2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    May 27, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Studio Art Major

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Studio Art Overview

Studio Art courses offer students an opportunity to engage in the study and practice of visual language. The learning of artistic methods and media is embedded in intellectual inquiry and critical analysis, so that the study of Studio Art serves as a meaningful focus of a liberal arts education. Art is seen as a means of communicating human experience; therefore students learn to both read this language and to visually represent their own ideas. Areas of specialization within Studio Art include drawing, painting, graphic design, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video production (through Screen Studies), set design/lighting (through Theater) as well as interdisciplinary work within the major or between Studio Art and other academic disciplines. Additional resources include regular exhibitions of contemporary art on campus, course-related field trips to museums and galleries, visiting artist lectures, internship opportunities, and a craft studio located in the University Center.

For more information, please visit the Studio Art Department’s website.

Major Requirements

The single major consists of 14 courses: 11 studio courses and three art history courses. If a student chooses to double major, eight studio art courses and two art history courses are required. The western survey art history course (ARTH 010) must be one of the three art history courses. 100 and 102 are studio foundations designed to introduce students to the nature of visual language and the creative process while encouraging the development of visual expression. At least one of these courses is required of majors and is strongly recommended for non-majors as preparation for additional work in studio art. In addition to these foundation courses, a number of other introductory level courses in various media (painting, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, and photo media) satisfy Clark’s Aesthetic Perspective requirement. As the AP outlines, “artistic expression and the perception, analysis, and evaluation of aesthetic form” in fundamental terms is the objective of these classes. After exploring various media, students may choose to concentrate in one area and seek out particular faculty members for personal mentoring. All double majors must take at least one 200-level course, while single majors must take two intermediate or advanced level courses in addition to ARTS 234 Studio Topics. Single majors may take two COPACE (Continuing Education) courses toward the major, while double majors may take one.

Capstone for Majors and Honors

ARTS 234 Studio Topics is designed as a capstone experience for majors. While taking this class is strongly encouraged for all Studio Art majors and required for single majors, students who are double-majors may choose to take another 200 level Studio Art course that requires independent work or a Directed Study (ARTS 299) as an alternative capstone. Students must have taken at least seven Studio Art classes prior to enrolling in Studio Topics. Unlike many other studio art courses that are workshop-oriented and involve in-class practice, these class meetings are devoted to discussion, presentation, and critique. Creative work is undertaken independently. This course provides a thematic context for the making of art and examines current topics occupying the national imagination as well as timeless themes that artists continue to address. Beyond the class meetings, students are expected to meet with the professor(s) of the class as well as other studio art professors for individual review and critique on the progress of their work. Work will be presented for review at the end of the semester. Successful completion of Studio Topics is a prerequisite for ARTS 289 Senior Thesis. Students with a strong commitment to intensive study and departmental approval can elect to undertake a senior thesis project, which culminates in an exhibition of work in the Schiltkamp Gallery. Participation in this class is not a guarantee that the student will receive honors. This decision is made by a committee of faculty after the work is presented and “defended” by the student. The thesis project also includes a 5-8 page paper explicating the artistic process and content of the project. Credit is given for coursework completed even if a project is not recommended for honors. Individual studio space is available to senior art majors while enrolled in these courses.


Studio Art Faculty


Elli Crocker, M.F.A. - Schiltkamp Gallery Director
Stephen DiRado, B.F.A.
Toby Sisson, M.F.A. - Director


Frank Armstrong, B.J.

Valerie Claff, M.F.A.

Johnathan Derry, M.F.A.

Antonio Fonseca Vazquez, M.F.A.

Amy Kalisher, M.F.A.

Jan Johnson, M.F.A.

Rachel Loischild, M.F.A.

Donald Suthard, M.F.A.

Amy Wynne, M.F.A.


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