Summer Institute : Art, Media + Design : Majors + Electives

Course information below is for the 2014 program. Information for the 2015 program coming soon.

Block A (1/2 day) Block A
   Book Arts + Printmaking    Character Development: Illustration
   Darkroom Photography    Cinematography
   Fashion + Fibers: Wearable Art    Creative Writing
   Glass    Digital Photography
   Graphic Novel    Street Art: Fibers
   Painting    Street Photography
   Product Design    Typography
     Woodworking Studio
Block B (1/2 day) Block B
   Editorial Fashion Photography    Advanced Drawing Projects
   Figure Painting    Ceramics Studio
   Graphic Design    Designing with Digital Tools
   Illustration    Drawing
   Jewelry + Metal Design    Experimental Photography
   Sculpture + Installation    Figure Drawing
   Interactive Game Design    Figure Sculpture
     Music Illustration
     Photo Narratives: Words + Photographs
      Sketchbook + Zine
      Street Art: Screen Printing
 Block C (all day)   
   Digital Filmmaking   
   Waterways: Interdisciplinary Studio   


The Art, Media + Design program is designed to give you a fully explorative arts experience. All students are required to select either one major from Block A and one from Block B or one major from Block C.  Blocks A and B are half day courses and Block C are courses that run all day long.  Students must also select two electives. This rigorous course load ensures that you will have an immersive college-level experience that will give you a comprehensive education in the visual arts and help you build a strong portfolio. Check out the sample schedule for the Art, Media + Design program.


MAJORS: BLOCK A (1/2 day)

Book Arts + Printmaking
In the Books Arts + Printmaking major, learn book arts, screen printing, etching and monoprinting from working printmakers.  You will create fine art books by incorporating drawing, printmaking, collage, and design.  Basic book binding and narrative techniques will be utilized to communicate your personal vision. Both traditional and modern commercial printmaking techniques are explored through guest lectures, critiques and production of multiple editions.

Darkroom Photography
Designed for photographers of all levels, this class helps you develop technical skills in shooting, printing and developing black and white photos. Basic aesthetic issues including composition and image size are addressed. Plus you learn to create images that communicate universally.  You are required to bring your own 35mm film SLR camera with light meter and manual capabilities.  No prior darkroom experience is required.

Fashion + Fibers: Wearable Art
This dynamic course explores the role fabric plays in fashion, both as fine art and in design practice.  You will learn how to construct textile and study the intricacies of different fibers directly.  You will gain an extraordinarily in depth experience getting to know the core techniques of the fiber medium with a fashion perspective.  Instructors will teach you how to construct and sew patterns, design textiles, and use fibers in alternative art forms.  Field trips to the Fabric Workshop and Museum will enhance your understanding of the Fiber context at large, emphasizing the influence textile design and history has had on contemporary art and fashion.

Through demonstrations, assignments, hands-on projects, and tutoring by the instructor, you will learn off-hand glass blowing and fusing and slumping techniques.  In this course, creating well-balanced, functional and non-functional forms is emphasized.  Topics such as surface treatments, color, compatibilities of glass, proper annealing schedules, blowing into molds, and working in a variety of scales are discussed while you will explore the technical aspects of kiln work and off-hand blowing.  

Graphic Novel
Using traditional and digital techniques, you will complete a series of projects toward the development of an original comic book spread.  Emphasis is placed on the stages of developing a comic book from thumbnail sketches, to refining pencil work, and then a finalized piece of art.  You will learn how to digitally add color fills and airbrushing techniques in Adobe Photoshop.

In the Painting major, both fine art and contemporary painting will be studied and created throughout the course of the program.  Not only will you work from still life, but also the nude figure to add many observational paintings to your portfolio.  Working with professional painters as your instructors, you will receive college-level personal and group critiques to help you better hone your craft and focus your vision.  Classes will cover painting in historic and modern contexts, trips to galleries and museums, and significant studio time.  Parents should note that mature themes may be studied.

Product Design
Creating a better human experience by making enhancements to everyday design is at the center of the product design.  Learn every part of the complex process of creating consumer products – including mechanical drawing, prototyping, and writing manufacturing and packaging directions.  Instructors teach 3-dimensional design and assist students in fabricating finished products as well as prototypes.  In class, you will learn how to recognize a product’s meaning in culture and context and what is effective design in today’s world. 

back to top

MAJORS: BLOCK B (1/2 day)

Editorial Fashion Photography
Fashion advertisements are seen by millions of people everyday.  Let your images be one of them! You will learn studio lighting using the University’s professional-grade equipment to create intriguing images for online and print media.  Advanced camera controls and post-production techniques using the Adobe Creative Suite are also topics of this course.

Figure Painting
Mastery of painting the human form is one of the most important and difficult challenges.  During this course, you will have the opportunity to perfect your ability to capture the subject of the nude figure.  Working in oils, you will study the human body as you explore composition, balance, proportion, scale and shape.  Technical aspects of painting such as value, color form and style are addressed.  This course is aimed toward students with prior drawing and/or painting experience.

Graphic Design
Do you want to redefine our world through design that affects interior architecture, shines through electronic screens and transforms books, magazines, advertising, posters, video and film? For more than 40 years, Graphic Design at the University of the Arts has been recognized as one of the nation’s top design programs — on the leading edge, exploring both new technologies and re-inventing how handmade images and messages uniquely speak to the electronically engaged world.  In this major you will explore typography, composition, letter forms and design movements such as Bauhaus while gaining a strong foundation in Adobe Create Suite.  You will create visual statements that entertain, advertise and evoke a strong emotional response in a viewer.  We encourage you to find innovative solutions to a variety of communication challenges.

Illustrators create images for children’s books, advertising campaigns, music promotion, clothing apparel, packaging and store displays, video games, movies, animations, and comic books.   In this course you will bring stories to life by making images, whether created digitally or by hand that can be masterful works of art or practical business applications.  Learn a full spectrum of drawing and painting techniques, as well as digital, graphic design and two-dimensional processes and software. Work closely with successful, award-winning instructors to take on the perceptual and technical problems that professional illustrators encounter in their work. 

Jewelry + Metal Design
Work in the University’s small metals studio to learn sawing, piercing, soldering, riveting and finishing techniques. You will gain a foundation in metalsmithing and jewelry design while creating unique jewelry or small sculptural compositions in silver, bronze, brass and copper.  Past projects include pendants, rings, and belt buckles.

Sculpture + Installation
Explore space, composition and materials while designing contemporary installations. Create large-scale, 3-dimensional work that incorporates found objects as well as original forms created from clay, metal, plaster or wood.  Forging, carving and building techniques are learned in the studio, giving you access to tools used by professional artists.  As part of the Summer Institute, you will visit galleries and museums to study ancient and modern sculpture in context.

Interactive Game Design
In this exciting major, you will explore the principles that inform how games work, how to make them, why they are important and how they help us understand our world and social interactions. learn to construct logical narratives and rules that make possible the creation of an active space in which gaming can take place. using skills based upon interface and experiential design, program, write and design interactive games.

back to top

MAJORS: BLOCK C (all day)

In the this major you will learn the basics of animation through storyboarding, drawing, filming, editing and image manipulation using software such as Adobe AfterEffects.  Professional animators will teach you traditional hand-drawn animation, stop-motion with clay and found objects, and computer animation to create your own short animations and demo reel.

Digital Filmmaking
In the Digital Filmmaking major you will study direction, cinematography and editing by using state of the art cameras, equipment and software.  Study under award-winning filmmakers, learning to story board, develop characters, shoot scenes and edit work for a final presentation.  Gain an understanding of the modern film industry as well as the role film plays in the contemporary art world while making your own short film.  At the end of the program you will have a portfolio of small films as well as one longer, comprehensive piece.

Waterways: Interdisciplinary Studio
Waterways is an interdisciplinary studio and liberal-arts course.  Thought-provoking field trips, class discussions and studio assignments will allow students to draw together reading, writing and art-making interests to create art that engages with water.  Students can work across media and disciplines to make objects that respond to water's various states, exploring the relationship among water, our ecosystem and our human experience.

back to top


Character Development: Illustration
This course will allow you to create and design both the image and concept of your own comic character. Working from your imagination and using a variety of media, you will develop characters through a series of thumbnail sketches that evolve into a finished and highly rendered image. The characters developed for this class can be used in children’s books, animation, computer animation, comic books, cartoons or graphic novels.

This hands-on course will teach you the in and outs of digital cinematography. Not only will you learn how to use the University’s professional-grade cameras, but you will also learn the terminology and techniques necessary to communicate your vision through film. Through demonstrations and exercises, the basic principles of digital cinematography: Composition, Lighting, Depth of Field, and Continuity, will be examined and used to create short films for your portfolio.

Creative Writing
Study the art of words and writing to work towards developing your own writing style. Coursework may include a sampling of poetry, fiction, memoir or short story writing.  You will take field trips around the city of Philadelphia to find inspiration and create new pieces for your portfolio.  Also receive critiques from your fellow classmates and professional writers.

Digital Photography
Learn about composition, exposure and lighting to create inventive, high-quality photographs. In addition to critiques with your peers, topics include camera functions, image storage, batch processing and various means of output. Using digital cameras, you will work both in the computer lab and throughout Philadelphia on shooting assignments. You must own a digital camera to participate in this class.

Street Art: Fibers
Using knitting, crocheting, weaving and other techniques, participate in the guerilla-style graffiti technique of yarn-bombing.  This course will explore the history and concepts behind this growing artform.  You will learn how to create "cozies" using the aforementioned techniques while turning ordinary objects into new works of art.

Street Photography
Follow in the footsteps of the great street photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Atget, and Friedlander by capturing everyday life with your lens.  Concepts like “the decisive moment”, camera controls, and historical context will be explored in this course.  Also you will take walking trips to local Philadelphia parks, markets, and galleries to transform the conventional into the exceptional.

The primary aim of this course is to refine the students’ ability to see, think, and communicate through the thoughtful and conceptual use of words. Students will use graphic design techniques, mixed media and industry software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign) to explore issues related to letterforms and typeface design.  Learn the fundamentals of typography including composition, layout, and interaction with text and image.

Woodworking Studio
This course explores wood as a material, basic joinery theory as well as its manipulation with hand and power tools. Lectures and demonstrations include the properties of wood and the proper use of the band saw and shaping tools, including rasps, chisels, small hand planes and gouges. Assignments are approached from a design standpoint and require you to draft working drawings. Individuality is encouraged within the guidelines for each project.

back to top


Advanced Drawing Projects
Working with line and tone in black and white and color, you will explore issues of structure, space and light. Emphasis is on design and composition as you work toward more sustained studies and finished drawings. Work from still life, the urban landscape, and nude models while experimenting with a variety of mediums including pencil, charcoal, conté crayon, pastels, and toned and colored papers. Prior drawing experience required.

Ceramics Studio
Explore different types of clay and building techniques by making functional and/or sculptural ceramic works. Tile making, coil building, clay slab construction and throwing may be covered. You will have the opportunity to work with a variety of materials including porcelain, dark stoneware, slips, under glazes and glazes.

Designing with Digital Tools
This course provides an introduction to the integration of basic design principles, processes and applications using Photoshop and Illustrator. Using these tools students will learn to understand, explore and create meaningful solutions to design problems. Through a series of exercises and projects, students experience how design can inform, facilitate, inspire, persuade, engage, and provoke.

If you have not had formal training in drawing, this is the place to start. Drawing is a fundamental foundation for all fine arts, crafts, media and design areas. Course objectives include honing observation skills while working mostly from still life, models and/or landscapes. You will work with media such as pencil, charcoal and ink. Basic skills such as perspective, composition, light and shadow, and tonal variations are explored.

Experimental Photography
Open to both experienced photographers and beginners, this course introduces you to experimental photo processes and nontraditional ways to consider the photographic image. Using a variety of films and cameras while pushing the boundaries of how one views the world, you will explore processes such as pinhole cameras and cyanotypes. You must have a 35mm automatic and/or manual camera.

Figure Drawing
This course allows students to focus exclusively on the challenges of drawing from the figure. You will develop drawing and visual skills while working from the skeleton as well as clothed and nude models. Learn basic anatomy, gesture, structure, proportion, line and tone. Prior drawing experience is required.

Figure Sculpture
Studying the human form is an essential practice in the fine arts.  You will learn how to construct a figure sculpture while observing a live model in order to expand your skills of observation, proportion, anatomy and composition.  Projects may include building an armature and using the additive process to create a full length sculpture, bust, or portrait using clay or plastalina.

Music Illustration
Combine your passion for music and illustration in this elective where you will create gig posters, album art, and logos for performers.  You will learn traditional and digital illustration techniques to complete professional pieces your portfolio.  

Photo Narratives: Words + Photographs
In this cross-disciplinary course, students will join together word and image to investigate how the pairing can enhance storytelling and deepen our understanding of the language of photographs. Through writing prompts and shooting assignments, students will create their own personal narratives while gaining skills in creative writing and darkroom photography and developing a vocabulary to describe the visual experiences in their lives. Open to all levels of experience.

Sketchbook + Zine
As the birth place of artistic ideas, the sketchbook is where artists begin to develop a unique point of view to illustrate personal ideas, experiment, take visual notes and hone skills. In this class students will gain understanding of, exposure to and experience with a variety of media, techniques, and approaches to keeping a sketchbook/journal in the spirit of experimentation. This experimentation will be the foundation of the collaborative class zine where students will collect, edit and design their works into a finished work.

Street Art: Screen Printing
With South Broad Street, the Avenue of the Arts, as your canvas, delve into the world of screenprinting as street art.  Study the craft of silk screen printmaking by mastering the photo-emulsion process and building an edition of prints.  You will then display your prints around the city of Philadelphia on UArts' campus with methods such as wheatpasting.  Meet local, Philadelphia street artists and be inspired by your urban surroundings.

 back to top

Nude Models: Many of the courses in our program utilize nude models to help you build a strong foundation in observational skills. Please be advised that this program is a college-level experience and working from a nude model is important for students to mature as artists.