Art and the History of Art

Practice of Art: Studio Concentration

The Practice of Art: Studio Concentration: Professors Keller and R. Sweeney‡; Associate Professor Kimball; Visiting Assistant Professor Levine; Senior Resident Artist Garand; Resident Artist Gloman; Artists-in-Residence Ewald and Wirthmann; Visiting Lecturer Culhane.

The concentration in the Practice of Art enables students to become fluent in the discipline of the practice of visual arts. Students will develop critical and analytical thinking as well as the discipline’s techniques and methods as a means to explore artistic, intellectual and human experience. Students will build towards creating a personal vision beginning with primary studies in drawing and introductory art history, proceeding on to courses using a broad range of media, and culminating in advanced studio studies of a more self directed nature. Working with their advisor, students will be encouraged to nurture the strong interdisciplinary opportunities found both at Amherst and the other institutions in the valley.

Course Requirements: The Practice of Art concentration consists of a minimum of 10 courses (12 with honors project):

• Drawing I (Art 2 may be considered as an alternative in special cases.)

• Painting I

• Sculpture I

• Printmaking I

• Photography I

• Studio Elective

• Studio Elective

• Studio Elective

• Art History Elective

• Art History or Related Elective (contemporary art history strongly encouraged)

In consultation with their advisors, students in this concentration will be encouraged to take additional courses both in art history and other disciplines.  These courses should be broadly related to their artistic interests outside of the studio concentration, enriching their interdisciplinary understanding and engagement within a liberal arts curriculum. This expectation will be especially high for honors thesis candidates.

Honors:  Candidates for honors will, with departmental permission, take Art 498-499 during the senior year. Students must apply and be accepted at the end of their third year, usually the last week in April. In designing their year-long projects, students will be encouraged to explore the interdisciplinary implications and opportunities inherent in their artistic directions. Thesis students will also be required to develop a statement that ultimately places their body of work within a historical and cultural artistic discourse. There will be an exhibition of the bodies of work representing the honors theses in the Eli Marsh Gallery, Fayerweather Hall, in May.

Comprehensive Examination

Required of all studio concentration majors, except thesis students. This work should be done in consultation with your advisor. You should meet with them before thanksgiving break.

Creation in the senior year of an independent work/s of art.  This project is designed and created independently by the student, can be in any medium or combination of mediums, and may also be interdisciplinary in nature.  Students will also develop a concise, written statement that addresses their conceptual concerns, process, choice of materials and media.  It should cite influences as well as place the work within a historical and artistic context.  The written statement and the work/s of art are due on Monday of the 6th week of the student's final semester. On that day students are expected to hang the work for a week-long group exhibition to be reviewed by the Studio Faculty.  A PDF of the written component is due as an attachment by email to the Department Coordinator - finearts@amherst.edu on the same Monday.

 

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