The goal of the Art Department is to raise students to a level of self-sufficiency, independent critical thinking, and proficiency in the creation and discussion of works of art in order that they might sustain a lively, generative, and relevant practice outside of the College environment.
About the Major
At Hamilton, art students create, learn, and display their talents in the new Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts. Across the street is the Wellin Museum, another acclaimed facility that hosts professional exhibits. As part of this exciting, rigorous, interdisciplinary art-making community, students explore the meaning art holds in their own lives and how art communicates ideas to others.
Students Will Learn To:
Construct meaning using visual information
Demonstrate a knowledge of the basic tools and techniques of new and traditional media
Analyze their studio processes by diagramming the stages in creative thinking
Use critique to formulate and build personal direction
Generate a public exhibition
A Sampling of Courses
Introduction to Ceramics
Handbuilding techniques will be employed to explore the sculptural possibilities of clay. A developed visual and conceptual vocabulary will accompany the technical aspects of ceramics through studio practice and class critique.
Explore these select courses:
An introduction to the history, tools and language of basic animation styles. This course will trace the history of experiments in animated imagery from 19th Century photography through 20th Century film into 21st Century digital works. The class will cover basic techniques in Photoshop, Adobe Premier, and illustration and animation software interfaces.
Study of advanced elements in imaginative and representational drawing with emphasis on color and mixed media.
Advanced study of photography through the investigation of alternative processes. Emphasis on the use of various historic and non-traditional processes, including photograms, pinhole cameras, cyanotype printing, and polaroid transfers, as well as emerging digital techniques including digital negatives and solarplate photogravure printing. Continued exploration of personal vision. Normally offered every 3rd year.
Advanced study of materials such as clay, wood, plaster, steel, and plastic utilizing processes such as moulding, casting, fabrication, carving and construction. May repeat for credit at increasingly advanced levels with permission of the professor.
Exploration of the process and theory of museum exhibition curating, taught in conjunction with the preparation of an exhibition in the Wellin Museum. Emphasis on the history of photography and the role of western art institutions in the appropriation and repurposing of archival imagery. Studio-based artistic response required based on materials presented. Students will work collaboratively on exhibition materials, including image selection and layout, catalog and wall text production, and multimedia materials such as podcasts.
Jane Taylor ’22, an art history and biology double-major, was among students who worked with artist Yashua Klos on his upcoming exhibition at the Wellin Museum. See what she has to say about the experience.
“My work at the Wellin Museum has been one of the most enriching, encouraging, and fulfilling parts of my Hamilton career. I think that my time designing art education programs for kids in the area will be a big help as I transition to teaching language, and I’m hoping to incorporate some of the art-based activities I used at the Wellin in my teaching abroad.”
The Junior Seminar in Art, led by Professor Rebecca Murtaugh, visited Mass MoCA in North Adams, Mass., on Oct. 21. Olivia Holbrook ’23, a member of the class, shares her impressions and photos from the trip.
Careers After Hamilton
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in art are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
Editorial Assistant, Random House
Director, High Museum of Art
Visual Designer, Fidelity Investment
Director, Credit Suisse
Landscape Design, Living Green
Technical Director, Pixar Animation Studios
Photographer, United Nations
Major Gifts Officer, Grand Teton National Park Foundation