The major departments at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design either recommend or strongly recommend that students become members of a professional organization and participate in department-sponsored events.
American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
PCA&D hosts a student chapter of the AIGA and is committed to encouraging students to take the first step in demonstrating a commitment to their professional interest and assisting them in understanding the profession. The goal of the student group is to get students involved in the local design community, create a community of their own and help them build leadership skills that will be valuable as they move into the professional world. As an AIGA student member, a student will gain access to invaluable resources and opportunities to help make the transition from student to professional designer:
• Gain exposure by posting their portfolio in the AIGA Member Gallery.
• Find jobs and internships in AIGA Design Jobs.
• Network and learn at local and national events.
• Access exclusive member benefits.
PCA&D 24-hour Designathon
The 24-hour Designathon is a student AIGA group event that provides professional-quality design services at no charge to area non-profits and to the community-at-large. Students at PCA&D who participate in the Designathon gain real-world experience in creating projects for clients under a tight, 24-hour deadline. They learn that non-profits have very real marketing needs in order to be successful, and strong graphic design on well-organized collateral pieces are vital components in successful communications and marketing plans. More importantly, students experience the value of giving back to the community.
Society of Illustrators Student Chapter
The Society of Illustrators is encouraging the formation of student chapters. Several are forming around the country and Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (Lancaster, Pa.) is among the first. The goal of this group is for the students to create a community of their own to support, encourage and develop their knowledge, skill and exposure to the ever-changing field of illustration, while connecting with other student groups and professionals from across the country. Special events and exhibitions, projects and competitions, field trips and guest speakers are all benefits of student membership.
Illustration 24 & 24 Hour Comics Day
Illustration 24 is a 1-day event focused on illustration and celebrating the worldwide 24 Hour Comics Day phenomenon. Students and faculty from the PCA&D community will be participating as they strive to complete a print and/or web comic in 24 hours. 24-Hour Comics Day is an event held around the world, which challenges writers and artists to create a full 24-page comic in 24 consecutive hours. Thousands of artists take the 24-Hour Comics Day Challenge every year! The goal is that everything: story, design and layout, finished art, lettering, color (if applicable), paste-up, proofreading, everything is done in 24 hours. Once pen hits paper, the clock starts ticking. 24 hours later, the pen lifts off the paper, never to descend again. Participants can work on their own or collaboratively. They can also participate in non-comic events and themed workshops focusing on figure drawing, character development, marketing and self-promotion, etc.
The Society of Photographic Education
The Society of Photographic Education. Student members can post their work on the SPE website, have access to mailing lists of potential clients and working professionals, and attend the annual conference, where they can network directly with clients and photographers. There is ongoing access to seminars, speakers, symposia, and publications.
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (Philadelphia)
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (Philadelphia). The Fine Arts department has arranges to take third- and fourth-year students to Philadelphia for a day for an introductory program that will demonstrate the ways the center can help “emerging artists build sustainable careers.” PCA&D’s one-day program in the spring will include visits to studios of working artists; a networking reception with artists who are members of the center; a professional development workshop on a topic important to students’ success in the arts industry; and an internship, mentorship and gallery networking information seminar.
This exciting one-day festival of drawing is open to the entire PCA&D community. During this event, students work on their own or collaboratively in varied drawing sessions with figure models or still life. Students from every year of the BFA program share their work at the end of the day in an installation exhibit. This event is coordinated by the fine art department.