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Academics . For Teachers + Counselors . Teacher Workshops 

Teacher Workshops

Teacher Workshop Weekend: February 3 + 4, 2024

Reconnect with your artistic side and develop new techniques and perspectives that you can take back to the classroom.

Workshops will be held in-person at CIA's University Circle campus from 9am to 4pm.

Workshops cost $100; supplies included!

Earn CEUs or one graduate workshop credit. One graduate workshop credit is available per workshop for an additional $140 through Ursuline College. An additional assignment is required.

Register online today!

Spring 2024 Teacher Workshop Weekend

Saturday, February 3:

Figure Drawing: Underneath It All

As an artist, just drawing the figure isn’t enough. Understanding what makes up the structure and substance of the form solidifies a good illustration. How does our underlying structure support a believable figure? Where are the common mistakes and assumptions we draw without really looking at the figure? We’ll address these questions with a figure drawing studio session.

Instructor: Beth Halasz is a medical illustrator and assistant professor in the Life Sciences Illustration program at CIA. Halasz is a Certified Medical Illustrator, and was a staff medical illustrator at the Cleveland Clinic.


Narrative Visual Storytelling

Narrative visual storytelling (AKA comics or cartoons) can be a powerful tool for students to express complex emotions and ideas through original stories with a dynamic, diverse set of characters exploring both familiar and unfamiliar new worlds. Plus, it’s something kids love already! In this workshop, you can learn how to use this visual format of sequential art around specific themes for your classroom environment. We will discuss and decode the creative process, from brainstorming characters, settings, themes, and stories to combining words and pictures, creating a dynamic experience for the audience that would not be possible with text or imagery alone. We’ll even discuss strategies for students who struggle with drawing. Participants wishing to earn CEU credits will create a one-page “Hero’s Journey” comic based on their chosen subject matter.

Instructor: For more than ten years, Josh Usmani has taught classes and workshops with organizations like CIA, Cleveland School of the Arts, Campus International School, Shore Cultural Centre, and Orange Art Center. Josh graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Studio Art (Painting) in 2013. His comic and cartoon-inspired artwork has been featured in three magazines, four art books, five solo shows, and more than 100 group exhibitions, including as the main promotional image for an exhibition and book launch at Saatchi Gallery in London. Previously, Josh has been Visual Arts Editor of Cleveland Scene Magazine and co-director of PopEye Gallery at 78th Street Studios and the Waterloo Arts District. His work can be viewed at


Digital Illustration with Photos

Introducing digital illustration to the beginner or novice can be intimidating. In this workshop, students will be introduced to digital illustration through use of photos. Students will use existing photography, whether their own or through photos provided, and will be taught foundations to digital illustration tools, software, and practices. Afterwards, students will then apply enhanced, augmented, or destructive illustrative techniques to photos. This practice is a great way to ease into digital illustration practices and principles. It is also a popular graphic design trend and can be easily brought into any visual art classroom.

Instructor: Rachel Usmani has over 15 years of design experience working primarily within in-house marketing departments. While working as a multimedia designer full time, Rachel also does various illustrations outside of her full-time job. Her illustrations range from surreal portraiture to visual development incorporating storytelling into her work. Currently, she is a Multimedia Designer at the NASA Safety Center stationed at the Glenn Research Center. She also teaches digital art at the Cleveland Institute of Art for students grades 5-12.

Incorporating Product Design into Secondary Art Curriculum

Are you interested in incorporating product design into your art curriculum? Though most Product/Industrial Designers have an art background, often their first exposure to the field is post K-12. This workshop provides an opportunity to learn about the field, design process, design thinking-- in addition to structure and techniques for basic product design projects.

Instructor: Dan Cuffaro is a professor and chair of Industrial Design at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Prior to that, he worked as design director for a design firm where his clients included Compaq, Polaroid, Symbol Technologies, Tupperware, Lego, Black & Decker, DeWalt, and Sunbeam.


Wet Felting

This hands-on skillbuilding workshop will introduce the creation of felt objects using wet felting methods. Students will use wool roving to create basic felt, work with resists to achieve form and function, as well as use acid dyeing to add color.

Instructor: Alex Heard is a performance artist and costume maker active in Northeast Ohio. They received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2020 and works at CIA as the studio technician for Sculpture + Expanded Media.

Sunday, February 4:

Introducing Sculpture to K-12 Students

Learn how to implement sculpture projects into your curriculum! During this workshop you will discover how to develop a successful sculpture program using engaging projects created with inexpensive materials. You will explore a variety of sculpture materials for elementary students including wire, plaster, ceramics, and fiber arts. Learn strategies for keeping students engaged, organized, and overcome challenges. This workshop includes three lessons you can use to explore sculpture with your elementary students in your classroom.

Instructor: Tina Meeks earned her BA in Visual Arts PreK-12 from Notre Dame College. Tina is a licensed Art Educator and published curriculum writer with twelve years of experience teaching K-12 students. She is a Ceramics professor at Notre Dame College and teaches adult ceramic classes at Brick Ceramic Studio. Her work has been exhibited in the Waterloo Arts District.


The Artist as the Problem Solver: Modern Collage Defined

This workshop will focus on giving educators and students creative agency over their work, creating problem solvers in the classroom and beyond. Each student will pick one word out of a jar. From that word, they will make sevn collages utilizing image transfer, drawing techniques, monoprinting with jelliplates, and traditional cut and paste collaging—all techniques the instructor will demonstrate. The seven collages will need to represent different iterations of specific themes, and will challenge the instructors to solve the problem of how to visually communicate words and ideas without using those words or ideas within their seven works. We will end the session with a mini-critique along with a discussion on critique, and ask each other how we give our students similar agency within our own classrooms? Feel free to bring any images you would like to use for your collages- no text please!

Instructor: Allison Bogard Hall is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Cleveland, Ohio. Hall earned her BFA in Painting and Literary Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014, and has since been expanding her work through many mediums such as printmaking and installation. Her pieces are often autobiographical and heavily influenced by current events, photography, found imagery, and literature. She is currently working as the Studio Manager for Foundation and Continuing Education at the Cleveland Institute of Art.


Simple Book Structure with Alternative Process Printed Imagery

Learn how to combine natural elements with printmaking techniques to create your own unique book! The beginning part of this workshop will include monoprinting with plants and stencils as well as Tetrapak etching. Then, these prints will be used to make the contents and covers for a small coptic stitch bound notebook.

Instructor: Ashley Pastore serves as an adjunct faculty in Printmaking at the Cleveland Institute of Art and is the creator and owner of Grounded Print Shop — a printmaking, papermaking, and artist residency space.


Using Screenwriting for Student Collaboration

The "All-Class Screenplay" is a fantastic way to help students use their imagination to collaborate and create an actual, professional screenplay, with you, their teacher. During this workshop, you will learn the basics of writing a "short-short" 2- to 4-minute screenplay, and then how to use your new skill in your classrooms. (And maybe write your own screenplays as a bonus!) This technique encourages students – within the realm of making a real screenplay – to think about setting, character, dialogue, narrative, and structure in real time. They – and you – will have a lot fun while you’re doing it, too.

Instructor: Scott Lax is a playwright and award-winning novelist and journalist. He is a Senior Professor of Practice in Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Scott graduated from Hiram College in English and studied Shakespeare's History Plays at the University of Cambridge, England. Scott is a recipient of a 1993 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Scholarship in Nonfiction, and the 1998 Sewanee Writers Conference Fellowship in Fiction. In 2002, Scott received a Certificate of Congratulations from the City of Cleveland, and in 2016 was inducted into the Chagrin Falls High School Achievement Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1970.


Register today!

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Graduate Credit?

Are you intrested in learning more about how you can earn credit hours? 

Find out more information here.


Cuyahoga Arts and Culture