Visual Arts

pringW Visual Arts Collage


Private Instruction



About the Visual Arts Department

We learn most efficiently through visual cues, so in the 21st century visual literacy is essential. Our classes and instructors provide the means to improve observation skills, become fearless problem solvers, stretch the imagination and master skills in student’s preferred medium.

Reasons to Engage in the Visual Arts

 1.      Build observation skills.  To draw well you must observe carefully.

 2.      Problem Solving.  To create a painting, you need to solve problems – lots of them.  Beginning with the decision of what to paint, what size and media will best suit, where to put the first stroke, what colors are needed…As the work progresses, the artist will be confronted with issues of composition, technical skill and style.

3.      Learn from your mistakes.  Not all works of art are successful, but ALL contribute to learning. In art the focus is on exploration and learning, NOT the right answer.  One painting or drawing is a step in a larger journey of exploration and discovery.

4.      Think Creatively.  Sometimes referred to as “thinking outside the box”…  There are multiple solutions to each design problem.  Artists are trained to continually search for better, different, unexpected solutions.

5.      Visual literacy.  Learn about color and make better fashion and interior design decisions.  Learn about visual design in advertising and make better buying decisions.  Learn about painting and composition and see everything – museum works, architecture, and commercial products – in a whole new way.

6.      Express yourself.  Explore how you feel, put that on canvas.  Visual arts provide an alternate language of expression that can be therapeutic and freeing.

7.      Create visions.  Imagine something better, different, new.  Then create it in paint, stone, clay. “Without vision, the people will perish”.

8.      Enrich your life.  Participating in the arts makes life better.  See all of the above.
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Visual Arts classes are offered on our semester schedule.


Fall: September 12-November 19
Mini-Session: November 21-December 23 
Winter: January 9-March 18
Spring: April 3-June 10
Summer: June 19 -August 19

Private Instruction is offered on our Private Schedule.

Session 1: September 5 – November 12
Session 2: November 14 – January 21
Session 3: January 23 – April 1
Session 4: April 3 – June 10
Summer 2017: June 19 – August 19
Please refer to Calendar for closings and holidays.

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Private Instruction

Private and Semi private lessons in all media are available. Private rates are $46 per hour. Semi-private is two students at $23 per hour, per student. Contact Phyllis Moser, Director of Visual Arts at, to inquire about these programs.

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 Spring Session Classes

** Please note: Because the Institute provides materials and specialized tools for its Visual Arts classes, we recommend that students enroll 48 hours in advance of the first class **

CS10 Little Artists                                                    (Ages 4 – 6)
Danielle Wynen                                                             Apr. 8 – June 10
Our little artists will create collages, paintings, and mixed media works. There will be a theme for each week. The emphasis is on fun and exploration, but we also teach care of materials and clean up. Dress for mess – paints are involved!
Sat. 9:00 – 9:45 AM                            $80 ($70 Members) 9 wks.                    Click here to register

CP40 Picture This!                                                 (Ages 5 – 7)
Tammy Updegrove                                                        Apr. 3 – June 5, no class 5/29
Young artists will create paintings based on the techniques of some of the most famous illustrators of children’s books including Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Mo Williams. This will lead us to collage, cartooning, classic and whimsical styles using a range of materials. As a bonus, we will get to read some very cool books.
Mon. 5:00 – 5:45 PM                             $90 ($80 Members) 9 wks.                     Click here to register

CD30 Drawing and Painting                           (Ages 6 – 9)
Rich Houck                                                                   Apr. 3 – June 5, no class 5/29
Your budding artist will paint and draw in a variety of mediums, gaining a solid technical foundation appropriate to their age and skill. We strive to encourage and nurture our young artists.
Mon. 5:00 – 6:00PM                            $100 ($90 Members) 9 wks.                  Click here to register

CS11 Museum on the Go                                      (Ages 6 – 10)
Tammy Updegrove                                                      Apr. 6 – June 8, no class 4/13
Build a mini gallery space and fill it with your own miniature paintings and sculptures each inspired by a famous artist. We will be working with markers, acrylic paint, modeling compound, and mixed media. Paintings will be 2” x 2” or similar size. The mini-museum folds up flat to fit into a box for easy storage and transport.
Thurs. 5:00 – 6:00 PM                            $100 ($90 Members) 9 wks.                Click here to register

CE41 Turned Around – Recycled Art               (Ages 6 – 12)
Tammy Updegrove                                                        Apr. 3 – June 5, no class 5/29
Castoffs and trash will be transformed. Projects will include, but are not limited to, collage, altered books, mosaic, sculpture, and wearable art. Of course, there will be paint! Our first project will be finished just in time to celebrate Earth Day. This class is designed to give your imagination a work out.
Mon. 6:00 – 7:00 PM                               $100 ($90 Members) 9 wks.                Click here to register

CP21 Paint and Print                                               (Ages 6 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry                                                         Apr. 5 – June 7
Paint, stamp, and decorate! Make cards, frames, and decorations using printing techniques. Paint projects will include using watercolor and acrylic paints on traditional paper, canvas, and some non-traditional surfaces. There will be lots of variety and plenty of fun.
Wed. 5:30 – 6:30 PM                                 $110 ($100 Members) 10 wks.          Click here to register

CE63 Mythical Creatures                                  (Ages 6 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry                                                   Apr. 5 – June 7
Mermaids, dragons, giants, trolls, fairies, and other creatures of the imagination will be the subject for these classes. Students will create figurines modeled from polymer clay, masks, collages, paintings, and mixed media art. If you have a favorite story, bring it along!
Wed. 6:30 – 7:30 PM                                    $110 ($100 members) 10 wks.        Click here to register

CS23 Tiny House                                                    (Ages 6 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry                                                      Apr. 5 – June 7
Create a miniature house along with mini furniture and accessories, using a variety of materials. Young artists will choose a theme such as dragon’s lair, Minecraft castle, specialty shoppe, etc. Students will also construct a fantasy birdhouse or fairy or troll house for outdoors. This session encourages imagination, planning, and manipulation of diverse materials.
Wed. 7:30 – 8:30 PM                                    $120 ($110 Members) 10 wks.       Click here to register

CE42 Animal Inspired Art                                   (Ages 6 – 12)
Tammy Updegrove                                                        Apr. 6 – June 8, no class 4/13
Bird nests, beaver dams, beehives, animal footprints in dirt and sand, spider webs, coral reef, and insect trails! We will observe these natural wonders of our animal kingdom and create our own art using these images for inspiration. Materials will include objects found in nature, paint, glue, and more to achieve 2D and 3D art forms.
Thurs. 6:00 – 7:00 PM                                  $100 ($90 Members) 9 wks.         Click here to register

CD10 Drawing and Painting                      (Ages 9 – 14)
Rich Houck                                                             Apr. 3 – June 5. no class 5/29
Developing artists learn the fundamentals of drawing and painting while studying drawing technique, careful observation, proportion, prespective, and color. Future comic artists, illustrators, and designers please note: These skills are necessary to excel. You won’t be bored, you’ll be better!
Mon. 6:00 – 7:00 PM                                        $100 ($90 members) 9 wks.     Click here to register

CE64 Maker’s Space                                        (Ages 12+)
Rich Houck                                                                 Apr. 5 – June 7
This is a class for true explorers – a place where diversity of materials and nontraditional techniques are used to create art and challenge student’s creativity. Join us and let’s make something.                             Wed. 5:30 – 6:30 PM                                          $110 ($100 members) 10 wks.   Click here to register

CE43 Thinking Big                                           (Teens)
Andrew Pochan                                                        Apr. 4 – June 6
This class is offered to students who are seriously considering an art career. A wide range of topics will be covered, allowing students to consider what specialty or group of specialities best fits their interests. Topics covered: graphic design, theatre set design and costuming, showing your art, promoting your art, film making, networking, organizing art events, and planning and executing murals and public art. If you have a laptop, bring it. Some sessions will be off-site.
Tues. 7:00 – 8:00 PM                                      $110 ($100 Members) 10 wks.    Click here to register


AD54 Pastels, Portraits, and More            (Adults)
Danielle Wynen                                                        Apr. 3 – June 5, no class 5/29
We will begin with still life and landscapes, then move to a study of portraiture, mastering proportion, light and shadow, and using color effectively. We will study famous portraits and pastel paintings, particularly Cassatt and Degas.
Mon. 7:00 – 8:15 PM                                         $125 ($115 Members) 9 wks.     Click here to register

AD53 Introduction to Drawing                     (Adults)
Phyllis Moser                                                              Apr. 4 – June 6
Students will use pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, watercolor, and markers, exploring the unique qualities of each medium. There will be a strong emphasis on training to observe carefully. Drawings by the masters will be introduced and studied, giving our students a well-rounded basis for additional study.
Tues. 6:15 – 7:30 PM                                        $125 ($115 Members) 10 wks.     Click here to register

AW52 Art Play for Adults                                 (Adults)
Rich Houck                                                                  Apr. 5 – June 7
Art is not just for kids! Explore diverse media while losing yourself in the artistic process. No previous experience needed.
Wed. 7:00 – 8:30 PM                                        $135 ($125 Members) 10 wks.   Click here to register




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Phyllis Moser

Phyllis Moser

Phyllis Moser, Visual Arts Director at Yocum Institute, is a visual artist (specializing in acrylics and mixed media) as well as an accomplished calligrapher and designer. In her position at the Institute she oversees program design and development. Phyllis holds a BS in Art Education from Kutztown University and has studied calligraphy with Timothy Botts and Shiela Walters. Her work can be found in private and institutional collections across the country, including the Postal Museum of the Smithsonian. Her most recent exhibit (August 2014) was “Emerge” at Albright College. This interactive exhibit explored how technology can change and enhance our experience of art.



Jodi Bossler oversees our clay instruction at the Yocum Institute, working with all ages in group and private lessons. She has been an instructor at the Institute for 11 years encouraging young students to explore the visual arts through drawing, mixed media, clay, and fiber. Jodi holds a MFA in Photography as well as teacher certification from Kutztown University.

Tammy Updegrove  is an accomplished artist in multiple mediums including but not limited to charcoals, pen and ink, and acrylics. She is a published illustrator for Reading Reading Books and the Greyhound Love Series in addition to designing worksheets for Early Childhood Education.  Tammy was also selected to teach art techniques on an episode of John and Kate Plus 8.  For the past 8 years Tammy has worked at the Institute where she teaches Children’s Visual Art Classes and outreach programs. She enjoys helping her students explore the world of art and encourages them to discover thier natural artistic abilities.

Rich Houck has been recognized as an inventive and versatile artist in a variety of mediums. Known primarily for his paintings, over the past twenty years, he has exhibited in solo and in group shows throughout the Northeast United States, and in Rome, Italy. Rich holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, where he studied under Rohrer and Steve Jaffee. He is an adjunct professor at Alvernia College and instructor at the Yocum Institute. Rich Houck is the 2014 recipient of the Coggins Award, recognizing his professional achievements and service to the Berks arts community.

Shawna Hansberry has been a faculty member at the Institute since 2011. She has taught mixed media, bringing great enthusiasm to her classroom. She is a PA certified K-12 art teacher taking graduate courses at the University of the Arts. She teaches after school programs, and has just completed a season as a “long term substitute” with the Reading School District.

Julia Ramsey is a knitwear designer and a fiber artist. Her custom knitwear collection emphasizes handwork, craftsmanship and appreciation for raw materials. Her work has been included in major knitwear exhibits in the US and abroad. Recent exhibitions include the Fiber Show in Chesterton, MD, and an exhibition in Verona, Italy. At the Institute, Julia teaches knitting and stitching classes. Visit her website:

Kayla Ackelson is an srtist working in several mediums, some of which are watercolor, collage, and mixed media. Kayla received her BFA from Millersville University in December of 2014 and since then has been working in the arts and exhibiting her own work. Her artwork is driven by her interactions with nature, memory, and so much more:
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