Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Ai-Pittsburgh is part of the system of Art Institutes which includes Ai-Online. The school has until March 2019 to show why its accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), should not remove the school’s accreditation.[5]

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh has a 29 percent graduation rate and a 20.9 percent student loan default rate.[6]

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
MottoThe College for Creative Minds
TypeNonprofit institution[1][2]
PresidentGeorge Sebolt
Students431 [3]+ 2,940 at Ai-Online
Location, ,
AffiliationsDream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), LLC

Coordinates: 40°26′14″N 79°59′59″W / 40.437198°N 79.999674°W The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP) is a nonprofit educational institution owned and operated by Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), LLC.[1][4] It is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and emphasizes design education and career preparation for the creative job market. It was founded in 1921.


Founded in 1921, the school began as a profit-based independent school of art and illustration, producing a number of notable artists including watercolorist Frank Webb, animation producer and director Rick Schneider-Calabash, and the late science fiction illustrator Frank Kelly Freas. The Institute now specializes primarily in design disciplines and culinary arts. In 1968, Education Management Corporation (EDMC) acquired The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and created additional schools the Art Institute system.

In 2008, it briefly became one of the largest arts colleges in the United States (factoring online enrollment). However, in 2010 enrollment began to drop, in part due to the falsification of records.[7] Whistleblowers within the company sued the Institute due to practices at the online division, and were later joined by the United States Department of Justice.[8]

Since the 2009 public offering of EDMC, and the subsequent majority position by Goldman Sachs, emphasis throughout the EDMC system shifted increasingly toward shareholder profits with cost-cutting measures[9] resulting in larger classes, fewer student services, and a standardized curriculum throughout the system. This standardization removed the need for resident experts and curriculum developers at the individual colleges.[10]

Enrollment in the online division and EDMC's other online programs ballooned from 7,900 in 2007 to 42,300 in 2012, due in large part to practices that devoted more per-student expenditures to marketing ($4,158) than on education ($3,460).[11] Since then, however, dramatic drops in enrollment have led to massive layoffs in the online division.[12]

In 2013, found that the institute provided the worst return on tuition of all institutes of higher learning surveyed.[13] According to disclosures the college is required to provide to the Department of Education, the overall graduation rates fell to 39% in 2012, while graduation rates among Pell grant recipients were still lower at 27%.[14] The graduation rate fell substantially further in 2014 from 39% to 24%.[15] New owners took control of EDMC in 2015, as EDMC entered into a debt-for-equity swap with its current owners, giving up the majority of their stock to creditors with whom they broke loan covenants.[16]


On March 27, 2017, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh moved to 1400 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. During its growth phase it relocated several times, expanding and broadening the curriculum, but then later reduced offerings during its contraction period. The school purchased a historic landmark building at 420 Boulevard of the Allies in 2000, but sold the same to a Chicago developer in 2014. The Art Institute then moved to its current, more industrial building in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, or "the Strip."

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh's online division is a semi-autonomous division of the Art Institute. It offers degree programs and non-degree diploma courses in a variety of creative fields.

Licensing, accreditation and memberships

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (since 2008).[17]

Notable alumni

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has more than 55,000 alumni. Alumni include professionals in the areas of art, design, advertising, motion picture, entertainment, business, fashion, and culinary industries worldwide.[18]

  • Matt Bors, a nationally syndicated American editorial cartoonist and editor of online comics publication, The Nib.
  • Shane Callahan, an American film and television actor.
  • Frank Kelly Freas, an American science fiction and fantasy artist with a career spanning more than 50 years. He was known as the "Dean of Science Fiction Artists" and he was the second artist inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.[19]
  • Paul Gulacy, an American comics artist who worked for both DC and Marvel Comics. He is best known for drawing one of the first graphic novels, Eclipse Enterprises 1978 Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, with writer Don McGregor.
  • Leon Levinstein, an American street photographer best known for his work documenting everyday street life in New York City from the 1950s through the 1980s.
  • Garrett Mason, an American Republican politician.
  • J. Howard Miller (1939), an American graphic artist who painted posters during World War II in support of the war effort, among them the famous "We Can Do It!" poster, frequently misidentified as Rosie the Riveter.
  • Martha Rial, an independent photographer based in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the winner of 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography her photographs of Rwandan and Burundian refugees.
  • Jennifer M. Smith, the Premier of Bermuda from 1998 until 2003. She was the first premier who was not a member of the United Bermuda Party.
  • Roman Verostko (diploma in illustration, 1949), an American artist and educator who created code-generated imagery, known as algorithmic art.
  • Frank Webb (1946), an American watercolor painter.
  • Tom Wilson (1955), an American cartoonist.

External links


  1. ^ a b "Dream Center Education Holdings Completes Transition of Remaining Art Institutes Locations to Nonprofit Institutions". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  2. ^ "EDMC completes sale of schools to Dream Center". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "EDMC completes sale of schools to Dream Center". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "College Navigator – The Art Institute of Pittsburgh". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  7. ^ Van Osdul, Paul. "Whistle-blower accuses EDMC of falsifying records to get taxpayer money". Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  8. ^ Hechinger, John. "U.S. Joins Whistleblower Suit Against Education Management". Bloomberg.
  9. ^ Deitch, Charlie. "EDMC layoffs hit Art Institutes nationwide". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  10. ^ Halperin, David. "EDMC Professors and Students Speak: How Lobbyists & Goldman Sachs Ruined For-Profit Education". Republic Report. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  11. ^ Deitch, Charlie. "EDMC reports revenues, enrollment down on heels of more layoffs". Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  12. ^ Deitch, Charlie. "EDMC insiders report layoffs underway". Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  13. ^ Adams, Susan. "The 25 Colleges With The Worst Return On Investment". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Graduation/completion rates – The Art Institute of Pittsburgh". The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Graduation Rates: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh" (PDF). EDMC Corporation. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  16. ^ Allen, Lisa. "Education Management Cuts Deal to Trim Over $1B in Debt". The Street. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  17. ^ Ltd., Info724. "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Presenting the 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees". Archived from the original on April 26, 2006. Retrieved August 19, 2016. Press release March 15, 2006. Science Fiction Museum ( Archived April 26, 2006. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
Bill Miller (artist)

Bill Miller is an American artist best known for his work with discarded linoleum as his medium. He was born in Cleveland in 1962, and attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he focused on graphic design. He currently resides in Pittsburgh.

Bob Gessner

Robert Gessner (born 1933) is an American freelance artist, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who created many of the logos for the city's athletic teams. In addition to producing logos, Gessner also provided the artwork for the local teams' programs. After studying at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, Gessner fought in the Korean War with the U.S. Army before returning to Pittsburgh to begin his freelance artist career. He is credited for providing logos to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Hornets and the Pitt Panthers.

Eric Appel

Eric Appel (born August 13, 1980) is a writer/director working in television, film, and commercials.

Originally from Endicott, New York, Appel attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, majoring in computer animation. In 2001, he moved to New York City to write and perform comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.After writing for shows like Human Giant, Crank Yankers and The Andy Milonakis Show, Appel moved to Los Angeles and worked as a staff writer/director at the comedy website Funny or Die. His past television directing credits include Son of Zorn, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, NTSF:SD:SUV, Eagleheart, and The Office.

First Avenue station (PAAC)

First Avenue is a station on the Port Authority of Allegheny County's Pittsburgh Light Rail network. The station is part of the light rail's Downtown Pittsburgh free zone, and passengers embarking here may travel for free to any of the other stations within the zone (Steel Plaza and Wood Street).

The station was a new addition to the light rail system in 2001, located in the PNC Firstside Complex, just before the tracks dip into the subway tunnel. It was opened on November 16, 2001 to provide better access to the southern quarter of downtown, which includes city and state government offices, major office buildings such as Oxford Centre and the Grant Building, downtown educational facilities such as Point Park University, Duquesne University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and the many smaller office structures that mark this area of the Golden Triangle. It cost $6.7 million to construct.

Frank Kelly Freas

Frank Kelly Freas (August 27, 1922 – January 2, 2005) was an American science fiction and fantasy artist with a career spanning more than 50 years. He was known as the "Dean of Science Fiction Artists" and he was the second artist inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Frank Webb (artist)

Frank Webb (born 1927) is an American watercolor painter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Webb is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Garrett Mason

Garrett Paul Mason (born June 19, 1985) is an American politician. Mason is a Republican State Senator from Maine's 22nd District, representing part of Androscoggin County, including his residence in Lisbon Falls. In 2003, he graduated from Calvary Christian Academy in Turner. In 2006, Mason graduated from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida with a B.A. in marketing. He also completed graduate work at Southern New Hampshire University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After college, Mason worked for the AA baseball team Portland Sea Dogs and as Director of Administration for the QJMHL hockey team Lewiston Maineiacs. He also received at honorary doctorate in Humanities from Pensacola Christian College in 2018.

In November 2010, Mason defeated incumbent Democrat and Leeds dairy farmer John Nutting. The Maine Republican Party spent $50,000 on television and radio ads against Nutting.During his first term in the Maine Senate, Mason sponsored a bill to allow charter schools in Maine. It was signed by Governor Paul LePage in June 2011.Mason was re-elected in 2012 by 28 votes over Democrat Colleen Quint of Minot.In June 2013, upon news that incumbent Congressman Mike Michaud had taken steps towards running for Governor, Mason was said to be "seriously considering a run" for the Republican nomination.After Republicans took control of the Maine Senate in 2014, Mason was elected Senate Majority Leader, a position he held until he termed out in 2018.

Hoxwinder Hall

Hoxwinder Hall is an American comic strip by Daniel Boris, who started the strip while in art school in the 1980s at Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Jennifer M. Smith

Dame Jennifer Meredith Smith, DBE, JP, DHumL, MP (born 1947) was the Premier of Bermuda from 1998 until 2003, the first premier who was not a member of the United Bermuda Party.

Affectionately referred to as "Dame Jennifer", she has marked her place in Bermuda's history as the first woman to lead a political party to an election victory, the first Progressive Labour Party Shadow Minister of Education, the first and so far only leader of the PLP to lead the party to win two consecutive general elections, the first female Speaker of the House of Assembly and the second woman to serve as Premier.

Smith is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Jeremy Bastian

Jeremy Bastian is an American comic book creator and illustrator best known for the series Cursed Pirate Girl. He received an associate degree in fine art from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

John Prentice (cartoonist)

John Prentice (October 17, 1920 – May 23, 1999) was a cartoonist who took over the comic strip Rip Kirby upon the death of the strip's creator, Alex Raymond.

Prentice was born in Whitney, Texas. From 1940-1946 he served in the United States Navy. After briefly attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he moved to New York City and worked in a variety of illustrator jobs before being tapped to replace Alex Raymond. Prentice drew the strip for the next 43 years.Prentice worked occasionally for DC Comics in the 1950s, providing artwork for the first issue of Showcase comics' story, "Fireman Farrell".Prentice received the National Cartoonist Society Story Comic Strip Award for the series in 1966, 1967, and 1986.

Joseph F. Kuntz

Joseph Franklin Kuntz (September 1868 - after 1930) was an American architect based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He designed at least 18 armories in Western Pennsylvania, with the W.G. Wilkins Company, following the 1905 creation of a state armory board.Kuntz was born in Pennsylvania and was the son of a father who immigrated from Germany and a mother who was a Pennsylvania native. At the time of the 1900 and 1910 United States Censuses, Kuntz was living in Pittsburgh with his wife Anna. By the time of the 1910 Census, they also had two sons Joseph, Jr., and Blair. By the time of the 1930 Census, Kuntz was still living in Pittsburgh and was a widower.A number of his works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Kuntz's works include (with attribution):

The Andy Warhol Museum, formerly known as Volkwein's Frick & Lindsay Building, 117 Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Art Institute of Pittsburgh, formerly the Equitable Gas Company Building, 420 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Atlantic Building, aka the Atlantic Refining Company Building, 258-262 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bellefonte Armory, E. Bishop Street, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Berwick Armory, 201 Pine Street, Berwick, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Butler Armory, 216 N. Washington Street, Butler, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Ford City Armory, 301 Tenth Street, Ford City, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Hunt Armory, 324 Emerson Street, Shadyside, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Huntingdon Armory, Standing Stone Avenue, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Indiana Armory, 621 Wayne Avenue, Indiana, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Kane Armory, built 1922, NRHP-listed

Latrobe Armory, 1017 Ridge Ave. Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

Linden Hall at Saint James Park, RR 26051 NW of Dawson, Dawson, Pennsylvania (Kuntz,Joseph Frankln), NRHP-listed

Scottdale Armory, 501 N. Broadway Street, Scottdale, Pennsylvania (Kuntz, Joseph F.), NRHP-listed

W.W. Lawrence Paint Co. Building, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Matt Bors

Matt Bors is a nationally syndicated American editorial cartoonist and editor of online comics publication The Nib. Formerly the comics journalism editor for Cartoon Movement, in 2012 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and became the first alt-weekly cartoonist to win the Herblock Prize for Excellence in Cartooning.

Paul Gulacy

Paul Gulacy (born August 15, 1953) is an American comics artist best known for his work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and for drawing one of the first graphic novels, Eclipse Enterprises' 1978 Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, with writer Don McGregor. He is most associated with the 1970s martial-arts / espionage series, Marvel's Master of Kung Fu.

Peter Caras

Peter Caras (born April 11, 1941) is an illustrator. He studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Art Students League of New York and was instructed by Frank Reilley, James Bama and Norman Rockwell. He is the creator of over 1,700 book and magazine covers.

Shane Callahan

Michael Shane Callahan is an American film and television actor. Callahan graduated from Titusville Area High School in 1992 and then went on to graduate from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1995 with a video business degree and a music degree. He has had prominent roles in feature films such as Well Wishes as well as television series including Under the Dome and theatre productions such as True West. Callahan has also produced short films including Acito on the Mound.

The Art Institutes

The Art Institutes (AI) are a collection of art colleges partially owned by Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), a Pentecostal non-profit organization facing financial insolvency, and Education Principle Foundation, a non-profit Delaware corporation that changed its name on December 31, 2018.At its height, The Art Institutes, as a for-profit college entity, had more than 50 campuses. However, as the for-profit education sector came under scrutiny, many campuses saw a marked decrease in enrollment. At least 35 schools closed in 2017–18, leaving about a dozen schools under two separate owners.In 2018, Dream Center Education Holdings reported that more AI campuses would be closing in 2018. In 2019, as many as 13 Art Institute campuses may remain open. However, the remaining schools face financial struggles in 2019.In January 2019, DCEH chairman Randall Barton stated that the Art Institutes, excluding the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Art Institute of Las Vegas and Argosy University campuses, have been transferred to the Education Principle Foundation.The schools offer master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and certificates in visual, creative, applied, and culinary arts.The Art Institutes' former parent company, Education Management Corporation (EDMC), was headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In November 2014, EDMC was delisted from the NASDAQ amid financial difficulties, lawsuits, and investigations and its stock is valued at less than one cent per share.

Educational accreditation of The Art Institutes and their programs varies among campuses and programs. One of its accreditors, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), was criticized by a dozen states' Attorneys General for its lax standards. Art Institutes in Colorado, Chicago and Schaumburg, Illinois, and Detroit were not accredited in the year they were closed.Art Institute students from closed schools have been directed to DCEH's partner institutions, which include other for-profit colleges including DeVry University, Walden University, and Trident University.

Tom Wilson (cartoonist)

Thomas Albert Wilson (August 1, 1931 – September 16, 2011), better known as Tom Wilson, was an American cartoonist. Wilson was the creator of the comic strip Ziggy, which he drew from 1971 to 1987. The strip was then continued by his son, Tom Wilson, Jr.Wilson served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955. He attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1955. He was a Cooper Union art instructor from 1961 to 1962.Wilson's career began in 1950, doing advertisement layouts for Uniontown Newspapers, Inc. In 1955, he joined American Greetings (AG) as a designer, becoming Creative Director in 1957 and vice-president of creative development in 1978. While at AG, he developed the Soft Touch greeting card line. He also served as president of Those Characters From Cleveland, AG's character licensing subsidiary.

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