Pre-College Courses

Students in the Pre-College Program are enrolled in three courses, through which they receive 130 hours of instruction and educational activities during the three-week session. Each morning, students take a Foundation course. Students can choose either a Foundation Drawing course or a Foundation Digital & Interactive Media course. Each afternoon, students also select two elective courses from those listed below for their afternoon class. Upon successful completion of all three courses, students are awarded three college credits and receive written evaluations from each course instructor.

Pre-College faculty are college instructors and professional artists who teach at Montserrat College of Art or other art schools.

A Typical Day
During each day of the program you will encounter a creative experience through formal teaching methods, admissions portfolio reviews, gallery talks and open studio tours.

9am–12pm: Foundation Class
12pm–1pm: Break
1pm–4pm: Elective Classes
4pm–6pm: Free Time
6pm–10pm: Open Studios/Activities.
10pm: Curfew
Midnight: Lights Out

Foundation Drawing
Foundation Drawing is a comprehensive course in observational drawing using various media. Concentrating on the formal elements of line, shape, value, texture and (limited) color in images drawn from observation, students focus on figure/ground relationships, relative position and proportion, perspective, and light in relation to volume. Students will participate in class critiques and independent work is assigned. Throughout the course, students engage with compositional issues, historic and contemporary references, and learn to find personal solutions to set problems. Students attend this course five days a week.

Foundation Digital and Interactive Media

In this course, students will explore the fundamentals of digital media in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions. Through a series of projects, students learn programming basics, experiment with 3D scanning + modeling, and develop moving images, resulting in a body of screen-based, analog, and interactive work. Working with a variety of processes and software, students gain experience with the technical, conceptual, and practical elements of computer-based media.

Choose Two Electives:

Students investigate color theory through studies in various media: the setting up of palettes, mixing mechanics, and prolonged painting while working from direct observation. Subject matter includes still life, interiors, portraiture and landscapes. Critique, research and slide presentations focusing on the relationships between historical and contemporary painting complement the studio work. Demonstrations on safe handling of materials and professional work habits are given.

Three-Dimensional Design
Students are encouraged to develop their creative voices as they explore a number of three-dimensional concepts. Work on modeled and constructed forms, relief, freestanding or kinetic work, and assemblage using an array of materials such as plaster, wire, metal, wood, glass and found objects. Technical and creative processes of sculpture are learned in the studio. Individual students are encouraged to involve performance work, installation pieces, and/or collaborative works of art. 

This course is designed to give the student an introduction to the illustration industry. A variety of different media are used in order to obtain proficiency in the creation of drawings and paintings for the purpose of communicating. Students explore processes and media associated with the illustration field by applying fine art and design principles. This course encourages students to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills along with their drawing, painting and media skills.

Students will explore the principles of animation through a variety of projects that allow exploration of dramatic pacing and shot choices, creating a visual dialogue with the audience. Students will investigate the history of animation through drawing exercises, then translate the tradition to digital tools by using techniques such as drawing, collage, stop motion or rotoscoping and incorporate video and sound. Each student will finish the course with a completed short animation.

Graphic Design
Students develop technical skills and become familiar with basic tools and materials of the graphic designer. Through short projects, emphasis is placed on art concept, visual aesthetics, composition, color, craft and how they can be helped through digital mediums and manipulation. Each student will walk away with an understanding in the processes involved in design from the first sketch to final printing and production.

Digital Photography
This course introduces the basic tools, techniques and concepts of photographic media. Students are introduced to a variety of photographic methods for generating and outputting images, with a primary emphasis on lens-based representation and production. Students explore the aesthetic aspects of photography while they complete a series of assignments geared towards developing their technical and conceptual abilities. Issues related to camera vision, representation and picture interpretation are also explored. Each student must arrive equipped with a digital SLR camera with manual features.

Explore the processes of making multiples, including methods of woodcut and etching. Students are encouraged to experiment with contemporary practice while learning traditional methods. Processes covered include direct ink application and registration, and etching plate preparation. These methods are supported by instruction in design, drawing, and color with an emphasis on independent work. Students are introduced to specialized printmaking equipment and presses. Demonstrations on safe handling of materials and studio safety are given.

Digital Illustration 
This course focuses on the creation of illustrations using digital media. Students will explore industry standard graphic application and learn to work with digital media as they would traditional art making medias, as a means, not an end, to the creative process. Emphasis will be placed on drawing, painting, design, concept and color theory. Assigned projects will ask students to create pictorial imagery using their digital explorations.

Creative Writing
Students are introduced to the formal principles of creative writing as they write their own poetry, fiction, and drama. This course explores various formats and genres, while students’ initial interest in creative writing is nurtured into a disciplined artistic practice. Students will develop their abilities to express themselves articulately in writing and through class discussion, critique, collaboration, and editing with both their peers and faculty. Each student will complete the course with a portfolio of creative writing pieces that they can continue to build upon.

For questions, please contact the Admissions Office at 978.921.4242 ext. 1153 or email [email protected].