Visual Arts

 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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Semester Class Schedule

Fall Semester: September 11 – November 18

Mini-Session: November 20 – December 22

Winter: January 8 – March 17

Spring: April 2 – June 9

Summer: June 18 – August 18


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Private Instruction

Private and semi-private lessons in all media are available. Private rates are $46 per hour and $23 per half hour. Semi-private is $15/student (30 mins). Contact Phyllis Moser, Director of Visual Arts at, to inquire about these programs. Please note that class material fees may be an additional cost. 

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** 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 **

To view and register for Fall 2017 classes, please click HERE.

AW03 Fabulous Fakes      (Adult)
Kyle LePera               Sept. 12 – Nov. 14
We will combine the fascinating stories of famous forgeries with our own copies of famous paintings! This class gives adult students a fun way to study painting techniques, increase our observation skills, and study great art.
Tues. 10:00 – 11:30 AM           $175 ($165 members)10 wks.

AW04 Urban Art        (Teen/Adult)
Kyle LePera     Sept. 12 – Oct. 24
Urban art is about cities, in cities. We will delve into the sculptures, murals, installations, space transformations, and fashions that have influenced contemporary artists and designers. Whimsical, political, outrageous, and often very beautiful work has been created. Study will include visiting local examples. Students will create their own designs and present drawings in a mini-exhibit at The Yocum Institute in November.
Tues. 5:30 – 7:00 PM            $120 ($110 members) 7 wks.

AP21 Color Pop             (Teen/Adult)
Danielle Wynen               Sept. 12 – Nov. 14
Teen and adult students will learn how to use and understand color. This class will begin by focusing on pop artists such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, and Ed Ruscha. We will use multiple mediums in our exploration, moving towards practical application in our own work.
Tues. 6:00 – 7:00 PM          $120 ($110 members) 10 wks.

AD01 Charcoal           (Teen/Adult)
Danielle Wynen              Sept. 12 – Nov. 14
We will explore this elemental medium in-depth, focusing on drawing and using a wide range of values to achieve more realism in our work. We will start with simple forms and gestures and gradually develop them with more detail.
Tues. 7:00 – 8:00 PM        $120 ($110 members) 10 wks.

AW01 Art/Politics            (Adult)
Thomas Dareneau          Sept. 12 – Oct. 10
Art has always been political and often controversial. Contemporary artists around the world take on local and global politics, shining a spotlight on issues, illustrating political concepts, and offering solutions.
Tues. 7:00 – 8:30 PM        $90 ($85 members) 5 wks.

AW02 Contemporary Drawing             (Adult)
Thomas Dareneau                         Oct. 17 – Nov. 14
Take this opportunity to sharpen your drawing skills while exploring what’s on trend and what’s coming in contemporary drawing.
Tues. 7:00 – 8:30 PM           $90 ($85 members) 5 wks.

CS10 Art Start         (Ages 3 – 4)
Tammy Updegrove          Sept. 11 – Nov. 30
Our youngest artists will be introduced to painting, drawing, and modeling, using age-appropriate materials.  It will be messy… but always fun!
Mon. 4:30 – 5:00 PM        $60 ($55 members) 10 wks.

CE01 Art Box                 (Ages 5 – 6)
Tammy Updegrove              Sept. 11 – Nov. 12
Each student will be given a box of age-appropriate art materials which they will use for this class. We will show students how to use the materials in their box, how to care for their materials, and how to clean up. At the end of this course, students will take their art box home, along with their portfolio of works.
Mon. 5:15 – 6:00 PM                 $85 ($80 members) 10 wks.

CD30 Drawing and Painting         (Ages 6 – 8)
Phyllis Moser                  Sept. 12 – Nov. 14
Students will paint and draw in a variety of mediums, gaining a solid technical foundation appropriate to their age and skill. During this course, we will strive to encourage and nurture our young artists.
Tues. 5:00 – 6:00 PM         $120 ($110 members) 10 wks.

CE02 Book of Monsters        (Ages 6 – 9)
Rebecca Kline                   Sept. 16 – Oct. 21
Using paint, markers, textured papers, feathers, and fabrics our young artists will make a book of friendly and “not-so-scary monsters.” Additional projects include pop-up cards, masks, puppets, and seasonal decorations.
Sat. 9:00 – 10:00 AM         $65 ($60 members) 6 wks.

CE08 Wild About Animals          (Ages 7 – 12)
Tammy Updegrove           Sept. 11 – Nov. 13
We will be drawing, painting, and sculpting animals, using a new theme each week. Some examples include forest animals, safari animals, garden critters, cartoons, pets, imaginary beasts, creatures under the sea, and more. There will be a small drawing project each week followed by a painting or building project.
Mon. 6:00 – 7:00 PM        $110 ($100 members) 10 wks.

CP20 Just Paint        (Ages 7 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry             Sept. 11 – Nov. 13
Students will be introduced to watercolor, pastels, and acrylic paint. We will be inspired by famous paintings of still life, landscapes, portraits, and abstractions. This class is best for students who just enjoy painting!
Mon. 6:00 – 7:00 PM        $110 ($100 members) 10 wks.

CE04 Dots, Blocks, and Pixels         (Ages 7 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry                    Sept. 11 – Nov. 13
We will use the simplest elements to create art inspired by aboriginal art, pointillism, pop art, photo mosaics, and digital art. We will use paint, markers, pearler beads, tiles, polymer clay, and Legos to complete 2-D and 3-D projects.
Mon. 7:00 – 8:00 PM         $125 ($115 members) 10 wks.

CE05 Art Makers          (Ages 7 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry       Sept. 13 – Nov. 15
Paint, print, and construct using paints, paper mache, wire, and found materials. We will mix it up – creating art pieces, seasonal decorations, and usable items such as clocks and jewelry.
Wed. 6:30 – 7:30 PM         $125 ($115 members) 10 wks.

CE06 Wear It!                (Ages 7 – 12)
Shawna Hansberry            Sept. 13 – Nov. 15
This class combines design and construction to create art we intend to wear: t-shirts, altered apparel, masks, jewelry, scarves, and accessories. Stitching, gluing, painting, printing, and assembling will be done. T-shirt and most materials provided. Students will be asked to provide a backpack, shoes, or similar article to upcycle and embellish.
Wed. 7:30 – 8:30 PM       $125 ($115 members) 10 wks.

CE03 Amazing Color         (Age 7 – 12)
Tammy Updegrove          Sept. 14 – Nov. 16
Acrylics, oil pastels, tissue paper, and paint chips will be some of the materials used to explore how to mix and use color. Our emphasis will be on fun and discovery, mixed with a bit of science and history. Activities will include using spin art, spray bottles, glues, and LOTS of paint. Dress for mess!
Thurs. 5:00 – 6:00 PM       $110 ($100 members) 10 wks.

CE07 FANtastic!        (Age 7 – 12)
Tammy Updegrove        Sept. 14 – Nov. 16
Create your own worlds and stories using styles inspired by Manga, Anime, and comic strips. If you already have favorite characters and drawings, bring them to class for sharing and study.
Thurs. 6:00 – 7:00 PM    $110 ($100 members) 10 wks.

CS60 Clay Exploration        (Ages 8 – 14)
Rebecca Kline             Sept. 16 – Oct. 21
Students will be introduced to hand building techniques: slab, coil, and pinch. Projects will include pinch pots, small bowls or dishes from a form, and bigger containers used for holding art supplies. Decorative techniques such as stamping, piercing, and glazing will be introduced. Materials and kiln fee included. Class size is limited.
Sat. 10:00 – 11:00 AM           $110 ($100 members) 6 wks.

CD10 Drawing and Painting        (Ages 9 – 14)
Phyllis Moser               Sept. 12 – Nov. 14
Developing artists learn the fundamentals of drawing and painting while studying drawing technique, careful observation, proportion, perspective, and color. A challenge will be presented each week to build skills.
Tues. 6:00 – 7:00 PM       $120 ($110 members) 10 wks.

CE09 Studio           (Ages 12+)
Tammy Updegrove       Sept. 11 – Nov. 13
This class is designed for independent study in drawing or painting with the instructor acting as facilitator and guide. Please bring your work with you to the first class.
Mon. 7:00 – 8:00 PM        $120 ($110 members) 10 wks.

CP10 Painting II      (Ages 12+)
Danielle Wynen           Sept. 13 – Nov. 15
This class is for committed students who wish to advance their studies, learn new techniques, and take on more complex projects. During the course of this class, students will be able to choose between acrylics and oil paint.
Wed. 5:00 – 6:30 PM        $160 ($150 members) 10 wks.

CP23 Portraits By Any Means       (Ages 12+)
Danielle Wynen        Sept. 13 – Nov. 15
All types of portraits – people, pets, and houses – will be done! Learn how to begin a portrait using photo reference and devleop it to completion. We will explore color and design as well as use multiple paint mediums.
Wed. 6:30 – 8:00 PM        $160 ($150 members) 10 wks.

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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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