2020 Summer Institute Participant Information

General Information

ANNOUNCEMENT: As of April 24, 2020, the Summer Institute 2020 program has been canceled. Please contact with any questions and refer to the Wells College Updates on COVID-19 for the Campus Community page for more information.

Our annual Summer Institute offers week-long intensive courses in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, artists’ books, lettering and paper arts taught by some of the foremost artists working today.


Week 1: Sunday, July 12 to Saturday, July 18, 2020
Week 2: Sunday, July 19 to Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Summer Institute 2020 program has been canceled. Please contact with any questions and refer to the Wells College Updates on COVID-19 for the Campus Community page for more information.

The information on this page is to remain for reference only.

Participants staying on campus should plan to arrive Sunday afternoon between 12:00pm and 4:00pm for check-in. Commuter students should plan to arrive by 5:00pm for check-in, followed by a brief tour, dinner and introductions from 5:30-8pm. Classes run Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 5:00pm. Each Friday of the Summer Institute, the public is welcome to join students for a gallery showcase of their work. The reception runs from 5:30-7:30pm at the String Room Gallery on campus.

Participants should plan to depart campus the Saturday morning following their last day of class. Dormitory check-out is by 11am. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for one week is $1,000 and includes all materials needed for the course. Participants may register for only one class per week. A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required with your registration. Accommodations and meals are not included in tuition costs.


On campus accommodations are in a dormitory called Weld House. Participants have the choice of a single or double-occupancy room from Sunday afternoon until Saturday morning. Select option during registration.

Each floor features 4 individual toilet/shower rooms lockable for privacy, but shared amongst all residents. Linens, towels, laundry, and WiFi are included.

The dorm features a shared kitchen and lounges. Since the weather may vary a great deal throughout the week, we recommend that participants bring clothing for both warm and cool temperatures. Participants may use the College’s Athletic Center, featuring a weight room and pool, and/or jump off the Wells College Boathouse dock into Cayuga Lake! Bring a bathing suit and water shoes.

For off-campus lodging, here are a few suggestions from the Wells College website. Please be aware that most nearby hotels are 20-40 minutes away by car.


Unfortunately, Summer Institute does not provide childcare, but please feel free to contact us for suggestions or possible resources in the area.


Participants are strongly encouraged to dine on campus, as nearby options are limited. Our standard meal plan includes buffet-style breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a daily afternoon coffee break with snacks. There can be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options at every meal, but please contact us with any restrictions or allergies in advance.


Many courses and programs for Summer Institute are held in the Book Arts Center, located in historic Morgan Hall. This building is unfortunately not wheelchair-accessible, with stairs at each entrance and stairs throughout the building. Some courses and programs will take place in wheelchair-accessible buildings. If you have mobility concerns, please contact us for course location details or with any questions.

Scholarships and Internships

We offer a limited number of need-based scholarships, awarded based on financial need and merit. Scholarships may be used for one class. The Summer Institute also offers six unpaid internships for college students, recent graduates, and working artists.

Course Supplies and Material Fees

All basic materials and tools will be supplied for each course. Additional materials may be recommended by your instructor. Paper is available for sale at the Book Arts Center.

Arrivals & Departures

We offer pick-up and drop-off via Wells College van from the following locations: Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Syracuse Amtrak/Greyhound station, Greater Rochester International Airport, Rochester Amtrak/Greyhound stations. 

Van pick ups are scheduled for Sundays at 12:00pm and 3:00pm. For Saturday drop offs, the last van leaves Wells College at 11:00am. The airport shuttle costs $30 each way and needs to be paid at registration.

Please note that the drive from Aurora to Rochester/Syracuse is about one hour and fifteen minutes.

Driving directions to Wells College can be found on the Wells College website. Note: Cell service is limited. Download your directions for offline use in advance.
Address: 170 Main Street, Aurora, NY, 13026

Campus Map. Please enter via the North Entrance to park in the Lower Lot near Weld Hall.


We encourage early registration, as enrollment is limited. A non-refundable deposit is due with registration. The remaining tuition, room & board costs, and any fees are due by June 15, 2020.

Refund Policy

You may cancel your registration until June 15th, 2020 for a refund, minus your deposit. After that date, there will be no refunds. Should we need to cancel a course, you will be notified by June 30 and offered your choice of another available class or a full refund. We are not responsible for non-refundable transportation costs.

Inquiries may be sent to wellssummerinstitute@wells.edu
Wells Book Arts Center Summer Institute
170 Main Street
Aurora, New York 13026