The major in art offers three tracks:
- Studio Art
- Art History
- Art & Art History - The Balanced Curriculum
The Department also offers minors in Studio Art and Art History.
Concentration in Studio Art
Studio art courses focus upon the creation of works of art: drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramic pieces and digital works. The studio art program emphasizes the concepts, materials, methods, and forms most commonly found in contemporary art. Students are guided toward mastery of technique and expression of ideas, which can be further pursued in graduate school, and lead to professional careers in fine arts, design, fashion, architecture, gallery and museum work, and teaching.
This component consists of three basic classes - 2-dimensional design, 3-dimensional design, drawing, and a survey class in art history - relevant to any pursuits in studio art.
In this segment of the major students take a more advanced array of generally required classes - painting, digital art, sculpture, contemporary art (an art history class), and a seminar that introduces students to contemporary topics and practices in making art.
The advanced classes are ones in which students achieve increased focus and greater sophistication in their artwork. The classes in this strata include two advanced classes in a single vein of art making (painting, drawing, sculpture or digital art) an advanced seminar in art and the senior project.
This is a developmental program designed to bring students along from an early level of advancement as an artist to a highly developed conclusion. An important feature of this small and intimate program is that it is well suited to respond to individual goals and abilities. Those needing a lot of structure and guidance receive it, and more ambitious and independent individuals are given enthusiastic support in their endeavors.
Concentration in Art History
Art history is the study of art objects and their relationship to culture. Courses in art history strive to utilize local art collections, including those at the Getty Center and Villa, the Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. With additional study at the graduate level, art history can lead to professional careers in college teaching, museum curatorship, fine arts librarianship, and publishing.
Introductory classes are defined as courses broad in scope, such as Art 206 Western Art, 1400-present or Art 211 Expressive Arts of Africa (cross listed with Anthropology 321). These courses need not be taken sequentially. Students are required to take three courses from this category of four, which includes Art 206, Art 211, Art 205 Western Art, Prehistoric-1400, and Art 207, a historical survey of women artists in the west from 1550 to the present.
Intermediate classes are defined as courses with a more narrow focus in time or space, such as Art 367 Art of the Eighteenth Century or Art 381 Art of Mexico. Readings in intermediate art history courses can be challenging, and students taking these courses will have writing assignments asking them to connect primary sources to the images they are studying in class. Five courses at this level must be taken. Typically students take Art 381 Art of Mexico, Art 370 Contemporary Art, Art 369 Age of Dada and Surrealism, Art 368 Age of Impressionism, and Art 382 Art of Colonial Spanish America.
In their junior or senior year, students take Art 392, the advanced seminar in art history. In this course, students produce original work in art history. Under normal circumstances, the student’s public presentation, which takes place at the Colloquy in December, develops out of assignments created for this course. The studio elective (any course in studio art) required by students on the art history track may be taken at any time. Students often fulfill it by a three-week January Term course.
Art History is not a developmental program. It is designed to facilitate double-majoring, which strengthens the knowledge-base of students doing art history. Double majors particularly useful in this regard include Art History/History, Art History/Applied Philosophy, and Art History/French. Art history students often complete a double major, as well as a minor in French Cultural Studies or Gender and Women’s Studies, where their art history courses count twice, for both the major and the minor.
Concentration in Art and Art History
This option allows a balance between studio and art history coursework. In this track, students take a variety of introductory, intermediate and advanced studio art courses in addition to any five art history courses. The balanced curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students with keen interest in both areas of study. It also provides much of the breadth (studio and art history) required by teacher credentialing standards in art. The senior presentation or project may be completed following the standards shown in either the Studio Art Track section or the Art History Track section.