The Art and Art History program encourages all students to discover and explore the visual arts. Studio Art courses provide training in art practice, including drawing, life drawing, painting, color and design, three-dimensional art, digital photography, and digital arts. Art History courses introduce students to the study of art and explore the history of visual art traditions throughout the world, from antiquity to the present. The program is supported by the McNish Gallery of Art, which brings contemporary art to campus and provides students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in gallery work.
Many courses in the Art and Art History program are transferable and satisfy general education requirements. Degree programs include an AA degree in Art - Two-Dimensional Studio and AA-T degrees (Associate in Arts for Transfer) in Studio Arts and in Art History.
The Art and Art History program emphasizes creative and critical thinking, skills that are useful in all walks of life!
Art is among the most complex and dynamic forms of human creative expression. Visual art forms like painting and sculpture have been practiced since prehistoric times, and served diverse political, religious, and social purposes. Today, new media and techniques expand our visual imagination in a global cultural environment. In this introductory course, students learn how to understand and enjoy art, and gain skills in critically assessing contemporary visual culture. Topics include art media and techniques, formal elements, design principles, style, meaning, interpretation, and major themes and topics in the study of art and visual culture. Coursework emphasizes study of visual materials, including art exhibitions, and builds skills in close looking, critical thinking, and creative thought.
This course is an introduction to the history of Western art from prehistory through the medieval period. The course surveys the development of art in prehistoric Europe, ancient West Asia and Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, and the medieval worlds of Byzantium, Islam, and Christian Europe. Major topics include the origins of art; the development of visual art media and monumental architecture; the intersection of art, power, and religion in society; connections among cultures; and the development of style. Coursework emphasizes study of visual materials and introduces methods of art historical research and inquiry. Duplicate credit will not be awarded for both the honors and regular versions of a course. Credit will be awarded only for the first course completed with a grade of “C” or better or “P.”.
This course is an introduction to the history of Western art from the Renaissance to the present. The course considers art and architecture in early modern Europe, 19th century Europe and the US, and the broader global contexts of the 20th and 21st centuries. Major topics include the invention of the Western tradition in art; the intersections of art, power, and protest; the rise of modern art institutions and practices; postmodernism; globalization; and new media. Coursework emphasizes study of visual materials and introduces methods of art historical research and inquiry.
This course is an introduction to the concepts, applications, and social and historical contexts of two-dimensional art and composition, including the study of the basic principles and elements of line, shape, texture, value, color and spatial illusion. Emphasis is placed on the development of a visual vocabulary for creative expression.
This course is an introduction to basic theories of color. Investigations of color interaction are conducted in a two-dimensional context. Introductory studies of psychological aspects of color will be explored.
This course is an introduction to basic drawing experiences. Foundations of drawing will be explored through a variety of techniques and media with an emphasis on line, form, perspective and composition.
This course is an exploration of artistic concepts, styles and creative expression related to intermediate-level drawing focusing on complex subject matter and concepts using a variety of mediums, techniques and methodologies. Students in this course will build on fundamental drawing skills to develop personalized approaches to content and materials in exercises covering multiple historical and contemporary approaches to drawing.
This course is an investigation of advanced drawing techniques, using materials deemed appropriate to the development of personal style. Students develop originality in process, critical visual thinking and awareness of contemporary drawing.
This course is an introduction to principles, elements, and practices of oil painting. This class focuses on painting materials, perceptual skills and color theory, paint mixing and technique, as well as creative responses to materials and subject matter. Students will explore representational and abstract painting. Particular emphasis will be on the awareness of shape, form and color, surface, and their importance in composition.
This course is an intermediate level course to oil painting as an expressive medium. A thorough understanding will be developed by the individual centered on the following studio topics: materials and techniques, value, color, composition, perception, creative impulse and self-expression. Each topic will be approached by examining theoretical issues, or historical and contemporary painters' lives and works in order to inform student development.
This course explores the more advanced concepts in painting by examining abstract qualities in contemporary art; understanding philosophical trends and movements in painting and critical analysis of students' work. Each topic will be approached by examining theoretical issues, or historical and contemporary painters' lives and works in order to inform student development.
This class is an introduction to principles, elements and practices of painting. Students will focus on the exploration of painting materials, perceptual skills and color theory, paint mixing and technique as well as creative responses to materials and subject matter.
This course provides intermediate level study in acrylic painting as an expressive medium. A thorough understanding will be developed by the student centered on the following studio topics: materials and techniques, value, color, composition, perception, creative impulse and self-expression.
This course explores the more advanced concepts in painting by examining abstract qualities in contemporary art, understanding philosophical trends and movements in painting and critical analysis of students' work. Each topic will be approached by examining theoretical issues or historical and contemporary painters' lives and works in order to inform student development.
This course is a study of abstract conceptual trends, both past and present source development in all art. Students will explore the areas of abstraction in real and non-objective form, as well as problems and solutions in abstraction.
This course is an introduction to drawing the human figure from observation using a wide variety of drawing media and techniques. Topics include an introduction to human anatomy and the historical and contemporary roles of figure drawing in the visual arts. Students in this course will learn both descriptive and interpretive approaches to drawing the figure.
This course is a continuation of Life Drawing I, but includes minor structures that surround or may be included in set-up (pose). Emphasis is placed on compositional and technical improvement in artistic procedures.
This course is a continuation of Life Drawing II, but includes more complex structures that surround or may be included in set-up. Emphasis is placed on more complex compositional poses, and further technical improvement in artistic style development. Students will draw the human figure from live models using a variety of media such as; charcoal, pencil, conté crayon, pastels and multimedia.
This course is an introduction to a range of foundational hands-on art experiences that reflect K-12 state standards and common core standards. This includes producing creative work in two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, fine arts, craft, and design. Projects emphasize the importance of multicultural art, art traditions of indigenous peoples, as well as personal exploration of media and the role of the teacher in nurturing creative expression.
This course is an introduction to three-dimensional sculptural principles, techniques, and concepts utilizing a wide range of materials and process. Various sculpture methods are practiced with attention to creative self-expression and historical context.
This intermediate studio course will focus on experimentation with the ideas and media of sculpture and assembly with traditional, nontraditional, and alternative materials. Emphasis will be on the exploration of contemporary sculptural challenges of subject matter, form, and materials in relationship to individual aesthetic choices. Projects develop a wide range of skills and understanding of working in 3D.
The history, theory and aesthetics of digital photography will be explored in this course. Students will learn the fundamentals of digital photography with an emphasis on processes, principles and tools of photography. Topics include the development of technical and aesthetic skills, elements of design and composition, camera technology, materials and equipment, and contemporary trends in photography.
This course provides a practical experience in portfolio and exhibit development culminating in a group exhibit. Emphasis is placed on continuing artistic practice and professional development. Through hands-on experience, students will be introduced to exhibition planning, display, design, preparation, and installation techniques.
This course is an introduction to modern Western art and architecture. It focuses on work from Europe and the Americas in the 19th and 20th centuries. It also covers global intersections and influences through this period and into the 21st century. In addition to major artists and movements, the course considers topics such as the birth of photography and film, modernism, postmodernism, and the interconnections of art with power, social change, and gender. Works of art and architecture are explored within their social and cultural contexts.
This course is an introduction to the visual cultures of select ancient civilizations in Mexico, Central America and South America prior to European contact. Ancient civilizations considered in this course include Mixtec, Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Nasca, Moche, Inca, among others. Works of art and architecture are considered in their connection with environmental, social, and cultural contexts.
This course is an introduction to the art and visual culture of Latin America from the time of European contact to the present. In addition to major artists and movements, the course considers topics such as indigenous arts in a colonial context, European models, decolonization, and the intersection of art and national identity. The course includes links with Chicano/a art and culture in the U.S. Works of art and architecture are explored within their social and cultural contexts.
This course is an introduction to fundamental concepts, practices, and theories of digital art production. Topics include integration of traditional design, color, and compositional principles with contemporary digital tools. Understanding of the underlying logic of computer software will be taught with an emphasis on the role of the computer in all forms of modern art-making. Students will learn how to use the computer as a tool effectively while developing their own method of creating digital artwork. Cross-platform issues will be addressed, as well as file preparation for various output media.
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of graphic design for print and electronic media. Topics include an overview of the commercial and print industry, basic layout design principles, image preparation, color modes and file preparation for print. Student assignments encompassing design creativity and technical skills include branding and logo design, brochures, poster and album art.
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of typography. Emphasis will be on the use of typography in graphic design. Topics include the history of type, aesthetic qualities of letterforms, the anatomy of letter form and practice of typography as they apply to graphics, advertising and visual communication.
This course is an introduction to the concepts, applications, and historical references related to three-dimensional design and spatial composition, including the study of the elements and organizing principles of design as they apply to three-dimensional space and form. Development of a visual vocabulary for creative expression through lecture presentations and use of appropriate materials for non-representational three-dimensional studio projects.
This course is designed for students interested in furthering their knowledge of Art or Art History on an independent basis. This course offers opportunities for students with intermediate and/or advanced skills to engage in projects or studies not included in the regular curriculum. Students are accepted only by written project proposal approved by the discipline prior to enrollment.