Fall Pre-College: Amplify Your Artwork

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Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Three amazing pre-college classes open this fall for high school students looking to level-up their skills and portfolio. Almost all of PCAD’s pre-college classes award college credit upon successful completion, giving students college classroom experience and a leg up in degree completion, while being taught by professional artists and designers.

The first class being offered this fall is HS 72 Digital Painting, taught by Sheri Hansen. Sheri received her undergraduate degree from Bennington College in Vermont and her MFA in painting and drawing from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She is a professional teacher and illustrator.

Sheri’s students will be creating work in Adobe Photoshop, covering everything needed to get started painting. It will focus strongly on how to think like a painter and organize work in a way that lets it speak through narrative. Students also learn the importance of exploring how the way artwork is made will be read as part of an image’s meaning. She has broken out a process for digital painting that will feel achievable for new students, while still valuing design, an ambition for style, and overall expression.

We asked Sheri about her outcomes for Digital Painting students and her artistic focus outside teaching. She writes:

“I’ve worked hard to gear this class toward students that might be new to Photoshop. I am focused on students feeling confident using the most important tools that will serve them continually throughout their practice. Additionally, I tried to stay concentrated on creating a course that will keep the students always moving forward in their work.

“On a macro level, painting is a constant balancing act of priorities, ambition, and that gut feeling of not knowing where your work will take you next. It is very real! I believe that my students will become more confident painters and image makers with a process that they can rely on.

“I’m always dreaming up new projects to work on and trying to pull my existing ideas into form. It’s fun for me to see my ideas come to life on the page. I’ve recently started some creative writing projects to guide my illustration. Because I don’t see myself as a writer, these always feel like a bit of fun when I take them up.”

Our second fall pre-college course is HS 81 Portfolio Preparation: Developing Your Concentration taught by Matt Chapman, an instructor in PCAD’s BFA program, a professional artist, and co-owner of curio. Gallery & Creative Supply on West Chestnut Street in Lancaster. Matt graduated from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design with his BFA in Illustration and completed his MFA at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

This course is designed to take students deeper into the artwork they love to make. As students think about building a portfolio that reflects who they are as a young artist, they need to ask themselves, “Is there a piece or two I really feel special about? Would I love to dive into that piece deeper?” This class is meant for that very adventure.

Students will begin the class by selecting one or two pieces from their current portfolio as a jumping-off point. From there, they’ll create a companion piece or small collection of companion pieces to support their major interest. This class will show what amazing things can happen when given the time and freedom to explore the types of art or media they really enjoy.

Kay Baier headshot

Kay Baier

Our final class is a workshop designed to help students better document their artwork for submission to college admission portfolio reviewers, scholarship opportunities, juried exhibitions, and more. WS 7 Portfolio Preparation: Documenting your Artwork is led by PCAD photography graduate Kay Baier.

Students in Kay’s workshop will learn how to document their work through accessible resources found in their pockets as well as professional equipment in PCAD’s photography studios. This workshop takes place on the same day as our November Open House. Make it a full day at PCAD!

Our fall pre-college program is the perfect way to level-up your studio experiences and prepare for a life in art and design. Questions about our classes? Give us a call at (800) 689-0379, ext. 1005 or email us at ce@pcad.edu.