Art Classes

Curriculum &
Course Descriptions

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.

What type of student attends Cherry Court Studios? There is no type! You will see a casual artist seated next to an artist building a scholastic portfolio. At CCS, instruction is individualized. Each young artist is working toward a very personalized set of goals. Students at all skill levels will find a supportive environment, easy to follow lessons, and the joy of exploring their own creative path.

In light of the COVID‑19 pandemic, CCS is converting its programming to online instruction. Fall semester, 2020, will open October 18 with at-home instruction for students in middle school. Individualized instruction for advanced classes is planned for late fall or early winter. Please check back for updates. Scroll to Art Challenge below for more information.

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.

Fall Classes, 2020

No class is planned for fall, 2020. Please check back for updates.

ART CHALLENGE is for students entering 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 and drawing.
  • 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.

Our exemplary foundation program Art Challenge for Middle School ©  is now available 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:

Question and answer email
Weekly progress documentation
Online critiquing
Video instruction
End of semester report card
Design Medal at program completion.

Program requirements for families wishing to enroll in online studies:
1. Students must read at a seventh-grade level.
2. Students must have access to a computer and printer.
3. Students must have a separate gmail address from parents for online instruction.
4. Students must be able to email screen shots of work in progress.
5. Parents must purchase the necessary art materials*

* Art Materials
Miss M has published a materials list HERE. She has carefully researched materials for best value and quality. Suggested suppliers are and Each item on the supply list is followed by an item number to verify the correct item. Parents will be able to copy and paste item descriptions into the search box of each supplier’s website and easily order online. The supply list covers basic general materials as well as materials specific to each lesson. Once a family has signed up for instruction, Miss M will highlight only the supplies necessary for the coming semester. The full list covers supplies for several semesters.

Flexibility in ordering:
For all students:
You may already have some supplies at home, cutting down on the number of items needed. You may also have your favorite supplier or wish to pick up materials locally.

For new students:
For a flat registration of $310, Miss M will order all of the general supplies plus supplies for the first five Challenges (average number completed in a semester). Look the list over, if your house is already filled with art supplies, you may want to sign up for the lower tuition rate of $150 and order only missing materials.

For students who have studied in the Art Challenge program prior to fall 2020:
When you register, you will be notified of supplies left behind in your art boxes and additional materials that are available in limited supply at our studio. You will be invited to visit the studio at a scheduled time to claim these supplies.

©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.

ART & TECHNOLOGY is for students entering grades 8 and up

This course is available to students in grades 8 and above who have completed at least 12 Challenges from the ART CHALLENGE program.

Students create art in two computer programs: Adobe Photoshop and CorelDraw. The first is a bitmap program which manipulates photographs. The second is a draw program based on vectors.

Computer art has evolved so rapidly that it is regarded as fine art all by itself. It is fun for young students, who have grown up in the computer age, to push the limits of what can be created.

This course will be arranged as a 1½ hour tutoring session meeting at the same time each week. If students do not own these programs, they may schedule practice time when the studio is open for classes.

During the summer, students may elect to study any of the programs offered during the school year. They will consult parents and instructor to set up seven three-hour tutoring sessions plus optional practice time.

No class is planned for fall, 2020. Please check back for updates.

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.

Subjects will include still life, people, and environments. Students will strive for proficiency in both drawing and paint media. An important part of the course will be training one’s eyes to observe and record.

However, within the parameters of observational studies, students will also learn to see the artist as visual poet, or one who interprets what is recorded.

Students may approach this course with different degrees of urgency. Some plan to attend a top university or win a scholarship as a high school senior. Those students should do all recommended outside sketches as well as spend extra time in open studio. Quality work cannot be produced without quantity in the number of hours practiced.

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. For these students, the extra sketches and open studio are not urgently needed.

This course is offered each semester and in the evenings during summer session. Special class arrangements can be made to fit the goals of students regarding the number of classes per week and the focus of study.

Online instruction is planned for late fall or early winter. Please check back for updates.


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

Online instruction is planned for late fall or early winter. Please check back for updates. These courses are sequentially arranged, and designed to guide students toward advanced art production that reflects individual talents and areas of interest.

Participation in PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT will be limited to students who have completed at least 12 ART CHALLENGES within Cherry Court’s middle school program. This foundation in the fundamentals of design is a critical platform on which to build new skills. Students who wish to join CCS for the first time in grades 10 and up will receive a portfolio review. Foundation requirements completed in other art programs will be credited. Foundation skills absent will be assigned as required work before progressing to the Portfolio Development program.

Course offerings within the PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT program include:

Intensive Skill Development: Life studies that include still life, people and environments, will increase the student’s ability to observe and record, while better understanding the artist’s role as visual poet. Students have an opportunity to take this course as early as grade 9, and may already have completed this requirement in Cherry Court’s middle school program.

Creative Exploration of Media: Prerequisite – INTENSIVE SKILLS. While continuing to improve observational skills, students will use art materials in increasingly creative ways and begin to make selections that reflect a personal style.

Personal Style: Prerequisite – CREATIVE EXPLORATION OF MEDIA. Students will use art elements and materials in unique ways that express their personalities, interests, and experiences.

In-Depth Study: A strong portfolio will represent both breadth and depth of 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. Most ideally, this course should be taken in the summer between Junior and Senior year. However, it may be necessary to take this course earlier in order to prepare a portfolio for competition or provide other advantages.

Art & Technology: This is an optional course offered at both the middle school and high school levels. Students create art in both Adobe Photoshop and CorelDraw software.


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. 14 art lessons, 1½ hours per lesson, with an optional 45 minute open studio.


Private adult lessons for age 19 and up …. $390 (welcoming college age to seniors). Semi-private or small group lessons …. $310 per student.

  • Art supplies are included with tuition.
  • Lessons are available week day afternoons, limited Saturday, Sunday morning and evenings.
  • Students are welcome to attend an optional 45 minute open studio after each lesson
  • 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.

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