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Summer Institute 2020 on-campus programs are cancelled. Instead, we have launched innovative online programs designed to introduce high school students to new artistic ideas, build skills and strengthen portfolios while they earn 1.5 college credits. 

View Summer Institute 2020 online programs

UArts staff is currently working remotely. Please direct all questions and inquiries to precollege@uarts.edu.


Information below reflects details for summer 2020 cancelled on-campus programs.

July 6 - July 31, 2020 (4 weeks)

In the four-week Art, Media & Design program, your interests drive your experience. You’ll gain new skills and learn to think critically about art through college-level art and design courses, critiques and visits to Philly’s museums and cultural institutions. You’ll take three classes: one major and two electives. Class offerings are broad and reflect UArts’ college experience.

The Process

Courses are taught by artists and creative professionals who comprise UArts faculty. Each class is designed to expand your perspective on contemporary art-making and support your work, artistic development and portfolio.

The Perks

Experience art institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fabric Workshop + MuseumBarnes Foundation, and Philly’s galleries and artist-run spaces.  In the evenings, you'll participate in open studios, interdisciplinary workshops and artist talks.

The Proof

At the end of the program, you’ll show your work in a public exhibition and have your work featured in the Summer Institute’s Look Book. You’ll also leave with a portfolio of new work, feedback from instructors and  three college credits . Rising seniors can have their portfolios evaluated for fall 2021 undergraduate admission to UArts.


Meet all day Monday, Wednesday, Friday (9 am – 4 pm, with a break for lunch).  Choose one major from the following.

Animation- Course is full

Professional animators guide you through the basics of motion studies: experimenting with traditional hand-drawn, stop-motion, and digital animation techniques. Over the course of the program, you will storyboard, film, edit and execute your own short, animated movie and demo reel.

Examine artistic expression in filmmaking from all sides. Study direction, cinematography and editing using state-of-the-art cameras, equipment and software. Work with filmmakers and classmates on group projects as you learn to balance the many elements of filmmaking: storyboarding, developing characters, shooting scenes and editing.

Graphic Design

Today, design is everywhere. Posters, publications, album covers, apparel, and digital media utilize graphic design to convey messages to viewers. You’ll focus on the principles and possibilities of visual communication, including graphic form, type design, layout, image treatment and sequence, using Adobe Creative Cloud.


Gain an understanding of both hand-drawn and digital processes for articulating visual ideas and meaning in comics, children’s books, advertising, editorial and other applications. You’ll encounter subject matter sourced from various fields and be prompted to respond with imaginative illustrations that articulate insight and draw an emotional response.

Oil Painting*

This studio major will introduce you 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. Hands-on assignments and group critiques will inspire you to experiment materially and conceptually.

Photography (DSLR required)

Learn the fundamentals of photography while digging into composition, lighting techniques, color and tonality to create dynamic images. You’ll also explore advanced camera controls and postproduction techniques using Adobe Creative Cloud to refine your photographs. A DSLR camera is needed for this course.

*Nude figure models may be used in this class


Meet Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Choose two electives: one  Morning  elective and one  Afternoon  elective. 


Alternative Painting 

Consider psychological influences and imaginative approaches to creating paintings. Technical instruction will be in painting, but you’ll be encouraged to explore and incorporate nontraditional materials and other media of your choice to develop your individual expression.

Advanced Drawing

Discover contemporary applications for drawing, and explore various media as you work from still life, interiors, landscapes and figures to complete large-scale, finished pieces. Previous drawing experience is preferred.

B&W Darkroom Photo

Experience the alchemy of darkroom photography as you develop your own film, hand-print images, and explore darkroom processes and manipulation techniques. This course is appropriate for all levels of experience.

Character Development: Illustration 

Work from your imagination to develop and design original characters. Use a variety of traditional and digital media to create thumbnail sketches that evolve into highly rendered images suitable for various applications: animation, cartoons, comic books, graphic novels or illustration.

Creative Writing

Focus on developing your voice while exploring contemporary approaches to writing. Compose original work in various formats, based on prompts that incite experimentation, while participating in critiques with peers and faculty.

Digital Effects for Film + Animation- Course is full

Create effects for live-action and animated films using Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. Shoot and light sequences in front of a green screen for a range of settings, and create standard effects such as muzzle slashes, lightsabers and explosions.

Sculpture & Installation

Learn to make art in 3-D, from concept and experiments to materials and execution. You’ll be encouraged to explore while you learn technical skills for composing and constructing sculptural works.



Drawing is the most basic art and design tool, and it’s a fundamental component of all creative disciplines. Working in classical media such as pencil, charcoal and ink, you’ll develop essential observational and technical skills. Instruction will focus on still life, models, and landscape and techniques such as composition, light, shadow, rendering and perspective.

Figure Drawing

Drawing the figure is crucial for many forms of artmaking and design. This course allows you to focus exclusively on articulating the human form. You’ll work from nude models as you learn basic anatomy, gesture, volume and how to check accuracy. Previous drawing experience is preferred.

Film Criticism

Learn to watch movies with a critical eye. Through a selection of screenings, class discussions and written responses, you’ll analyze film techniques and develop a critical vocabulary. This course is designed for future filmmakers, artists, critics and writers.


Discover the medium that Andy Warhol stole from industrial production processes and transformed into an art form. Learn the techniques to screenprint clothing, bags, posters, zines and items of your choice.

Sketchbooks: Experiments & Field Notes 

Learn to use your sketchbook as a visual journal for observation and invention. You’ll experiment with markers, ink and cut paper, and field trips encourage you to work from life and your imagination.

Street Photography 

Capture the city’s spirit through your lens. Explore camera control and photographic concepts on walking trips to local galleries, markets and parks. Previous photo experience is preferred.

Visual Storytelling- Course is full

Learn how to use visual elements to tell stories more effectively. Investigate how components such as editorial choices, format, pacing and style create meaning. This course is perfect for students interested in animation,  film, game design, graphic design, illustration, photography, writing or any form of visual storytelling.

Woodworking: Design & Build

Learn basic carpentry techniques, including joinery and hand and power tool manipulation, and discover contemporary applications for woodworking. Projects encourage you to explore design ideas while gaining technical skills.

Writing for Comics

Examine how text works with sequential images to create stories and worlds in comics, cartoons, graphic novels, animation and other forms of illustrated text. Delve into concepts like dialogue and narrative as you create written pieces that can be used for future projects. 

*Nude figure models may be used in this class

2020 AMD sample schedule

Courses in Art, Media + Design are taught by artists and creative professionals. The majority of our faculty teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert faculty is comprised of seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of artists.

Summer 2020 Faculty Include

Lowell Boston

BFA '88

UArts Pre-College Summer Institute Faculty Barrett Capistran
Barrett Capistran

BFA '18

Matt Courtney_Headshot_web
Matthew Courtney

R Curry head shot
Robert Curry

UArts Pre-College Summer Institute Faculty Molly Egan
Molly Egan

BFA '15

Michael George

Joe Hocker

BFA '11

Lizzy O'Donnell
Lizzy O'Donnell

BFA, '17; Saturday School, ‘12, ‘13; Summer Institute, ‘12

Christian "Patch" Patchell

BFA '95

SI AMD Sarah Pater
Sarah Pater

Colin Pezzano_headshot
Colin Pezzano

BFA '14

Ellen Reynolds_Headshot
Ellen Reynolds

AnneMarie Robinson_headshot
AnneMarie Robinson

BFA '07, MAT '13

Alyssa Winscom_headshot
Alyssa Winscom

BFA '18

  1. Review the Art, Media + Design application requirements
  2. Complete the application, including personal statement, and submit the program deposit online or by mail.  Start your application    

The techniques and approaches I learned changed the way I create.
— Art, Media + Design student

Not sure you're ready for the 4-week program?  We also offer two-week Studio Workshops that allow you to expand your creative skills while focusing on one visual arts discipline.  Learn more


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Contact Pre-College
Pre-College Programs
211 S. Broad St, Terra Hall 9th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 717 - 6430