Art Classes

Curriculum &
Course Descriptions

4 Art Instruction for Kids

Why families choose Cherry Court Studios: enrichment, early advantage studies, year-round art instruction, creative instruction for home-schooled, gifted instruction, specialized art instruction for middle school, scholastic recognition, portfolio development, preparation to apply to selective colleges, scholarship recognition.

In the fall of 2020, CCS converted its programming to online instruction due to the unpredictable twists and turns of the pandemic. Spring semester, 2024, will begin Feb. 3 with at-home instruction for students in middle school and high school. Scroll to Art Challenge below for more information about middle school instruction. Scroll to Intensive Skill Development below for more information about high school instruction.

Instruction at CCS is individualized. There are no group classes. Each student receives a weekly individualized instructional packet and has weekly video conferences with the instructor. This personalized method of instruction limits the number of students who may attend online class in any given semester. Currently, as of spring, 2024, all seats remain assigned to students continuing their studies from fall semester. New students should email indicating that they wish to be placed on a wait list should a seat become available.

IMAGINE, for students entering grades 5 & 6

Young artists in upper elementary will labor intently for hours creating images that have captured their imaginations.

It might be robots, anime, horses, or action figures. Though subjects vary, the intent is the same – working very hard, erasing as needed, until one is able to render a chosen image with the same skill as the original artist. Just as a young Michelangelo spent hours sketching classical statues at the local park, young artists of the 21st century sponge in the art of their own culture. They are often inspired by cartoons, animations, advertisements, video games, book illustrations, and movies. This is an excellent beginning.

Art lessons for this age are designed to provide the broadest and richest art experiences possible. After all, the more visual experience an adolescent amasses as a foundation, the richer the palette of ideas available for building one’s own unique personal style. At Cherry Court, young artists take many exciting visual journeys through time and space.

Whether the treasures of ancient China, animals of the African savanna, the amate bark paintings of Mexico, Picasso’s distorted images, Jim Henson’s Muppets, Henri Rousseau’s fantasy jungles, or the haunted forest on the way to OZ; all are colorful stops at Cherry Court’s IMAGINE program for upper elementary. The question both students and teacher enjoy exploring anew each week is “What are the possibilities?”

CLICK HERE to view our students’ IMAGINE art gallery.

Spring Classes, 2024

No class is planned for spring, 2024. Please check back for updates.

ART CHALLENGE is for students in grades 7, 8 and 9

Cherry Court Studios is the only after-school art program in the greater Pittsburgh area to offer middle school families:

  • A curriculum for grades 7 – 9.
  • Goal-oriented, sequential lessons.
  • Lessons that appeal to and challenge ages 12-14.
  • A strong foundation in both design, drawing, and painting.
  • Individualized instruction.
  • Lessons oriented to the high standards of Scholastic Competition.

Our program: Kids in middle school love a challenge. That’s why video games are so popular. Cherry Court’s ©ART CHALLENGE for Middle School takes kids on a quest to complete 14 EXCITING CHALLENGES, starting with the simplest and progressing through more and more complex levels of creative problem-solving. The prize is a completed million-dollar (perhaps priceless) portfolio. Art Challenge takes advantage of students’ rapidly developing motor skills and abundance of creative energy. Spring semester begins Sunday Feb. 4. Open studio runs each Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Each student establishes a two-hour work session within this time frame suitable to their schedule. Semesters are 17 weeks long.

Our exemplary foundation program ©ART CHALLENGE for Middle School is now offered as an online course. Middle school students, as well as older students who are just beginning their art studies, are invited to begin a carefully organized, sequential course of study covering foundation design, drawing, and painting. This program now offers individualized instructional packets designed for distance learning, allowing students to proceed with study at home at their own pace.

Veteran educator Marianne C Massucci will mentor each student through weekly contact. Interaction will be flexible and suited to each student’s needs including:

  • Challenging, fun, expertly designed instructional packets
  • 17 two-hour work sessions per semester
  • Individualized instruction at the student’s own pace
  • Weekly evaluation of student artwork by instructor
  • Weekly individualized progress notes from instructor
  • Video chatting
  • Email question and answers
  • Phone availability
  • End of semester report card
  • Design Medal at program completion.

Program requirements for families wishing to enroll in online studies:

  1. Student must be in at least grade seven and must read at a seventh-grade level.
  2. Student must have access to a computer and printer.
  3. Student must have a separate email address from parents for receiving instructional packets and download the Google Duo app on their phones or devices for video chatting.
  4. Student must be able to email screenshots of work in progress each week.

©ART CHALLENGE for Middle School is an innovative instructional package, developed and implemented at Cherry Court Studios in 2006. It is one of the few programs on the market today that meet the developmental needs of middle school students: designed by a veteran educator, tested for years in public school classrooms, expertly crafted to build skills from basic to complex, offering individualized Challenges designed for students to work at their own pace, complete with instructional packets and richly illustrated example artwork.

Click HERE to see the complete course outline.

INTENSIVE SKILL DEVELOPMENT is for students entering grades 9 and up

This course is available to those in grades 9 and up who have completed 12 Challenges of the ART CHALLENGE program.

Our exemplary foundation high school program Intensive Skill Development is now offered as an online course and open for registration spring, 2023. Semesters are 17 weeks long beginning Feb. 3. Open studio will be offered each Saturday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Within this time frame each student establishes a two hour work session suitable for their schedule.

This program consists of twelve expertly designed lessons building on the strong foundation of the Art Challenge program.* This program, like Art Challenge, is self-paced and individualized. The average student will complete this course in four semesters. Students will create three projects in each of four areas of focus:

  • Illustration
  • Observational drawing
  • Painting
  • Design

Students may approach this course with different degrees of urgency. Some plan to attend a top university as an art major. These students are encouraged to invest more time in assignments and complete work at a faster pace. On the other hand, students who are studying art just for the enjoyment of the subject can take a more casual approach to the course.

*First-time students, ages fifteen and older, with limited art background must register for the foundation program Art Challenge. First-time students with prior art experience may apply for acceptance into the ISD program by submitting a digital portfolio of no less than twelve works. The works must include:

  • at least one drawing or painting demonstrating a mastery understanding of one-point perspective.
  • at least one drawing or painting demonstrating a mastery understanding of two-point perspective.
  • at least one drawing or painting demonstrating a mastery understanding of shading.


Cherry Court Studios offers advanced courses for students in grades 10 through 12.

Our advanced study programs are now available as online courses. Cherry Court Studios offers advanced courses for students in grades 10 through 12. These courses are designed to guide students toward art production that reflects individual talents and areas of interest.

Completion of the Intensive Skill Development program is a prerequisite for participation in advanced studies. Course offerings within the Advanced Study program include:

Senior Portfolio Development: Some students desire quality senior portfolios for Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, and/or for submission to universities as part of college admissions requirements. It is likely that students will have already generated several portfolio-quality works in the Intensive Skill Development program. The Senior Portfolio Development course will continue each student’s work in a direction appropriate for their personal goals and creative style, with focus on discovering each student’s creative vision. We at CCS are especially proud of our gifted students who, since 2006, have won several major Scholastic Art & Writing Portfolio Awards (both regional and national), as well as admission to top universities.

In-Depth Study: While previous courses offer breadth of study, this course will focus on a narrow aspect of art, selected by the student, that is explored thoroughly. This course is designed to suit varying needs, from students fulfilling university admissions requirements to casual artists wishing to focus on a particular genre of art for which they have a passion.


You’ve dedicated your life to family and work and now have some time for you.

You’ve always loved to draw, and long to finally explore your creative side. Your experienced instructor, Marianne C Massucci, will design an individualized program based on your current skill level, and guide you through a sequential series of lessons to advance your understanding of drawing and design, develop your skills with art materials, and mentor you on your quest to discover your personal style.

Private lessons at CCS include:

  1. A free evaluation and discussion of your creative goals.
  2. 17 art lessons, 2 hours per lesson.


Private adult lessons for age 19 and up …. $500 (welcoming college age to seniors).

  • Students will supply art materials.
  • Lessons are available week-day afternoons.
  • You may begin adult art lessons year-round.

About US

Our Story

Cherry Court Studios is for kids who love to draw. Some Cherry Court students may become great artists, or enjoy long productive careers in the visual arts. But for those who don’t choose art-related fields, creative skills are assets that last a lifetime.






What Our Alumni Say

"Best student art program around. Thank you, Marianne, for all you have done to encourage and teach my daughter. I sincerely believe that she would not have been able to accomplish as much as she has been able to accomplish to date, without you."

Amy K.

"Through college and in my personal life I’ve used so much of what Miss M taught me from designing CD labels for my music to creating original artwork for my personal website. Art will always be an important part of everything I do."

Sean N.

"Thank you for everything! You are a great teacher and I have learned so much from you over the years. You have certainly inspired me to pursue a degree/career in art! Thanks for helping me to discover my passion."

Catie D.

Sign Up for a Class Today!

View All ClassesContact Us