In-person at Gage Capitol Hill.


2024/25 Full: $9,950

Program Content & Objectives

The KOH Atelier is open aesthetic, meaning all styles and media are welcome! Most students use traditional drawing and painting materials (oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, etc.) but mixed media and digital art media are also encouraged.

In the Kang-O'Higgins Atelier, Director Mark Kang-O'Higgins emphasizes drawing and painting skills to empower students to achieve full visual expression. Refining but also moving far beyond technique, the KOH Atelier cultivates fluency with conceptual, technical and observational knowledge.

Students are encouraged to find their own forms of expression as they build familiarity with many different approaches to representation, embodied in both historical and contemporary drawing and painting techniques. The program is based on an optional dual stream curriculum emphasizing a combination of high end observational skills with strong conceptual content. Students work across a broad range of subject matter including figure, landscape, still-lives, narrative and concept art based on their portfolio needs. All forms of visual artistic expression are based on the same fundamental principles, but are expressed differently. Therefore, when teaching to technical and conceptual excellence, it is possible to work across multiple styles. 


The whole point of this program is the get you, the artist, to the level you want to achieve with your artwork and portfolio. Our job is to figure out where you want to go with your artwork and get you there! The program mentors student-artists of all ages and abilities, from beginner to professional level. This program emphasizes a hands-on approach to art, and works across different dimensional media. Students can work on and concentrate in Drawing, Painting, Printing or Sculpture and Digital media in their personal work.


The KOH Atelier is a drawing and painting boot-camp that emphasizes hard work, hands-on practice and a sense of urgency and concentration when creating. In their personal work students are free to choose their own subject matter. For optional observational training the atelier focuses heavily on life drawing and life painting. To that end, a model is available afternoons, three weeks out of every month; and in the morning, students work onsite in the studio, continuing assigned and personal projects which gives you guided instruction but creative freedom.


Aside from the usual lecture and demonstrations in the program, students also work on independent projects that increase in complexity as time progresses. You have the option of group lectures, individual instruction as well as group or private critiques. Students complete an independent work project by the end of the academic year, take part in a quarterly review of their work, and submit work for exhibitions hosted by Gage and exhibitions at independent galleries. The KOH Atelier has had annual gallery representation in Pioneer Square Seattle for many years. This is a tradition we are proud of and it offers huge exposure to our atelier members putting them in the professional art realm in Seattle.


The KOH Atelier is fortunate to have its curriculum taken as a BFA equivalent by a number of colleges. Our students can apply directly to do an MFA regardless of whether they have already completed a BFA. This option is only available to multiple year graduates.


The KOH Atelier concentrates on Drawing & Painting media and subjects in multiple media but also has a sculpture component! Please see our OPTIONAL OBSERVATIONAL PHASES I,II & III below.

KOH Atelier Curriculum Outline

Time Commitment


Our atelier members come from all walks of life. Some are working full & part-time, some are parents, caregivers, have travel commitments etc., so our hours are flexible. You are an adult and can attend whenever suits you! Your atelier leader M. Kang-O'Higgins teaches regular hours, but you can attend according to your timetable.


While there are many shared subjects, your curriculum will be tailor made to suit you and address any gaps in your artistic practice. Whether your aims are to become a professional fine artist, go into applied industry or college prep, the KOH atelier offers tracks of different length that will suit your needs. The atelier will push you well beyond your personal expectations and equip you with the skills and language to express your artist ideas. Choose anywhere between a 1-4 year track to suit your needs. 


In response to the Covid pandemic the KOH Atelier now offers a full-spectrum of remote to in-person learning options- you can be a completely remote student or a full-time in-person studio practitioner or anywhere in between. Some students are present daily, others attend in person for a number of days and are remote for others and some are remote students only. We have in person critiques, lectures & demos that are also interactive live with remote students and recorded so that they can be accessed asynchronously.

Fall: Start date in September.
Winter: Start date in January.
Spring: Start date in April.
Exact Start Dates TBD at instructor's discretion. 

Monday-Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm.

Mark Kang-O'Higgins

Gage Academy of Art acknowledges the Coast Salish Peoples as the original inhabitants of this area and connecting waterways. We understand the land that Gage occupies is unceded territory and that today many Indigenous peoples live here and without their stewardship, we would not have access to this space. We honor the Coast Salish Peoples’ sovereignty, rights to self-determination, culture and ways of life. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have called this territory their sacred land. We commit to learning, educating others and repairing the legacy of historically harmful relationships between non-Native and Native peoples in King County. In doing so, we will be honest, and recognize the experiences of Native peoples to include genocide, forced relocation, forced assimilation, and land theft. We also acknowledge Native peoples are survivors, present in today’s world, thriving. We encourage everyone here today to ask themselves: what can I do to support Indigenous communities?

In an effort to be transparent, Gage is contemplating this call to action and re-working how to best support Indigenous communities.

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