Despite the fact that the province was in the midst of a depression in the early 1930s, Gus Kenderdine purchased land at Emma Lake in the hopes of establishing an outdoor school of art. Encouraged by President Murray, the University of Saskatchewan purchased the land, established the six week long Summer School of Art at Murray Point on Emma Lake, and appointed Kenderdine as the first director and instructor. Kenderdine ran the Summer School until his death in the summer of 1947.
The students attending University art courses and the Summer School at Emma Lake during the 1930s and 1940s were mainly young teachers, largely women. The emphasis was on open-air landscape classes supplemented by lectures on the history of art from Dr. Gordon Snelgrove, Professor of the History of Art, Regina College, or, as in later years, Dr. Palmer from Toronto.
The summer program continued into the 1970s and with the creation of the independent University of Regina in 1974, responsibility for the facility returned to the University of Saskatchewan. In 1989, the site was renamed the Kenderdine Campus and till 1995 it was run by a board of directors with representation from the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology.