The dynamic relationship between painting and drawing forms the core of the BFA Program. Our curriculum encourages a balance of technical proficiency and creative exploration with a wide range of subjects, materials, and formats. Emphasis is placed on conceptualization and process, as well as finished products. Initial focus on technique and tradition evolves into an increasing concern with content, experimental approaches, and contemporary issues. Students progress from a structure of challenging assignments to independent projects.
Basic classes build technical skills and expand concepts of color, space, and subject matter. Intermediate and advanced classes pursue more complex methods of image development. Each student is encouraged to discover a personal iconography. Content and narrative structure, layering and revision, the process and physicality of art making are explored in depth. Intensive studio practice is supported with research, field trips, and visiting artist lectures and tutorials. Critiques, presentations, and seminars hone critical and verbal skills, and address the relationship between art and culture.
New lines of investigation in the field are strongly encouraged in advanced classes, as students pursue individual directions and assess their work in a contemporary context. Private studio spaces, generous attention from faculty, and the proximity of New York City galleries and museums enrich the BFA program of study. Electives, cognates, the Art Lecture Series, and the BFA Seminar promote interdisciplinary activity and discourse. Students' chosen directions may embrace painting, drawing, or multi-media combinations; ideas are not limited by media definitions. Paintings with 3-D extensions, monumental scale, multi-dimensional installation formats, photographic projection and digital animation have all been employed by recent graduates. Senior Studio projects, completed during the final year of the BFA, are exhibited in the campus' Samuel Dorsky Museum. A small sampling of visiting artists from recent years includes: Mike Bidlo, Ellen Gallagher, Judith Linhares, Polly Apfelbaum, Kojo Griffin, Cynthia Lin, Vincent Desiderio, April Gornick, Susanna Coffey, Michael Ashkin, and Eleanor Heartney.
All Painting/Drawing classes except Senior Studio are open to students in any BFA major as electives. Students enrolled as BA or BS Visual Arts, or BS Art Education majors may choose Painting and Drawing as a concentration, or take our classes as electives. Some students expand their future options by completing majors in both Art Education and the Painting/Drawing BFA. Please see the Visual Arts pages or contact an advisor for further information.