Art: Studio Art

"We must learn to think with God."

Education at The Principia p. 121

David D. Coughtry, Professor

Daniel D. Kistler, Associate Professor

Duncan Martin, Professor

Danne P. Rhaesa, Assistant Professor

Paul B. Ryan, Professor

Art (studio art) and art history offer two entirely separate but complementary programs of study.

The art and art history programs are based upon the liberal arts goals of helping students find the value of artistic enrichment through a study of historical context, aesthetic theory, and applied skill building. The premise behind art and art history classes is to welcome all students to explore topics in art and to disprove stereotypes that limit the creative process to a talented few. In these programs, students' goals are served with curriculum that keeps professional careers and lifelong learning in mind.

Courses in studio art place specific emphasis upon the process of making art, the qualities which support being a productive artist in society, and the role of art to enrich the individual. Taken as a whole, the art major features learning themes that include character development, experience with varied media, an understanding of foundational concepts of compositional form, development of individual content, and service to society and global causes. The pursuit of excellence is always at the forefront of all endeavors.

Within the structure of the art major, all students develop a focused portfolio based on content, creative skills, and verbal communication in accord with their goals. This portfolio continues to develop throughout the program and is honed during the junior and senior years through upper level courses, a creative project, and a two-part capstone seminar. Students who intend to pursue graduate degrees or who expect to enter professional activities directly following graduation from Principia need to supplement the listed major requirements with additional course work offered in the art and art history program and elsewhere in the college curriculum to meet the needs of their direction. Advisors work closely with students to help them prepare for these goals. Though a professional internship in the arts is not a requirement for graduation, its value cannot be overstated; students are encouraged to pursue an internship, especially during the summers, to supplement the studio program.

Courses in art history trace the innovations, aspirations, and achievements of individual artists and groups of artists. They explore the significance of particular works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other visual arts, enlarging students' awareness of their cultural heritage, and sharpening their capacity to "read" images clearly. The rich variety of the visual arts of the western and non-western traditions offers relevant connections to all facets of 21st-century society. Majors and minors in studio art benefit from the contextualization of their own work, as well as of compelling works from the past. General Education students, too, learn how to place works of art in their cultural context and to communicate a growing understanding that will make them true "citizens of the world," awake to the issues and ideas which artists perceive beyond appearances.

To receive transfer credit toward studio art requirements, the student must submit a catalog description of the course along with a representative portfolio of work produced in that course. Up to 18 semester hours of transfer work may be credited towards the requirement for an art major and six for a minor.

Elective credit is granted for successful completion of Advanced Placement examinations in studio art. For consideration towards the art major requirements, the submission of a portfolio is required.

Studio art classes carry lab fees that are published in the course description section of the catalog. Some of these fees include the cost of classroom materials. Most courses will require the purchase of some personal art supplies.

Students majoring in art may minor in art history. The three art history courses required for the major in art will count toward both the art major and the art history minor. Only three additional courses would be required for art majors to fulfill the art history minor.

For any repeatable course listed under the electives section for the ARTS major or minor, a maximum of six semester hours may be counted for any one course.

Departmental Learning Outcomes

  1. Assimilation: Develop a disciplined artistic practice
    1. Engage in a discipline-specific creative process.
    2. Demonstrate intellectual agility through imaginative problem-solving.
    3. Demonstrate informed use of visual media.
    4. Create work that demonstrates awareness of historical and contemporary cultural context.
    5. Show evidence of mastery and individuality.
  2. Expression: Organize visual elements to construct meaning
    1. Construct complex systems of form.
    2. Apply compositional theory (e.g. space, volume, color).
    3. Solve visual problems.
    4. Articulate the connection between form and content.
  3. Interpretation: The Critique of visual work
    1. Effectively interpret and evaluate various source materials.
    2. Assess visual compositions and articulate the relationship 
of subject, form, and content.
    3. Develop an informed individual point of view.
    4. Be able to defend claims with evidence.
    5. Address collective meanings of art by questioning the history, language, and contemporary trends.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes of Principia College: Defining a Liberal Education

The curricular and co-curricular programs at Principia College are designed for students to be lifelong learners, thinkers, and problem-solvers, to draw out spiritual and moral qualities indispensable to growth in Christian Science, and to cultivate an understanding of service to the Cause of Christian Science in meeting the global needs of the 21st century. To accomplish this, the College has established the following outcomes for its graduates. Students graduating from Principia College will:

  1. Demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate critical and generative thinking.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively.
  4. Be intentional learners.
  5. Be effective members of communities.
  6. Act on the basis of Principle.

ARTS 102 Visual Fundamentals 3.0 SH [GEA]

Introduction to the components of visual expression: subject matter, form, and content. Topics include composition, perspective theory, line/value drawing, and basic color exploration. Practice includes studio as well as on-location work outside of regular class hours.

ARTS 103 Three Dimensional Design 3.0 SH [GEA]

An introduction to three-dimensional design; this hands-on approach to materials offers an in-depth exploration of expression in space. Students are challenged with ideas that build awareness of the potential of shaping space and how that new understanding can contribute to a more creative life and work.

ARTS 150 Drawing I 3.0 SH [GEA]

Continued study of line and value including additional perspective and composition studies, focusing primarily on the development of facility and perception. Emphasizes both technical and abstract observations.

ARTS 170 Graphic Design I 3.0 SH [GEA]

Introduction to aspects of graphic design with emphasis on the development of problem-solving skills. Form and content are explored with focus on the thought process which underlies graphic design. Application of computer software as it applies to the discipline. Various projects include logo design, poster design, and typography.

ARTS 175 Print Design 3.0 SH [  ]

The course provides students with the foundational skills across different applications and media types. Develops skills in digital imaging concepts and techniques, in using/altering photographs, illustrations, and type to create advertisements, magazines, brochures, and direct mail. Fundamental principles of graphic design are stressed. Students practice skills individually and in teams. Critical class for students considering a career in graphic design.

ARTS 203 Sculpture I 3.0 SH [  ]

An introduction to sculpture with emphasis on understanding and manipulating three-dimensional space using form and scale. Students explore various processes, materials, techniques, tools, and studio safety. Emphasis is on the development of a personal visual vocabulary and the cultivation of individual creative expression. Includes an historical overview spanning ancient artifacts to early Modernists.

ARTS 210 Oil Painting I 3.0 SH [  ]

An introduction to technical and formal approaches to painting within the oil medium. Practice includes studio as well as on-location work, with emphasis on color-value control and composition. The class will study and emulate how painters think or see by examining issues of artistic perception and interpretation considered significant in contemporary and past painting traditions.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102 and ARTS 150.

ARTS 220 Watercolor Painting I 3.0 SH [GEA]

Introduction to various watercolor techniques and the thought process which accompanies issues of painting. Practical emphasis on composition, color and value relationships, and coordination with a transparent medium. This studio course will require that a majority of work be completed outside of the studio class time.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102 and ARTS 150.

ARTS 230 Color Studies 3.0 SH [GEA]

Using color as a means of conveying individuality through art is unparalleled in context with any other element of design. Studio assignments and lecture notes focus on the artistry, physics, chemistry, psychology and metaphysics of color. Students build a concise portfolio demonstrating an understanding of color interaction and perception.

ARTS 250 Drawing II 3.0 SH [  ]

Development of visual skills that deepen the student's ability to find the dynamics of abstraction in the landscape and still-life. A large portion of the term will involve on-location drawing in graphite with the remaining portion of the term devoted to studio rendering techniques in graphite. Emphasis on compositional analysis.
Prerequisite: ARTS 150.

ARTS 251 The Language of Drawing 3.0-4.0 SH [GEA]

An immersive study of on-location drawing practices and techniques where drawing becomes a tool for observation and recording of cultures, historical sites, and landscapes. Drawing will also be explored as a vehicle to communicate content. This course develops skills in composition, observation, facility with mixed-media, drawing terminology, critiquing, and perspective. Offered only on abroad programs.

ARTS 255 Field Research Journal 2.0-3.0 SH [  ]

An in-depth focused study of techniques and processes for visual observation and recording of information in the field. Mapping, writing, memory drawing, diagraming, and other methods will be explored, learned, and used. Students use the journal to daily record and organize data, problem solve ideas, and prepare ideas for communicable visual solutions. Offered only on abroad programs.

ARTS 256 Exhibition Project Management 1.0 SH [  ]

This course is designed to develop skills in the layout and design of a visual exhibition. Students will apply the general principles of effective communication, develop skills in organizing and managing content, and develop skills in working as a creative team. An understanding of planning, research, and audience will be emphasized. May be taken up to three times.

ARTS 270 Graphic Design II 3.0 SH [  ]

This course builds on the foundational skills developed in Graphic Design I and becomes more technical and intricate with the media/assignments. Emphasis is placed on the design process, the quality of the concepts, and designed outcomes. Projects explore large/small scale design, visual identity and communication, typography, information design, and package design. Students practice skills both individually and in teams.
Prerequisite: ARTS 170.

ARTS 280 Printmaking 3.0 SH [  ]

An introduction to three basic printmaking areas: relief printing, mono-printing, and Solar-printing. Emphasis is placed on the student's original development of ideas and imagery. Aesthetic and theoretical issues concerning the influence of digital imagery will also be discussed. A printmaking portfolio is the major outcome of the course.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102, or ARTS 103, or ARTS 150.

ARTS 285 Illustration 3.0 SH [  ]

An introduction to the broad based thinking skills required to illustrate verbal communication in various manifestations. Several formats will be utilized reflecting the instructor's strengths: book, poster design, musical interpretation, scientific rendering, and communication arts. Mixed media will frequently be engaged. Emphasis is on the book as an art form - as a valuable professional activity.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102, ARTS 150, and ARTS 220.

ARTS 290 Web Design 3.0 SH [  ]

Introduction to the design/management of web sites with an emphasis on the development of design strategy processes. This course builds skills in terminology, design principles, and visual problem solving. Students learn skills in organizing information, loading and maintaining web pages, applying design theory and page layout, overcoming technical challenges, and publishing a portfolio site showcasing the class projects.
Prerequisite: ARTS 170.

ARTS 295 Sustainable Design 3.0 SH [  ]

This course is based on the analysis of green design in the built environment. The course content and organization model the breadth of societal cooperation necessary to solve sustainability problems while it explores the principles of current energy strategies. The course also teaches basic visual communication skills, drafting practices, discussion techniques, and culminates in a build-design project constructed by class members.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102 or ARTS 103.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only

ARTS 298 Designing in Space 3.0 SH [  ]

Examines a specific topic in studio art practice that includes spatial elements such as those used in kinetic art, architectural and product design, and installation and public art. As a studio course, it helps students cultivate a creative practice that incorporates multi-disciplinary elements in their personal artwork; it also includes exposure to current dimensional themes. This course is built around the special expertise of the faculty. Open to all with at least one previous studio art course. A specific topic can only be taken once.

ARTS 299 Experimental New Media Seminar 3.0 SH [  ]

Examines a specific topic in studio art practices that may include sound, video, photography, motion, design, and installation. The course is built around the special expertise of the faculty. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be repeated once up to a total of six semester hours provided the topics differ.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102 or ARTS 150 or ARTS 170.

ARTS 301 Portraiture 3.0 SH [  ]

For the student seeking experience in drawing the human form. Focus includes grounding in specific drawing skills, including ability to represent proportion, anatomic architecture, volume, and experience with various mediums. Learning about major practitioners of the genre will instill an appreciation for portraiture - it's usefulness and influence as an important art form for content in past and present art traditions and cultures.
Prerequisite: ARTS 150 or permission of the instructor.

ARTS 302 Figure Studies 3.0 SH [  ]

The human figure is used as a vehicle for exploring issues of fine drawing. Includes proportion, anatomy, gesture, content, and some historical background. May be repeated with instruction at increasingly advanced levels.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102 or ARTS 150.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only

ARTS 304 Figure Modeling 3.0 SH [  ]

Introduces students to fundamental principles of modeling from a live model. These include studies in scale, proportion, surface interpretation, and gesture. Students will engage with historical, cultural, and aesthetic aspects of figurative expression. All assignments will build to the culmination of an original figurative work for the student's porfolio. It may be repeated up to two times for a total of nine semester hours; however, only six semester hours may be counted toward the Art major or minor.
Prerequisite: ARTS 102 or ARTS 103.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only

ARTS 310 Oil Painting II 3.0 SH [  ]

Builds on knowledge gained during the introductory course. Oil II constitutes a further development of skills and image making paired with strong emphasis on research, critical discourse, and experimentation in handling of medium. Students will develop research and production models that reflect contemporary painting practices.
Prerequisite: ARTS 210.

ARTS 320 Watercolor Painting II 3.0 SH [  ]

Focused introduction to the process of developing large studio paintings based upon varied field observations, advanced watercolor techniques, and critique skills. Concentration on development of individual style or "point of view." This studio course will require that a majority of work be completed outside of the studio class time.
Prerequisite: ARTS 220.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only

ARTS 330 Studio Seminar 1.0-6.0 SH [  ]

Group study of selected topics in art. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be offered for variable credit from one to six semester hours. May be repeated up to a total of six semester hours provided the topics differ.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only.

ARTS 350 Drawing III 3.0 SH [  ]

An intense exploration of the relationship of visual language to content in art via mixed drawing media. Production of several different series formats and a focused preparation of a portfolio quality series are covered during the term. Preparation of an aesthetic statement.
Prerequisite: ARTS 150 and either ARTS 250 or one painting course.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only

ARTS 360 Figurative Painting 3.0 SH [  ]

For the art major who benefits from painting and is ready to revisit the figure within new technical and aesthetic contexts in painting. The theme centers around portraiture but includes the whole figure - the first half comprised of working directly from the model with frequent critiques. Includes exploration of conceptual content and creation of a large scale painting. May be repeated once with instruction at an increasingly advanced level.
Prerequisite: ARTS 210 or ARTS 220, and ARTS 302.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only
Field of Study Restrictions: Studio Art Majors only

ARTS 370 Advanced Design Practices 3.0 SH [  ]

Examination of professional graphic design practices within the context of a design consulting firm or as a free-lance graphic designer. Specialized activites/problems that commonly occur inside a design office are explored. Students work in design teams, design over a network, learn research methods, and create a portfolio of forms/contracts used in the field. Instructional methods: lectures, discussion/critiques, demonstrations, and readings.
Prerequisite: ARTS 170 and ARTS 270.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only

ARTS 390 Advanced Web Design 3.0 SH [  ]

The course builds on the skills developed in ARTS 290 and expands those skills with more intricate and complex problems. The course will include focus on UX and UI design. The course will also include projects that develop skills in working with CSS and HTML.
Prerequisite: ARTS 290.

ARTS 401 Creative Research Project 3.0-6.0 SH [  ]

An in-depth focused study in the visual arts shaped by previous studio art course work. Teaching methods include critical readings in professional art journals, open studio practice, weekly critique, and museum/studio field trips. Students present research and creative output in critique sessions with other students and at least one studio art faculty. May be offered for variable credit from three to six semester hours. May be taken twice up to a total of six semester hours.
Prerequisite: six ARTS courses.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

ARTS 402 On-Location Studies 1.0-6.0 SH [  ]

Offered by permission of the program faculty to students enrolled in field-oriented classes such as internships or off-campus independents. Course work provides opportunity for in-depth, individual research based upon previous studio classes at Principia College. May be offered for variable credit from one to six semester hours. May be repeated up to a total of six semester hours.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

ARTS 404 Advanced Series 1.0-6.0 SH [  ]

A course designed for advanced students who would benefit from the production of a cohesive body of work, commonly referred to as a "series." The student prepares a portfolio which reveals consistent use of visual language, content-based purpose, and exhibition caliber results. The class functions as an independent with the addition of a seminar component. Students apply for the class by submitting a written application to the art department identifying the series format options. May be offered for variable credit from one to six semester hours. May be repeated up to a total of six semester hours. For junior and senior students who have completed eight or more art major requirements.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

ARTS 495 Portfolio Seminar 1.0-3.0 SH [  ]

Portfolio ingredients such as a digital representation of a senior's work, resumés, post-college options, etc. are focused towards professional goals. At the culmination, students present a quality exhibit for the community. May be offered for variable credit from one to three semester hours.
Class Level Restriction: Senior only
Field of Study Restrictions: Art Majors only

ARTS 496 Capstone Writing Seminar 2.0 SH [  ]

This course involves the preparation of four writing components for art majors in studio: an aesthetic statement, a character essay, a series of critical reviews, and a verbally supported visual portfolio. Students are taught the components for completing the statement and the paper; the essays include prompts but are otherwise written without faculty assistance.
Class Level Restriction: Senior only
Field of Study Restrictions: Art Majors only