Studio Art

We have designed the fine arts curriculum as an integral part of the liberal arts program of the college, not as specialized technical training.

Photograph of art supplies and students working in an art studio.
Students work on projects in Hales Gym Art Studio.
Photo credit: Zach Christy

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in art will gain a solid educational foundation that will prepare them for graduate work and help them continue their development as an artist on their own.

The aim of all studio art courses is to enhance students’ awareness of and sensitivity to the visual arts through engaging in the actual intellectual and technical processes by which works of art come into being. Students learn to understand the world in visual terms and to conceptualize their ideas through their own work.

We introduce students to selected techniques of art making by studying various art techniques, issues, and attitudes developed by important artists, both past and present.

Art department faculty believes in the greatest possible freedom of creative choice of courses and activities. However, we require all students to begin their studies in studio art with four courses in the Visual Concepts and Processes level. Students will get hands-on experiences while exploring a variety of art media and processes.

Students will then select intermediate-level Problems in (Discipline): (Title) courses in specific media and processes that include drawing, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, silkscreen, art and the environment, and time-based media.

Students may apply, via portfolio review, for admission to the Senior Studio Thesis. This yearlong course is open to 12 students only and also operates during winter term. Studio thesis students must prepare for a senior exhibition with a qualifying paper. Students not admitted to Senior Studio Thesis are automatically accepted into Problems courses of their choosing.

Throughout their study, all studio art majors will present their work-in-progress to their peers and the studio faculty for discussion and criticism.

The major in studio art is not intended to prepare all students to become professional artists. However, the program does prepare our graduates for studies leading to the Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at institutions that offer graduate studies. 

Be sure to consult with an advisor as you consider a major in studio art.