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Arts & Design

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies offers classes and programs related to the visual and performing arts, like photography and painting, along with artistic endeavors and approaches, like film studies and art history.

We also offer classes and programs that incorporate artistry in design, like decorating and home staging.

Our Arts & Design classes and programs seek to extend the values and resources of a liberal education into art and design fields.

Interior Decorating Professional Certificate

The Interior Decorating Professional Certificate program will equip students with industry skills and knowledge to begin a career in the interior decorating field. The program consists of five modules and a capstone presentation. Classes include foundational instruction in architecture, furniture and color theory. Students will also learn about materials, sourcing and industry specific business practices while also establishing fundamental business skills needed to be a successful interior decorator.

Upcoming Courses

This is not your typical art class! Artists will study world-renowned abstract artists, learn key elements for designing an abstract work of art, and use a variety of fun (and messy!) techniques to create dynamic, colorful, and unique masterpieces. Inspired by real-world objects, people and scenes, artists will create by portraying what they feel and think rather than by what they see.
Do you love urban landscapes, bridges, skyscrapers, or monuments? Do you know the difference between Victorian, Modern, Neo-classic, or Gothic design styles? This new course will inspire young artists to create using pen and ink drawing techniques along with watercolor to bring architectural designs to life. This program is for every artist, aspiring architect, or anyone interested in learning new ways to use traditional art materials.
Inspired by the golden era of movie making, this film features scenes of large pools of water, elaborate diving features, tantalizing film clips of swimming actresses on floral trapezes, and a tremendous music score! Students will meet movie star Esther Williams, in the glamorous movie role of Million Dollar Mermaid. Students will design a one of a kind bathing suit, rendering a water ballet kaleidoscope and paint a classic pin-up poster. No prior experience needed; suitable for all levels. Course is designed for ages 18+. Materials are included.
Food plays an artful role in this story of three people who need each other more than they know. The film soundtrack makes extensive use of operatic music, and includes Liz Phair's song 'Count on My Love.' Students will explore mixed media and collage to cut, glue, paste, and paint one or two colorful paintings of fine dining scenes while discovering the use of texture, shape, and composition.
Discover the fun of drawing and painting using small repeated patterns to create intricate portraits in a variety of media like graphite, charcoal, ink, and acrylic. Learn about contemporary realism while exploring concepts such as color/value, lines, proportion/size, rhythm/pattern to create your very own art piece. Students will become familiar with Chuck Close's life, work, techniques and purpose and complete two pieces during the weekend. No previous art experience needed. Supplies included.
Learn the difference between antiques and collectibles! Explore how to start your small business for selling antiques, how to keep records for tax purposes, how to buy and price antiques, and where to shop for them. Also learn what antique buyers in the Richmond area are looking for.
Are you interested in becoming a home stager? This class is an ideal introduction before embarking on the full certificate program. Home staging is the art of preparing a home to go on the market. Develop skills to identify and accentuate a home's most positive features and downplay the negative aspects of a home to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
Work with a Brewster color wheel and produce beautiful rooms for any interior. Start by examining rooms that have been produced by top decorators and train your eye to see what color theory has been used to get the stunning results. Discuss the psychological effects of individual colors. Study the warm and cool shades on the color wheel and produce award-winning palates for your own rooms.
MathScience Innovation Center presents a new and exciting course to UR this summer! Learn a program that is used by Google, the New York Stock Exchange, Industrial Light and Magic, and more! Python is one of the easiest languages to learn and use, while at the same time being very powerful. It is used by many of the most highly productive professional programmers, and the best part is that Python is free to use!
This class will offer students an opportunity to create beautiful rooms by mastering color coordination, fabric choices, textures, lighting, and overall visual harmony. Furniture arrangement will also be explored as you work with templates guided by a professional interior decorator.
The selection process is done and the work begins. Learn what every decorator needs to know in order to save yourself, and your client, time and money. Learn industry standards when selecting and calculating amounts for fabric, wallpaper, paint and rugs. Learn what materials are best used for different purposes and what designs are best used for different functions so that you will be prepared to offer the best advice to your clients.
We are offering private professional training for Adobe Creative Cloud products. Want to learn more tips and techniques for Adobe Photoshop? Interested in learning inDesign for designing print and digital materials? Whether you are at the beginning of your design interests or work with the tools often and are looking for interesting ways to professionally enhance your design skill set, we can tailor the private session to your design needs.
What is your favorite pet? Is it a dog, cat, bird, fish, ferret, or some other beloved member of your family? To bring each pet portrait to life you will need to know how to paint fur, scales, feathers, eyes, ears, nails and tails: all of the key details that make your pet special. Using watercolors, you will learn how to portray each feature to create beautiful works of art.
It's all about light! Whether you are new to digital photography, or an experienced photographer ready to explore all the features of your DSLR camera, this course is just right for you. This participant-driven, collaborative workshop features hands-on instruction, weekly assignments, and photography on or near campus, along with classroom time for discussion, introduction of new topics, and the review and critique of participants' photographs each week. Weekly photography opportunities may include: sunset on the James River, light-painting, a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, indoor and flash photography, studio photography, sports and action, performance, landscape, and architecture. Hands-on instruction will include: shooting in Aperture, Shutter (TV) and Manual modes, the exposure triangle, the creative triangle, white balance, metering, depth of field, exposure compensation, composition, focus modes, and more! The emphasis of this workshop is all about the photograph, the photographer, your camera, and light (rather than editing and digital imaging). Course designed for ages 18 and older.
In this class, students learn how to master sketching rooms and scale drawings. Architect symbols will be taught with exact scale drawings. The class will start with free-hand sketches, move to graph paper, and finish with scale drawings using 3H and H pencils, the T-square and triangles. You will also learn how to sketch elegant window treatments, furniture, and beddings for your rooms.
Journey into the possibilities of vibrant watercolor! Participants will complete a new color study every week while learning paint techniques and strategies for successful results. Drawing skills are not required. Through a series of warm-up exercises, participants will gain confidence, develop observational skills and a variety of techniques. The class is designed for all skill levels.
Learn the techniques to produce beautiful curb appeal for any home. We will explore walkways, doors, shrubs, lawns, screen porches, patios and lighting.
The Interior Decorating Professional Certificate will equip students with industry skills and knowledge to begin a career in the Interior decorating field.
NEW! Most artists obsess about their subject when in fact they should focus on strong design. Design and well-developed composition add drama and interest in all successful paintings. During this session artists will learn the key elements to effectively plan for and execute a painting that goes from good to great. You will learn simple tips and employ easy techniques that will have your paintings make a significant impact on the viewer. Session open to artists in all media. No prior experience is necessary; course is designed for ages 18+. (Suggested supplies list will be provided to students in advance.)
Go beyond the Advanced DSLR workshop and challenge and expand your creative and technical knowledge and skills in this collaborative, participant driven Master Class. Each class meeting will include location/studio photography and in-class discussion. Weekly assignments will be shared with the class and critiqued. You will experience night and low-light photography, studio set-up, on-and-off camera flash, advanced composition, high ISO and large aperture, shooting in manual mode, macro photography, creating and maximizing light, manual white balance, action and motion, black and white, portrait photography, light painting, and more! Each participant will create a portfolio of his/her photographs taken during the workshop. Bring your camera and lenses to the first meeting. Required equipment: DSLR camera capable of at least ISO 3200 (6400 is ideal), at least one lens with 2.8 or larger constant aperture, sturdy tripod, working knowledge of all of your camera settings. Suggested equipment: speed-light, macro lens, or macro extension tubes.
NEW! Are you new to watercolor and finding color selection and color mixing a challenge? This class is designed to help you build successful color combinations for using color correctly. Students will develop a personal palette, create a color wheel, record recipes, and develop paint charts to support their unique preferences. Through a series of exercises involving color families, color temperature, and color recipes, the personal basic palette will emerge. With a better understanding of color theory and the power of using a basic palette, a new confidence will support a happy painting experience. This is an excellent class for both the beginner and seasoned watercolorist. For materials list visit donnacampbellallen.com.
There are so many games to play! Some involve stories, others use numbers or letters, and all present a challenge. On screen and off we will analyze what makes a good game, explore all the moving parts, and create our own games. This class takes information and logic from traditional games and applies it to the digital world.
CodeVA brings an exciting new class to campus this summer with Intro to Vex Robotics! Students will explore the world of machines and robotics as they build and explore the properties of basic simple machines. While working in teams, students will construct robots they can drive while learning how to design a robot to complete a challenge. Note: all robots are part of the curriculum and will not go home with students.