Studio Projects: Material Gestures in a Shared Space

Fall 2015, Winter 2016 and Spring 2016 quarters

Taught by

visual arts, painting, drawing
ceramic art, sculpture, visual studies

This is an entry-level visual arts program emphasizing 2- and 3-D studio practices, art history, visual literacy, artistic research, and writing. We will delve intensively into the development of studio skills in design, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, life drawing and painting, and monotype printmaking, while exploring how these material gestures express content. 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, drawing encouragement and influence from a greater community of artists, philosophers, writers, and social critics.

The program is designed to support students interested in the 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. 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. Students will be exposed to an interdivisional approach to visual arts that includes both art and humanities work: studio work; art history; visual/cultural studies, including literature, philosophy, and history; and a significant writing component.

Fall and winter quarters will provide students with basic studio experience with several material approaches and will offer design and drawing workshops. Students will work in either 2-D or 3-D fall quarter, switching to the other medium in winter. There will be visits to regional museums and we will attend the Art Lecture Series. In the spring, students will have the opportunity to apply their learning to individual projects, utilizing knowledge and skills gained over fall and winter. There will also be an opportunity to go to New York City for three weeks to attend the Whitney Biennial, visit artists' studios, attend talks, and draw from observation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. By the end of this program, students will understand how one engages with an art community to share support and inspiration, and how the artist’s work expands beyond that community and connects to critical issues. Students will begin to imagine how to situate their own projects in terms of the world around them.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

the arts and humanities .

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

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Required Fees

$190 in fall for an overnight field trip to Portland, museum entrance fees, and studio supplies; $140 in winter for museum entrance fees and studio supplies; and $75 in spring for studio supplies. Also in spring, an additional $225 for for museum entrance fees, artists' studio visits and classroom/studio rental for students attending the NYC trip (optional). Students will take projects and unused supplies with them at the end of the program.

Special Expenses

Approximately $2,000 in spring for an optional three-week study of contemporary art in New York City, including travel, lodging, meal,  and individual project expenses. Students will be responsible for making all necessary arrangements, and costs may vary depending on individual resourcefulness.  

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Sophomore; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 40


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10149
So (16 credits): 10150

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20078
So (16 credits): 20079

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 30048
So (16 credits): 30049

Go to to register for this program.

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