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Visual Arts Core Curriculum

Art History

The study and critical reading of works of art in their historical and cultural contexts through the art history component of the visual arts curriculum provides students with a fundamental understanding of the histories that have shaped art making and visual production. This fundamental understanding provides an essential basis for professional art practice in an increasingly interdependent and complex modern world saturated with images and experiences that depend on one another for their meanings.

Courses in the Art History Program

  • VIAR 120 - Appreciation of the Visual Arts 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 121 - Survey of the Visual Arts I 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 122 - Survey of the Arts II 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 220 - Introduction to Modern Art 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 321 - Studies in Art History 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 323 - Art Since 1945 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 422 - Studies in Art History 3 Credit(s).

Beginning with an overview of European art and an introduction to the traditional arts of non-European cultures, and advancing through increasing focus on specific cultural periods and themes, students learn to look at visual objects, identify the characteristics of art historical periods, and understand how cultural conventions have converged to shape world art from prehistory to the contemporary. Critical seeing, thinking, reading, and writing skills developed through the art history curriculum reinforce the studio art curriculum by providing the tools necessary for an informed reading of images and their culturally encoded meanings, and a critical, historical understanding in which to situate
their identities as artists engaged in professional studio art practice.

Art History courses are conducted in SMART classrooms and lecture halls, incorporate extensive image, DVD, and video collections, and provide access to extensive online image and journal databases through Edith Garland Dupre Library for research and study.


The Foundations Program is a set of fundamental courses that serve as prerequisites for every concentration in the Visual Arts. Providing the essential skills, knowledge and experiences that underpin further study in a chosen area of concentration the Foundations Program is comprehensive and broad-based. These basic courses stress classical drawing, 2D and 3D design, and computer based art forms while furnishing the student with the aesthetic, art historical, technical and conceptual skills necessary for developing art making practices that are required in a variety of professions in the art world. The 7 Foundations courses include, fundamental drawing (2), figure drawing, 2D and 3D design, Art and the Computer, and Conceptual and Formal Development through Drawing. These essential courses lay a foundation that foster individual expression, personal research practices and experimentation equipping the student with the tools for professional success in the visual arts.

Courses in the Foundations Program

  • VIAR 101 - Design I 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 102 - Design II 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 111 - Drawing I 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 112 - Drawing II 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 211 - Drawing III 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 235 - Art and The Computer 3 Credit(s).
  • VIAR 312 - Conceptual and Formal Development through Drawing 3 Credit(s).

Foundation classes are located in the Visual Arts Annex and Fletcher Hall. The main studio occupies 1900 square feet and includes facilities for drawing classes including figure drawing, and 2D and 3D design, as well as an exhibition space in the lobby of the Annex. In addition Fletcher Hall houses the Digital Media Resource Center, a fully serviced computer lab with classrooms where the Foundations’ digital-based courses are taught.

See images below of the work some of our students have produced through the Foundations core curriculum.

Foundations Images