Academic Catalog

Art

(413) 662-5255
www.mcla.edu/art
Chairperson: Jeremy Winchester, M.F.A.
Email: Jeremy.Winchester@mcla.edu

Art Major

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art. The art major features hands-on courses in the creation and techniques of art, as well as courses in visual culture and media. Courses start with a foundations approach centered on drawing, painting, design, sculpture and art history. Building on these skills and concepts, students can choose electives in figure drawing, book arts, illustration, and many other art methods. Students will also develop their own artworks and a depth of knowledge about the history of art, according to their career goals and interests. Opportunities may include internships with area arts organizations such as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and MCLA’s Gallery 51.

Students graduating with a major in Art will be able to:

  •   Create original high-quality artworks;
  •   Understand all levels of art-making and visual creativity;
  •   Relate, analyze, and utilize the history of art and visual culture;
  •   Build public art presentations and market their own and others’ art.

Department Policy Regarding Double Majors/Concentrations/Minor Programs

Due to redundancies in program requirements, the Department of Fine & Performing Arts prohibits combination of the following programs:

  • Art major & or design minor or art minor
     

Foundation Courses

ART 116Introduction to Drawing3
ART 118Introduction to Design3
ART 125Introduction to Sculpture3
ART 204Digital Media3
ART 212Introduction to Painting3
ART 216Intermediate Drawing3
ART 315Intermediate Art Lab3
ART 412Advanced Art Lab3
ART 480Senior Art Project3
AMGT 130Introduction to Arts Management3
ARTH 117Introduction to Art History3
ARTH 217Contemporary Art3
Select two of the following Cultural Context courses:6
Museum Studies
Community Arts and Education
Artist Entrepreneurship
Advanced Museum Studies
Topics in Art History
Seminar in Art History
Independent Study in Art History
Total Hours42

Students must choose from one of the two following concentrations: Design or Studio Art.

Art Courses

ART 116 Introduction to Drawing3 cr

Introduces art practices through the study and creation of drawings. Drawing is fundamental to the visual arts. Working from observation, a mix of methods of line, value, and form build skills of tone, visual proportion, scale, sketching, composition, concept and artistic meanings.

ART 118 Introduction to Design3 cr

Introduces design through individual and collaborative design projects. Uses a variety of materials and processes, explores the elements and principles of design, project development, presentation skills and the role of the craft.

ART 125 Introduction to Sculpture3 cr

Introduces a variety of sculptured methods including manipulation, addition and subtraction as well as principles of three-dimensional design.

ART 201 Studio: Art & Society3 cr

Focuses on potential impacts of visual arts in both societal and personalized contexts through the introduction and understanding of basic drawing techniques, first-hand art experiences, research and writing. Students will be required to explore image-making, as well as writing, to express original ideas and to enhance critical thought, observation, and analysis of existing artwork, explaining and discussing the contexts in which an artwork was made and is viewed. Intended for non-art majors.

Attributes: Core Creative Arts (CCA)  
ART 204 Digital Media3 cr

Introduces students to digital media and techniques with a particular emphasis on contemporary practical applications.

ART 212 Introduction to Painting3 cr

This in-depth studio art laboratory uses painting from observation to investigate and refine the use of color. Projects and readings include painting media and their use, classic and contemporary palette organization, color mixing and color theory.

Prerequisite: ART 116  
ART 216 Intermediate Drawing3 cr

Develops intermediate drawing projects by working from observation and imagination. Techniques focus on line, modeling and form using intensive sketching processes.

Prerequisite: ART 116  
ART 218 Intermediate Design3 cr

Students integrate and extend processes and media that were introduced in the first semester, with a focus on how compositional development, conceptual and material process and independent inquiry form the foundation of the design process.

Prerequisite: ART 118  
ART 232 Intermediate Painting3 cr

Continues the exploration of our visual world, with increased attention to painting materials, color and palette, composition and metaphor in painting.

Prerequisite: ART 116, ART 212  
ART 235 Introductory Studio (Technique)3 cr

Study and practice important facets of studio art techniques and creative methods in a creative arts laboratory environment. The course includes exercises and art projects to prepare students as they begin to develop a professional portfolio of original artworks. Course topics vary by semester and may include: sculpture, mixed media, collage, assemblage, cartooning, landscape painting and other topics. Repeatable if different topic.

Prerequisite: ART 116  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ART 305 The Human Figure3 cr

Draw and/or paint based on direct observation of the nude model. The human figure is a central force of symbolism in European and American fine art. As such students will interact with artistic anatomy traditions and innovations.

Prerequisite: ART 116  
ART 315 Intermediate Art Lab1-6 cr

Intermediate, experimental studio art laboratory. Course work includes analysis and creation of individualized art projects designed by the student with frequent feedback from the instructor, peer groups, critiques, and/or guest artists. This course may be repeated.

Prerequisite: Junior status, Art Major or Minor  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ART 335 Intermediate Studio (Technique)3 cr

Employs mid-level studio art techniques to create original artworks. Method and technique vary by semester and may include art forms such as cast painting, block printing, digital photography, book arts, sculpture or other specialty topics. Course may be repeated.

Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level ART course  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ART 412 Advanced Art Lab1-6 cr

Advanced, experimental studio art laboratory. Course work includes analysis and creation of individualized art projects designed by the student with frequent feedback from the instructor, peer groups, critiques, and/or guest artists. This course may be repeated.

Prerequisite: Minimum 3 credits of ART 315 or senior status  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ART 435 Advanced Studio (Technique)3 cr

Employs advanced studio art techniques to create original artworks. Method and technique vary by semester and may include art forms such as portraiture, engraving, manipulated photography, book arts, sculpture, or other advanced specialty topics. Course may be repeated.

Prerequisite: Any 200 or 300 level ART course  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ART 480 Senior Art Project3 cr

Develop a public exhibition of art created in the art studios. Under the supervision of FPA faculty, students will select work from their art portfolios, organize and present a professional display in an art gallery or other appropriate community venue.

Prerequisite: Senior Art Major  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ART 499 Teaching Assistantship1-3 cr

Study art teaching methods, deliver academic class presentations, assist with study sessions and tutorials, attend all classes, final paper and other duties negotiated with course instructor. Must have completed a minimum of four (4) courses in the major, have a 3.0 overall GPA or better, and a B+ or better in the course. This course can be taken for either Pass/Fail or traditional letter grading.

Prerequisite: Department approval  
Repeatable: Maximum of 6 credits  
ART 500 Independent Study1-3 cr

Open to juniors and seniors who wish to read in a specific area or pursue a project or topic in depth under the direction of a faculty member. Frequent conferences with the advisor are required.

Prerequisite: Junior/senior status  
Repeatable: Maximum of 12 credits  
ART 540 Internship1-15 cr

Offers eligible students the opportunity for enhanced educational opportunities by providing actual field experience in public or private organizations that relate to their academic and professional interests. Enrollment requires individual application with faculty sponsorship and departmental approval.

Prerequisite: Junior/senior status and department approval  
Repeatable: Maximum of 15 credits  

Art History

ARTH 117 Introduction to Art History3 cr

Introduces art, architecture, and sculpture from prehistory to the present. Focuses on the art of the West with additional discussion of non-Western cultures. Examines major works and artists within their historical, social, and political contexts while tracing principle art movements. Also explores materials and techniques of art making. Course may include field trips to local museums.

Attributes: Core Creative Arts (CCA)  
ARTH 217 Contemporary Art3 cr

Introduces contemporary art. Presents major artists in cultural, historical, and political contexts. Topics may include the changing nature of the avant-garde, the roles of the critic and the economic market, new forms of art making, and the expanding conceptions of creative self-expression, particularly with regards to gender identity and race. Course may include field trips to MASS MoCA and other local sites of contemporary art.

Attributes: Core Creative Arts (CCA)  
ARTH 311 Topics in Art History3 cr

Provides a focused investigation of a particular art historical period(s) or theme(s). Introduces art historical research and bibliography. Topics vary by section. May be repeated for credit with a different topic.

Prerequisite: ARTH 117 or ARTH 217  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ARTH 413 Seminar in Art History3 cr

Provides a critical and sustained investigation of a particular topic. Topics vary by section and rotate among art historical fields. Students in this advanced seminar read and discuss relevant texts and are exposed to varying art historical viewpoints and theories. Students conduct independent research, make oral presentations, and write research papers. May be repeated for credit with a different topic.

Prerequisite: ARTH 311  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
ARTH 500 Independent Study in Art History1-3 cr

Develop an art historical research topic to study critically and in depth in conjunction with the faculty advisor.

Prerequisite: Instructor approval  
Repeatable: Maximum of 12 credits