Continuing Education Classes in Art and Design for Children, Teens, and Adults
Continuing Studies classes for children, teens, and adults at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) provide the highest quality education in art and design, tailored exclusively for adults, including teachers; high school students in grades nine through 12; middle school students ages 10–13; and children ages 6–9. Our goal is to nurture and support life-long learning and the development of creative thought and practice in students of all ages. At SAIC we believe that having confidence in one's creative abilities plays a critical role in successfully meeting the unique challenges of today's world.
In our evening and weekend art courses, workshops, and certificate programs in Chicago and online, students experience the most up-to-date thinking in art, design, theory, and practice. We provide an environment where students can thrive and flourish while learning new professional skills, earning early college credit, seeking personal enrichment, or nurturing children's creative development.
Children's Multi-Arts Camps
Combining creativity with fun, SAIC's summer art camps in Chicago's loop offer exciting projects and include daily visits to the Art Institute of Chicago museum. Students learn to discover, explore, and imagine in their own unique ways, experimenting with a variety of art materials and methods that encourage the development of creative thinking and problem-solving skills. In our children's art programs, each class has a new theme so students can enroll in multiple sessions.
Family Programs at SAIC are truly a unique experience. Combining visits to our renowned Art Institute of Chicago museum with exciting studio-based explorations, this art making class for both children and adults allows family members of different generations to bond, create, learn, and have a blast all at the same time. Recommended for children age 4–10 with at least one adult enrollee per family.
Middle School Programs
Our art classes for Middle Schoolers are designed to allow students to focus on their interests, learn new skills, and bring their ideas to life. We offer course subjects and resources not available to young artists and creators anywhere else in the world, including Animation, Architecture, Comics, Painting, Sustainable Practices, Video Game Design, and more.
Early College Program
Push your ideas, visions, and skillsets to new heights in SAIC's Early College Program! Join high school students from around the country and right here in Chicago for art and design courses taught by our renowned faculty. We offer teen art classes in Chicago and online; juniors and seniors have the option to earn college credit.
Early College Program Summer Institute
Our intensive 1-, 2-, and 4- week Early College Program Summer Institute brings an extraordinary array of students from all over the world to SAIC to create portfolio quality artwork, make connections with our world-renowned faculty, experience SAIC’s amazing facilities, and earn college credit in our pre-college art classes. Campus housing is available in our residence halls in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Early College Program Online Summer Institute
Join an online art class with peers from around the globe to deepen your understanding of contemporary art making, create an art portfolio, and earn college credit in our Early College Program Online Summer Institute. Experience dynamic virtual demos, engage in group critiques, and receive the ideal blend of one-on-one meeting time with faculty and independent exploration.
Adult Continuing Education
Engage in material exploration and learn new knowledge and skills—or refresh existing ones—in our Adult Continuing Education art and design courses or Certificate Programs in Chicago and online. Our evening and weekend classes allow you to produce work based on your personal research and interests. Studio courses in fashion design, painting, and creative writing and skill-based professional development courses in interior design, digital design programs including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, color theory, and more.
Dive into an Early College Program Online Summer Institute Course
In 2D Animation, teens begin their journey by practicing typical animation exercises and then use their new skillsets to create full reels. "It’s given me more tools to explore my creative ideas,” shared student Kessa Dryburgh.
Character design work by student Kessa Dryburgh
2D Animation in the 21st Century
Character design work by student Kessa Dryburgh
The course starts with typical animation exercises—a ball bouncing, a character walking. The first major assignment is to create movement in a digital photograph using Adobe Photoshop tools. By the end of the term, students generate finished animations with music and sound effects that are uploaded to YouTube, then shared in a digital gallery.
Character design work by student Kate Acquilano
Students' instincts and curiosity have already primed their imaginations for animation. Years spent in a digital landscape, creating social media personas and video game avatars, provide fertile ground for using self-created moving pictures to explore everything from fantasies to institutional critiques.
A screenshot from student Kate Acquilano's final critique
While leading the class for the last few years, Lecturer Anneli Goeller (MFA 2019) has been thrilled by the forward-thinking work the students create. "It’s interesting to talk to younger students about these things,” said Goeller. "Younger people are always on the forefront of what’s next.”
A Zoom screenshot from a meeting of 2D Animation