Fine Art Media Descriptions
The ceramics department builds upon understanding of the clay medium through working with technical processes and contemporary conceptual development. We offer courses on technical material skills such as hand building, wheel throwing, clay and glaze calculation, tile making, mold making, and object design through a curriculum that also emphases historical understanding, experimentation, and critical discourse.
Students will gain a well-rounded knowledge of the material and how it works, allowing them to experiment with a range of clays in a variety of temperatures and atmospheres, including terracotta, stoneware, and porcelain, that students mix in our fully renovated and updated ceramics lab. All clay and glaze materials are kept in stock, with spaces for mixing both. There is a dedicated workroom for mixing and casting with plaster. In addition to mixing their own clays and glazes, students also learn to fire gas and electric kilns, in oxidation and reduction firing atmospheres. We have eight electric kilns, with three large gas kilns housed in an adjacent gas kiln room, including a new Blauuw.
We have graduate students working in private studios and anywhere from 70-90 undergraduates using the main departmental space each semester. The lab welcomes students across disciplines within design, art, architecture, and planning. The ceramics area offers four to five studios during the fall and spring semesters, with the addition of at least one summer course.
The Ceramics Club is funded by the Student Activities and Leadership Development Board, which provides funding for annual trips to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference, as well as additional money for visiting artists, workshops, and demonstrations. The ceramics department also has a large studio sale every spring with a portion of the proceeds going back into the Ceramics Club.
We have a strong connection with Queen City Clay and Rookwood Pottery, both located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Many students have participated in their internship programs, and several recent graduates are now employed at these companies. Recent graduates of the program have gone on to ceramic residencies in Cincinnati, Tennessee, New York, Maine, and California. Recent graduates have gone on to teaching positions in California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and are actively exhibiting work.
Drawing and Painting
Goals specific to the drawing area are to develop and demonstrate the ability to establish an intellectual, historical, and aesthetic awareness of the drawing experience; to maintain a working knowledge and appreciation of drawing as a major component of the creative process; and to increase artistic sensibility and self-expression within the drawing process.
The undergraduate drawing curriculum is composed of four major components. These include Drawing Studio (foundation drawing), Intermediate Drawing, Advanced Drawing, and Life Drawing. It is recognized that drawing is fundamental to the study of fine and applied arts regardless of a specific area of focus. The full range of drawing problems and issues are presented throughout the drawing curriculum from introductory to advanced levels. Whether enrolled in classes or taking independent study, drawing is available for undergraduate and graduate students who wish to study the human figure and incorporate it into their work. Students in advanced drawing are provided individual workstations. Graduate students are provided with individual studios.
Introductory level classes in painting assign students various projects in which they paint subjects that range from still life, to figure, to landscape, as well as their own imaginative compositions. This instruction is primarily concerned with the perception and recording of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional support. Other projects are based on art-historical concerns (e.g., abstraction, expressionism, realism), while students are introduced to a range of contemporary practices and ideas. Stretcher construction, canvas stretching and priming, color mixing, paint handling, and framing are introduced. The overriding goals are for students to develop skills and a conceptual grasp of painting approaches. As Introductory classes move on to intermediate and advanced levels, students engage with expanded practices of painting, working with different materials, objects, and surfaces, as they develop personal practices with their own distinct vision, imagery, and concepts.
Advanced painting students are encouraged to be self-directed and energetically motivated, developing sophisticated conceptual and individual bases for their work. Faculty encourage and enable students to develop a corresponding technical adventurousness within their chosen approaches to painting. Students in advanced painting are given individual workstations. Graduate students are provided with individual studios.
In electronic art courses, students work in a variety of video and computer formats to learn the basics of managing a project from concept to completion. Students also become familiar with a range of historical and contemporary electronic artwork. Students are provided with an overview of the field and are instilled with an understanding of the cultural impact of the media as well as the use of electronic media as a tool for self-expression. As a result, students produce a variety of projects using electronic media and complete at least one major portfolio project.
The electronic art area offers regular sequences of courses in a range of topics including (but not limited to) computer animation, game design, character design and world building, sound art, video, and interactive art. In addition to these regular course sequences, frequent topical special studios are also offered. Recent special studio classes have focused on digital output, collaborations with musicians and architects, stop-motion animation, and media-based installation work.
At the introductory level, emphasis is on the development of basic technical skills through short exercises. As students develop skills and sophistication in the use of tools, the coursework gradually shifts to an emphasis on the development of content and the application of technology to express that content. At the advanced level, students select an area of interest and develop longer projects. As part of their senior capstone experience, students work on a year-long project which results in the completion of a major portfolio piece.
Our curriculum focuses on the idea of photography as a necessary and foundational discipline for all artists and encourages both traditional and interdisciplinary approaches to the medium. Undergraduate courses in photography provide our students with a high level of technical skill, as well as an intensive studio and critique experience that, combined with the study of art history, broadens our students’ understanding of current aesthetic issues. Introductory level classes in photography offer a wide range of both technical and aesthetic information. This includes contemporary digital image capture and printing, as well as traditional materials and processes (i.e., wet darkroom). Critiques focus not only on technique, but how photographic tools can be engaged to express ideas.
Special emphasis is paid to the role of photography in today’s world and to the professional options available to fine-arts-photography students after graduation. Practical experience through participation in both internal and external exhibitions enables students to prepare themselves for future postgraduate exhibition opportunities of their work.
The DAAP photo complex is the college's academic support facility for photography and photo-related curriculum. The complex provides a safe, smooth-operating, well-maintained facility. The photography facilities are part of the Computer Graphics Center, which also has a variety of input and output options that our curriculum uses, such as laser etching, lenticular imaging, professional scanning (2D and 3D), as well as a range of software that is freely available in our computer labs.
In printmaking, introductory level courses are offered in relief, intaglio, screen printing, and lithography. Drawing and design principles are given strong emphasis in introductory courses as a part of the problem-solving process. Increasing emphasis is placed on development of personal concepts. At the advanced level, emphasis is placed on experimentation, exploration, and conceptual development with the expectation that students gain a significant understanding of their chosen medium and its relationship to individually developed concepts. Students in printmaking are also expected to develop a sense of professionalism about their work, as well as use of the studio, tools, and equipment.
The printmaking curriculum is comprised of separate but contiguous studios with more than 4,500 square feet for lithography, intaglio, screen printing, and relief printmaking. The facility is well stocked with rollers, color inks, flat file cabinets for paper storage, and lockers. Equipped with Charles Brand and Takach-Garfield presses, all printmaking studios establish a professional working environment. In lithography, there are more than 130 stones, a crown hydraulic lift, a stone-graining sink, and three presses, as well as chemicals for stone and plate processing. The intaglio studio includes equipment for etching copper and zinc, a Charles Brand hot plate, isolated vented acid and solvent rooms, and a special area for color printing. The screen-printing studio has screen storage racks and five silkscreen tables, including three vacuum-printing tables. Support for digital and photographic processes are available within the print studio. Additional resources for support of digital processes are maintained in the college Computer Graphics Center. There are three separate smaller studios for graduate students with direct access to the presses and common workspace. All studios are ventilated and meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for industrial health and safety.
Sculpture students are exposed to a wide array of approaches, materials, and processes. Investigation into traditional forms and materials is balanced with experimental and ephemeral approaches. The area stands alone as a field of study or partners with other media areas to support interdisciplinary practices. All students have access to all DAAP labs. The introductory sculpture course develops competency in casting, welding, fabrication, and experimental processes. Intermediate students in sculpture explore focused studios like installation art, foundry, prototyping, metal, or wood sculpture courses. Advanced students work independently to develop a body of work as they develop their thesis projects. Many students develop their work in the interdisciplinary studio course where students work freely across media. All courses emphasize an immersive awareness of contemporary issues in sculpture and the expanded field through assignments, discussions, and conference participation.
The sculpture facility is interwoven with the college facilities including the DAAP Build Lab, the Rapid Prototyping Center, the Student Technology Lab, the Computer Lab, and the DAAP Photo Lab. Students have additional access to the DAAP Ceramics and Printmaking Labs and the 1819 Innovation Hub Makerspace. Students have 24-hour access to the sculpture studio, and advanced students have access to dedicated personal workspaces.