Campus Life


The Ox-Bow campus is comprised of 115-acres of dunes, forests, and trails. The central campus has grown up around the historic buildings that still stand today. The heart of the campus is the Ox-Bow Inn which was built in 1873. In 2006 the Inn underwent a major renovation. The main body of the original building still stands as rustic and as charming always. The new Burke Inn Addition is home to Ox-Bow’s new kitchen, and cozy dining room, complete with a fieldstone fireplace.

Approximately 30 brightly colored studio buildings and residential cabins surround the Inn, which looks out onto the Ox-Bow meadow and lagoon. The original cabins were built by Ox-Bow stewards, and have been preserved for almost a century. The five acres that make up the residential campus have been enhanced with flower and organic vegetable gardens that complement Ox-Bow's meadow. The Tallmadge Woods, Ox-Bow’s 110-acre old-growth forest has remained untouched and has been placed into a conservation easement to ensure its preservation. 


All classes begin on Sunday evenings. Attendance on the first Sunday evening of the course is mandatory. All students arrive between 2:00 p.m. (no earlier) and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on Sunday for check-in and orientation. If you are going to be late the first evening, we ask that you notify the campus office as soon as possible by calling 269.857.5811.

Because of the intensity of Ox-Bow’s program, students participate in one class per session. All classes meet on the Sunday night of your arrival; then start on the first Monday of your session. Classes meet daily between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., with the exception of glass classes, which meet at 9:00 a.m. and run until 6:00 p.m. All classes take a one-hour lunch break at 1:00 p.m. Dinner is served daily at 6:00 p.m. Two-week classes meet on both days of the middle weekend of the session. No classes meet on the last Saturday of the sessions.



Students enjoy healthy and delicious meals prepared each day by our talented kitchen staff. Meals are included in the room and board fee for students residing at Ox-Bow. Three meals, plus beverages and snacks, are served daily. Meal service begins with Sunday dinner and continues through breakfast on the Saturday of your departure. Vegetarian dishes are served with each meal. Please let the Ox-Bow office know of any food allergies or special diet requirements upon check-in. Commuting students may purchase meal plans: Lunch only, $45, Breakfast and Lunch, $75 and Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, $160)


After a hard day of work, students have a variety of recreational activities to choose from. Whether you hike through the wooded dunes, take a canoe ride through the lagoon, or watch the sunset over Lake Michigan, you'll discover many ways to relax at Ox-Bow. You can also find students playing volleyball on the meadow, reading on the porch, or warming their toes at the nightly campfires to get a break from the studio. Ox-Bow is only a short ferry ride away from the charming resort towns of Saugatuck and Douglas, which are the homes to many art galleries and specialty shops. Additionally, on Friday nights, after classes have ended, students, faculty, and staff gather on the meadow for dancing. Costume parties are a 100+ year old tradition at Ox-Bow, and we maintain this part of our history.