CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies and The Hyde Park Art Center are pleased to announce the launch of a new Visual Arts Certificate Program beginning in January 2013. This unique program, the first such partnership in the country, allows artists and arts professionals a chance to blend classroom instruction with studio experience, providing them with the skills they need to thrive in the Chicago arts community. The program is poised to provide a new model for how artists train, thrive, and find a critical community throughout their careers. The Visual Arts Certificate program consists of four quarter-long courses offered at the Graham School aimed at providing crucial instruction on how to conduct a financially solvent and professional arts practice. These courses will provide instruction in how to educate those interested in pursuing the arts, create compelling artist submissions and statements, submit curatorial proposals, expand contacts within the larger arts community, develop meaningful relationships with galleries, and define successful business strategies. In addition to completing the four Graham School courses, certificate program artists will be able to complete a studio component at The Hyde Park Art Center. Most artists will apply to their newest program, " The Center Program." This seminar-style course begins in February 2013, meets bi-weekly for six months, and connects participants to professionals in the field who will guide artists in developing new work to be exhibited in the Art Center's main gallery in August of 2013. The Hyde Park Art Center will also offer other studio options. Upon completion of the four Graham School courses and the studio component at The Hyde Park Art Center, students will receive a certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School. Potential candidates for the Visual Arts Certificate Program include artists who have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts or are self-taught artists who work in visual arts related fields. These jobs may include teaching or writing about art, or managing an arts related business like a gallery, art center, art museum, or art publication.