The Pre-College program is designed to help students develop their art and design skills while experiencing what it means to be a full-time art student.

Curriculum

The program is made up of three core components: one course of study from Major #1, one from Major #2, and all students participate in observational drawing.  Equal time is given to both Major #1 and Major #2.

Majors

  • Painting
  • Commercial Illustration
  • Comic & Graphic Novel Illustration
  • Children Book’s Illustration
  • Ceramics
  • Music
  • Fashion & Textile Design
  • Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Woodworking

Program Evaluation

Students will receive one grade for the Pre-College experience which is an average of the Majors and the supporting Life Drawing class. Students earn 3 college-level studio elective credits upon successful completion of the program.

Major Descriptions

Illustration: Comics and Graphic Novel
Illustration: Comics and Graphic Novel is a course that teaches the art of combining words and pictures to make comics. A cartoonist is the proverbial jack-of-all-trades, functioning by turns as writer, cinematographer, graphic designer and illustrator. This course will explore essential components of cartooning: cartoon figure drawing in ink, background basics, comic-strip writing, graphic storytelling, panel and page composition, and creative games. This course guides students from creating narrative in a single drawing to orchestrating all the skills involved in creating a multi-page story. Students will develop a self-published mini-comic alongside several class exercises and worksheets.

Illustration: Commercial Illustration
Commercial illustrators create art that attracts attention, creates interest, explains information, sells a product, or promotes an event. Projects might include posters, maps, book covers, art to accompany magazine or newspaper articles, t-shirt art, flyer or brochure art, art for packaging, advertisements, surface design, or corporate materials such as annual reports.
This class will be project-based, and explore visual solutions with professional processes. Assignment specifications will be given and thumbnail concept sketches developed, a concept selected and a refined sketch completed, then the final illustration created. Group critique and feedback at each stage will lead students through each of the projects to their completion.

Illustration: Children’s Books
This course will offer exposure to the basic structure of picture books including formats, designs and concepts. Students will work with some standard texts/themes and then create either a dummy book or create one or two finished illustrations for the story. Students will be encouraged to interpret texts/themes in their own style, pushing boundaries in unexpected and often surprising ways.

Fashion & Textile Design
The Fashion and Textile Major gives students the opportunity to design and create a garment in its entirety. Beginning with a white bolt of fabric and a sketch students will utilize print and sewing techniques to create the perfect fabric for their garment. As the course progresses students learn garment construction and sewing techniques to complete their pieces. Students will gain knowledge of fashion throughout history and see real life samples of how to apply specific sewing techniques to the body to accomplish a look.

Printmaking
This major introduces students to a group of printmaking processes including collagraph, collage, xerox lithography, and screen printing. The class focuses on learning basic printmaking techniques and developing elements of design and composition. Students will experiment with materials and a variety of printed forms. Each student will have the opportunity to develop their own theme and aesthetic that will connect all of the projects. Students will also gain familiarity with safe and professional printmaking practices and develop language for critique.

Woodworking & Furniture Design
Wood is an amazing and versatile material. Its physical characteristics of strength, formability, variety and availability make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications. This major is designed to give art and design students some of the fundamental designing skills and working techniques necessary in using this versatile material for furniture and object making. This is a beginning level skill-building major in joinery techniques and structural connection problem solving. Assignments and exercises focus on the practice and practical application of joinery techniques, in-depth hand and power tool use and the application of this information to a student’s own design. Assignments develop an understanding of basic mechanical systems and proceed through joint making processes with an ongoing reference to the historical context.

Ceramics
This course is a comprehensive introduction to the art and craft of ceramics. The primary emphasis of this course is that you will be able to create and appreciate expressive, three dimensional clay forms and make pieces that are portfolio ready. You will have an understanding of other cultures and periods of human expression in clay and you will walk away proficient at forming clay objects yourself. In order to augment creative production and discover how the creative process works, you will spend time learning techniques, watching demonstrations, sketching, reading, discussing, talking about art and critiquing. Emphasis will be on your work, your growth in the medium, your ability to create expressive, unified, cohesive three dimensional forms in clay.

Photography
This class will introduce and explore the technical, historical, & contemporary concerns of photography as a form of artistic expression. Students will learn the vocabulary and grammar of the medium & find their own way of using it creatively to express original visual ideas and unique perspectives.The assignments of this course will cover the practice of fine arts photography by exploring the genres of portraiture and urban landscape photography. Emphasis will be placed on proper camera operation, film processing, darkroom printing, and the development of a photographic vision. Prominent photographers from the 19th century to present day whose work has influenced the field will be examined.

Painting
Students will work to gain a solid foundation for the painting process through color theory, composition, observational exercises and through an investigation of tools, materials and techniques. Students will develop concepts and learn how to analyze their own work as well as others. Students will be guided to open up and search for their voice as an artist, pushing towards finding their individual style of working. The course will also cover best studio practices and material safety.

Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design
This metalsmithing and jewelry course blends technical instruction with an investigation of design and concept as it relates to ornament and function. Students develop confidence and proficiency with the basic skills of soldering, forming, small hollow construction and finishing of non-ferrous metals. Specific techniques include sawing, filing, drilling, sanding, polishing, annealing, soldering and patination. The course will also cover safety in the studio, proper hand-tool care and the physical properties of metal. It is the goal of this course for students to gain an understanding of metal as a material and a broad understanding of the exciting field of Metalsmithing and Jewelry.

Music
The Music Major in Pre-College incorporates Composing, Songwriting, Recording and Performance. Students work in groups to write original songs, experience true musical collaboration and use compositional tools such as Pro Tools, Sibelius and Ableton Live to record their own pieces in a state-of-the-art recording studio. Groups are formed by the instructors to ensure balanced and creative musical combinations; an emphasis is placed on finding personal style. Culminating performances are an integral part of the program. Pre-requirements: While the focus is on contemporary music, we welcome vocalists and instrumentalists of any and all musical styles. Students are expected to have at minimum a basic proficiency in their instrument. No previous experience necessary in songwriting or recording is required.