Art Major / Minor & Courses

Printmaking Hands

Aims of the department for the general student and the major

  • Acquire the necessary technical and methodological skills to make visually engaging works of art.
  • Gain knowledge in the theory, history and philosophy of art
  • Excel at conducting research in art history
  • Communicate effectively about art inboth written and verbal forms
  • Learn to refine, revise, and think criticallyabout their work and that of their peers
  • Understand their work within the context of art history and contemporary art practice
  • Attain the ability and confidence to articulate their unique point of view verbally and through writing

The department does not differentiate between goals for the art major, the art minor, or non-art majors. The majority of students taking courses in the department are not art majors but are interested in the study of art or taking courses in the art department to fulfill one of the College’s general education requirements and/or learning domains. A student taking courses in the art department will be exposed to most, if not all, of the above stated goals.However studio majors advancing through the department’s coursework include the goals above and the following three:

  • Display professionalism in the documentation andpresentation of their work
  • Attain the skills and knowledge to pursue a professional career or an advanced degree in studio art or art history
  • Gain the tough mindedness, critical independence, and studio dedication needed to be lifelong practicing artists. 

Studio Art Major

12 courses distributed as follows:
Required Courses (9)*

  • ARTS 100 Beginning Drawing
  • 2-course sequence in studio courses
  • 3-course sequence in studioc ourses
  • ARTH 170 Western Art History Survey I: Prehistory through Medieval or ARTH 171 Western Art History II: Renaissance through 20th Century
  • ARTH 430 Practicum : Professional Development
  • ARTS 497 Practicum: Studio Art
  • Electives (3)
    • 1 art history course beyond the survey level
    • 2 electives in studio or art history

*All majors are required to take at least one 2-D and one 3-D course. ARTS 100 Beginning Drawing will not count as a 2-D course for this requirement.
Note: The department will accept courses listed as FILM 200 (or above) or ENGF 200 (or above) for art history credit.

Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience for the studio art major consists of: a written thesis, successful participation in the Juried Senior Art Show, a final critique, a professional portfolio and service to the department gallery program.

Studio Art Minor

6 courses distributed as follows:

  • ARTS 100 Beginning Drawing
  • ARTH 170 Western Art History Survey I: Prehistory through Medieval or ARTH 171 Western Art History Survey II: Renaissance through 20th Century
  • 2-course sequence in studio courses
  • 2 additional studio courses

Art History Minor

6 courses distributed as follows:

  • ARTS 100 Beginning Drawing
  • ARTH 170 Western Art History Survey I: Prehistory through Medieval
  • ARTH 171 Western Art History Survey II: Renaissance through 20th Century
  • 1 art history course at the 300- or 400-level
  • 2 additional art history courses

Studio Courses

Students should note that many studio courses are offered alternate years.

Drawing Painting Sculpture

Printmaking Photography Ceramics

Drawing

ARTS 100 Beginning Drawing (EA)
An introductory course in basic drawing that explores a range of drawing methods and media. Students learn to translate visual perception into two dimensions. Critiques develop an understanding of visual imagery. (This course does not count towards either a two or three course sequence required for art majors.)

ARTS 360 Intermediate Drawing [AC]
Students examine the issues in translating three-dimensional reality onto a two dimensional surface. The emphasis is on perceptual acuity and composition.
Prerequisite: ARTS 100.

ARTS 460 Advanced Drawing
Students construct space on a two-dimensional surface. Artifice takes precedence over perception.
Prerequisite: ARTS 360.

Painting

This series of three courses covers perception, imagination, form, color and space. As students advance they are expected to develop their own voice as painters.

ARTS 200 Beginning Painting (EA) [AC]
Prerequisite: ARTS 100.

ARTS 300 Intermediate Painting
Prerequisite: ARTS 200.

ARTS 400 Advanced Painting
Prerequisite: ARTS 300.

Sculpture

This series of courses begins with an introduction to basic conceptual development and modest technical instruction in areas such as clay modeling. Subsequent courses introduce more complex technical process such as mold-making, welding, casting, and woodworking. Advanced classes emphasize independent thought and personal conceptual development.

ARTS 210 Beginning Sculpture (EA) [AC]

ARTS 310 Intermediate Sculpture
Prerequisite: ARTS 210.

ARTS 410 Advanced Sculpture
Prerequisite: ARTS 310.

Printmaking

ARTS 220 Printmaking: Woodcut (EA) [AC]
This course is an introduction to fine art relief printmaking using wood blocks. Students learn methods for creating multiple prints based on original drawings. Techniques include multiple block printing and the color reduction method. Emphasis is on composition, conceptual development, craftsmanship, historical and contemporary printmaking and the aesthetics of printmaking.
Prerequisite: ARTS 100.

ARTS 320 Printmaking: Etching (EA)
This course is an introduction to fine art intaglio printmaking using copper plates. Students learn a variety of techniques including drypoint, line etch, aquatint, soft ground, and chine colle while developing creative problem solving skills. Emphasis is on composition, conceptual development, craftsmanship, historical and contemporary printmaking and the aesthetics of printmaking.
Prerequisite: ARTS 100. 

Photography

These courses cover basic 35mm camera operation, black and white film processing, and photo printing.

ARTS 250 Beginning Photography (EA) [AC]
This course is designed for students with little or not experience in photography. The student is exposed to the basic skills of black and white, film-based photography, focusing on photographic practice as an art medium. This includes an introduction to the critical history of photography as it relates to contemporary issues. Assignments provide the student with a fundamental understanding of various formal and social issues, which relate to photography as a visual form.

ARTS 350 Intermediate Photography
This course is designed for students who have completed Beginning Photography and have a good mastery of 35mm shooting, developing and printing. The student learns medium format and is exposed to advanced skills of black and white photography, focusing on photographic practice as an art medium. Group and individual critiques facilitate an understanding of photographic analysis and criticism.
Prerequisite: ARTS 250.

ARTS 450 Advanced Photography
This course is designed for students who have completed Beginning and Intermediate Photography and have a refined mastery of 35mm and medium format shooting, developing and printing. Students learn advanced photographic techniques and some alternative photographic procedures. Having been given assignments for earlier courses, students work toward a unique body of work, with emphasis placed on the development of ideas relevant to the students’ interests.
Prerequisite: ARTS 350.

ARTS 491 Alternative Photography
This course is designed for students who have completed Beginning Photography and understand the silver process. Students learn several alternative photographic techniques, including the use of digital tools, and how to use these processes in their personal work. Emphasis is placed upon the development of solid contextual ideas with image and object making.
Prerequisite: ARTS 250. 

Ceramics

ARTS 280 Ceramics: Handbuilding (EA) [AC]
Introduction to the techniques and concepts of ceramic sculpture and functional ceramics.

ARTS 380 Ceramics: Wheel-Thrown
Functional ceramics and ceramic sculpture produced using the potter’s wheel. This course introduces the operation of electric and gas kilns and includes instruction in clay and glaze technology.
Prerequisite: ARTS 280. 

ARTS 480 Advanced Ceramics
Advanced techniques in ceramic sculpture, wheel throwing, and mold- making. The class includes independent development in materials preparation and kiln firing.
Prerequisite: ARTS 380. 

Departmental Courses

ARTS 130 Digital Art (EA) [AC]
This course introduces students to the visual, conceptual, and technical fundamentals of using a computer to make art. Adobe Creative Suite software is used as a tool for creative explorations and self-explosion within the tradition of fine arts.

ARTS 290 Special Topics: Studio Art [AC]
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

ARTS 490 Special Topics: Studio Art
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

ARTS 497 Practicum: Studio Art
Students work on an individual basis to develop their own vision as artists. Group critiques are scheduled regularly. The function of Practicum is to produce works to be exhibited in the Senior Show. Students create a professional quality slide portfolio complete with artist statement and resume.
Prerequisite: Senior standing or consent of instructor.

ARTS 499 Independent Study
This course offers students an opportunity to pursue interests in areas of study not typically offered by the department. Students should submit a written proposal for independent study at least one month before work commences.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Art History Courses

ARTH 170 Western Art History Survey I: Prehistory through Medieval (HP)
Introduces concepts and visual imagery of Ancient, Classical, and Medieval cultures.

ARTH 171 Western Art History Survey II: Renaissance through 20th Century (HP)
Introduces concepts and visual imagery from the Italian Renaissance through Postmodernism.

ARTH 290: Special Topics: Art History
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

The following courses are offered alternate years.

ARTH 331 Renaissance and Baroque Art History
Prerequisite(s): ARTH 170 and/or ARTH 171 are recommended.

ARTH 332 19th Century Art History (W2)
This course centers around the developments in European art during the 19th century.
Prerequisite(s): ARTH 170 and/or ARTH 171 are recommended.

ARTH 340 American Art History (HP)
This course examines the changes in art, that is, the changes in how cultural values were reflected in the built environment (architecture) and the fine arts, over the course of America history from the founding to today. Students consider the merits of those changes in values and what effect they have for contemporary American art and culture.
Prerequisite(s): ARTH 170 and/or ARTH 171 are recommended.

ARTH 389 Aesthetics and Contemporary Art (LS, VA)
An introduction to aesthetics as a theoretical discipline in its own right, a discipline concerned with the nature of representation and thus with beauty and art. The course focuses in particular on issues of aesthetics and visual representation; the relationship between visual arts, literature, and other art forms; the efficacy of aesthetic theory as a mode of reading and interpretation. The class explores these issues in relation to specific works of visual art, film, and literature. Cross-listed as PHIL 389.

ARTH 391 History of Architecture
Students study the history of buildings from Ancient Egypt to European Modernism of the 20th century.
Prerequisite(s): ARTH 170 and/or ARTH 171 are recommended.

ARTH 392 Great Directors Cross-listed as FILM 392. 

ARTH 430 Practicum: Professional Development
Students in this course examine current theory, criticism, and practice relevant to understanding and creating art in the contemporary world.
Prerequisite: ARTH 170 and/or ARTH 171, one upper-level art history class, senior standing or consent of instructor.

ARTH 490 Special Topics: Art History
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

ARTH 499 Independent Study
This course offers students an opportunity to pursue interests in areas of study not typically offered by the department. Students should submit a written proposal for independent study at least one month before work commences.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.