Adobe Creative Overview Students Submit End of Semester Projects

by Kathleen Embleton

Last Monday, December 3, marked the final class for Christina Hess‘s Adobe CS Overview course for the fall 2011 semester.  In this class students were introduced to three Creative Suite programs, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.  The semester consisted of several small projects which utilized each program individually.

by James Johnson

In addition to exercises, smaller projects and tutorials, the class also used a purchased design bundle provided by Before and After Magazine that assisted in simple design making decisions. The last project challenged students to bring the design and technical lessons together to create a logo and three versions of a business card for a fictitious company.

by Amy Chidichimo

by Brett Johnson

by Susan Dreher

Tell Us How You Create Your Now – Participate In the Student Success Stories Project

Many UArts Continuing Education students and alums have won prestigious awards or have had their work exhibited in galleries. Other UArts CE students are building careers, or have received professional recognition for their work.

We thought we would begin formally chronicling and rewarding these achievements.

Our exciting and ambitious student success stories project is moving from development to production. Whether you are a current student, or an alumnus, you can get involved in the process of creating a video documenting your success story. We’re asking any of our students (current and former) and certificate grads who are interested in participating, to create a short (30-second to 2- minute) video of themselves talking about and/or demonstrating how they use their skills and talents, and how Continuing Education at UArts has helped them.

Looking for inspiration and some ideas from fellow students? Read last week’s posting about Kaytee Riek and consider making a video of your own.

Do you have a UArts CE Success Story to tell? Email us at and let us know!

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Christina Hess at Illuxcon (Altoona, PA)

Piece done prior to convention. “Jamie” was digitally painted for a client and then printed, mounted and overpainted in oils then varnished.

By: Christina Hess

As an artist I am constantly learning.  Part of the learning curve for any student is the evolution that comes from education.  I originally began working in oil paint and collage; I enjoyed working in natural papers, fabrics and random objects to create additional texture and depth in my illustrations.  Then, I moved to the digital realm.  I found the digital medium more forgiving, and it allowed me to experiment and try things that I would be hesitant to do in oils.  Now I find myself craving a return to my roots and hope to examine the combination of mediums once again.

Attending conferences, conventions and classes gives me the additional experience I need to propel further.  This past November, I was awarded a Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant to attend and showcase at Illuxcon, a convention focusing on fantasy and science fiction illustration.  The convention is held in Altoona, PA and only sells a small amount of tickets in order to keep an intimate community.  The main showcase consisted of numerous artists who were available to talk to collectors, art directors as well as students and attending artists.  In addition, the featured hotel held a one night showcase for attending artists and illustrators which I was fortunate enough to be a part of.

The four day event was packed full of classes, lectures, demos, critiques and round table discussions.  Thursday was open door browsing for the main showcase, Friday and Saturday consisted of workshops from 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday was open to the public.  The evenings were peppered with award ceremonies, additional artists showcases and sketch sessions.  To be able to watch masters such as Petar Meseldzija and Vincent Villafranca at work was a remarkable experience.  New techniques were realized and old passions were reawakened in many attendees.  With the help of this Enrichment Grant, I was able to immerse myself in an environment that focused on traditional application within an industry that pairs digital and traditional illustration interchangeably.  The workshops I participated in and the demonstrations I viewed have taught me how to combine these elements successfully.  In addition, I was able to buy the appropriate materials for the creation of mixed media illustrations.  I have begun working on three pieces that will be completed in mixed media by way of digital, oil paint and collage.  Check out these works in progress below!

“Luna Moth” was created in watercolor. I plan on continuing in watercolor and then overpainting in oils with collage elements.

“Hamsa and Henna” was sketched in graphite, scanned and digitally painted. I plan on printing, mounting and over painting in oils and incorporating gold leaf and/or other treatments.

“Luna Bird” was sketched in graphite, scanned, printed, mounted and under-painted in oils. Will be completed in oils and possibly collage material.

Book Arts + Printmaking Book Party – Dec 14 @ UArts

Check out the incredible work of UArts graduate students in Book Arts + Printmaking — just in time for your holiday gifts.  This event features books, prints, cards, gifts and snacks!  Stop by and support the Book Arts + Printmaking department.

Mandy Dunn - Grandma Kelly's House

December 14, 4 – 7 pm
Hamilton Hall, CBS Auditorium
The University of the Arts
320 South Broad St.

Jamie Shilling - Let's Live Here

CE Student Success Stories | Kaytee Riek

Many University of the Arts Continuing Education students and alums have won prestigious awards or have had their work exhibited in galleries. Other UArts CE students are building careers or have received professional recognition for their work. Whatever CE students accomplish, we love to hear about how they applied what they learned in the classroom to the real world.

In this inaugural Success Stories posting, we look to congratulate Kaytee Riek, Communications + Web Design Dual Certificate student, who recently completed a redesign of the Act Up Philadelphia website while a student in Web I.

Kaytee enrolled in the certificate program during the fall of 2010 because she thought it was time she learn the foundations for skills she was already using in her professional and personal life. “For several years,” Kaytee wrote in her application statement, “I’ve done print design work for various non-profit and activist organizations. I have developed websites for a number of organizations. But I do not have any formal training and I’ve reached a cap on what I can teach myself. It’s time for me to learn from professionals about how to design for print and the web.”

I invite you to watch Kaytee’s video and learn a bit about her design process. Also, visit the site she created for Act Up Philadelphia as these screen captures do little to convey the impact of Kaytee’s design aesthetic. I think you will agree, Kaytee is a talented designer whom clients will want to hire.

You can view Kaytee’s video by visiting the CE Vimeo page.

Do you have a UArts Continuing Education Success Story to tell? Email us at and let us know!

Studio 360 Redesign Project

I’m a dedicated NPR podcast listener and my favorite program currently is Studio 360. This Peabody Award-winning radio show is hosted by Kurt Andersen (he’s great!),  novelist, journalist and co-founder of legendary Spy magazine.  Each week he discusses various current trends in design, pop culture, literature and the arts in really innovative ways.  He introduces people who are creating and shaping our culture and he provides insightful talks with them about the process and how this affects our world.

The latest project, one in a series of re-imagining iconography, is to update the cultural images of teachers and their profession as a whole. They have asked design firms to re-brand the old apple and chalkboard images with designs that reflect today’s teacher. I can’t wait to see the design solutions.

And I invite you to check out past redesign projects and listen to the designers conversations about their process – they’ve envisioned new concepts and icons for Christmas, Monopoly, the Gay flag and Valentine’s Day.

In addition to these branding exercises, another great design topic that they cover regularly is Design for the Real World. This series gives an inside look at the hidden genius of everyday things and how they came to be: lipstick, interstate signs, tea bags, rock band t-shirts, the periodic table, super mario bros and Santa – to name just a few examples.  These stories really illuminate how designers shape the world in which we live.

Enjoy these podcasts and cruising around the site.

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Alexis Granwell's show Ballast/Break open at Lawndale Art Center (Houston, TX)

By: Alexis Granwell (Instructor, CE + Pre-College)

This past year, I was awarded a two-person show at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas, as well as a Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant. With the grant support I received, I was able to attend two artist residencies in preparation for the show at Lawndale.  The first was Ragdale Artist Residency in Lake Forest, Ill., where I experimented with constructions for my new sculptures.  The final pieces are primarily made out of Abaca, wire and wood. Following this trip, I spent the rest of the summer creating oversized etching plates that ranged in size from five to six feet.  I also spent the summer making sheets of large handmade paper.   The texture of the paper became an integral part of my printing process for this series.

In August, I traveled up to AS220 in Providence, R.I., where I printed for three weeks.  AS220 is the home of one of the world’s largest etching presses (a ten footer).  I was fortunate enough to be one of the first artists to ever use this press.  It was really incredible to be able to print at such a large scale especially after working on the plates for so many months without being able to make a proof.

The last stop of this tour was Houston, Texas, where I installed my show Ballast/Break which opened Nov 19th.  This show exhibits both the sculptures and large works on paper.  This project would not have been possible without the generous support from the Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant that I received.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

Press Release for Ballast/Break:

Ballast/Break is an exhibition of prints, sculpture and installation work by Alexis Granwell and Carrie Scanga.  The work is based on the forms, structures, conduits and patinas of cityscapes and the human-built environment. Granwell delves into the city’s grit and substance by incorporating handmade paper, found objects and raw materials to create sculptures that evoke primitive architecture or landscapes under construction. Her oversized etchings depict similar forms that contain both a physicality and a diagrammatic quality, while Scanga’s massive, apparently floating structure of paper bricks subverts this materiality.

Children's Book Illustration Students Create Holiday Cards + Blogs

Each student in Greg Pizzoli‘s Children’s Book Illustration Portfolio Development class is creating a holiday card to send out to agents, art directors, publishers and friends to promote their illustrations.

For this final project, everyone has created a blog to document their unique creative process and experiment with a variety of styles and techniques before finishing their cards. The class will get several of their card designs printed and send them out in time for the holidays.

Student work includes:

Bronto: Heather Riley is experimenting with a variety of techniques; combining watercolor, cut paper and digital to create this fun dinosaur.

Hansel & Gretel: Allison Ardire is working on creating a whole new web portfolio for herself. Check out these awesome illustrations from Hansel and Gretel!

Bear: Molly Lorenz contemplates color choices and takes readers through her creative process on her blog “Molly’s Drawing Board.”

Tennis: Leah Horowitz posts her inspiration as well as her drawings as she works on four separate designs that target both the editorial and children’s market.

Links to individual blogs:

Hansel & Gretel:

Check back in a few weeks to see the students’ finished cards!

Virginia Allen, CE Teaching Artist Certificate program faculty, interviewed on WRTI

The Philadelphia Wind Symphony is to be featured on WRTI Radio’s, “Creatively Speaking.” The segment will air in a 30-minute segment and details the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, beginning this Saturday (12/3) from 11:00 – 11:30 am.  The radio spot features an interview with PWS Artistic Director and Conductor Virginia Allen, General Manager Keith Roeckle and horn player Brittni Deveraux. Allen teaches for the Teaching Artist Certificate program at the University of the Arts.

Next week it will be available as a podcast from iTunes at

Hope you will tune in!