Middle School Programs: Fall and Spring

MS Fall and Spring

Registration for Spring 2019 Classes is Now Open!

New: Register Online or download the 


  • Email it to cs@saic.edu
  • Fax it to 312.629.6171
  • Drop it off at 36 Sout Wabash Avenue, Suite 1201, Chicago, IL 60603

Develop a Strong Foundation

Research conducted in recent years shows that arts education stimulates the essential innovation, creativity, and critical thinking skills our children need in today's world. For more than 130 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has offered public programs that strengthen the creative potential of generations of young people. Known previously as the Junior School, the Studios Program, and the Young Artists' Studios, today Continuing Studies' Children's Workshops in Art and Creativity and Middle School Program offer courses designed to give students the skills and confidence they need to successfully meet the unique challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

As students grow, gain confidence in their abilities, and progress to our Middle School Program, they begin to focus on media-specific and interdisciplinary approaches to art and design with an increased emphasis on expanding critical thinking skills. Our connection to the Art Institute of Chicago, access to SAIC's extensive facilities, resources, and outstanding instructors provide students unparalleled educational opportunities.


3D Animation Studio
Saturdays, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

3D animation is an exciting and fast growing industry used in most video games and animated movies- think Mario Kart 8, Madden NFL, Frozen, and How to Train Your Dragon. Students in this course learn the basics of 3D animation by creating their own worlds with life forms, digital objects from the Internet, and sound using Maya software. The course begins with introductory exercises to explore the possibilities in 3D animation and ends with students creating their own final projects based on their interests. Visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, artist presentations, and short animated video viewings supplement the studio experience. 

Animation Studio
Sundays, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

This course is designed for students who wish to use both digital and traditional/analog media to create moving images. Students learn animation principles while discovering many different techniques, including stop-motion animation, frame-by-frame animation, digitally modified video, and 2D computer-aided animation. Digital tools including laptops, still cameras, video cameras, sound recorders, and drawing tablets may be used in conjunction with sketchbook work and traditional processes to reflect contemporary artistic hybrid methods. This course can be repeated for continued skill building in animation and digital art.
Advanced Drawing Studio
Saturdays, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

This advanced course is for students who have taken the Middle School Program Drawing Studio class or have previous drawing experience and want to explore a wide range of materials and processes to expand their work in new directions. While continuing to build on technical skills, students will focus on drawing as a tool for organizing thoughts, feelings, and sharing their ideas. Students will work with a wide range of materials including pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink, and mixed media. Digital drawing using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and Wacom tablets may also be used. Students visit the Art Institute of Chicago to observe and sketch from a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and objects that are used as inspiration for studio work.