Summer Institute: One-Week Commuter Intensives

The following information is for the summer 2016 program.  Information for summer 2017 will be forthcoming.

2016 One-Week Commuter Intensives

UArts commuter intensives for high school students deliver the same superior faculty in an abbreviated one-week schedule, letting you develop your vision and skills for five full days, while getting a taste of the University of the Arts campus experience. Classes meet  Monday - Friday from 10:00am - 4:00pm with a one hour lunch break. One-Week Intensives are non-credit and non-residential. These courses are appropriate for rising 9th - 12th graders. $560 per class.

Students choose one class per week

› Week One: July 11 - 15
Glass Blowing + Fusing
Photography I: The Essentials

› Week Two: July 18 - 22
Comic Character Design
Figure Drawing
Creative Writing

› Week Three: July 25 - July 29
Street Photography

› Week Four: August 1 - August 5
Graphic Design
Jewelry + Metal Design
Portfolio Preparation + Drawing


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. In this class you'll explore various traditional subject matter including still life, figure, portraiture, interior space, and landscape. Instruction will focus on foundational observational drawing techniques such as light, shadow, rendering, perspective, and composition; and group critiques will aid in the development of your skills and critical sensability. Working in classical media such as pencil, charcoal, conte crayon and ink, you will develop essential skills while learning about the various contemporary applications for drawing. 
Nude figure models will be used in this course.  

In this intensive course, you'll gain an introductory understanding of various glass processes including furnace glass-forming, flame-working, kiln-working, and cold working. You'll learn the vernacular related to various glass processes, as well as complete a variety of glass projects requiring both teamwork and cooperation. By the end of the course, you'll have a hands-on introduction to this exciting medium.

Move past your camera’s automatic mode to take your photographs to the next level. Learn the fundamentals of camera function as well as how to utilize composition, exposure, lighting and more to create dynamic and inventive images. In this digital class you'll have the opportunity to shoot within Philadelphia’s distinct landscape and learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to enhance your photographs. Group photo analysis and critique will aid in developing your critical eye. A DSLR camera is required for this course.

Back to Top 

Looking to create the perfect protagonist — or adversary — for the story you want to tell? Work from your imagination to conceptualize and design original characters. Use a variety of traditional media to work through a series of thumbnail sketches that will evolve into highly-rendered images suitable for various applications — illustration, animation, comic books, cartoons, or graphic novels. 

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. Instruction and demonstrations will help you develop drawing and observational skills as well as strategies for checking for accuracy. In each class you'll 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 draw on for future projects or apply to other media. Prior drawing experience is helpful for this course.
Nude figure models will be used in this course.  

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 some contemporary approaches to creative writing. You'll compose original works based on prompts that incite experimentation — and participate in critiques of your and your classmates’ work with the guidance of a professional writer. Coursework includes strategies for writing dialogue, creating settings, developing scenes and characters, and more. At the end of this course you'll have generated two - three new pieces of writing.

View the 2016 OWI Creative Writing Anthology for a compilation of student work. 

Back to Top 

Follow in the footsteps of great street photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Atget and Friedlander by capturing everyday life with your lens. Explore concepts such as “the decisive moment,” camera controls and historical context. You’ll put these concepts to use on walking trips to local Philadelphia parks, markets and galleries to transform the conventional into the exceptional.  

This introductory course will begin with instruction on fundamental painting techniques and studio processes such as color mixing, paint application and composition. You'll paint from a variety of traditional subjects including still life and figure, and hands-on assignments and group critiques will prompt you to hone your observational skills and understanding of the medium. Throughout the week, you'll also gain an introduction to how the oldest art discipline is being practiced, interpreted, discussed and made relevant today. At the end of the course you will have completed a series of works suitable for inclusion in a portfolio. Prior drawing experience will be helpful for this course. This course is taught in acrylics.  
Nude figure models may be used in this course.   

Back to Top 

Design is everywhere in our modern world — posters, publications, album covers, apparel, packaging, digital and other media utilize graphic design to convey messages to viewers. In this course you'll focus on the principles and possibilities for visual communication, including graphic form, type design, layout, image treatment, and sequence using the Adobe Creative Suite on a Mac platform. At the end of the week, you'll have a better understanding of graphic design's role in contemporary culture, as well as an introduction to this relevant profession.

Design and construct original metal jewelry or small sculptures in this hands-on course. You'll learn the basics of metalsmithing and techniques such as sawing, piercing, soldering, riveting, and finishing using silver, bronze, brass and copper.   

Does your college application fine arts portfolio need a boost? In this course you'll produce and refine several new pieces suitable for inclusion in your portfolio. Instruction will begin with projects based around 2-D design fundamentals, and will conclude with an overview of the basics of observational drawing, working from the human figure, portraiture and still life. At the end of the course, you'll have the opportunity to meet with a University of the Arts Admissions Counselor to review your work.  
Nude figure models will be used in this course.  

Back to Top 

OWI Policies

Learn more about our Refund Policy and Code of Conduct.

Instagram logo

Social Media

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more to be part of our community.