The University of the arts


Continuing Studies News

You are viewing 7 posts in the category Pre-College Programs

Priority Application Deadline Extended for Summer Institute

UArts is happy to announce that our Summer Institute priority application deadline has been extended to:

May 15, 2012

Our summer programs in Art + Media, Dance, Music and Theater offer college-level instruction for students passionate about the arts.  We also have one-week Commuter Intensives available each week from July 9 - August 3. We have lots to offer to you this summer, but you must act quickly - space is limited.

If you have any questions about your application, feel free to contact us at or 215.717.6430.  We hope to see you this summer!

For other insider scoops and last-minute updates, "Like" us on Facebook!

Share |

UArts Spring Open House w/ Summer Institute Presentation

UArts Admissions Open House is Saturday, March 31 from 12:00 - 4:00 pm. Pre-College Coordinator Heather Jo Wingate will give a presentation on the 2012 Summer Institute for high school students at 2:45 pm in the Admissions Welcome Center at 320 S. Broad.

Visit our websites for the Pre-College Summer Institute or 2012 Open House. Email or call 215.717.6430 with any questions. You can also register for the Open House online.


Share |

Exciting Changes to Pre-College Summer Institute - Plus 4-week Programs Earn College Credit

Experience new curriculum, updated schedules and more choices this summer at UArts! The Art + Media program now includes a Visual Arts Commuter Workshop program for local students and new choices in concentrations, electives and workshops for residential students.  We also offer more field trips, guest artist visits and a soft-gallery opening at the conclusion of the program.  Our program is one of the only programs in the country where you can pick and choose your own schedule while earning college credit. 

The Dance program boasts a new direction and more courses for individual choreography and experimentation in new media.

Our Jazz program praises our noteworthy faculty and includes more trips to local music venues and guest performances.

The Theater programs in both Acting and Musical Theater have new and unique courses and instruction, as well as a shared core curriculum.  Both programs visit local Theater productions and meet local actors and performers while earning college credit.

Join us this summer to learn more about what college is like and to immerse yourself in an energetic community of artists!


Download PDFs of our brochures from our website, or click here to request a brochure be mailed to your home.


Share |

Featured Course: Portfolio Preparation

Do you know a high school student who needs to get their portfolio ready for college applications? The Pre-College Saturday School's Portfolio Preparation class runs from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm for ten Saturdays beginning Oct 4. The Scholarship Deadline is Friday, Sept. 24. See the scholarship page on our website for details.

Students can find out what colleges are looking for in a portfolio while working with a variety of 2-D media to create between four to six pieces suitable for a college application portfolio. Subjects of study include the human figure (nude models), portraiture, design and still life. Students have an opportunity to review work they created in and outside of class with a UArts Admissions counselor.

This course is limited to high school juniors and seniors. Students are divided into two sections after a proficiency exercise is conducted on the first day. This fall, Portfolio Preparation's two sections will taught by Kate Brown and Denise Lewandowski-Desideriol. Click on the course title above for more information and to register.

Share |

Instructor Profile: Alexis Granwell

Alexis Granwell is teaching Drawing and Studio Painting for CE this fall. She also teaches Drawing for the Pre-College Saturday School and Summer Institute.

As a young girl, Granwell loved making things and would spend a lot of time drawing or building dioramas. Her grandmother was a painter, and she credits studying her grandmother's mark-making and brushstrokes in the pieces her parents had around the house as one of her earliest influences. Having grown up outside Washington, D.C., Granwell said she was also lucky enough to have visited the National Gallery over and over again. "Seeing artwork has always been an inspiration for me," she said.

Graduating with a BFA in Painting from Boston University, Granwell then earned an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, Granwell has been most interested in working somewhere between painting and sculpture. She is inspired by urban decay and intrigued by the cyclical aspect of structures falling apart and being rebuilt. "I study and collect arrangements of trash and weathered objects that fill the surrounding neighborhood by my studio," she said. "These eroded items fit together to create their own language of strength and fragility."

In her 3-D work, Granwell often incorporates found objects with objects she has constructed or cast out of paper. She is interested in the boundaries between the beautiful and the abject. "The forms themselves are made from materials that can be easily broken during construction and they will degrade over time." She sees these sculptures and installations as events still occurring.

Granwell has exhibited work in group shows locally and regionally as well as nationally and internationally. Shows slated for 2010 include The Print Center in Ontario, Canada, and BMW Headquarters International Group Exhibition in Beijing, China, among others. Granwell has also had solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, Arlington, Va., and Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2009 Granwell was awarded a Professional Development Grant
from the University of the Arts Division of Continuing Studies and a Keyholder's Residency Fellowship at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, Md.

In addition to her studio practice and teaching, Granwell has spent the past year curating shows and performing studio visits for the Philadelphia collective gallery, Tiger Strikes Asteroid. She first became interested in curating after exposure to visiting critics and artist panels while in graduate school. As a curator and member of this Philadelphia art gallery, Granwell has become more attuned to the contemporary art scenes in New York and Philadelphia. She believes this knowledge enriches her curriculum. "The concept of artist as curator is another way to prepare and educate students about the diverse global art market," she said.

Granwell is teaching Drawing on Tuesday nights beginning September 28. The course runs from 7:00 - 10:00 pm for 10 weeks and ends on November 30. She is also teaching a 10-week Studio Painting course on Thursday nights from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. Studio Painting is September 30 - December 9. Visit her website at

Share |

Heather Jo Wingate Joins CS as Pre-College Programs + Outreach Coordinator

The Division of Continuing Studies is pleased to announce that Heather Jo Wingate is our new Pre-College Programs + Outreach Coordinator. Wingate joins us from the Delaware Art Museum, where she has been running courses and camps for youth and adults as Studio Programs Manager.|

Wingate has a BFA in Painting/Drawing and an MA in Museum Education from the University of the Arts. She has worked with students and artists of all ages as a teacher, manager and mentor. She has been teaching in Pre-College Programs and the Professional Institute for Educators since 2006. Wingate actively exhibits her artwork at local galleries, boutiques and cafes such as Padlock, Topstitch, Chapterhouse and Amberella.

We also send our best wishes to Rosi Dispensa, former Coordinator and part of the Pre-College team in various capacities since 2004. Dispensa left to pursue her artwork and continue her education, but she will be returning to the classroom this summer to teach Darkroom Photography II in the Pre-College Summer Institute.


Share |

Featured Instructor: Justin Binek

"I am a jazz musician because of what it represents: artistry, dedication, diligence to craft, creativity, and spontaneity," Binek said. A dedicated and accomplished performer, Binek has expertise in both jazz and classical music on voice, piano, saxophone and steel pans. He has also directed many instrumental and choral ensembles in a variety of styles, and is Director for the University of the Arts Jazz Singers.

While pursuing his Master\'s degree, Binek was greatly influenced by his voice teacher, Diana Spradling. She was beginning the research on her groundbreaking book, Jazz Singing: Developing Artistry and Authenticity and encouraged Binek to think about every aspect of his musicianship - to analyze how he sang a scat solo both in terms of theory and vocal technique, for example. When Binek realized he had a passion for teaching, he incorporated some of Spradling\'s techniques and provided his own spin on her ideas and philosophies. In 2007, he was the recipient of the President\'s Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Junior Faculty Member at the University of the Arts.

As an instructor, Binek enjoys helping students find their "voice," and is a firm believer in classical training for all singers. While singing jazz is a stylistic choice, he believes it shouldn\'t be at the expense of technique. "Too often jazz musicians - especially singers - tend to think that there is a 'jazz sound,' a smoky, overly affected, frankly boring approach to singing," he said. "I pride myself on being able to help my students be effective jazz stylists while still singing like themselves."

In addition to his roles as performer, conductor and instructor, Binek also has a long list of compositions and arrangements. He is a frequent presenter at local, regional, national and international conferences and festivals. "Jazz music is refined technique combined with raw passion," Binek added. "It is creative improvisation within an intricate framework. It is spending hours in the practice room working on minute details so that the performance can be completely free and open. It gives me balance, and it gives me a reason to wake up smiling every morning."

This summer, Binek is teaching for the Pre-College Summer Institute Music Studies program. From July 12 - 16, the Instrumental week is dedicated to improving a student\'s ability on their instrument or voice while developing skills and understanding of playing contemporary styles. Week two is Jazz Performance, July 19 - 23. Students further explore their technique while playing and performing jazz in small groups, large ensembles and improv groups while studying theory and ear training. Students have the choice of enrolling in either week alone, or participating in both weeks from July 12 - July 23.

Share |