Courses and Requirements
The goal of Hamilton's 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.
1. Art 104 Introduction to Drawing or Art 160 Figure Drawing
2. Art 203 Introduction to Painting, Art 235 Intaglio Printmaking, or Art 233 Introduction to Printmaking
3. Art 106 Introduction to Ceramics, Art 109 Introduction to Sculpture or Art 107 Art and the Environment
4. Art 116 Introduction to Photography, Art 213 Introduction to Video, Art 221 Introduction to Animation, or Art 105 Introduction to Media: Integrated Media and Emerging Practices
5. One 300-level course in the same area as the senior project before the end of the junior year
6. Art Elective (beginning with the class of 2022: Art 380 Junior Seminar in Art)
7. Art Elective
Note: Art electives may not be cross-listed courses.
8. Art History (a course that spans a broad range of periods)
9. Art History (other)
Note: Students wishing to fulfill the art history requirement with a course about film must get approval from the Art Department chair. Students may not fulfill the art history requirement with a course cross-listed in Art History from another department.
10. Art 501 Senior Project I
11. Art 502 Senior Project II
All senior concentrators are required to register for Senior Project I in the fall of their final year. Based on a review by the studio faculty, students who have successfully completed Senior Project I must continue by registering for Senior Project II. Students who do not receive a grade of B- or above in Senior Project I will complete an additional 300-level course in studio art. In either case all students will be required to have a public exhibition during their final semester.
A minor in art consists of Art 104 or Art 160, one art history course and three additional studio art courses (which are not repeatable and are not all in the same media area). An independent study may not count toward a minor in art. Interested students should meet with the chair.
Concentrators in the Art Department will fulfill the Social, Structural, and Institutional Hierarchies (SSIH) requirement through participation in the department’s annual Visiting Artist Series and through subsequent discussion forums mediated by members of the art faculty in the contexts of their classes. Students must participate in a discussion of SSIH issues in the visiting artist series in at least two classes before engaging with these issues through the Visiting Artist Series as part of the senior program.
Honors in art will be awarded on the basis of a cumulative average of 3.7 or above in coursework toward the concentration and distinguished performance in the Senior Project. View a complete description of the Senior Project.
Students interested in studying abroad should consult with the chair of the department as soon as possible. Concentrators will need to consider the most appropriate means of integrating study abroad with the Advanced level course and other requirements and preparation for their Senior Project.
Introduction to Drawing.
This course will introduce drawing as both a tool for generating ideas, and as an art form in itself. Classes will feature experiments designed to spark and sustain creative impulses, as well as more traditional drawing exercises to train the eye and hand. This will be a multidisciplinary approach, focusing less on perfecting a craft than on building communication skills through visual language. Through discussion and critique, students will develop critical skills and learn how to convey their concepts with simple mark-making. Not open to seniors. Brener or Salzillo.
Introduction to the visual language in two dimensions. A series of projects exploring basic formal and expressive elements, color, composition, space and time relationships, and structural stress. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 20. Muirhead or Salzillo.
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. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 16. Murtaugh.
Art and the Environment.
Three-dimensional explorations will focus and reflect upon our relationship with the natural and constructed world. Emphasis on process and the language of materials will direct form, meaning, and the context of objects and installations created. A developed visual and conceptual vocabulary will accompany studio practice and class critique. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 12. Murtaugh. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Introduction to Sculpture.
109 Introduction to Sculpture This course will provide extensive opportunities to develop observational, conceptual and technical skills in sculpture. Basic woodworking, assemblage, casting, carving and installation methods will be covered, while examining the unique demands and benefits of working in three-dimensions. Through lectures, discussions and critiques, students will delve deeply into what it means to make sculpture in the 21st century. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 12. Murtaugh and Brener.
Intro to Digital Photography.
Introduction to fine art photography using digital SLR cameras and/or smartphones. Focus on the technical, aesthetic and critical concerns of digital photography, using industry standard software and printers. Expressive use of the medium and development of a portfolio. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 12. Maximum enrollment, 12. Robert Knight.
Introduction to Photography.
Fundamentals of photography through the use of both analog and digital SLR cameras, black and white darkroom techniques, film scanning and digital printing. Emphasis on development of technical and aesthetic skills, and the potential of the medium as a tool for artistic expression. Cameras will be provided by the College. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 16. Knight.
Application of basic drawing principles to the representation of the human figure, with emphasis on anatomy and proportion. Examination of related topics such as the figure in the environment and portraiture. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 20. Kuharic.
Introduction to Painting.
Introduction to the study of the methods and techniques of oil painting, with emphasis on still-life, figures and landscape. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 16. Salzillo.
Introduction to Video.
Introduction to fundamentals of craft and study of experimental video. Emphasis on developing ideas and conveying meaning through video art, working outside commercial traditions. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 12. Gant.
Introduction to Animation.
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. No pre-requisite. Not open to First Years. Maximum enrollment, 12. Ella Gant.
Introduction to Printmaking.
Introduction to the basic principles and techniques of printmaking as traditionally employed in intaglio and stone lithography. Includes brief discussions of the history of printmaking, printing editions, matting, paper conservation and safety. Not open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Study in the process of intaglio printmaking, including etching, engraving, dry point, and hard and soft ground techniques. Students expected to participate in group criticism. May repeat for credit at increasingly advanced levels. Not open to first-semester students. Open to seniors. Maximum enrollment, 16. Salzillo.
This course develops basic paint handling, visual syntax, and conceptual abilities pertaining to the figure in space. Students will examine historical and contemporary methods, including non-western and abstract approaches. Students will gain an appreciation of the physicality, emotional touchstones, and communicative power of paint. Prerequisite, 104 or 160. Maximum enrollment, 16. Kuharic.
Performance, Ritual and Technology.
This class will cover performance strategies in relationship to digital technology, ritual and the social. We will create collaborative and hybrid work at the intersection of performance, digital media and social practice and map out modes of ritual engagement within these intersections. We will explore "liveness" as a digital and/or embodied presence and survey contemporary hybrid performance work. Enrollment 16, No prerequisite. (Same as Theatre 240 and Digital Arts 240 and Music 240.) Maximum enrollment, 16. Anna Huff.
Study of advanced elements in imaginative and representational drawing with emphasis on color and mixed media. Prerequisite, Art 104 or Art 160. Maximum enrollment, 18.
Advanced Photography: Digital Projects.
Advanced investigation and study of the creative tools of digital photography. Emphasis on the use of the computer as a parallel tool to traditional photographic processes, including advanced Photoshop techniques, digital collage, and mural printing. Continued exploration of personal vision with emphasis on social and cultural contexts for photography. Normally offered every 3rd year. Prerequisite, 116. Maximum enrollment, 16.
Advanced Photography: Analog Techniques.
Advanced investigation and study of the creative tools of black-and-white photography through the use of analog film cameras. Emphasis on medium and large format cameras, studio techniques and darkroom printing. Continued exploration of personal vision with emphasis on social and cultural contexts for photography. Normally offered every 3rd year. Prerequisite, 116. Maximum enrollment, 16.
Advanced Photography: Alternative Processes.
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. Prerequisite, 116. Maximum enrollment, 16. Robert Knight.
Further exploration of concepts and techniques presented in Introduction to Painting with emphasis on landscape and interiors as subject matter. Reinforcement of oil painting skills and introduction to egg tempera and acrylic.May repeat for credit at increasingly advanced levels with permission of the professor. Prerequisite, 203. Maximum enrollment, 16. Kuharic.
Advanced Three Dimensional and Material Studies.
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. Prerequisite, 106 or 109. Maximum enrollment, 16. Murtaugh.
Advanced investigation and study of experimental video production. Exploration of personal vision combined with emphasis on social and cultural contexts for video. May repeat for credit at increasingly advanced levels with permission of the professor. Prerequisite, 213. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Special Topics in Photography: Curating the Archive.
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. Prerequisite, Art 113 or 115 or 116 or permission of the instructor. Maximum enrollment, 12.
Addresses major themes in art criticism and studio practice from 1970 to the present. Students will reflect on these themes through the production of multi media studio projects, classroom discussion, critique, readings, written assignments, field trips, and oral presentation. Prepares art concentrators for independent senior level work through the integration of previous coursework across our curriculum and an evolution of each student’s conceptual development. (Social, Structural, and Institutional Hierarchies.) (Proseminar.) Prerequisite, One 300-level Studio Art Course; open only to Junior Art Concentrators. Maximum enrollment, 16. Rebecca Murtaugh.
Senior Project I.
A required one semester course for senior concentrators. To be followed by 502S upon successful completion and approval of the senior project advisor. The Department.
Senior Project II.
A required one-semester course for senior concentrators working toward honors and the senior exhibition. Prerequisite, 501F and permission of the senior project advisor. The Department.
(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)