The Art Department offers two degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), as well as minors in studio art and art history. The B.A. is the liberal arts degree and allows a student to pursue a major in art while balancing her education with a broader liberal arts background. The B.A. art major selects a concentration in art history, studio art, design, or applied arts and design. Art education students complete the B.A. degree in studio. The B.F.A. degree is the professional degree for the dedicated studio artist or designer preparing for creative careers in art and design or graduate study. All studio art majors, B.A. and B.F.A., complete an area of emphasis (12 hours) in one of the following areas: ceramics, fiber, new media art, painting, photo media, printmaking, or sculpture.
Through visiting artist programs, lectures and gallery exhibitions, the department shares its experience with students at the College and the larger community. The Moreau Art Galleries are an integral part of the art program and make professional exhibitions of contemporary art readily accessible for teaching and learning.
Saint Mary’s has a long history of providing quality international programs as an essential part of our educational mission—forming women leaders who will make a difference in the world. As this world becomes increasingly interdependent, the College offers an expanding range of semester, year, semester break, and summer study and service programs in a wide variety of countries, and encourages students to take advantage of them. Learn more about the various Study Abroad opportunities.
The Art Department in conjunction with the Education Department offers courses leading to state licensing for Visual Arts. (See Visual Arts Education.)
BFA and BA majors in Art with a concentration in Studio Art must complete four courses (12 credit hours) in an area of emphasis chosen in consultation with her advisor in the Department of Art. Areas of emphasis include Ceramics, Fibers, New Media Art, Painting, Photo Media, Printmaking and Sculpture. The area of emphasis is a pre-requisite for the Senior Comprehensive requirement in studio art.
Art courses are offered on study abroad programs in locations such as Rome, Italy, Seoul, South Korea, and Cape Town, South Africa.
Students may earn credit for internships served in museums or other art-related businesses or institutions. In addition, independent study of a particular topic or advanced investigation of a medium may be designed for course credit.
240 Moreau Center for the Arts
J. Cervelli, S. Ginter, K. Hoefle, T. Johnson Bidler, J. Tourtillotte, D. Tyler, I. Weaver
This is an edited and evolving list of the Art Department’s outcomes. Depending on a student’s chosen concentration, certain outcomes may not be met.
Studio courses which earn three credit hours require at least nine hours in the studio per week, six hours of which will be supervised. Class assignments will include sufficient material to cover the additional three hours. Studio courses require that each student purchase expendable supplies as required. Such supplies as easels, basic materials, and workshop equipment are provided.
The study of art history begins with broad familiarization with major monuments in Western and Non-Western art and progresses to greater understanding of the creative process through deeper study and more sophisticated methods of analysis and interpretation.
This is a broad foundation course that introduces a variety of drawing techniques, approaches and subject matter. A focus on observational drawing improves the student's ability to "see" (visual perception) and develops technical drawing skills. Projects are designed to enhance the understanding and use of formal elements, principles and composition while exploring drawing's creative and expressive potential. Subject matter includes still life, landscape, interiors, and the figure. Studio projects are augmented by critiques, visual presentations and discussion. Sketchbook/journal required.
This is a broad foundation course, similar to ART 101, with additional emphasis on the figure and an introduction to the use of color. Projects are designed to enhance the understanding and use of formal elements, principles and composition while exploring drawing’s creative and expressive potential. A variety of drawing media, tools and subjects are explored. Studio projects are augmented by critiques, visual presentations and discussion. Sketchbook required.
This course will introduce you to the basic formal elements and organizing principles of two-, three-, and four-dimensional design. The course is designed to expose students to the basic formal considerations, material properties, technical skills, and working methods of image and object making in conjunction with idea-based problem solving. Likewise, students will be introduced to themes and practices related to contemporary art and design through course handouts, lectures, presentations, and discussion.
Introduction to the various methods of serigraphy, with exploration of color, tone and texture as the natural result of the process.
This course consists of a series of paint ing assignments that introduces the stu dent to the idiom and use of oil paints. The student will begin developing a facility in manipulating and using the materials and techniques of oils, and by the end of the course, the student will be expected to visually express her unique vision and ideas with this medium. Regular private and group critiques.
In this course, the goal is to introduce you to some of the water-based media that contemporary artists use today, as well as the techniques employed by them. The course will be conducted as a “materials and technique” course, where we will go in-depth into the tools, methods, applications, and mediums used in conjunction with these media. I want you to play with the materials so that you may learn what their limitations are. All of our 1st half of the semester work, studies, experiments, etc, will be done in the handmade books we will create during the first two weeks.
Relief printmaking is the oldest of the print processes, and one of the most direct and accessible. With relief printmaking, the substrate (wood, rubber, linoleum, etc) is carved away, leaving a raised (“relief ”) surface. This raised surface is then inked using a roller (“brayer”), while the recessed areas remain ink free, and printed – by hand or using a printing press – onto paper, fabric, or other receptive materials.
In Web Design and Development I, students learn the fundamentals of front end web design and development. Through a series of web-based creative projects, students learn how to design assets (such as logos, images, and graphics), and how to use User Experience (or UX) and User Interface (or UI) design principles to create effective and engaging websites. Additionally, students will learn the basic programming languages essential for careers in web design and development (HTML5 and CSS3).
An introductory course in basic ceramic techniques and creative processes that use clay as an expressive medium through hand building, throwing on the potter’s wheel, and glazing/finishing.
This course focuses on throwing on the potter’s wheel, emphasizing utilitarian form development, and will incorporate the philosophy of Soetsu Yanagi who emphasized in The Unknown Craftsman “the importance of an egoless approach to creation, where objects arise literally unto themselves—the maker is only the vessel through which these things are born.”
Introduction to Furniture Design focuses on the design and construction of furniture and functional objects within the context of contemporary culture. It integrates creative problem solving with technical and material processes in order to build objects that are ergonomic and interactive. Students will learn a process of design that evolves from sketch, to model -or- prototype, and finally to a finished, usable object. Design for social good and sustainability will also be a departure point for creative projects. Creative projects and technical demonstrations will be augmented by lectures on the history of furniture design and contemporary approaches to functional object-making.
An introductory level course in which students explore traditional and contem porary mold making and casting techniques. Students learn to replicate originals in clay, as well as create molds from found objects. A variety of tradi tional and contemporary casting methods will be explored.
This course will introduce the historical and contemporary uses of these craft traditions, with an emphasis on the ways in which needlework continues to impact contemporary art practice. Creative projects and assignments will explore the technical processes, historical traditions, and contemporary uses of knitting and crochet by visual artists. Coursework will be augmented by lectures related to historical and contemporary artists using needlework presented through their videos, images of the work, web surfing, and in-class discussion.
Introductory black and white photography. Students study the basic elements necessary for control in the exposure, development and printing of photographic materials. Initial exploration of the medium stresses consideration of its visual and aesthetic dimensions through a creative problemsolving approach. (Variable shutter/aperture camera required).
Students study basic elements for the recording and printing of digital images. Initial exploration of the medium places emphasis on the visual, aesthetic and expressive dimensions of the medium through a creative problem-solving approach. (Digital or film camera required, digital media required)
This course introduces the medium of video as an art form and will explore, in theory and practice, issues of space, time and action. Proficiencies in camera use, storyboarding, lighting, digital editing and presentation will be developed. The use of video for artistic expression will be supported by readings and the viewing and discussion of works by video artists.
This course introduces the language of typography, its history, mechanics, formal qualities, and the theories that inform its use in design. Beginning with Johannes Gutenberg and his invention of a printing press with movable type, this course will survey historical typefaces from the 15th C. to contemporary digital type, including important influences such as the Dada and Bauhaus art movements in the 20th century. Projects will address the history and fundamental principles of typography and ask students to recognize how choice of typeface and its layout affects communication. A final project will involve the creation of a typeface, or logotype, for a specific client/company.
This is an entry level studio course focusing on graphic design processes and theory. Students will investigate design methods using hand-drawn techniques and computer applications (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign). Advertising, brand identity, and event promotion will be explored through a series of projects, emphasizing typography and page layout; basic printing procedures and digital formatting will also be introduced. Students will be exposed to design theory, as well as traditional and contemporary design practices, through artist presentations, class discussions and take-home readings.
Due to use of pesticides and chemicals, land degradation, depletion of fossil fuels, release of harmful emissions, and production of wastewater, the global textile industry is said to be one of the most unsustainable. This course will investigate the environmental and ethical issues surrounding the textile and fashion industry and the positive contribution we can make as artists, designers and consumers. We will consider the innovative, multidisciplinary field of green design and the exciting work being done by contemporary artists, architects, designers, scientists and engineers to create sustainable solutions and bring the public’s attention to environmental concerns. Examples of studio projects can include handmade paper from local plants and discarded cloth, ecodyeing and printing, the repurposing and upcycling of salvaged materials, and/or the design of portable, textile shelters that incorporate renewable energy.
This fibers course will introduce hand PAPERMAKING and FELTING, two nonwoven surface processes. Papermaking: the class will learn sheet forming, pulp painting, and basic casting, and will make papers from a variety of plant fibers. Felting: the class will create two and three dimensional forms from wool felt and will explore wet felting, appliqué methods, needle felting and Nuno felt. Projects will explore the conceptual & expressive potential of the materials and techniques introduced. Slide lectures and readings will introduce students to the global historic traditions of these two materials that date back to prehistoric times as well as contemporary artists and designers working with handmade paper or felt.
This is an introductory course in surface design and fabric construction. Over the semester we will work with dye resist methods such as Shibori, surface embellishment and needlework, blueprinting on cloth, and the manipulation of fabric into dimensional surfaces and forms. Students will be encouraged to develop a conceptual understanding of the materials and processes explored and to effectively communicate ideas in response to project prompts. Presentations/readings and individual research projects will introduce related textile history from around the world and contemporary international artists and designers who employ these materials and techniques.
This course in fabric printing will introduce ancient to contemporary methods for applying color, pattern, texture & image on cloth. Printing techniques will include Japanese rice paste resist printing (relief & stencil methods), screen printing and heat transfer printing (dye sublimation). Students will explore the use of dyes, pigments, and resists on a variety of natural and synthetic fabrics. Lectures will introduce historic and contemporary world textiles.
This course provides a survey of the historical development of Western and non-Western art and architecture beginning with the Neolithic period and leading up to the thirteenth century. We will study works of art in their cultural contexts in order to gain an understanding of the purpose, meaning, and significance of works of art to those who made and used them. Emphasis will be placed on the exchange of knowledge, ideas, forms, and iconography across cultures over time, and the subsequent change in the meaning and significance of these when put to new uses in new contexts. We will discuss current issues and debates in art history, such as responsible collection practices and repatriation of art objects. We will relate the aesthetic experiences and values of cultures from our period of study to contemporary culture. Over the course of the semester, students will develop their own analysis of the purpose, meaning, and significance of a single art object that they have viewed in a museum, and which dates from the chronological period the course covers.
This course provides a survey of the historical development of Western and non-Western art and architecture from the Renaissance period to the present. We will study works of art in their cultural contexts in order to gain an understanding of the purpose, meaning, and significance of works of art to those who made, used, and viewed them. Emphasis will be placed on the idea that art history’s canon is not fixed, but is instead shaped by the questions we ask and the values we hold in the present. We will discuss current issues and debates in art history, such as the repatriation of art objects looted during WWII, the role of museums in society, and responses to art controversies. We will discuss how the aesthetic values of cultures from our period of study have influenced contemporary aesthetic values. Over the course of the semester, students will respond to works of art that they have viewed in a museum, and which date from the chronological period the course covers.
An introduction to the new visual technologies and basic concepts (mechanical, visual, and aesthetic) for their creative use in the visual arts. Those fields involved may include photography, film, video, computer imagery, holography and other contemporary media. Students will be introduced to these media through lectures, direct laboratory experience, discussion, and creative problem-solving projects. No prerequisites: ART 103 desirable (also listed as COMM 266).
Introductory studio course in the basic principles of environmental design. Students build a fundamental knowledge of and fluency in the issues and language of environmental design, the creative design process, and its application. Studio assignments are based on the application of basic design principles and theories to an actual landscape site based on the integration of multiple human and natural factors including arts, architecture, social sciences, and a range of natural processes relevant to sustainable design with the environment (climate, geomorphology, geology, hydrology, soils, and plant communities).
The presentation of selected subjects of relevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite: established by the instructor. May be repeated with different topic.
This is an advanced course that encourages the student to explore various concepts, forms and imagery in view of developing a more personal visual statement. Group and individual critiques. Prerequisite: ART 205 or permission of instructor.
Through various laboratory projects, students study advanced photographic concepts for studio/artificial and natural lighting which permit enhanced control of the medium. Increased emphasis is placed upon the application of these controls to the act of artistic expression. Individual and group critiques provide opportunities for discussion of photography’s aesthetic dimensions. (Digital camera required / Digital SLR preferred) Prerequisite: ART 221 or ART 223.
This course deals with the use of photographic images, ideas and techniques in the graphic process of serigraphy. Group discussion and critiques. Prerequisite: ART 125
This advanced course in video art will allow students to further develop their creative work with video image and sound. Students will refine their preproduction, digital editing and postproduction skills, explore techniques such as chroma keying and multichannel video, and increase experience with installation and other forms of presentation. There will be discussion of contemporary works and related writings. Prerequisite: ART 224
An exploration into the fabrication and significance of artists’ books as an expressive medium. A series of books will be produced using diverse media, bindings and conceptual approaches to accommodate individual means of expression. An emphasis will be placed on one-of-a-kind visual books with some exploration into very limited editions.
Investigation of traditional and developing methodologies for creating animated imagery with emphasis on the expressive potential of the medium. Participants will explore the history of animated imagery and impact of emerging technology upon it. Individual and collaborative projects with discussion/critique of outcomes.
Advanced surface construction tech niques including felt, papermaking, and/or advanced weaving projects. Emphasis is on individual conceptual development. Lecture and critique. Research project on fiber related topic. Prerequisite: ART 237.
This course provides an international survey of the history and art of film alongside an introduction to film analysis.
This course examines modern art and design from the mid-nineteenth century through the interwar period. Modern approaches to design, photography, collage, painting, sculpture, and performance are considered in their historical contexts. Study of popular visual culture, cross-cultural exchange, and avant-garde art theory will help us to further contextualize the global production and reception of modern art and design.
This course surveys artistic movements and practices from the end of WWII through the end of the Cold War and the onset of the AIDS crisis. Artists responded to the legacy of modern art and the rise of the mass media by exploring alternative media, processes, and exhibition venues. Activist movements prompted artists to confront questions about identity and the relationship between art and politics. Artworks are discussed alongside theoretical texts that influenced art’s production and reception. This course introduces key terms such as expressionism, medium specificity, conceptualism, process art, performativity, institutional critique, site-specificity, appropriation, deconstruction, and postmodernism. Artistic movements covered include, but are not limited to, Abstract Expressionism, Gutai, Pop Art, Fluxus, Minimalism, the feminist art movement, the black arts movement, and the Pictures Generation.
This course surveys the art and architecture of Asia. The course begins with investigations of Buddhist and Hindu cave architecture and representations of Indian religious practices, such as yoga and goddess worship, and gods, such as Shiva, Devi and Krishna. The course then considers the Islamic art of the Mughals in India, the Safavids in Iran, the Ottomans in Turkey, and the Nasrids in Spain, including monuments such as the Taj Mahal and the Alhambra. The Silk Road, which wound its way from China to the Mediterranean Sea, connected the many artistic traditions surveyed in this course. For this reason, the course ends by considering how Chinese and Japanese artistic traditions responded to Buddhism. The course provides students with the opportunity to engage with post-colonial theory and the primary religious and literary sources that inform interpretations of Asian art.
Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. This course examines the role artists played in making biodiversity intelligible to lay and scientific audiences from the early modern period to the turn of the twentieth century. The world is currently experiencing biodiversity loss on a catastrophic scale and this course asks students to consider how image collections help us understand and prevent biodiversity loss. The course takes advantage of digital humanities archives, such as the Smithsonian’s Biodiversity Heritage Library, that have made vast numbers of illustrated natural history manuscripts accessible to the public. In addition, we will make use of the Greene collection of natural history manuscripts in the Rare Books library at the University of Notre Dame and the GreeneNieuwland herbarium, which is part of the Museum of Biodiversity at the University of Notre Dame. We will analyze the design, purpose, and significance of these manuscripts and consider other artistic media, such as painting, sculpture, textiles, and architecture, in relation to these manuscripts. The course takes a special interest in the role women artists played in picturing biodiversity. Students will consider the significance of that role to the past and present.
This course provides students with a framework for understanding the complexity of global contemporary artistic practice as it relates to environment. Artists and their audiences are embedded in social and environmental systems that are intertwined and historical. It is by engaging with these systems that artists imagine creative solutions to environmental challenges. However, artists are not solely concerned with solutions to environmental challenges. Artists are equally concerned with how an artwork engages with the personal and social meanings of an environment. Contemporary approaches to painting, sculpture, performance, installation, photography, and digital media are thus discussed in tandem with theoretical texts that will enable students to form their own interpretations of artworks concerned with environment. The concept of environment will be approached in an interdisciplinary manner, drawing from scientific, humanistic, and artistic traditions. The course introduces key terms such as globalization, intertextuality, hybridity, performativity, site-specificity, environmental art, the artistascurator, interactivity, and relational aesthetics.
An introduction to the principles of holography and optics accompanied by studio exercises in the techniques of single and multiple beam reflection and transmission holography. Special attention given to the application of this medium for purposes of visual expression. Lectures, studio lab exercises and visits to pertinent exhibitions. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Offered occasionally.
Students will explore the tools and techniques of participatory new media through the lens of feminism. The course will explore the key issues of feminism in the visual arts and new media, namely the position of women in technological disciplines, the unique experiences of women within technoculture, and the gendering of various technologies. Creative projects and assignments will explore play and participation in a variety of contexts: hypertext and nonlinear narrative, generative/programmatic net+ art, gaming, virtual personae and environments.
Installation Art is an art form in which the participant’s engagement with the artwork is active, not passive. The participant physically enters the space of the artwork, and the experience for them is immersive and experiential. The participant should be aware of the relationship between the arrangement of the works in the space, and the participant’s own body moving through the space
The course builds on ART 274: Introduction to Design and the Environment by building on environmental design foundations and principles, introduction of advanced concepts and project types, and increasing scale of subject site. Sustainability is addressed through the design of landscapes that are ecologically regenerative, well crafted, educational, conceptually meaningful, and aesthetically rich. Students utilize the design process to complete a final design plan for a real site and a real client based on site ecology, inventory/analysis, sociocultural factors, and artistic principles of design. Landform, plant materials, and landscape structures as design tools for the creation of outdoor space are emphasized. The course will also examine built works and practitioners in the field of environmental design. Individual student design projects are developed under faculty instruction with final plans presented to a review panel of faculty and practitioners. Prerequisite: ART 274 or permission of instructor.
This class introduces students to and engages them in the empathic design research process. At the heart of empathic design methodology is the practice of observing people/consumers in real-life situations in order to gain an “on the ground” understanding of design problems. Understanding consumer needs is one aspect of this process, but discovery is the overriding goal of this first-hand observation. Working with a community-based partner, students will approach real-life situations on the lookout for any underlying or hidden needs only first-hand observation would reveal. In light of this first-hand observation, students learn to use the remaining steps of empathic design process—conceptualization/brainstorming, prototyping, critique/refinement/testing, and implementation—through a design project that they create. Related to this, students learn the presentation methods (oral and visual) necessary to convey their findings through the empathic design process in deriving design solutions. This is a junior-level course intended for studio majors completing the concentrations in Applied Arts & Design or Design. Others welcome by permission of instructor.
The presentation of selected subjects of relevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite: established by the instructor. May be repeated with different topic.
Students with sufficient background experience work independently under the direction of a faculty member in studio or art history. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May be repeated.
This course is designed to provide K–8 art specialists and elementary education teachers a comprehensive, discipline-based approach to teaching art in the classroom. Lecture, discussion, museum visits and studio activities will emphasize children’s artistic development, national and state visual arts standards, integrating aesthetics, criticism, art history and the making of art as well as careers, community and cross-curricular studies into practical and meaningful lessons and units of instruction. This course includes a field experience component (transportation is required). Field experience. Prerequisite: EDUC 201 or permission.
This course is designed to provide future art specialists a comprehensive, discipline-based approach to teaching art in the high school setting. In addition to readings, discussion and studio activities that consider appropriate content, methods and materials in the secondary school, students will create a functional, in-depth curriculum that is based on national and state visual arts standards and the inclusion of aesthetics, criticism, art history and the making of art. This course includes a field experience component (transportation is required). Field experience. Prerequisite: EDUC 201 or permission.
This is an advanced level course in which students will explore a variety of ways to make ceramics works while exploring new firing and glazing methods. These processes will include: raku, salt, and sagger firing, china paint/glazing, decal application and glass casting. Prerequisite: ART 211 or ART 212 and ART 311, or with permission of instructor.
The capstone experience for the sculpture concentration, this course gives students the opportunity to investigate an individu alized approach to the themes and technical concerns of sculpture through indepen dent studio work. Working in tandem with all faculty teaching sculpture, students research and develop, fabricate, and critically assess a project (or series of projects) in their investigation of sculpture. Students develop an aesthetic and con cep tual vision with regard to the genre. Prere qui sites: Either ART 216 or ART 218, or ART 219, or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Continued study of the medium’s technical and aesthetic dimensions through individual laboratory work, readings, group critiques and discussions. Students are introduced to and work with a range of alternative photographic processes. (Digital camera required / Digital SLR preferred) Prerequisites: ART 221 or ART 223, and permission of instructor.
From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Alexander McQueen’s “savage beauty” and Kara Walker’s shadow tableaux this course explores how artists, writers, designers, and filmmakers have explored the dark side of the modern world. We will consider the difference between horror and terror, the significance of women’s terror in fairy tales such as Bluebeard, and gothic figures such as Medusa and the witches of the Malleus Maleficarum. We will apply and critique the advanced art historical methods, such as iconographical analysis, feminism, and psychoanalysis, that art historians have developed to interpret this work. Students will undertake original research in art history and develop a personal vision for their scholarship in the arts and humanities. This course is appropriate for any student who has produced strong upper-level coursework in the arts or humanities or exceptional work in the art history survey courses.
The presentation of selected subjects ofrelevance not included in regular departmental offerings. Prerequisite: established by the instructor. May be repeated with different topic.
A final semester, independent, creative research project in a studio art area of emphasis or art history approved by Art Department faculty. The studio project results in the presentation of a cohesive body of work which is original and aesthetically and conceptually sound. Four previous courses in the studio art area of emphasis are required. The art history comprehensive is a paper on a selected topic demonstrating conceptual originality, research skill and appropriate methodology.
Students with sufficient backgrounds work independently under the direction of a faculty member in studio or art history. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. May be repeated.
Work experience in art-related business, institution, or museum. Jointly supervised by a faculty member and a representative from the sponsoring site. Prerequisite: permission of campus and site supervisor. May be repeated. Graded S/U.