In 1923, when Frank Young Sr. founded the American Academy of Art, he was an internationally recognized authority in advertising design. He believed the Academy should “provide the best instructors, attract the best students, and neglect nothing that will help them to build successful careers.” The same goals and traditions hold true today.
Located in beautiful downtown Chicago, the Academy campus is within walking distance of several attractions such as Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Field Museum. Public transportation nearby is convenient and affordable.
The American Academy of Art features a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree program. This program provides students a quality, prestigious education in the arts over 8 full-time semesters of academics. Established by current Academy president Richard H. Otto, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree offers each student one of 9 areas of specialization: Illustration, Illustration (Digital), Design, Multimedia/ Web Design, 3-D Modeling and Animation, Oil Painting, Watercolor Painting, Life Drawing, and Photography.
An essential part of the program’s curriculum is its core of humanities and sciences. These courses diversify students and fuel artistic thought and expression. Some of the core humanities classes offered at the American Academy of Art include: Marketing, Film and Society, Creative and Professional Writing, Art History, World Art, and more. First year students will focus on broader courses which are foundational to becoming a professional artist. These courses will also prepare students for more advanced study in their area of specialization over the next 3 years of curriculum.
The Academy believes in a classical approach with high priority on studio time. Students spend many hours each week with hands-on studio work. For this and other reasons, the American Academy of Art does not currently offer distance learning programs but may in the future. The main Academy website features a portfolio page which showcases various paintings, illustrations, and visual communications developed by recent and current students. Students can expect to take many studio classes which will allow them to produce several creative works. Moreover, the Academy features small class sizes allowing for more one-on-one instruction time and a great opportunity to develop relationships with fellow students.
The faculty is regarded as one of the Academy’s most valuable assets. Instructors are qualified and experienced as both teachers and artists. They will instruct, guide, and offer critique to students in their journey of artistic growth in the classroom and studio environments.
Employers and members of the artistic community have come to respect the prestigious Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The American Academy of Art has a long history of preparing students for professional art careers through its Career Services department. Career Services is also a point of contact with Academy alumni, an important source of referrals, job opportunities, and guidance.
The American Academy of Art offers a premiere art education and the prestige and resources to launch students into a successful art career. Students will enjoy exploring the beautiful city of Chicago and enjoying the many attractions nearby. The specialized and lasting education offered by the Academy fosters student growth as artists, analysts, and well-rounded people. It prepares students for a successful career in the artistic field.