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. In addition to the broad benefits of a liberal arts degree, by completing the art major program, students 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
|ART 116||Introduction to Drawing||3|
|ART 118||Introduction to Design||3|
|ART 125||Introduction to Sculpture||3|
|ART 204||Digital Media||3|
|ART 212||Introduction to Painting||3|
|ART 216||Intermediate Drawing||3|
|ART 315||Intermediate Art Lab||3|
|ART 412||Advanced Art Lab||3|
|ART 480||Senior Art Project||3|
|AMGT 130||Introduction to Arts Management||3|
|ARTH 117||Introduction to Art History||3|
|ARTH 217||Contemporary Art||3|
|Select two of the following Cultural Context courses:||6|
|Community Arts and Education|
|Advanced Museum Studies|
|Topics in Art History|
|Seminar in Art History|
|Independent Study in Art History|
Students must choose from one of the two following concentrations: Design or Studio Art.
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.
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.
Introduces a variety of sculptured methods including manipulation, addition and subtraction as well as principles of three-dimensional design.
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.
Introduces students to digital media and techniques with a particular emphasis on contemporary practical applications.
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.
Develops intermediate drawing projects by working from observation and imagination. Techniques focus on line, modeling and form using intensive sketching processes.
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.
Continues the exploration of our visual world, with increased attention to painting materials, color and palette, composition and metaphor in painting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Develop an art historical research topic to study critically and in depth in conjunction with the faculty advisor.