Studio Projects: The Seen and Unseen

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Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 quarters

Taught by

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 3D design, photography, small-scale sculpture, mixed media, and drawing, while exploring how these material gestures express content. The overarching questions being posed by this program will focus on the seen and unseen. What do artists choose to reveal and conceal in their work? More importantly, what does it mean for art to be made within the context of secrets? This very question lies at the tensions found in historical/religious traditions of image-making (especially in the Abrahamic traditions) and can be found across the myriad landscapes of art production. Students will focus on the stakes and implications of inclusion/exclusion in regards to the content of their work and the decision-making process surrounding that work.

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. 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

aesthetics art history visual arts


Fall Open Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First winter class meeting: Tuesday, January 10th at 9am (Sem II E4115)

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

Special Expenses

Approximately $25 for entrance fees during field trips.  Additional expenses may apply depending upon individual projects.


$200 in fall and winter for 2D and 3D studio supplies.


2017-01-03Winter fee added ($200).
2016-09-26First class meeting fixed (Tuesday rather than Monday).