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Pre-College in Baltimore Curriculum - Core Studio Courses


Introduces the possibilities of creating art through time-base technology used in film and video gaming industries;  explores the enormous creative capabilities of 3D Studio Max. Using this tool, students learn to visualize, plan, and model in three dimensional space and to explore its animation potential.
Estimated materials cost: $250.


Introduces design principles and representation conventions of architecture. Teaches students to think critically about design by focusing on conceptual ideas in architecture. Students learn techniques in model-making and drafting with an emphasis on physical models and hand-drawn plans as well as sections and extruded isometrics. Projects allow students to address proportion, scale, materials, and other important factors in the design process. Explore new and important architectural works on class field trips. Estimated materials cost: $300.


This course explores the use of wheel-throwing and hand-building in ceramics as a process of innovation and exploration. Clay is a dynamic material, its potential for exploration and idea development cannot be underestimated. Students will be asked to address and explore their ideas in ceramics to realize more personal and complicated ideas and forms. A variety of ceramic surfaces will be explored to further strengthen and develop students’ ideas. Students will build skills and refine existing ones, to create more inventive, larger, and more complicated forms.

Darkroom to Digital Photography

Students work in the darkroom producing camera-less images and pinhole cameras, and then transition to digital cameras and digital processing of images. By the final week, students will propose a final project and opt to work within either a darkroom or digital context, with a level of flexibility in the tools used. This format allows students to explore the history and foundation of photography, as well as the future of digital photographic technology. Note: Students should bring their own digital camera that has at least 5 megapixels resolution and optical zoom. A 35-millimeter film SLR camera that allows for manual control of aperture, shutter speed, and light metering is optional. Estimated materials cost (not including camera): $350.

Drawing and Painting the Figure

Focuses on building proficiency in drawing and painting thehuman figure, increasing understanding of the human form, and building confidence in expressively rendering the figure in two dimensions. Working from a live model, students learn proportion and anatomy as well as formal elements of drawing and painting such as composition and color, and gain a solid foundation in both drawing and their selected painting medium and a rich understanding of the structural, psychological, and emotional aspects of the human form.  Note: If you choose this core studio, do not select the Strictly Figure workshop.  Estimated materials cost: $500.


Explores the potential of fiber media in creating three dimensional sculpture and wearable art. Students use textiles and fiber media to respond to the challenge of creating lightweight, flexible art that can stand alone as a sculptural work or potentially be worn as a garment. Communication of design ideas through drawing and sketching is an integral part of the student’s process. Experimentation with fiber media is encouraged as students investigate the possibilities available for their creations. Note: If you choose this core studio, do not select the fiber workshop. Estimated materials cost: $200.

Graphic Design

An introduction to the basic concepts and tools for design and visual communication. Students learn the elements of effective design as they focus on the meaning and impact of books, magazines, web sites, CD covers, posters, advertisements, logos, and countless other media. Working in MICA’s Macintosh based
graphic design labs with the latest software, students complete assignments that emphasize the use of symbols, sequential design, the integration of imagery and typography, and conceptual thinking.  Note: If you choose this core studio, do not select the graphic design workshop.  Digital camera is required.  Estimated materials cost (not including camera): $200.


Engages students in the communication of concepts through visual means. Students are challenged with the types of assignments that professional illustrators may encounter. Through various digital and traditional media, students learn to employ different techniques in the service of their developing style. Students gain understanding of how to sift through information in order to come up with the kernel of
the illustration concept. An awareness of client/illustrator relationship and methods of creating a portfolio of work will be addressed in this course. Note: If you choose this core studio, do not
select the illustration workshop. Estimated materials cost: $200.


This course will explore the art of screenprinting. With its commercial origins and propensity for bold flat colors, screenprinting has emerged as a powerful means of communicating ideas for artists, craftspersons, and designers alike. Essentially a stenciling process, screenprinting enables makers to create colorful graphic images repetitively on a range of surfaces. Students will gain a solid working knowledge of the screenprint process, employing both traditional and contemporary methods of stencil making, film preparation, and printing. Techniques such as digital film outputting, mixing gradations of ink, and multi-color registration are demonstrated and employed. Within this technical framework, students will study concepts and aesthetics associated with repetition, sequencing, and variation.


Emphasizes techniques for solving age-old problems in three-dimensional art-making. Students learn techniques of mold-making and casting in plaster and concrete to investigate the breadth of contemporary sculptural approaches, including the use of alternative materials and found objects. Note: If you choose this core studio, do not select the sculpture workshop. Estimated materials cost: $400.

Video and Filmmaking

Explores the distinctive expressive capacity of moving images. Students learn video methods and concepts and create narratives to express ideas through their own personal artistic voice as
spoken through the lens of a video camera combined with computer editing. Video is explored as entertainment, art, and documentary method for social and intellectual inquiry. Note: A video camera is required or may be signed out each day of class. If you choose this core studio, do not select the video workshop. Estimated materials cost (not including video camera): $150.

This page was last updated on 10/13/2016.