The Cooper Union School of Art Outreach Program

/ Saturday Program



Introduction to Drawing is designed to explore drawing as the fundamental language for all art forms through observation of still life, interiors, exteriors and the figure. Using a variety of mark-making and mark-subtracting tools and materials, students learn to bridge drawing’s basic elements to form compositional statements. Through discussion and critique, students discover the vocabulary by which to talk about drawing and express their ideas visually. Class work is complemented by sketchbook exercises.


Creative Writing workshops are taught with the visual thinker in mind. Students approach writing from a creative point of view learning to express themselves through poetry, word games, objects, existing text, and journals. A poetry reading and anthology conclude the course.


Photography introduces the concept of working with light as an artistic medium. The class emphasizes the versatility of photography as a creative tool with hands-on techniques including: pinhole cameras, compositions created without the use of negatives (photograms), and the negative enlargement. Students are encouraged to explore a multitude of black and white photographic techniques.


Printmaking teaches two-dimensional composition, basic color theory, and color mixing through the medium of monoprinting. Students learn about color separation, transparency, and layering of ink. Projects begin by drawing from observation and are used as a framework for organizing color and form into spatial relationships.

2D Design

2D Design explores design and composition on a flat surface. Students are introduced to a variety of design concepts including geometric page divisions, figure-ground relationships, scale, symmetry/asymmetry, line-form relationships, patterns, texture, and letterforms (basic typography). Drawing, collage, digital photography, photocopying, and computer programs (such as Adobe InDesign and Illustrator) are used to execute the class assignments.

3D Design

3D Design introduces students to the sculptural form in a collaborative atmosphere. Using materials like cardboard, wire, and plaster students create linear, planar, and volumetric objects. Several construction methods are introduced to allow students to investigate formal concepts such as mass, structure, texture, and balance in their in-class assignments.

Contemporary Art Issues

Contemporary Art Issues introduces students to current visual art practices and concepts. The class primarily consists of artist presentations, visits to galleries, and digital presentations. In this course students will be asked to discuss and write about issues in art. They will also be introduced to questions that explore exhibition criteria, the market, site specificity, the hierarchy of materials and methods, art’s role in contemporary society, and who determines art’s value; ultimately, the students are asked to define for themselves what is meaningful artwork.

Mixed Media and Guest Artist Series

During a period of five Saturdays students collaborate with guest artists to complete a special project emphasizing graphic design, photography, and bookmaking.  Students have access to the Vandercook proof presses in the Cooper Union Letterpress Studio. These hand operated presses are easily adapted for different kinds of relief printing.
To see examples of the outstanding work that students have created in this course, please visit the Cooper Union Pre-College Art Facebook page, and click on the Winter 2012 Letterpress photo album:

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