Digital Media In The Visual Arts Full Description


Summer College at UMass Amherst:  An Introduction to Digital Media in the Visual Arts

Have you enjoyed an art course in high school and wondered what might be next? Do you enjoy working with a computer and wonder how computers and art can mix? Explore the possibilities of a creative life in digital media on the campus of a great university. Discover your own voice in making digital art in our new state-of-the-art Studio Arts Building. Learn about the challenges and rewards of a career in digital media today.

We offer an intensive two-week immersion in digital applications in the visual arts. Your instructors are professional artists skilled in digital media, and they are assisted by current undergraduate students in our program. They will introduce you to fundamental ideas and software tools in animation, digital still photography, and digital time-based production. If you already know the fundamentals, they will customize the experience to your skill level.

You’ll spend time in the morning developing skills in drawing — the essential materials, techniques, and concepts of drawing that are essential to understanding the connection between seeing and digital media. You will draw from imagination, from objects, and from nature, including clothed models.

In the afternoons, extend your knowledge and drawing skills into the increasingly important world of digital art.  Learn the ins and outs of Photoshop CS6. Discover new ways to address drawing elements such as perspective, value, and composition with techniques in digital photography and collage. You will also view original works of art in nearby museums, such as our own Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, and MASS MoCA in North Adams.

At the end of the session, you will participate in producing an exhibition of your group’s work in one of our galleries.  We will hold a reception to congratulate you upon your achievement.

One of our objectives in offering this program is to provide a glimpse of the experience that awaits you in college and to prepare you for it.  You will:

  • learn how to prepare an admissions portfolio
  • acquire drawing skills through attention and perception
  • gain an introduction to digital media in the visual arts
  • gain a good, solid knowledge of Photoshop
  • learn how to organize and hang an exhibition
  • gain skills in visual analysis and critique
  • broaden your understanding of what art is today


About our Facilities

This summer session will be held in our new (2008) Studio Arts Building. The building has a central exhibition space, a large drawing studio, a computer studio, and a digital output studio (along with painting, photography, wood, metals, and ceramics studios, and many other work areas).

We will provide essential drawing materials, including drawing boards, easels, charcoal and graphite sets, erasers, and papers.

We will provide full access to our digital studios and equipment, including our powerful iMac computers and large-format scanners and printers.  We will also provide flash drives and up to 24 by 44 inches of digital prints.  We recommend that you bring your own digital camera or smart phone.