Foundational Studio Projects in the Visual Arts
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Studio Projects is our foundational program in the visual arts. The program encompasses two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) studio practices, emphasizing both theory and practice. It provides a foundation for students interested in pursuing visual arts, as well as those who are curious about visual literacy, and want to experience using materials as an approach to inquiry and expression. No prior art experience is necessary, but enthusiasm, curiosity, and a strong work ethic are required.
The program will address a number of questions related to the visual arts, including: what does it mean when we say that content is in form? how do we approach the complexities of representation? how does art history live in contemporary art? what is critical theory and how is it relevant to studio practice? why is an art community important?
This program offers intensive development of studio skills in drawing, design, mixed-media, sculpture, and painting. It will explore how the qualities of materials express content. We will incorporate a theoretical practice in our studio practice, which is consistent with the multiple materials and approaches to art-making in contemporary art. Visual studies will emphasize art history, literature, aesthetics, visual analysis, close reading, essay writing, and research. As a working group, students will engage in an art practice that explores what it means to be in conversation with art history and the sociopolitical world around us and drawing encouragement and influence from each other as a community of artists.
In fall quarter, we will set up our dedicated studio space and explore foundational studio skills. Expect drawing workshops, mixed-media experimentation, and practice through individual and collaborative assignments. We will have weekly readings, seminar and writing assignments that correspond with concepts in our material work in both quarters. In winter, students will work more specifically with the forms of sculpture and painting. There will be visits to regional museums and we will attend the Art Lecture Series, which brings in artists from around the country to talk about the creative process. By the end of winter, students will have the opportunity to apply their learning to individual projects, utilizing knowledge and skills gained over fall and winter.
Students should be prepared to dedicate at least 40 hours per week to studio work and rigorous reading and writing on topics related to the concepts of 20th- and 21st-century art history and critical theory. Central to this program is an understanding of the implications of image and object making in an image-abundant culture of digital and social media; making informed decisions about a creative practice that is socially and materially sustainable; and how the politics of representation, identity, and community are inscribed in the images we make and view. By the end of the program, students will understand how one engages with an art community to share support and inspiration, contemporary practices with materials, how to approach and analyze contemporary art and how the artist’s work connects to critical issues. Students will begin to imagine how to situate their own projects in terms of the world around them. Students who fully engage in this program can expect to be prepared for more advanced studies in interdisciplinary visual arts.
Foundational Studio Projects is designed for first-year and sophomore students seeking foundation work in visual arts and studies. No prior art experience is required, but developing college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking skills are necessary for success in the program. It is offered yearly and content adapts around faculty expertise, interests, and learning goals.
Greener Foundations: This program will incorporate Greener Foundations, a holistic course designed for first-time, first-year students. Faculty and staff collaborate to bring study skills, academic planning, health and wellness education, advising, and more into the classroom. More information can be found on the college website at Greener Foundations .
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
Visual and media arts, visual studies, art history, humanities, education
Credits per quarter
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
$200 in fall for an overnight field trip, museum entrance fees, and studio supplies; $180 in winter for an overnight trip to Seattle museums and galleries, entrance fees and studio supplies
Class Size: 46
50% Reserved for Freshmen
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia