2014 PreCollege Courses

The PreCollege Program offers participants a well-rounded, introductory course of study and an experience comparable to that of first-year Bachelor of Fine Arts students at SFAI. Students choose two core studio courses (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) that meet for three hours each, Monday through Thursday. A range of Friday academic activities, studio hours, and workshops enhance this core schedule.

Morning classes: Monday–Thursday, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Afternoon classes: Monday–Thursday, 1:30 pm–4:30 pm

Courses listed as both morning and afternoon have more than one section, and are not full-day classes.

Classes will not be held on Friday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

Expressive Line and Life Drawing (morning and afternoon)

Working with a model, traditional and nontraditional still lifes, and on individual projects, you will address issues of composition, the use of light and dark, and mark-making. This class aims to help you work from observation to interpret what you see, allowing your drawing to reveal the history of its creation. Pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, gouache, and collage are all possible materials.

Painting and Permutations (morning and afternoon)

Embracing risk-taking and experimentation, you will explore the limitless and conceptual possibilities of painting using oil and/or acrylic. You will produce paintings that stress compelling visual organization, originality, and craftsmanship, and synthesize your ideas into a completed body of work. Formal course critiques assist in developing strong skills both in the evaluation of your own artwork and in analyzing formal composition principles. Modern and postmodern movements will be introduced as a means for contextualizing studio work.

Black-and-White Photography (morning and afternoon)

Capture the magic of West Coast photography and the influence of artists such as Ansel Adams (who founded SFAI’s Photography Department), Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Lewis Baltz, and many more. Photographic field trips, extensive darkroom work, gallery and museum visits, and class discussions will form a dynamic environment for creating new work with technical and historical understandings of the medium.

Prerequisite: Basic introductory course in photography. Students must provide their own 35mm SLR camera that allows manual control of shutter speed, aperture, and focusing.

Digital Photography (morning)

This course will encourage you to explore, create, and experiment with the medium of photography. Through hands-on activities in the digital computer lab, the lighting studio, and in the field, you will compose images and produce photographic prints. Using Adobe Photoshop CS6, you will learn how to color-correct photos, as well as how to work with more complex adjustment features such as selections, layers, masks, and channels. Discussions and group critiques will provide insight into contemporary photography. By the end of the class students are expected to have a cohesive body of work and a technical and conceptual knowledge of color photography and color digital printing.

Prerequisite: Basic introductory course in photography. Students must provide their own digital SLR or digital camera with manual settings.

Digital Animation (morning)

A fascinating blend of imagination, artistry, and technology, digital animation offers limitless possibilities for expression with moving images. This course will introduce software such as Adobe Flash and After Effects, as well as traditional animation fundamentals of illustration and motion. By first developing a strong understanding of digital animation tools through hands-on exercises, you will move toward more complex concepts of storyboarding and interactivity, with the creation of a short animated movie as the culminating result.

Prerequisite: Familiarity working in a Mac environment.

Installation Art (morning)

This course explores the poetic form and social history of conceptual and site-specific installation. Studio projects will include work with architectural forms, performance, video, and lighting. You will discover the importance of context, process, and time-based activities, while working with materials and space; you will also learn about project documentation. Slide lectures will expose students to the historical and political underpinnings of these forms and their contemporary manifestations worldwide.

Experimental Cinema (afternoon)

This hands-on course will demystify the mechanics of experimental filmmaking and investigate its potential as a tool for personal expression. You will gain an understanding of Super 8, 8mm, 16mm, and digital video cameras and filming principles, while creating short films, videos, and installations. Editing will be done using both analog and digital tools, including Final Cut Pro. Students will also be introduced to cinematic history and contemporary film theory.

Screenprinting (afternoon)

Explore the expressive and technical possibilities of screenprinting. In this course, you will learn how to develop a stencil; convert drawings, photographs, and digital output into a genuine print; and experiment with a variety of surfaces, including paper, fabric, and plastic. Projects will introduce students to the photo-emulsion process, color registration, and water-based ink mixing.

Sculptural Forms: Hand-Building and Materiality (afternoon)

Working with a range of direct-construction methods, you will engage materiality, three-dimensional design, and functionality, while exploring contemporary sculptural practices. This course will address the processes, techniques, and concepts at play when working with three-dimensional objects. By designing and building structures using a variety of materials—including ceramics, wood, and mixed media—you will learn concepts and methods of fabrication and assemblage and their broader relationship to sculptural ideas.