From the Executive Director, Jay Noble

My own summers spent in college in immersive summer art programs were life changing.  I fell in love with this type of supplementary schooling as a complement to my liberal arts education.  

Studying and teaching in both the college setting and summer programs like the one we started here in Mount Gretna has taught me that the two environments make great partners in education.  The college setting excels at providing breadth, variety, and experimentation while the summer intensive setting provides an experience of depth, focus and continuity largely unachievable in any other context.

As a persuasive advocate for the benefit of summer study, I have helped my own students gain entry into numerous summer intensive art schools over the years.  The rising need among my own students and those of colleagues teaching at colleges and universities across the country for immersive and sustained study has motivated this endeavor along with a fierce desire to make the program affordable to all deserving students.

Mount Gretna is the perfect setting for this initiative and has proved ideal to provide support and encouragement to students.  Home to the Pennsylvania Chautauqua Foundation and the Mount Gretna Arts Council, this community is bubbling with energy for the arts.  The warm reception MGSoA has received has made the hard work of starting this school a pleasure.

I'm proud to share MGSoA with it and students across the country as a top quality artistic resource.

About the school.


Mount Gretna School of Art will provide intensive art instruction to talented and motivated students in harmony with the community.


To become the pre-eminent school in the Mid-Atlantic offering an intensive summer immersion in painting with a focus on working outside in locations such as the natural setting of Mount Gretna's neighborhoods and streets, forests and parks, lakes and streams, accessible regional land preserves, and other inspiring places in the surrounding area to a select group of students from across the region, and beyond.

Benefit the community with artistic resources while allowing students seeking intensive study the conditions necessary to focus on making top-level work.

Provide scholarships to deserving students.


Mount Gretna School of Art (MGSoA) is a new and innovative type of art program for the region designed to provide intensive art instruction to a talented and motivated group of students in an inspiring setting.  Building on its success since 2013, this school attracts gifted and motivated students, instructors and lecturers from across the country. The artistic energy and excellence of expression they bring to the area enhances Mount Gretna’s stature as an arts destination.  The school’s core goal is to offer its Intensive Programming to working artists, including those pursuing degrees in art.  MGSoA cooperates with colleges and universities nationwide to provide a unified and immersive learning experience that complements and supplements the typical college curriculum, which can be more fragmented.  Students see MGSoA as transformative boost to their education and their professional network.  Educators see MGSoA as a vehicle to provide an educational edge to their most promising students.  

MGSoA offers a focused program limited to a select group of about 20 students in each of its three years. The courses are unified around the principle or discipline of working from direct observation. The rigorous landscape painting course has students working outside on-site in and around Mount Gretna.  Workshops and instruction in figure drawing, and other artistic disciplines complement the landscape experience.

MGSoA also provides long-lasting benefits to the Mount Gretna community via increased learning opportunities and interactions with artists. Local residents take advantage of MGSoA’s public lectures, bus trips to metropolitan museums, art instruction, art exhibits, and casual day-to-day conversations with students, instructors and visiting experts.  Young artists from across the country develop enduring relationships with the Mount Gretna community.  MGSoA enriches the region with new experiences in artistic excellence.

Board of Directors

The Board consists of individuals with backgrounds as practicing artists, art lovers, teachers, education administrators, business, marketing, non-profit service, development, fundraising, and recent users of summer intensive programs like Mount Gretna School of Art.  While the primary duty of the Board is to the fiduciary integrity of the school, they also perform important advisory, fundraising, and volunteer roles to its programming, management and activities.

Deborah Bertolet, Vice President

Bob Colman

Dorothy Frey, Secretary

Drew Hostetter, Treasurer

Garrett Moore

Mike Shank

John David Wissler, President

Special advisors to the Executive Director

These are not Board members but they have a special interest in helping the executive director with a variety of advisory needs from management and outreach, to fundraising and development.

Ruth Bernard (Artist and Incorporator of the Mount Gretna School of Art), Lois Jubeck (Managing Director of the Chautauqua School of Art in NY), Don Kimes (Artistic Director of the VACI - Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution in NY), Regina Snowden (Founder and Executive Director of Partners for Youth with Disabilities), JD Wissler (Artist and Incorporator of the Mount Gretna School of Art)

Faculty, critics and lecturers change each year.  The 2018 faculty list will appear on the intensive program page in January.


Michael Allen, John Dubrow, Dorothy Frey, John Goodrich, Al Gury, Deborah Kahn, Anki King, Tai Lipan, Heidi Leitzke, Matthew Lopas, Margaret McCann, John Mitchell, Heather Morgan, Matthew Murphy, Jay Noble, Scott Smith, Clintel Steed, Alexandria Tarver, Megan Williamson, John David Wissler


Michael Allen, Chris Dolan*, Dorothy Frey, Elizabeth Geiger*, Judy Glantzman, Stanley Grand, Matt Klos, John Lee*, Ro Lohin*, Amy Mahnick, Daniel Massad, Heather Morgan, Jay Noble, Elizabeth Osborne, Chris Semergieff, Ty Smith


Michael Allen, Nancy Barnes*, Robert Barnes, Glen Cebulash, Dorothy Frey, Barbara Grossman, Al Gury, Ken Kewley, Stanley Lewis, Ying Li*, Ro Lohin, Paul Manlove*, Jay Noble, Matt Phillips, Thaddeus Radell, Rebecca Saylor Sack, Elise Schweitzer, Bill White, Kevin Wixted


Michael Allen, Catherine Drabkin*, Al Gury, Ken Kewley, Sam King, Paul Manlove, Kristin Musgnug, Jay Noble, Carrie Patterson, Stephanie Pierce*, Eleanor Ray, Jeffrey Reed, Brian Rego*,  Jennifer Samet, Lou Schellenberg, Brett Baker, Bill Scott, Mark Lewis.*


Michael Allen, Martha Armstrong*, Ruth Bernard, Gideon Bok, Steve Cope, Christopher Dollan, Dorothy Frey, Xico Greenwald*, Barbara Grossman, Al Gury, Deborah Kahn, Ken Kewley, Brian Kreydatus*, Susan Lichtman, Lynette Lombard*, Jay Noble, Amber Scoon


Michael Allen, Bill Barnes, Victoria Barnes*, Ruth Bernard, Aaron Brooks, Linda Carey*, Tim Conte, Glen Cebulash*, Dorothy Frey, Stanley I Grand, Al Gury, Deborah Kahn, Heidi Leitzke, Barbara Grossman, Don Kimes, Jay Noble, Paul Manlove, Margaret Noel, Celia Reisman, Amber Scoon, Chris Semergieff*, Kristina Valentine, Mark Webber, John David Wissler.

*lead instructors

Non Profit Facts

Mount Gretna School of Art is registered as a Charitable Organization in Pennsylvania. The official registration and financial information of Mount Gretna School of Art may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

The Mount Gretna School of Art (MGSoA) is a 501(c)(3) organization classified as a public charity under section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Contributions to MGSoA are tax deductible under section 170 of the Code. MGSoA is qualified to receive tax deducible bequests, devises, transfers, or gifs under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code. 

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