Tyler's Creative Scholars Program Celebrates Pilot Year with Exhibition at Temple Contemporary



The Creative Scholars Program at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture wrapped up its launch year with an exhibition showcasing drawing, printmaking, painting, and photography titled “Coming Out” at Temple Contemporary, which was on view from May 23-June 10.  

Through the pre-college program, talented 10th, 11th and 12th grade students from public and charter schools in the Philadelphia School District completed a yearlong, full-scholarship art intensive, which includes studio art courses, artist studio visits, and workshops with Philadelphia institutions. The program provides in-depth learning experiences that help students broaden and enhance their skills and prepare portfolios for applying to top schools of art, architecture and design. 

Creative Scholars Program Specialist and Tyler alumna Hazziza Qiyam Abdullah (MFA ‘20) reflects on the importance of such programs and says that her own experience with the Junior Scholars Program at the Schomburg Center for Black Culture in Harlem, New York, “shaped the trajectory” of her life as far as pursuing a degree in the visual arts. 

Explorations in digital photography on view at Temple Contemporary. Photo by Dan Johnson.

“I know the power of these types of pre-college programs, and that’s why I was eager to be a part of this one at Tyler. I know how youth art programs function, and I can attest to how I benefitted from one. I wanted other students to experience that same excitement,” she said. 

The Creative Scholars Program’s kickoff year included 15 students from Esperanza Academy Charter School, Mastery Charter School’s Shoemaker Campus, Lankenau High School, and Academy at Palumbo. Bringing together students across Philadelphia’s School District encourages new friendships and invaluable hands-on learning experiences, something that Abdullah hoped for when planning for in-person learning. “Seeing their excitement about being in Tyler’s facilities was great, and it’s why we worked hard to have classes in person. Students said they felt like ‘professional artists’ because they aren’t used to working with sophisticated equipment or working in real studio spaces.”  

Many Philadelphia schools are cutting back on funding for their art programs, and the Creative Scholars Program encourages students to stay true to their passion and discover a love of mediums that they might not have had access to. The next semester’s curriculum will feature glassblowing, a practice that Abdullah said many of the returning students have never tried before and are eager to learn.  

Four Creative Scholars will be enrolling at Tyler this fall as freshmen, with interests ranging from painting, graphic and interactive design to architecture. 

More information about enrollment for the Creative Scholars Program’s Fall 2022 semester can be found here.  

Creative Scholars Program students display their work at Temple Contemporary, photo by Dan Z. Johnson.