College of Arts and Architecture hosts high school students in diverse camps

Most Penn State students may be gone for the summer, but the classrooms, studios and rehearsal halls of the College of Arts and Architecture are still bustling -- with high school students. During the week of July 13, the college is hosting three immersion opportunities for students in grades nine to 12 who are interested in the arts and design: the Honors Music Institute, Penn State School of Visual Arts Summer Camp, and Architecture and Landscape Architecture Camp.

The Honors Music Institute offers talented young musicians the opportunity to work with Penn State faculty and guest artists in the areas of chamber choir, piano and wind ensemble. To apply, students had to submit a video audition via YouTube. Accepted students participate in masterclasses, private lessons, chamber music, student recitals and large ensembles.

“This is the second year for the Honors Music Institute, although there has been some sort of School of Music summer camp since 1997,” said Jayne Glocke, director of the institute. “Participants for 2014 represent 14 states, plus Guam and China.”

The School of Visual Arts (SoVA) Summer Camp, now in its second year, includes workshops focused on drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics, taught by SoVA graduate students. The camp’s theme, "Portfolio Processes," underscores the goal of the program -- to help students learn how to develop an art portfolio, which is a requirement for acceptance into most college art schools. “We want to help students develop a distinctive vision and voice by learning new artistic and technical processes that will enhance their preparation of a distinctive portfolio,” said Graeme Sullivan, SoVA director.

Architecture and Landscape Architecture Camp, now in its 10th year, includes studio time and field trips to expose students to the breadth of these design disciplines. Throughout the week, the students develop, design and construct a scaled structure and landscape selected from four options: bus stop, church, beach house or extreme sports facility. "Instead of thinking about what to create, they focus on going into detail about their site, making up stories about the spaces. It's great to see the way they think," said Reggie Aviles, instructor of architecture and camp director. "The takeaway is that they will have gotten insight into the types of projects we have our first-year students do. They get to experience the construction side, the mechanical engineering side and the studio. Then, they get to decide if architecture or landscape architecture is right for them."

The camp kicked off with a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater on Monday. “It’s a great launching point for the campers because it is such a great combination of architecture and landscape architecture,” said Aviles. For photos from this year’s camp, visit

Information on next year’s camps will be posted on the College of Arts and Architecture website in spring 2015.

Last Updated July 17, 2014