Studio Arts Courses

Course Requirements

The student who wishes to moderate into the program and graduate with a degree in studio arts must complete the following course components:

  • Junior Activities
  • Senior Seminar
  • Two art history courses (one to be completed by the time of Moderation. Additionally, the Studio Arts faculty recommends that one of the art history courses be based in contemporary post 1945 art)

Four completed studio courses from among the following:

Click here to see the current course offerings for Studio Arts


Level I Studio Courses

Extended Media I Art 150
The expansion of Art's definition means that the terms used to categorize works of art are often technically incorrect-e.g. film used to categorize films not on the medium of film.  These same terms point to the incredible proliferation of tools and techniques that are becoming readily available to large segments of the population.  Through readings, critiques, and assignments we will explore artistic practices that have stretched previous categories while creating new categories-such as social practice, post-media and post-internet art.  Extended Media I will be grounded in art historical precedents, but students will be introduced to a number of recent technologies and working methods outside the traditional narratives of painting and sculpture.  Assignments and instruction will explore various and varied forms of construction-from creative writing and performance to site interventions and virtual installations.  Emphasis will be placed on the development of ideas and strengthening one's ability to critique not only the work of art but also the tools and techniques used to make it.

Cyber I Art 100 (Integrated Arts)
An introduction to digital image creation and manipulation for display in print and on screen.  With Photoshop at the center, other programs of the Adobe Suite, primarily Illustrator and InDesign will be introduced.  Individual final projects will emerge out of a series of exercises that will build image making skills and establish a digital workflow. 

Digital I Art 100
This course is an introduction to digital image creation and manipulation for display in print and on screen. With Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator at the center, we will explore the possibilities of creating imagined and composite landscapes that are feasible only through digital fabrication. As inspiration we will look at the ways that human intervention has transformed our physical world world through garden design, suburban sprawl, urban grids, mining sites, managed forests, zoos, constructed waterways and earthworks. In addition, we will survey a range of contemporary artists who are wrestling with the human impact on our biosphere. Coursework will foster a body of work consisting of on-line sketchbooks, site-specific installation, digital collage, gifs, large scale printing and laser cutting. These projects will emerge out of a series of exercises that will build image making skills and establish a digital workflow.  

Painting I Art 101-102
An introduction to the fundamentals of painting, with an emphasis on working from still life, landscape, and the figure. Students explore composition, color, gesture, surface, shape, space, and volume, as well as new approaches to working up images. Work is done in oil paints, on small to very large canvases. A background in drawing is helpful.

Sculpture I Art 105-106
Through an exploration of materials, process, and site, this course addresses several ideas relevant to contemporary art. What is the relationship between form and content? When does the process of making become more important than the "object" produced? What is the relationship of craft to art production? How and when does installation become just another material? How can one's own body become both subject and site for a work of art? These ideas are explored through a series of projects as well as through readings, slides of historical and contemporary art, and class discussion. Technical demonstrations include woodshop, mold making, casting, and welding.

Drawing I Art 107-108
The basic concepts of drawing are presented, and students explore problems related to perspective, perceiving forms in light, handling space through hand-eye coordination, and drawing as a visual thought process.

Printmaking I Art 109-110
Students learn to express themselves artistically using the tools and methods of the printmaker. They acquire a basic understanding of the techniques used to produce collographs, woodcuts, etchings, and intaglio prints, and are introduced to multiple-run color printing.

Level II Studio Courses

Thematic and technique-based studio classes in painting, drawing, printmaking, Digital, Extended Media and sculpture. Examples of 200-level courses follow.

Digital II Art 200 Integrated Arts
This class addresses advanced strategies for image creation and enhancement in graphics applications, using a broad selection of applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Maya, and Final Cut. Emphasis is placed on how the programs work together and support one another. Students create prints, text, and animation in the context of contemporary art issues ranging from digital prints and process presentations to documentation. Prerequisite: Art 100, an equivalent introductory digital-imaging class, or permission of the instructor.

Extended Media II Art 250
This is an advanced class, meant to encourage individual projects, questions, and approaches. As such, it follows a workshop model, and we will be using the languages and attitudes of performance art as a general methodology. Students will be encouraged to propose and pursue self-generated assignments alongside the required class assignments. In class, we will explore movement based thinking alongside alternative strategies of object making in an effort to remain flexible and even uncomfortable. Special attention will be paid to work that incorporates time-based media, installation, writing, and digital technology. Group and individual critiques will lead students along a path to determining their own approach to the expanding field of art production, and at the end of the course students will have a greater understanding of how to shape their own vision and use their own voice. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.  

Painting II: The Figure Art 201
A continuation of Painting I, this course is designed for students who are serious about painting, especially painting from life.  Students will be working with still lifes but the focus of the class will be on the figure, on color relations and how the sensation of color interacting across the plane can create light and  space. The issues discussed in Painting I, mainly the language of color, value, temperature, contrast, saturation, intensity, etc. and strong structural relationships, will serve as building blocks for complex figurative compositions.  We will be also working from reproductions as we study some of the great figurative masters.  Students will be expected to be on time and have the proper equipment. This includes a good assortment of brushes, a proper palette and the required colors. Students will be working on gessoed paper over the first weeks but should know how to stretch and prime a canvas properly.  Some of the poses will extend over two weeks, which will allow students to begin to push their work into new places.  This class is for students who want to work hard and extend themselves.  Students should have experience in drawing and must have had Painting I, there will be no exceptions.  

Painterly Print Art 202
A monotype (a.k.a. the painterly print) is essentially a printed painting. While it is technically the simplest form of printmaking , it is also the one that strives *to honor the individuality of the hand's painterly impulse. For this reason, monotypes are a wonderful tool for a painter to quickly develop ideas of color, light, shape, and composition that are not only informative to the painting process, but are an end in themselves. This class will explore the process of the monotype in relation to painting using both traditional techniques and experimental ones that evolve in response to the pursuit of student's individual ideas.
While specific assignments will be given in class, independence in direction and motivation is essential. This course's success depends on the evolving dialogue between your visual ideas and the monotype process. This means that you must come to this course with visual ideas that you intend to develop, whether abstract or representational, or both. Painting 1 is the minimum requirement but it is highly recommended that you have had some experience with the pursuit of individual ideas in painting. Material needs will vary among individuals, but an array of oil painting materials and high quality paper will be required by all.

Sculpture II: Casting Workshop Art 205
This course will focus on a variety of different casting methods and techniques.  A wide range of materials will be explored.  Students will learn to make one and two part rubber molds and will be encouraged to work from sculpted forms in addition to found objects.  We will also explore various aspects of life casting using alginate as our starting material.  As the semester progresses, the molds will become more complex and intricate.  This course will include a field trip to the Tallix Foundry.  Students should expect to spend a good deal of time working outside of class and be prepared to purchase additional materials throughout the semester as needed.  Prerequisite: Sculpture I 

Sculpture II: Between Painting & Sculpture Art 206
In this level two Studio Art class students will make artworks that speak to the language of both painting and sculpture. This hybrid approach will be hands-on and will involve 3-dimensional form making, painting and collage. Assignments will be formed around a 20th Century narrative that includes painted constructivist wall sculpture, cubist reliefs, assemblages, specific objects and sculptural props. Ideas explored will include sculpture that depicts pictorial space, the materiality of color and the site as ground for the sculptural figure. Class time will consist of working on projects, group critiques, presentations, readings and discussions of relevant work as well as demonstrations in materials and techniques. 

Drawing II: Drawing from Nature Art 207
The term "drawing from nature" is used both literally and figuratively. Part of this course is analytical in nature and utilizes perceptual work (including observation through microscopes) to acquire visual information about basic structures in nature, growth patterns, and other phenomena less than immediately apparent to the eye. In addition, this visual data is adopted for continued exploration on individual drawing projects. Prerequisite: Art 107-108.

Drawing II: Works on Paper, Mixed Media Art 207
Students will be introduced to a variety of art materials and will explore their use through a variety of prompts and directives.  Each assignment will require a degree of self determination in terms of aesthetic terrain, whether from the imagination, from life, and/or from researching the unlimited world of images on-line. We will work large and small, and will explore alternative formats beyond conventionally proportioned rectangles.  Drawing will be explored as an area for working out ideas and for the creation of more sustained, unique works of art. Prerequisites: Drawing 1, Painting 1 or by permission of instructor. 

Printmaking II: Experimental Printmaking: "Multiples" Art 210
This class will question the traditional notion of printmaking as means to produce an edition and allow students to explore its boundaries and alternate purposes for using multiples.  We will build on techniques learned in an introductory level or advanced printing class, and cover non-intaglio techniques such as large-scale woodblock and collograph, explore the use of the lasercutter and digital tools as well as open the process to drawing, painting and sculpture. The focus will be on the development and creation of projects that utilize printmaking as tool in the part of a larger process rather than just for the creation of a printed edition. The semester will start with a mix of technical exploration and theoretical assignments that cumulate in individual print based projects.

The Practice of Sculpture Art 235 Art History
This course investigates the practical aspects of making sculpture together with a detailed study of the history of modern sculpture in Europe and North America. Weekly lectures focus on the work of an individual sculptor or group of sculptors, and a workshop illustrates some aspect of studio practice. Students learn firsthand how technical processes and the character of materials affect the development of modern sculpture—in clay, wax, and plaster modeling, and in different methods of casting, carving, welded construction, and fabrication. In bridging the concerns of the academic discipline of art history and studio practice, students undertake significant critical reading and writing for the course while also being invited to develop independent studio projects based on course work.

Level III Studio Courses

Upper-level studio classes in painting, drawing, printmaking, Digital, Extended Media and sculpture. Studios in painting and drawing may have two levels, corresponding to intermediate and advanced. Admission is by portfolio, though students seeking to enroll are expected to have completed at least one basic course in the chosen discipline. In order to achieve full circulation through this structure, students are strongly encouraged not to repeat courses taught by the same faculty.

Digital III: Virtual Sculpture Art 300 Integrated Arts
This course employs 3-D modeling programs for the development of hypothetical structures and environments. Through midterm, the class includes instruction in the use of basic and advanced 3-D applications. The second half focuses on the creation of digital structures and their placement in real or virtual environments. There is an emphasis on scientific source material.

Painting III: The Big Picture Art 301
Large-scale studio painting, political banners and mural painting will be investigated in this class.  We will go through the mural making process from idea to execution, making scale drawings, discussing budgets and considering site specificity. Acrylic, oil and spray paint, can be used depending on the students preference and the project.  Students will work on self-directed and collaborative projects, in the studio and on location. Painting experience required. 

Sculpture III: Installation Art 305
This is an advanced sculpture class open to qualified students only. The defining characteristic is the freedom and space that each student is given to explore their ideas and go beyond personal limits and preconceptions. All media and methods are welcome as long as they are accompanied by a consideration of the specific spaces of UBS. This class requires a MAJOR devotion of time and energy. Students are treated as working artists and are expected to completely install three site-specific projects of their own inspiration. Critique of the ideas and execution will accompany each project followed by a thorough de-installation of the work. Open to ambitious, self-guided students awaiting a challenge. It is an all day class, from 10-2 and then a two hour "lab" for demonstrations in welding, woodworking, electrical wiring and other processes.

Drawing III: Drawn & Quartered Art 307
This course is designed to explore the multifaceted nature of drawing, examining through practice the formal, conceptual, expressive and narrative potential of the medium.  The course will take students through a broad range of what might constitute a drawing through a series of projects.  Through the projects, a diversity of options will be explored both in terms of material means (charcoal, pencil, pastel, ink, watercolor etc.) as well as their application to: image and abstraction, a single drawing versus a series, color versus black and white, language as image etc.  Imagination and experimentation will be encouraged as well as a deepening understanding of how these different drawing options affect the meaning of what is being looked at. Class discussions and critiques will focus on the transformation of the creative impulse into concept and concept into visual realization. The goal is to gain an ability for independant and self-directed work by the end of the semester. Students should have taken Drawing 2 and/or Painting 2, but will be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

Printmaking III: Photogravure Art 310
Photogravure, popularized in the 19th century, is a continuous-tone photographic intaglio process. A copper plate is etched gradually from the deepest shadows to the brightest highlights, producing a much wider range of tones than any other photographic process. As beautiful as photogravure can be, it is a difficult process to understand and master; this course, therefore, requires a great commitment in time and independent planning. Prerequisite: prior photo experience or a solid printmaking background.

Fine Art Photography/Photographic Fine Art Art 323 Photography
This course provides conceptual and technical solutions for the continuously increasing role that photography plays in the fine arts. Directed primarily at studio arts majors, it involves no darkroom work. Students use slides, Polaroid prints, found images, or digital output to make artworks employing photography. For the first several weeks, assignments are given; after that, students pursue individual projects.

This one-third seminar and two-thirds studio course will introduce Junior Studio Arts majors to contemporary artists whose artworks incorporate aesthetic references drawn from alternative subcultures, drag, mass media and cultural events. Students will read selected texts and watch artist videos that explore these ideas as strategies for expressing critical perspectives on popular culture. Two-thirds of the time will be for students to create independent multidisciplinary artworks that relate to the ideas presented in class. Students must have completed a minimum of two 200 level studio arts classes to be eligible for this course.  


Junior Events Art 330
Students will present an exhibition of their work in mid October and conduct a Craft Fair in early December as well as attend Visiting Artist lectures. Required of all studio arts majors; open to other Arts Division majors as space allows.

Senior Seminar Art 405-406
Senior Seminar is a component of the senior project and is an integral part of the 8 credits earned for Senior Project. The Seminar focuses on the development of the student as a thinking and working artist.  This is accomplished through variety of approaches. Presentations are made by visiting artists and Studio Arts faculty who discuss their life and work.  Students develop a series of projects designed to aid them in recognizing, conceptualizing, and articulating their particular artistic interests. Presentations by alumni from the Bard studio arts program provide a glimpse into the future; and, workshops on the photographing of art and website development help the student prepare for life after Bard. Exhibitions in the fall semester will draw students out of their studios well before the presentation of their senior show. Required studio visits from faculty members other than the project advisor insure fresh and varied responses to the ongoing senior project. The Senior Project Exhibition is the culmination of the Senior year and is evaluated before a faculty review board and a Senior Seminar critique.  


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