Summer Institute : Art, Media + Design : Classes

Majors meet all day on Mondays and Fridays from 9 AM - 4 PM (with a break for lunch), and Wednesdays for a half day. Electives meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning and the afternoon. On Wednesdays, all Art, Media + Design students participate in Critical Studies, a foundational course on contemporary art, design, and culture.  View a Sample Schedule.


Note: The following electives are now full: Character Development: Illustration, Figure Drawing, and Street Photography. The following major is now full: Animation.

Majors meet Monday, Wednesday + Friday. Choose one:

• ANIMATION - Major is filled; registration closed.
From hand-drawn to high-tech, animation has evolved dramatically since its debut in nineteenth-century France. In this major, professional animators provide guidance as you learn the basics of motion studies — experimenting with traditional hand-drawn and stop-motion animation as well as digital animation techniques. Over the course of the program, you will storyboard, film, edit and execute your own short animated movie or demo reel. 
Back to top 

Gain a hands-on introduction to the fashion and textile industry. In this major, industry professionals teach you how to draft patterns and sew constructions to create original designs. You'll learn about the influence textile design and history has had on contemporary art, fashion and pop culture and gain practical drafting skills in the process.  Learn to manipulate and address fabric, and explore custom dye work on your own unique constructions. At the end of the program, you'll have an in-depth knowledge of techniques in fiber with a fashion perspective. Field trips to the Fabric Workshop and Museum will stimulate your imagination and enhance your understanding of fiber and its context.  Previous knowledge of sewing and patternmaking is not required for this major.
Back to top  

Film is one of the primary ways we experience stories in contemporary culture — and often it's the most powerful.  In this major, you’ll examine artistic expression in filmmaking from all sides.  Study direction, cinematography, and editing using state of the art cameras, equipment, and software. Work with award-winning filmmakers as you learn to balance the many elements of filmmaking: storyboarding, developing characters, shooting scenes and editing. Over the course of the program, you will gain an understanding of contemporary cinema and the various facets of the film industry.  At the conclusion, you'll have created a series of small projects as well as one complete, comprehensive short film.
Back to top  

Delve into the complex and intricate world of video games. In this major, you’ll explore the principles that inform how games work, what makes them fun, and how they can help us understand our world and social interactions. Learn to construct logical narratives and rules within a hypothetical space, and utilize interface design, programming tools, and aesthetics to bring your original game concept to life.
Back to top 

Design is everywhere in our modern world — posters, publications, album covers, apparel, digital and other media utilize graphic design to convey messages to viewers. Design and popular culture have grown more intertwined through recent history, and this major aims to explore this relationship. You’ll focus on the principles and possibilities of visual communication, including graphic form, type design, layout, image treatment, and sequence using the Adobe Creative Suite. Investigate the influence of design on trending topics while mastering technical skills. At the end of the program, you'll have an understanding of graphic design's role through history and in contemporary culture, as well as an introduction to this relevant profession. 
Back to top 

Illustration is a non-verbal tool for sharing and communicating feelings and ideas. In this major, you’ll gain an understanding of both hand-drawn and digital processes for articulating ideas and meaning visually in comics, children’s books, advertising, editorial and other applications.  You’ll encounter subject matter drawn from various fields and be prompted to respond with imaginative illustrations that articulate insight and provoke an emotional response. You’ll focus on developing original concepts, style, visual vocabulary, and personal vision as an illustrator.  
Back to top 

What can painting show us about the post-internet age? This comprehensive studio major will prompt you to consider some approaches to contemporary painting as well as provide you with an introduction to how the oldest art discipline is being practiced, interpreted, discussed and made relevant today. You’ll begin with fundamental painting techniques and studio processes such as color mixing, paint application, and composition, but hands-on assignments and group critiques will prompt you to experiment materially and conceptually. At the end of the program, you will complete an ambitious individual painting project. Prior drawing experience will be helpful for this major. Acrylic paint will be used. Nude figure models will be used in this major. 
Back to top 

Move past your camera’s automatic mode to take your photographs to the next level. Learn the fundamentals of photography — aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lenses, and depth of field — while digging into composition, lighting techniques, color and tonality to create dynamic images. You’ll also explore advanced camera controls and post-production techniques using Adobe Creative Suite to refine your photographs.  This major will address various contemporary processes and applications specific to documentary, fashion, editorial, and conceptual photography through in-class demonstrations, photo analysis, and group critique.  By the end of the program, you’ll have a portfolio of photographs that expresses your distinct perspective of the world around you.  A DSLR camera is required for this major. 
Back to top 


Critical Studies meets either in AM or PM on Wednesdays.  All Art, Media + Design students take this course.
In this foundation course, you’ll focus on developing a vocabulary around art, design, and culture.  Through a series of lectures and assignments, you will learn to critically analyze and respond to art from the past and present.  Class trips to Philadelphia museums and galleries will allow you to explore artwork in context.  This course gives you the language to effectively articulate your ideas in the studio, during critiques, and well beyond the summer.
Back to top 


Electives meet Tuesday + Thursday. Choose two (one from each time slot):


Alternative Painting*
A lack of boundaries is what makes contemporary art powerful and subversive. This painting course doesn’t emphasize technique or expectation — it harnesses the artist you already are. Consider psychological influences and imaginative approaches to creating paintings. Although technical instruction will be in painting, you will be encouraged to explore and incorporate non-traditional materials and other media of your choice including drawing, collage, and installation in order to develop individual expression. This course is taught in acrylic paint.  
Back to top  

Character Development: Illustration - Course is filled; registration closed.
Looking to create the perfect protagonist — or adversary — for the story you want to tell? Work from your imagination to develop and design original characters. Use a variety of traditional and digital media to work through a series of thumbnail sketches that evolve into highly-rendered images suitable for various applications — illustration, animation, comic books, cartoons or graphic novels.
Back to top   

Creative Writing
American fiction writer and literary journalist Joan Didion said, "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear." In this course, you'll focus on developing your voice while exploring contemporary approaches to creative writing. You'll compose original writing in various formats based on prompts that incite experimentation while also participating in critiques of your own and your classmates’ work with UArts faculty.
Back to top  

Experimental Photo
In contemporary society everyone can be a photographer — in this course, you'll learn how to give your photos distinction from the crowd with an experimental edge. Explore various photo processes and non-traditional ways to consider the photographic image, including processes such as pinhole cameras and cyanotypes using a variety of films and cameras. Your creations from this course will push the boundaries of how one typically relates to photography, images, and the world. This course is appropriate for both experienced photographers and beginners.    
Back to top  

Jewelry + Metals
Design and construct original metal jewelry or small sculptures in this studio-based course, gaining a hands-on, working knowledge of metalsmithing techniques in the process. Piercing, soldering, riveting, stone setting, oxidizing, and finishing are explored using silver, bronze, and copper. Produce small-scale metal works and learn valuable techniques for jewelry-making.
Back to top   

Packaging Design
Learn to design graphic communication for three-dimensional consumer packaging structures. Integrate basic design principles and processes using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator as you explore type, color, and images for three-dimensional structures. You’ll examine design considerations and experiment with various 3D templates to produce several prototypes. In-class discussions and critiques will address design rational, client concerns, and environmental factors.
Back to top   

Screenwriting is the art of using words to create images in the minds of people who can translate them to film. Through lectures, screenings, readings, exercises and workshops, students will learn how to conceive of a story for the screen, write a detailed outline then write and revise a draft of a short screenplay.
Back to top 

Sculpture incites physical sensation and emotional response through the manipulation of materials, scale, and space. Delve into the process of producing art in 3-D, from concept and studio experiments to selecting materials and execution. Projects will prompt you to explore your own interests in objects while learning technical skills for composing and constructing sculptural works.
Back to top   


Advanced Drawing*
Focus on design and composition as you work toward sustained studies and large-scale finished drawings. Explore structure, space, line and tone while working in various media. Work from still life, interiors, landscape, and figures while experimenting with a variety of materials including conté crayon, pastels, and toned and colored papers. Prior drawing experience preferred. Nude figure models will be used in this course.
Back to top  

Digital Effects for Film + Animation
Create digital effects for both live-action and animated films. Industry professionals will show you how to shoot and light sequences in front of a green screen for compositing into another setting. You'll also create standard effects such as muzzle slashes, classic lightsabers, explosions, and more using particle emitters and other effects appropriate for any genre of work — from sci-fi, fantasy, or horror to drama and comedy. At the end of this course, you'll have hands-on experience working in programs such as Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Photoshop. For your final project, you'll create a portfolio piece complete and original special effects sequence: from storyboard through post-production. 
Back to top  

Drawing is the most basic, rudimentary art and design tool — and it is a fundamental component of all creative disciplines. If you have not had formal training in drawing, here's the place to start. Instruction will focus on drawing from life, including still life, models, and landscape. You'll explore foundational drawing techniques such as light, shadow, rendering, perspective, and composition. Working in classical media such as pencil, charcoal, and ink, you'll develop essential observational skills while learning about the various contemporary applications for drawing.  
Back to top  

Figure Drawing* - Course is filled; registration closed.
Drawing the figure is both challenging and rewarding — and can be crucial for many forms of artmaking and design. This course will allow you to focus exclusively on articulating the human form on a 2D surface. Instruction and demonstrations will help you develop observational skills as well as strategies for checking for accuracy. You’ll primarily work from skeletons and models as you learn basic anatomy and skeletal structure, gesture, volume and foreshortening to gain knowledge of figuration that you can utilize for future projects or apply to other media. Prior drawing experience is helpful for this course. 
Back to top  

Industrial Design
Industrial designers strive to create better human experiences by enhancing everyday design. In this course, you'll gain an introduction to the process of creating consumer products — from mechanical drawing and prototyping to writing manufacturing and packaging directions. You’ll be introduced to digital fabrication tools and their various applications in art and design, as well as fabricate your own 3D printed and laser cut prototypes. By the end of the course, you will be able to recognize a product’s meaning in culture and context, as well as what constitutes effective design for today’s world. 
Back to top  

Learn the D.I.Y. medium of dissemination that Andy Warhol famously stole from industrial production processes and transformed into an art form. Grasp the basics of screenprinting, from setup and screen prep to image transferring and printing. Learn to screenprint posters, zines, bags, apparel and more. This empowering course will give you the tools to print your imagery, pattern, logo or message on items of your choice.  
Back to top  

Street Photography - Course is filled; registration closed.
Follow in the footsteps of pioneering street photographers such as Eugène Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson — and contemporary artists like Lee Friedlander and Stephen Shore — by capturing the city’s spirit with your lens. Explore camera control along with essential photographic concepts such as “the decisive moment”. You’ll put these concepts to use on walking trips to local Philadelphia parks, markets, and galleries, where you’ll transform the conventional into the exceptional and hone your distinct perspective of the world around you. Previous experience using a camera is preferred for this course. 
Back to top  

Taxidermy as Wearable Art
Taxidermy is one of the world’s oldest and most alluring crafts. In this introductory course, you’ll creatively repurpose, design and fabricate animal specimens. Learn the essentials of basic taxidermy under the supervision of a seasoned instructor, ultimately completing accessories or wearable embellishments of your design. Specimens for the class are sourced humanely and are safe to handle. 
Back to top  

Explore the subversive role of zines, from their emergence in the 1970s as a feature of the concurrent punk scene, to their contemporary cultural relevance. You’ll gain agency by creating original printed zines using time-honored D.I.Y. methods: hand-drawing, printing, photocopying, folding and distributing — and you’ll also be prompted to innovate these methods to adapt to twenty-first-century media platforms. The course will include a field trip to a local zine distributor where students will be able to peruse the small press creations of Philadelphia’s local political dissidents and social peripherals.
Back to top  

*Note: Nude figure models will be used in drawing and painting courses  


>>View the Summer Institute 2016 Look Book<<

Back to top