Continuing Studies Art and Design Programs for Age 4 through Grade 12

Through a variety of courses and camps, Continuing Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers children, middle school students, high school students, and families the perfect opportunity to learn creative and critical thinking skills, explore contemporary artistic practices, develop a portfolio for college, and have fun making art.

Our courses take advantage of unique access to the Art Institute of Chicago museum, which houses world-class collections spanning 5,000 years of human history, and provides a rich source of inspiration for individual projects.

In addition to summer courses and camps for youth ages 4 to grade 12, we offer morning and afternoon Family Art Camps, giving multiple generations the chance to spend a half or full day (by registering for two sessions) learning and working together.

Click through the tabs on this page for more information on family, children’s, middle school, and high school offerings.

Children’s Summer Camps

Multi-Arts Camps provide a playful, stimulating environment where kids can practice critical thinking, time management, and creative problem solving. Children work in teams and individually on projects that enhance personal expression and introduce them to contemporary and historical art. Camps include regular visits to the Art Institute of Chicago museum for inspiration.

Projects vary from session to session, so you can sign up for morning (AM), afternoon (PM), or both camp sessions (All Day). In addition, each two-week camp has a new and exciting focus, so students may enroll in one camp or all 10.

Middle School Summer Camps

Students ages 10 to 13 explore art and design in a variety of courses tailored to their unique interests. We offer classes focused on animation, comics and graphic novels, fashion, drawing, and toy design and 3D modeling.

Through exposure to a wide variety of artists and designers and visits to the Art Institute of Chicago museum, middle school camps introduce students to contemporary and traditional art as a source of inspiration.

Early College Program

Whether you are preparing a portfolio for college or exploring new modes of self expression, Continuing Studies at SAIC has a range of summer courses that focus within a discipline, but offer opportunities to explore freely across media.

Courses focus on artist materials and techniques, architecture, digital photography, figure drawing, studio drawing, fashion illustration, rethinking ad culture, portrait painting and drawing, landscape drawing, water-based painting, DIY publishing, creative writing, oil painting, and portfolio preparation.

Students develop ideas and inspiration from visits to the Art Institute of Chicago museum and downtown Chicago and take their projects from concept to completion using traditional and digital techniques where applicable.

All courses are open to a range of abilities from beginners to those looking to improve their current skills unless otherwise noted.

Get Started

Registration is open for summer courses.