Book Release Party – CE Instructor Greg Pizzoli – Sat May 4 @ the Print Center

Please celebrate the accomplishment of artist and CE instructor Greg Pizzoli at the Print Center on May 4 (3 – 6 pm) for his Book Release Party!

Story + Pictures by Greg Pizzoli

Enjoy food, drinks, games, art activities and books at this fun and family-friendly event.  The Watermelon Seed is his first children’s book and is published by Disney*Hyperion. Come celebrate and meet the artist and find out more about his work:
Saturday, May 4 from 3 – 6 pm
The Print Center
1314 Latimer Street (between Spruce and Locust)

Image copyright Greg Pizzoli

Greg Pizzoli is an illustrator, printmaker and educator. He teaches screen printing for Continuing Education at the University of the Arts. His colorful prints and books are inhabited by an array of fanciful characters and places including alligators in ice cream trucks and dogs driving race cars. The distinctive style, humor and attention to detail make his work instantly appealing.

Pizzoli received his MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts. Greg has exhibited his work in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. His books are in various collections throughout the country, including the Free Library of Philadelphia. He has completed one children’s book and has several more in the works.

Image copyright Greg Pizzoli

According to his publisher:

“With perfect comic pacing, Greg Pizzoli introduces us to one funny crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids will love.”

“With bold color and a beautiful sense of design, Greg Pizzoli’s picture book debut takes this familiar childhood worry and gives us a true gem in the vein of I Want My Hat Back and Not a Box.”


Publisher’s Weekly’s review stated:

“Classic kid fear: accidentally swallow a watermelon seed, and the result will be a botanical version of what the zombie virus does to folks in The Walking Dead: vines will come out of your ears, and pretty soon you’ll turn pink and wind up a morsel in someone else’s fruit salad. In this first book from Pizzoli, the goal isn’t to assuage readers’ fears, but he does defuse them with help from an adorable bug-eyed crocodile who’s hooked on watermelon (“Ever since I was a teeny, tiny baby crocodile, it’s been my favorite. CHOMP! SLURP! CHOMP!”). Pizzoli’s ostensibly simple cartooning is actually quite clever: he plays with framing and scale to gently spoof the crocodile’s horror-movie imaginings (“It’s growing in my guts!”), while the limited but luscious palette (watermelon pink and green, of course) and a subtly pulpy texture make each spread good enough to eat. It’s an expert debut, and one with a valuable lesson, to boot: a hearty burp can brighten even the darkest hour.” (Reviewed on: 03/11/2013)

Please visit Greg’s blog ( or follow him on twitter (@gregpizzoli) for updates and giveaways.

THE WATERMELON SEED is available for pre-order now!

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Tony Latess installs exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, OH)

Post by: Anthony Latess (Instructor, Professional Institute for Educators)

Art to me is storytelling. I feel that every work of art tells a story, whether it be a hand-blown glass sculpture, landscape or portrait painted in oil, or abstract photograph of a barely recognizable subject. The glass sculpture tells a short story which may be concise and dramatic, the landscape or portrait is like a novel with details and characters to learn more about each time it is viewed and the abstract photograph may read like a free-form poem, conceptual and satisfying.

In December of 2011, I was invited to put together a show for a print gallery at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. I received a Faculty Enrichment Grant from the University of the Arts Continuing Studies Division, which assisted me in making this project happen. The show, titled “iRemember: Moments and Details in Personal Icons – 1950 to the Present” is showing at the Butler until March 10, 2013.

As an artist using photography in my work, I created a series of 10 installations for the Butler Institute that used scanned personal photos from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. I also photographed these same subjects in 2012 and wanted to show how memories of people, places or things – I call them personal icons – either changed or stayed the same over time. I used almost 200 printed square images and hundreds of pins to create the 10 fragile and temporary 40” x 40” installations.

I am obsessed with square formats and superimpose a square grid over my work or printed photographs like a “window” to view the images through. The viewer may be looking through a window back into time and may be peeking at these “private” views and personal icons through the grid!

Each installation consists of two photographs, a “Guide Photograph” and a “Current Photograph.” The smaller “Guide Photograph” is a scanned personal family photograph taken by a family member or myself, the memory of which has become an icon in my life.

The enlarged “Current Photograph” is a recent photograph I took that contains the same or similar elements as the older original “Guide Photograph.” Together the two images reflect how details have changed or stayed the same since the original was taken.

The “Current Photograph” of each work is magnified and cut into nine squares.

The smaller “Guide Photograph” is layered with gouache and written on in colored pencil to describe the scene and my reflections and memories. I then painted over the text with watercolor. Some of my personal comments and writing is not readable, but the viewer may be able to determine keywords that point them to ideas and elements in each work.

I mounted each “Current Photograph” on a piece of black foamcore board which is covered with nine patterned squares, each affixed with two pins diagonally from left to right. Each square of the “Current Photograph” is pinned diagonally from right to left to the patterned squares. The “Guide Photograph” is affixed to a patterned square and pinned to a smaller square of foamcore.

To complete the installations, I cut and fit wet-medium acetate to several photo squares in the large “Current Photograph” and painted a red line around the subject in each work.

The “Guide Photograph” and “Current Photograph” are mounted side by side so comparisons may be made from the past to the present in each installation.

Each of my works has a strong narrative aspect, which I exploit to heighten the storytelling nature that art might have. In this collection of 10 installations, I explore how time and memories play out over the course of a very personal timeline. The installations in my show are my way of telling personal stories based on photographs and specific memories, that to me are like the expanding Universe – the older you become, the farther away memories of a person, place, event or thing become. Sometimes, along the way over space and time, images such as photographs, drawings or paintings, “bookmark” memories for us. These icons along our personal timeline help us to remember details and prompt us to make comparisons about how things have changed, or not.

My pieces are pinned together to enhance the natural “intelligence” of paper, inviting environmental influences to possibly cause the paper to bend or curl and become part of the work. My works are handmade and fragile and temporary and disjointed just like memories and materials may be.

If young artists see their work as storytelling, maybe some of the questions they ask as they create will influence how the viewer will experience their work and the messages it might evoke!

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: AnneMarie Robinson Explores Drawing + Painting the Human Figure (Philadelphia, PA)

Post By: AnneMarie Robinson (Instructor, Pre-College Programs)

I was very excited this year to receive the 2012 Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant.  Lately my relationship with the University of the Arts is quite intimate, for in addition to teaching Graphic Design in the Pre-College Programs, I am enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts graduate program.  The MAT program requires three Painting studio credits for graduation and certification.  With the grant money I received, I decided to take my relationship with the University one step further and take the Continuing Education class, Drawing + Painting the Human Figure. It had been years since I had drawn the human figure, so I was quite nervous to be in a studio class again.  Recalling my undergraduate days, it was humbling carrying a large newsprint pad to and from class again.  My instructor was Coy Gu, a professor at the College of Southern Maryland and a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Our class met in the evening once a week for 12 weeks.  Despite a few classes without models due to scheduling issues, my overall experience was fantastic.  I was able to further explore the human figure and refine some of my skills that had become rusted over the past 10 years.

We began every class with 10-minute gesture drawing warm ups, then we moved on to longer sustained poses.  Towards the end of the semester we focused specifically on hands, feet and portraiture— three things I had always ignored in previous drawings.  The painting I’ve included is one of a series of gesture studies that I did in acrylic.  Since the painting portion of this class was optional, Coy worked with me one-on-one to develop an approach.  I really enjoyed delving into paint.  In quick gestural studies the brush becomes more of a sketching tool for capturing lights and shadows, as opposed to detail.  I actually embraced the paint “sketching” more than drawing with charcoal.  When painting the figure I was able to think more abstractly – focusing on capturing the essence of the pose, rather than getting caught up with the detailed anatomy of the model. My participation in Coy’s class was two-fold: during each class I tried to absorb drawing/painting techniques, as well as observe Coy’s teaching method from an “Art Teacher” perspective.  I used this class as an opportunity to understand how to draw and paint the human figure so that I can better teach this subject with confidence to my future students.

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Greg Pizzoli Attends 40th Annual Society of Children’s Book Writers + Illustrators Summer Conference (Los Angeles, CA)

Work by Greg Pizzoli is currently on view in the Continuing Studies exhibition space on the 9th floor of Terra Hall (211 South Broad Street).

Read about his experience last summer below and stop by our offices this month to take a look at his screen prints!

Post by: Greg Pizzoli

In March of 2011, I was lucky enough to receive a Faculty Enrichment Grant from the Continuing Studies Department at UArts, where I was teaching screenprinting.  My plan was to use the money from the grant to attend the SCBWI Conference in LA, and use what I learned there to develop a course for illustrators who aspire to work in the children’s publishing market.  Having attended the previous SCBWI conference in New York in January 2011, I knew that the panels and workshops at the SCBWI Summer Conference would build on my knowledge of what art reps, literary agents, editors and art directors are looking for in a solid portfolio.

I was fortunate in my second ever conference experience in that I won an award for my portfolio in the Annual Illustrator’s Showcase (this was my second Portfolio award, as I also won a Portfolio Honor Award at the SCBWI Winter Conference back in January) and I attended many sessions about what should be in a portfolio to make your work stand out.

One of the main things everyone looks for is a sense of narrative. These drawings are presumably for books after all, so a portfolio should showcase characters in a narrative; the same characters over multiple pages, doing different things, etc. Another thing you definitely need is kids! This seems obvious, but I was stunned at how few portfolios had drawings of children. You need them!

The sessions were great, and it was very helpful to meet other working illustrators, editors and art directors to hear what they thought about the work, and what aspiring illustrators should be doing to get their work out there.

This past fall I taught my first section of “Children’s Book Illustration Portfolio Development” for Continuing Education and the class was a big success! The class size was very small, only four students, and I was able to focus on each student’s unique goals. Each student came out of the class with four finished portfolio pieces, including an edition of postcards to be mailed out in order to promote their newly revamped portfolios!

Many thanks to the Continuing Studies Department for making these Faculty Enrichment Grants available – it was certainly an enriching experience.

All images copyright Greg Pizzoli 2012.

Greg Pizzoli’s screenprints will be on view through the month of June.

Terra Hall – Floor 9

211 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9 am – 8 pm; Friday 9 am – 5 pm

For more information, please call 215.717.6006 or email

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.

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.

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Colleen Hammond attends Snow Farm (Williamsburg, MA)

By: Colleen Hammond (Instructor, Pre-College)

Scarf Weather

In March of 2011 I received a Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant. With the support of this grant, I was able to attend a weeklong workshop at Snow Farm in Williamsburg, Mass., this past summer.  The class I took was entitled Collage: the Imaginative Use of Materials taught by Alexandra Sheldon.  Through guided experimentation, my experience with collage opened up a world without boundaries and enabled me to explore a new level of imagination I have not been able to find through my oil painting. My hope is to somehow apply and bring out this newly found fun and whimsical approach to creativity in my total oeuvre.

These images are some examples of work I produced in this class.  I look forward to the enjoyment of creating more collage work to share.  Check out my website to see more of my collages with additional information.

Find the Clowns

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Christina P. Day attends June Residency at the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT)

By: Christina P. Day (Instructor, CE + Pre-College)

This past June, I was awarded a month-long full fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, an internationally recognized art residency that offers writers, painters and sculptors four to eight week stays.  During the residency, I planned to complete a double “twin” window frame wall-hung sculpture, a piece that I started while on residency at Sculpture Space in Utica, NY in 2008.  I received a Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant this year to help with the financial costs of materials and tools needed to create the piece.  With this grant I was able to purchase lumber and materials as well as a Dewalt router and router table necessary to complete the construction of the piece.  The VSC full fellowship and supplemental grant from Continuing Studies at UArts allowed me to focus on articulating this piece to its best effect during my stay at VSC.

I teach Fiber both in the undergraduate Crafts Department and in Pre-College programs at the University, and I am still learning in the woodshop.  I am taken with heavy construction whether it be in cloth or wood, and revel in good craftsmanship.  Learning to build this piece took the work through many different phases of construction.  Each stage had it’s own maquette, diagram, and test which helped me further visualize the evolution of the piece.  I’ve always felt that woodworking and sewing have a lot in common, with the “measure twice, cut once” saying.

Though I planned to make the final piece out of poplar, I created a mock-up of the piece in disposable materials, starting with a rough cardboard “foot print” to see the piece in space before I began making real cuts to the wood:

The piece is constructed as a mirror image of itself with a trim “split” running down the center.  At its final size it will be roughly 55” inches tall, about 6” deep and 66” wide.  There is a forced perspective that was built into the piece to create the illusion of a reflection and to mask the physical construction.  As a result, all of the parts are tilted slightly on an angle where they join.  Negotiating these angles became the central challenge to the piece’s construction.

A series of tracing paper drawings followed to serve as blueprints for the inner trim details.  I constructed small wooden jigs to help individually support the pieces during the sanding stage of finishing the parts.  The construction of the sills above and below sit on a two-degree pitch from the center of the piece out – which each of the adjoining parts needed to match.  Many an hour was mulled over creating the right jig to properly hold the pieces in place while they were sanded.  Working out how to safely make a repeatable process (as there are two sides that mirror each other) was an important learning experience for me.

Here is my pile of poplar which I very excitedly purchased with my Faculty Enrichment Grant!  It is laid out in the order of the parts neighboring one another just before cutting and shaping the wood down:

I made a to-scale tape drawing on the floor of the woodshop to help me align the pieces on a completely flat surface as I sanded them.  I was able to align my parts and check angles as I worked.  Maintaining a high level of specificity was essential for success at this stage:

Happily figuring things out and cutting lots of small pieces of wood in the process:

For a final showing at the Residency, I rested the unconnected pieces on top of one another on the floor to outline the joinery involved with the parts, much in the same way it had been built in the woodshop on my tape template.  The piece, however, when completed, will be mounted flush to the wall.  I intend to fully encase the whole piece in many layers of high gloss house paint to finally “lock” all of the pieces together.

Though I was unable to fully complete the piece while at the residency, I have continued to work on it here in my studio in Philadelphia.  I plan to exhibit the work on the University grounds once it is finished.  Stay tuned to see the finished piece!

I consider myself very lucky to have gotten the Continuing Studies grant this year.  The uninterrupted time and financial freedom I had at VSC, as well as the other opportunities the residency provided me including visiting artists and writers as well as public slide and reading nights, helped me review and clarify my construction process.  My studio mates in the Schultz building were an industrious group and the community at VSC in June was thoughtful, respectful, challenging and smart.  I found my pace again and have properly reset my studio goals.  I learned a ton in the process and got a lot of work done that otherwise may not have been possible.  In short, the Faculty Enrichment grant from Continuing Studies helped me get back to work!

CS Faculty Enrichment Grants: Laura Deutch at the Documentary Video Institute (Durham, NC)

By: Laura Deutch (Instructor, CE)

From June 4 – 11, 20 national and international participants ranging from frustrated commercial designers and bankers looking to fulfill late life dreams, to me, an MFA graduate looking to hone my teaching skills, gathered on the Duke University campus in Durham, NC for an eight-day, intensive documentary workshop. Hosted by the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke, this Documentary Video Institute very skillfully walked participants through the foundational steps of documentary production: story development, interviewing, camera, light, sound and editing techniques.

Each morning, at 9 am, my 19 colleagues and I walked up onto a large white porch.  We then walked down the porch steps at 9 pm, exhausted from a day of activity but also energized from the camaraderie we were building, the proficient instructors we were meeting and the artistic practices we were developing.

Participants were assigned a partner based on interest, personality and skill. Each year there is a theme and this year, all of the videos were inspired by personal stories from non-profit social service organizations.  CDS did the pre-production to initiate contacts with willing subjects and help generate potential story ideas. However, each group had complete creative control to shape their video as best they could within the time limitations.

Each pair crewed for another pair, under the guidance of an instructor. You can preview our completed video (as well as the others!) here.

I was very inspired by the quick production model and the succinct technical training activities, which I hope to implement and adapt to my Video Production classes here at the University of the Arts.  In the fall, I’ll be offering, “The 5-minute Documentary” modeled after a CDS class taught by our instructor, Jim Havercamp.

CDS is a haven for anyone interested in the documentary form (audio, photography, video). For students or adults looking to fine tune their skills or gain a new foundation, don’t let the distance discourage you!

Check their website for resources and information, including a great new online book, Visual Storytelling.

Also, check out this video about the Documentary Video Institute.

Of course, this experience would not have been possible without the support of the University of the Arts Continuing Studies Faculty Enrichment Grant, which I was awarded in the spring.

Congratulations to Continuing Studies 2011 Faculty Enrichment Grant Recipients!

CE + Pre-College drawing and painting instructor Alexis Granwell received a 2011 CS Faculty Enrichment Grant in support of a collaborative project that will be installed at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX this fall.

The Division of Continuing Studies is proud to announce the 2011 CS Faculty Enrichment Grant recipients!  This year, UArts and CS will provide financial support for eight instructors to participate in classes, workshops, residencies and conferences.

Pre-College instructor Mary Pat Coyle will be taking a UArts Continuing Education Course: Cyanotype + Bichromate for Printing with Film + Digital Images this summer with instructor Sandra Davis.

CE + Pre-College instructor Christina Day will participate in a Full Fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center in June.

CE instructor Laura Deutch will attend the Documentary Video Institute at Duke University, an intensive eight-day hands-on production training with nationally recognized documentary practitioners and teachers this summer in Durham, NC.

CE + Pre-College instructor Alexis Granwell will be creating a collaborative installation at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX with a collaborative partner, Carrie Scanga.  Granwell will use a two-week residency at Ragdale in Lake Forest, IL this summer to create many of the pieces for the show at Lawndale in the fall.

Pre-College instructor Colleen Hammond will take a course in collage taught by artist + teacher Alexandra Sheldon this summer at Snow Farm in Williamsburg, MA.

CE instructor Christina Hess will attend ILLUXCON: two days of lectures and demos accompanied by showcases; the symposium features over 50 fantasy and sci-fi artists and illustrators in Altoona, PA this fall.

CE instructor Corinne Karon will participate in Tap City: the New York City Tap Festival, a weeklong festival that offers classes in tap technique, tap history, as well as performances.

CE instructor Greg Pizzoli will attend the Society of Children’s Books Writers + Illustrators: 40th Annual Summer Conference, a conference for professionals in the children’s book field that offers workshops, lectures and discussions of the current state of the industry in Los Angeles, CA.