About Studio Art

In all studio classes equal consideration is given to technique, form, subject matter and content. The one semester introductory course, Visual Concepts (Art 161), is the prerequisite for all upper-level courses in studio art. It introduces many of the concepts and processes of visual art, with an emphasis on drawing as a tool to sharpen perception and conceptualization. As a different faculty member teaches the course each semester, the focus and additional media introduced varies according to his or her expertise and interests. In past semesters projects involving painting, printmaking, photography, digital media, sculpture, artist's books, etc. have been incorporated into the course.

The 200-level courses include figure drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, photography and digital media. Projects are normally introduced with images of historical and contemporary art, amplified in discussions of related readings and conclude with a group critique. The 300-level courses serve both as advanced explorations of the above media, with some courses having a particular themes and others operating more as group independent projects, and as junior seminars with weekly discussions of critical readings and presentations of short papers.

Although there are no specific requirements beyond the Visual Concepts course, majors are strongly advised to take department courses in several media.

The ten-day, junior qualifying exam is normally taken at the end of the junior year and is the final hurdle before the senior thesis. In studio art, students are given a short essay or two and are asked to respond to it in a short paper, and in a series of drawings and a finished work. At the end of this period the student turns in the paper and displays his or her work, and the paper and work are discussed with members of the department.

It is a spare and accelerated program of study, but it well prepares most students for the independent and focused, creative and written work of the thesis.