Summer Institute Art, Media & Design

July 11–July 29, 2022

Three weeks
Three college credits 
M–F, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. & evening studio hours

In the three-week Art, Media and 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.

Effective August 22, masks are optional for all members of our community and campus visitors in all of the university’s public spaces, including during performances, special events and other community gatherings, with occasional exceptions. Learn more about UArts' COVID-19 policies and response


Learn from the artists and creative professionals who comprise UArts faculty. Each class is designed to expand your perspective on contemporary art-making and support your artistic development. You’ll get feedback from instructors along the way, complete new work for your portfolio and show your work in a public exhibition. Rising seniors can have their portfolios evaluated for fall 2023 undergraduate admission to UArts.

At the end of this program, students will

  • create new works suitable for inclusion in a portfolio.

  • learn skills in critical thinking and revision practice through critiques.

  • expand vocabulary and technical skills in their chosen visual arts subject area.

Outcomes may vary by course—see the courses below for detailed overviews.


You’ll participate in one major and two afternoon electives.

Majors & Electives

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Choose one major from the following areas.

Animation (Major Has Filled) 

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

Digital Filmmaking

Examine artistic expression in filmmaking from all points of view. 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, including storyboarding, developing characters, shooting scenes and editing. 

Game Design 

Dive into the complex and intricate world of video games. In this course, 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.

Graphic Design 

Design is all around us. 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, and you’ll use 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 pieces 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. 

Painting*  (Major Has Filled) 

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. 


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 post-production techniques using Adobe Creative Cloud to refine your photographs. A DSLR camera is needed for this course.

Sculpture and Installation

Sculpture incites physical and emotional response through material choice, scale and space. Learn to make art in 3-D, from concept and experiments to materials and execution. Projects allow you to explore conceptual ideas while learning technical skills for composing and constructing in clay, plaster, and other materials.

*Nude figure models may be used in this class.


Elective A 

Mondays and Wednesdays

Choose one elective from the following.

Alternative Painting 

Consider psychological influences and imaginative approaches to creating paintings. Your 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. 

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, including animation, cartoons, comic books, graphic novels and illustration. 

Drawing into Print

Course Description coming soon. 

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

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. 

Elective B

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Choose one elective from the following.

Art Appreciation

Philadelphia is a treasure trove of art. Not only is the city rich with historic collections, it is also home to leading contemporary art institutions. In this course, students will visit thought-provoking exhibitions in celebrated museums or galleries, such as the Barnes Foundation, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, or The Institute for the Contemporary Image. Group trips will enable students to engage with art first-hand, find influences that enhance their own artistic practice, and connect with peers through shared experiences.


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.


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.

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. Field trips will 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.

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. You’ll dive 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.

A Week in the Life

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View a sample schedule.


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Major

  • 1–4 p.m. Elective A 

  • 4–7 p.m. Open Studio 


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Major

  • 1–4 p.m. Elective B 

  • 4–7 p.m. Open Studio  


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Major

  • 1–4 p.m. Elective A 

  • 4–7 p.m. Open Studio 


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Major

  • 1–4 p.m. Elective B 

  • 4–7 p.m. Open Studio  


  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Major

  • 1–4 p.m. Major


  • Optional off-campus field trips

Note: Students break for lunch between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. every day. Students may elect to attend open studios Monday through Thursday evenings. Commuters should plan accordingly.


Courses in Art, Media and 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 sharing their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of artists.

Summer 2022 faculty may include

Lowell Boston standing in front of a green backdrop.
Lowell Boston

BFA '88

Fine Arts Professor Kay Healy sits in front of her work of a door with flames made of fabric
Kay Healy

Fine Arts (BFA)
Jesse Clark
Jessie Clark

MFA ’10 (Painting)

AnneMarie Robinson_headshot
AnneMarie Robinson

BFA '07, MAT '13

UArts Pre-College Summer Institute Faculty Molly Egan
Molly Egan

BFA '15

Joe Hocker

BFA '11

Lizzy O'Donnell
Liz O'Donnell

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

Illustration (BFA)
Christian "Patch" Patchell

BFA '95

A black and white closeup of Ellen Reynolds in a black shirt with white polka dots
Ellen Reynolds

Film (BFA)
Black and white image of a woman
Rebecca Gilbert

Expanded Drawing & Print Media (BFA in Fine Arts)

How to Apply

The last day to apply was May 15, 2022.

Tuition and Fees  

Tuition: $3,400
Program Fee: $150  
Housing and Meals: $1,390

Commuter Total: $3,550
Residential Total: $4,940

Students are expected to bring supplies with them or purchase them once they arrive on campus. Supply lists will be shared one month prior to the start of the program with cost estimates.

Spending & Miscellaneous Expenses
Students spend an average of $80-$100 per week on additional items including laundry, snacks, personal spending and non-required supplies.



Scholarships for the Summer Institute are awarded to students in high academic standing with significant creative potential and financial need. Scholarship awards are competitive. Students are able to apply for either a merit- or need-based scholarship. 

Learn about Summer Institute scholarships.


Request more info

Contact Pre-College
Pre-College Programs
211 S. Broad St, Terra Hall 9th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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