paints. Students should provide their own paints, canvases and additional materials as listed per class. Students should use Gamsol in place of turpentine and Galkyd in place of linseed or Damar medium.

Program Goals

TPS students develop discipline-based knowledge, practical skills and a personal, expressive style. Each class is designed to guide students through exercises that will help them cultivate a creative vocabulary to pull from for future work and exploration. Ultimately, the student will take their work to greater depths while focusing on style and voice.

Student Recommendations

  • Prior study in drawing and painting is highly recommended. Students with a limited background in painting and/or drawing will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • A strong desire to improve skills and explore voice through painting.

Cancellation Policy

Full tuition, less a $25 non-refundable registration fee, will be returned when cancellations occur 45 days or more before the course begins. No refund will be given when a cancellation is made less than 45 days before the course begins.


Telluride Painting School is not an accredited school, however we will work with you and your home institution to help facilitate the transfer of TPS credit hours.


The Telluride Painting School can provide deeply discounted housing opportunities for registered TPS students. All housing is within easy walking distance of the Ah Haa School for the Arts and downtown Telluride. All housing is shared, though bedrooms are private. Click here to learn more.

Telluride Painting School  |  Program Goals & Details  |  Student Housing