Studio Art

  • Paul Ryan, studio art coordinator and department co-head
    Shay Clanton, Barbara Holt, Theresa Rollison, Nancy Ross, Martha Saunders, Jim Sconyers, Jr.

    The studio art curriculum at Mary Baldwin promotes a process-oriented and creative practice of the language of visual form, where an emphasis is placed upon art making as a thoughtful exploration of ideas. Students learn the following: perceptual skills, analytical and critical competence, and technical skills related to specific media, the importance of process, creative problem solving, various means of artistic conceptualization, and the context of historical and contemporary art. Because of the importance of process and sequential learning in the visual arts, students desiring to major in studio art are encouraged to take foundation courses — ART 109, ART 110, ART 111, and one of the 100- level art history courses — during their freshman year. This will put them on the optimal learning track in the major. Students who plan to qualify for a teaching license with certification in art education should complete the studio art major. Courses specific to endorsement are listed at the end of the studio art courses.

    This major requires a substantial portion of the coursework to be completed at the Staunton campus.

  • Civic Engagement Opportunities

    • Annual visual arts trips to Washington DC and New York City, open to the community
    • Regular public lectures by prominent artists, art historians and art critics
    • Five professional exhibitions a year in the college’s art gallery, open to the public
    • Required or recommended internships through our academic majors
    • Study abroad programs, including: Renaissance Studies in Italy, (Dr. Sara James); Drawing in Prague, Czech Republic (Paul Ryan); and, others.
    • The 11@250 Project, an ongoing series of studio-based workshops and exhibitions that explore issues of community, communication, and collaboration
    • Varied collaborative projects that involve other organizations and institutions, including student exchange exhibitions with other colleges
    • Art and art history faculty lectures and service at community organizations
    • Exploring civic engagement through class projects and assignments
  • Requirements for the Major in Studio Art

    Students majoring in Studio Art select at least one area of emphasis. With planning it is possible to have two areas of emphasis, which is recommended for students considering graduate school. 39 semester hours are required for all areas of emphasis except graphic design, where 42 semester hours are required.

    Each area of emphasis requires the following courses in addition to the requirements listed below:
    ART 109
    ART 110
    ART 111
    ART 250
    One 200- or 300-level ARTH
    Two of the following: ARTH 101, ARTH 102, or ARTH 103

    Note: For students selecting two areas of emphasis, the above requirements only need to be taken once.

    Ceramics Emphasis
    ART 112
    ART 114
    ART 214
    ART 314
    ART 404
    One of ART or ARTH

    Drawing Emphasis
    ART 112
    ART 120
    ART 211
    ART 311
    ART 405
    One of ART or ARTH

    Painting Emphasis
    ART 112
    ART 211
    ART 212
    ART 312
    ART 401
    One of ART or ARTH

    Printmaking Emphasis
    ART 112
    ART 120
    ART 211
    ART 220
    ART 320
    ART 406

    Photography Emphasis
    ARTH 206 (as 200-300 level ARTH)
    ART 115
    ART 120
    ART 215
    ART 320
    ART 408
    One of ART or ARTH

    Graphic Design Emphasis
    ART 115
    ART 120
    ART 171, 172, 173
    ART 218
    ART 317
    ART 318
    ART 403

    Extended Media Emphasis
    This concentration is designed for the serious student who has a specific goal in studio art that cannot be met in the above areas of emphasis. Some possibilities include illustration, the artist’s book, video, and installation art. This area of emphasis requires the approval and guidance of the full time studio faculty.
    ART 211
    ART 407
    A small sequence of courses appropriate to the medium/idea, to be approved by the full- time studio faculty

    Requirements for the Minor in Studio Art

    21 semester hours
    ART 109
    ART 110
    ART 111
    Three more art courses
    One of the following: ARTH 101, ARTH 102, or ARTH 103

  • 109 Fundamentals of Art and Design I (3 s.h.) (A)
    Required for studio art majors. A practical exploration of the basic elements and principles of art and design. ART 109 and ART 110 establish a foundation for effective communication through the language of visual form. Problems are addressed primarily through black and white media. If possible, ART 109 should be taken before ART 110, but the two courses do not have to be taken sequentially. Materials fee.

    110 Fundamentals of Art and Design II (3 s.h.) (A)
    Required for studio art majors. Color theory, color organization and an introduction to selected three dimensional design elements, aspects of sequential art and various processes of conceptualization. If possible, ART 109 should be taken before ART 110, but the two courses do not have to be taken sequentially. Materials fee.

    111 Drawing I (3 s.h.) (A)
    Required for studio art majors. For students who have had little or no experience in art as well as those whose abilities have already been developed in high school programs. A basic-level course emphasizing perceptual skills of drawing, expressiveness and composition. Various media are explored. Materials fee.

    112 Painting I (3 s.h.) (A)
    Drawing experience helpful but not required. An introduction to the basics of painting, emphasizing composition, value, and color. Materials fee.

    113 Introduction to Watercolor (3 s.h.) (A)
    An exploration of traditional and experimental techniques in watercolor. Students will work from still life, the model, and the landscape. Materials fee.

    114 Ceramics I (3 s.h.) (A)
    Basic instruction in clay through various hand building and wheel-throwing techniques and glazing options. Historical and contemporary perspectives on clay will be explored through different projects. Also included will be concepts of 3 D design as they pertain to the projects. Materials fee.

    115 Photography I (3 s.h.) (A)
    An introduction to technical and aesthetic issues of black and white photography (silver-gelatine printing), with an emphasis on using the medium for personal and creative expression. Includes a series of assignments designed to increase understanding of basic camera operation, darkroom techniques, and artistic problem solving. Requires 35mm camera with manually adjustable aperture and shutter speed. Materials fee.

    116 Pinhole Photography (3 s.h.)
    The objective of this course is to build a foundation of knowledge about black and white pinhole photography as a creative artistic medium. Materials fee.

    119 Introduction to Video Production (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see FILM 119 in the Film listing.

    120 Printmaking I (3 s.h.) (A)
    Designed as an introduction to materials and techniques. Emphasis is given to monotype, woodcuts/linocuts, the artist’s book, lithography, and intaglio printing. Students gain a working knowledge of printmaking processes. Materials fee.

    125 Introduction to Art Education (3 s.h.) (A)
    The prospective teacher is introduced to theoretical concepts concerning the major developmental stages of children’s art. Practical art projects are included. This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the K–12 art education endorsement. Materials fee.

    140 Materials as Metaphors (3 s.h.) (A)
    Students explore various ways that existing materials and objects — both artificial and natural — can be used to create narratives and/or metaphors. Whether the student is primarily interested in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, or working three-dimensionally, the course will serve to expand her visual and conceptual vocabulary. Materials fee.

    171 Software in the Visual Arts: Adobe Photoshop (1 s.h.)

    172 Software in the Visual Arts: Adobe Illustrator (1 s.h.)

    173 Software in the Visual Arts: Adobe InDesign (1 s.h.)
    These three courses — ART 171, 172, 173 — are “a la carte” software courses. Each one is an online course. Their purpose is to orient students to software used in graphic design and the visual arts. Each course requires completion of lessons and a final project to demonstrate software competence. These courses may include some on-campus meetings. Students provide their own software or pay a materials fee for access to the design studio in Deming Hall (Staunton campus). Students with a graphic design emphasis in the Studio Art major are required to take all three courses; and, it is highly recommended that they take them as early as possible. These three courses can be completed in one semester, or they can be spread out over two. The three courses do not have to be taken sequentially. They are open to all students.    

    211 Drawing II (3 s.h.)
    This course expands the student’s concept and practice of drawing. Representational and abstract subjects are explored, emphasizing perception, composition, and process. Figure drawing is covered as well as drawing with color and mixed media. Conceptual and critical skills are developed. *Prerequisite: ART 111 or permission of the instructor. Materials fee.

    212 Painting II (3 s.h.)
    Providing experience in painting from the still life and model, and exploring issues relating to abstraction, this course encourages further development of technical and critical skills. It also introduces the student to different painting languages. *Prerequisite: ART 112 or permission of instructor. Materials fee.

    214 Ceramics II (3 s.h.)
    Focus will be on continued growth on the potter’s wheel. Also included are projects in glaze-mixing and different firing techniques. Sculptural interpretation of projects is encouraged. In-depth look at certain periods of ceramic development. *Prerequisites: ART 110 and ART 114. Materials fee.

    215 Photography II (3 s.h.)
    The objective of this course is to build upon the student’s knowledge of black and white photography as a creative artistic medium. The course places equal emphasis on deepening understanding of photography as a medium with unique aesthetic and physical qualities as well as building technical proficiency. The course will consist of PowerPoint lectures, student presentations, class discussions and critiques, along with technical instruction. *Prerequisite: ART 115. Materials fee.

    218 Print for Publication (3 s.h.)
    This course introduces the student to techniques, formats, and core concepts associated with commercial printing. There is a focus on design for publication, pre-press, job specification and estimation. Students gain a working knowledge of professional design practices through case study projects and guest lectures. *Prerequisites: ART 173. Materials fee and external hard drive (250 GB min).

    220 Silkscreen II (3 s.h.)
    An introduction to the process and techniques of screen printing (silkscreen). Materials fee.

    245 Drawing in Prague (3 s.h.) (I)
    An on-location studio art course centered in Prague, Czech Republic. Immersed in the history and culture of one of Europe’s most beautiful and enchanting cities, and surrounded by a vast range of architectural styles from the Gothic to the postmodern, students will use the language of visual form and a variety of drawing media to create representational and abstract images that record their interactions and responses to “Magic Prague.” Under the guidance of faculty, students will explore a variety of historical and cultural sites and institutions in and beyond Prague, including Prague Castle, Lobkowicz Palace, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Petrin Hill, Kutna Hora, Terezin, Lidice, and much more. This course is offered every other May Term. *Prerequisite: ART 111 or permission of instructor. Materials fee.

    250 Survey of Contemporary Art (3 s.h.)
    Through selected films, on-line sites, and readings from contemporary art journals, this course considers the aesthetic vigor, conceptual depth, and the diversity of contemporary art practices from the 1980s through the present. We will examine the pluralistic and multi-faceted nature of contemporary art, seeing how it engages with a range of issues including politics, race, gender, the media, art history, aesthetics, and perception.  Learning occurs through assigned readings, viewing films, class discussion, and brief writing assignments. This course is required for all Studio Art majors, and it is open to anyone interested in contemporary art. *Prerequisite:  ARTH 103 or permission of instructor.

    277 Topics in Art (1–3 s.h.)
    Topics courses focus on specialized methods or topics in art, such as theory, art criticism, media, intensive analysis of a specialized period of art history, or areas of interest beyond the usual scope of departmental course offerings. Enrollment is limited. Interests of the students and faculty determine the topic. Emphasis is placed on class discussion and on presentations, both oral and written, or on a portfolio of studio work.

    310 Issues in Contemporary Art Criticism (3 s.h.)
    This course examines significant ideas and issues in contemporary visual art theory and art criticism since the 1950s: formalism; modernism vs. postmodernism; pluralism; feminism and multiculturalism in the visual arts; deconstruction; and the end of the avant-garde. Selected essays by critics and theorists will be studied and discussed. Note: For Studio Art majors, this course does not fulfill the requirements in Art History, but it can be selected to fulfill the total semester hours required in the major. *Prerequisite: ARTH 103 or permission of instructor.

    311 Drawing III (3 s.h.)
    Attention is given to contemporary concepts and to helping the student develop an individual direction in drawing. Further development of technical, conceptual, and critical skills is encouraged. In ART 311, drawing is defined very broadly. It is possible to work three-dimensionally and with installation art. *Prerequisite: ART 211. Materials fee.

    312 Painting III (3 s.h.)
    The purpose of this course is to help the student begin to find her own artistic voice as a painter, as well as to continue developing technical, conceptual, and critical skills. In ART 312, painting is defined very broadly. It is possible to work three-dimensionally and with installation art. *Prerequisite: ART 212. Materials fee.

    314 Ceramics III (3 s.h.)
    Students will explore a variety of advanced throwing and hand-building techniques, glaze formulation, and firing methods. Students will be encouraged to begin to develop a personal style, including sculptural expression. Students will participate in the operation of the ceramic studio in preparation for having their own studios. *Prerequisites: ART 111, ART 112, and ART 214. Materials fee.

    317 Visual Identity Systems (3 s.h.)
    This course is a practical exploration of graphic design in the business environment.  Projects address concepts in branding, advertising, and packaging. Students study design based on visual research, strategic positioning, and audience testing. There is an emphasis on pitching ideas, presentation skills, and the collaborative process. *Prerequisites: ART 109, 110, 172, or permission of the instructor. Materials fee and external hard drive (250 GB min).

    318 Designer as Author (3 s.h.)
    This course provides the opportunity for students to create self-authored design projects.  Skills workshops such as bookbinding, stop motion animation, and hand lettering expose students to various applications of design. Project assignments invite students to create inventive, meaningful, and varied solutions. *Prerequisite: ART 109, 110, 111, 218, or permission of instructor. Materials fee and external hard drive (250 GB min).

    320 Digital Photography and Digital Printmaking (3 s.h.)
    This course provides a structured framework in which both photography and printmaking students can pursue new techniques in printing using digital photography and scanography. The course consists of Photoshop workshops, alternative photo/printmaking techniques (photopolymer intaglio plates; polyester plate photo-lithography), class discussions, and critique. Materials fee.

    387 Internship(s) (3 s.h.)
    Students are offered a variety of possibilities for hands-on experience in the fields of graphic design or arts management. Internships may occur either in or outside of Staunton. Experience will vary depending on the type of firm and the kinds of projects currently being produced in that firm. Arranged on an individual basis.

    401 Senior Project in Painting (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    The senior project in studio art is regarded as the culmination of the major. Affording the opportunity for independent scholarship and creative work, the project is an important and exciting step that will help prepare the student for professional activity and/or graduate work. The student is expected to produce and present for exhibition a cohesive body of work that represents serious investigation of a theme or specific idea. May be repeated for credit. It is strongly recommended that students complete two semesters (6 s.h.) of the senior project; although, only one semester is required. Materials fee.

    403 Senior Project in Graphic Design (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    Students build a personal website and personal portfolio for graduate school or professional use. It is strongly recommended that students complete two semesters (6 s.h.) of the senior project; although, only one semester is required. The project culminates in an exhibition in Hunt Gallery. Materials fee.

    404 Senior Project in Ceramics (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    For course description, see ART 401. Materials fee.

    405 Senior Project in Drawing (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    For course description, see ART 401. Materials fee.

    406 Senior Project in Printmaking (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    For course description, see ART 401. Materials fee.

    407 Senior Project in Extended Media (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    For course description, see ART 401. Materials fee.

    408 Senior Project in Photography (3 s.h.) (O, M)
    For course description, see ART 401. Materials fee.

    Note: Directed Inquiries, teaching assistantships, and internships in studio art and studio art-related areas can be arranged individually.

  • Art Education Course Descriptions

    It is strongly recommended that students planning a career in art education, in addition to fulfilling the requirements of their selected emphasis in the studio art major, extend their study with courses offering experience in different media, often required for art educators. For example, a student with a studio art major and a painting emphasis should also take ART 114, ART 214, ART 217, and perhaps ART 115.

    125 Introduction to Art Education (3 s.h.) (A)
    The prospective teacher is introduced to theoretical concepts concerning the major developmental stages of children’s art. Practical art projects are included. This course is required for prospective teachers seeking the K–12 art education endorsement. Materials fee.