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Pre-College Weekend Classes

All weekend classes have been cancelled for the remainder of the spring semester, effective Monday, March 16. Students will be issued a reimbursement based on the number of course hours remaining. We are accepting registrations for the summer semester and will continue to monitor the situation. If the summer semester is cancelled, reimbursements will be issued accordingly.  

Want to stay informed when new classes are posted, or online registration begins? Want details on individual classes and faculty, Early Bird Specials, scholarships and reminders of registration deadlines? CLICK HERE

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MIAD offers Adult/Teen courses during the Fall and Spring semesters. Classes are offered on Weeknights from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Register Online
Downloadable Registration Form

Dates and Registration

Spring 2020 Pre-College Semester: January 21 – March 28

Please visit the Spring Classes tab to see a list of classes and their specific dates/times.


Any class cancelled due to weather, instructor illness or other circumstance will be rescheduled one to two weeks after the conclusion of the class. There is no prorating of tuition if the student cannot attend the make up session.

How Do I Choose the Right Class?

“I want to go to art college, but will I be ready?” A common question, and an increasing concern when students have fewer options at their school to develop the necessary skill sets.
MIAD’s Pre-College classes offer a clear path to get prepared for college. We recommend the following incremental approach to develop the skills and confidence you will need:

• Drawing for the Portfolio: Grades 9 – 12
• Figure Drawing: Grades 9 – 12
• Scholarship Portfolio: Grade 12 (Fall Semester)

It is extremely important, no matter what discipline you are interested in, to have strong observational and figure drawing in your portfolio when you apply for college. Consider the three classes above as your “foundation” classes.

If you have time to explore beyond these, we encourage you to elect a class from the Adult/Teen section, where you can find painting, photography, illustration, graphic design classes and more. These classes are for ages 16 and up.

Spring Classes

Please note: you will be directed to your classroom upon arrival on the first day of class.


SB690C: Exploration in Mark-Making
Students experiment with a variety of drawing materials, papers and mark-making techniques to add energy and life to their artwork. Basic drawing skills such as value, composition and proportion are addressed. Students have the option to work from still life, nature and/or photos of subjects that interest them. In each class a different medium and approach is explored and the mark-making methods of artists such as Rembrandt, Seurat and Rothenberg are investigated.
Feb. 17 – Mar. 23, 6 sessions
Mondays, 6:30 – 9:30 P.M.
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Todd Mrozinski

SB507C: Open Figure Drawing
This is an opportunity to draw from a live model without instruction. One model provides a variety of quick and sustained poses. Participants can choose to pre-register: $50 for 10 sessions, or pay $6 per session at the door. Students under the age of 18 must have written parental permission to attend.
Jan. 21 – Mar. 31, (No class Mar. 10), 10 sessions
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:30 P.M.

SB703C: Portraying the Self in Acrylic
Students begin by learning to compose the self-portrait using acrylics with washes of paint. Class demos and informal discussion are used to encourage experimentation while studying one’s most reliable model. Students evaluate facial features by blocking-in pigment while gradually building the figure’s specifics. Painting from observation with the use of a mirror, students explore color, light and inherited narrative when confronting their self-portrait. The last sessions are spent working on a larger canvas/panel, applying the techniques learned in class. All skill levels welcome!
Feb. 19 – Mar. 25, 6 sessions
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:30 P.M.
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Ariana Vaeth


SB653A: Fundamentals of Drawing
Developed for the beginner, emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary that provides a foundation for understanding drawing and exploring the formal key elements of two-dimensional composition, such as line and mark-making, form, value, scale, proportion and spatial relationships. Through an exploration of the materials used in black-and-white drawing, students work from observation to develop skills that are applicable to other courses offered in art and design. This course provides a relaxed environment that promotes exploration and growth with one-on-one feedback from the instructor.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Robert Meincke

SB537A: Intro to Digital Photography
Students develop competency in the digital darkroom through lessons and projects that teach photography and digital editing skills that result in expressive visual language. No previous experience with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is necessary; however, students must have their own DSLR camera. This course includes photography assignments that require some minimal time commitment beyond the scheduled classes.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $235 ($215 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Daniel McCullough

SB625A: Korean Ink Brush Painting
Learn basic techniques of Korean ink brush painting from the renowned master painter Mokwon, and gain an understanding and appreciation of East Asian art and its aesthetics. In-class demonstrations include basic brush stroke techniques, composition, and essential skills needed to paint flowers, birds, and iris. These skills are practiced individually and with the master. You may bring your own sumi ink stick, brushes or sumi paper, but supplies, including a brush and paper, are available for purchase during class. All levels of experience are welcome.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Mokwon

Drawing and Painting Drapery and Folds (NEW)
Drawing and painting drapery and folds often presents a challenge for students, yet drapery can be an expressive and creative design element! This course covers common types of drapery and folds as students learn to simplify their use. Beginning the course with several sessions in charcoal drawing, students study basic structure of draped fabric and then progress to oil painting utilizing drapery and simple still life objects to create small paintings. A basic oil palette will be suggested.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Rosalie Beck

Exploring Short Fiction (NEW) – This class has closed for registration.
From poetry and flash fiction to zines and Live Lit, this class explores a variety of short fiction forms and concludes with a live performance in one of the genres. Students learn basic short fiction structure through example and practice with peer and instructor feedback. The class discusses further opportunities for exploration and encourages participation in the Milwaukee and Chicago Live Lit scenes.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Royal Brevväxling

Illustrating Tarot Cards (NEW)
Tarot Decks contain imagery that is meant to inspire and provide guidance through your life’s spiritual journey. Specific visual themes are often used by deck authors and publishers to appeal to a wider range of audiences. Through the use of clever storytelling and symbolism, try your hand at designing Tarot Cards with your own choice of theme. Create some lasting and highly personal pieces, using your preferred media. No prior knowledge of Tarot Cards required.
Feb. 22 – Apr. 4, (No class Mar. 14), 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: John Matson

Abstraction: Engage (NEW)
Historically, painting has evolved from realistic to abstract in a similar way to language. In contemporary painting, issues of abstraction and representation drive innovation, experience and voice, and raise the question: “What can abstraction be and what can it do?” In this course, students experiment with varying levels of abstraction by employing new ways of seeing and learning to use new techniques, tools and materials as they build their paintings.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Kate Schaffer

SB704A: Drawing Comics from Life
Create a series of comics based on experiences from your everyday life. In this class, students learn how to effectively tell a short story through sequential art and the use of text in the illustrated environment, with the goal of completing one single panel, one multi-panel, and one full-page comic. Each week, students are introduced to pieces from the history of comics as they develop their own drawing style. Students should come ready with a topic and a few story ideas (from school or the workplace, life with a pet, traveling, family and friends, etc.). Humor is encouraged!
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Rose Curley

The Art of Storytelling through Motion Image (NEW) – This class has filled. Please call 414-847-3330 to be added to the wait list.
There are many decisions to be made in the pre-production stage of filmmaking. This course introduces students to the basics of crafting a story through video by creating a concept and carefully considering the decisions they make to tell their story. Students focus on lighting, location, use of sound and editing styles as ways to further enhance their vision. Students are introduced to accessible tools and resources to assist in their projects and to help them gain confidence with the decision-making process. The class incorporates observing other filmmakers, research, conversations and hands-on opportunities. All levels are welcome. Students must have their own camera or phone with video recording capabilities.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $235 ($215 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Maeve Jackson

Introduction to Hand-Lettering (NEW) – This class has filled. Please call 414-847-3330 to be added to the wait list.
Hand-lettering is both an art and a craft. Learn the basic principles and techniques associated with lettering created by hand. In this class, students explore how hand-lettering communicates more than just the words themselves through weekly projects and exercises.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Craig Kalbas


Introduction to Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator (NEW) – This class has filled. Please call 414-847-3330 to be added to the wait list.
This course is designed as a hybrid course that introduces the basic need-to-know pillars of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Beginning with an introduction to Photoshop, students are supplied with a variety of basic skills to edit photos and generate digital collages. The second portion of the class allows students to explore working with a variety of drawing and shape-building tools to generate dynamic patterns and designs within Illustrator. Students are supplied with exercise files, video tutorials and step-by-step instructions. No prior knowledge of computer graphics software is required.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $235 ($215 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Scott Taylor

SB517B: Figure Drawing
Focus on the fundamentals of drawing from the human figure, an exercise that has been an essential component to visual arts training for centuries. Using primarily black-and-white drawing media while working from the nude model, students develop their ability to extract the figure’s gestural expression. Instruction and in-class drawing help improve the students’ understanding of structure, form building, anatomy and composition through demonstration and drawing exercises. Tuition includes model fees. Prerequisite: Basic drawing skills. Students under the age of 18 must submit a Figure Drawing Consent Form to take this course.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $235 ($215 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Joe Boblick

Art & Activism (NEW) – This class has closed for registration.
In this course, students are asked to consider and juxtapose their personal life experiences with those of other citizens, and examine how the actions of art-making and political activism can be a conduit for these narratives. Students engage with contemporary texts that highlight art and personal practices that reside – and slide – on this intriguing continuum. Through modes of working – including but not limited to – stenciling, zines, collage, painting and performance, students question and locate their current position of this conceptual, creative spectrum, and how this personal investigation might transform what and how they create in the future.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Zoë Darling

Mixed Media (NEW)
In this class, students gain an understanding of how various wet and dry media can work together to create dynamic imagery. In-class demonstrations of multiple materials, transfer techniques and a strong focus on experimentation give way to the opportunity for students to focus on one piece or a series of work. The class highlights attributes of various media such as ink, watercolor, gouache, colored pencils and acrylics while giving students the chance to combine those materials in a variety of ways.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Andy Pilarski

SB539B: Intro to Acrylic Painting
This class provides an introduction to the basic materials, techniques and practices of direct painting. Students may choose to focus their study in oils or acrylic, but acrylic is highly recommended for first-timers. Using a variety of still life as subject matter, students develop an understanding of color application, paint handling, composition and spatial issues, as well as other technical and conceptual concerns.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $215 ($190 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Eriks Johnson

Photo Editing and Retouching (NEW)
Photography doesn’t stop at the camera. Editing plays a pivotal role in a photographer’s practice. In this course, students explore editing and retouching skills using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Applications of these skills include: editing portraits, changing the color of an object, editing out unwanted subjects and incorporating multiple images into a single photograph. All levels welcome! Please note: Class may involve small projects to be done outside of the classroom in preparation for the editing lesson.
Feb. 22 – March 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $235 ($215 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Rebecca Kames

Introduction to Dark Room and Analog Photography (NEW) – This class has filled. Please call 414-847-3330 to be added to the wait list.
In this course, students explore a variety of analog photographic processes in the darkroom, from developing film to printing cameraless images. While developing a technical understanding of photography, students engage with photography’s physical and handmade processes resulting in expressive visual language. The class will focus on 35mm format, however students have the opportunity to learn larger formats if desired. No previous experience with photography or darkroom is needed, however students must have their own 35mm point and shoot or SLR camera. Supplies and lab fees are included in the cost of the course. Students must provide their own film.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $280
Instructor: Daniel McCullough

Publication Design (NEW)
Publications are a staple of everyday life. They are the books and magazines we read, the catalogs we shop and the destination brochures we gather when we need an escape. In this class, students explore and apply the fundamentals of publication design through the creation of a specific print publication challenge. Throughout the course, students learn strategies utilized by professionals to produce high-end layout-based solutions as well as the technical requirements for preparing digital files for the print process. Prerequisites include a basic understanding of Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.
Feb. 22 – Mar. 28, 6 sessions
Tuition: $235 ($215 before Jan. 26)
Instructor: Jody Campbell



To apply, please download the following form and submit it to the Pre-College Office.
Downloadable DPI Scholarship Application (Not available this semester)

    Contact the Pre-College office at 414‑847‑3333.