The art program provides majors with the opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge and practice of the basic means of visual expression and a broad exposure to the history of art. Those who major in art acquire foundation preparation for professional or graduate study or for careers in teaching, museum work, and studio and commercial art. Students are encouraged to choose a Fine Arts or Media Arts Concentration. The Fine Arts Concentration includes courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The Media Arts Concentration includes courses in photography, graphic design, video, and other digital applications. Students are encouraged to take courses in both concentrations and are required to take at least one course in the area in which they are not a concentrate.
Students completing concentrations in FINE AND MEDIA ARTS will:
- Articulate the formal qualities of the various fine and media arts.
- Show competence in one or more areas of the fine or media arts
- Develop a cohesive body of work and articulate its concepts and methods of production
- Write creatively and critically about the arts and understand research methods and principles
- Read critically and interpret art historical texts and art criticism.
- Understand and articulate the interrelationship between the arts.
- Describe the fine and applied arts in relation to history and culture.
- Analyze, interpret, and evaluate their own and others art works.
- Apply the principles and concepts of the field(s) to new situations.
Experiential Learning Components
Studio Courses are immersive and experiential in nature. The studio classroom requires hands‐on involvement in the practice and efforts toward mastery of various media resulting in a portfolio or body of work at the conclusion of each term. Singular and group critiques (both received and given) are a regular part of the studio pedagogy.
Art History assignments are often project based, replicating museum or gallery practice, or reinforcing concepts crucial to developing the visual and discipline-based vocabulary essential to the study of art and visual culture.
Capstone Courses, taken at the Junior and Senior level are exclusively immersive and experiential:
Themes in Fine and Media Arts Topics (4 credits) is an interdisciplinary capstone class that allows students working in range of media and in both concentrations in the art department to address topic-based projects from their own unique skill sets and perspectives. Group critiques and collaborative assignments encourages students to broaden their perspectives on art and art making. Emphasis is also placed on professional studio practice, skilled execution, and self-direction.
Senior Project (4 credits) consists of a self‐determined study under faculty supervision to create and develop a body of work for portfolio and/or senior exhibition. Students produce a minimum of six to ten presentation quality and/or exhibition ready works. The project usually culminates at the end of the senior year with an exhibition.
Professional Practices in Art (2 credits) provide students with knowledge and practical field experience necessary for the promotion and development of a professional career in the visual arts. In addition to gallery, studio and museum visits, and practical assignments relating to a career as a professional artist, designer or curator, students expand their professional experience by applying for competitive exhibits or participating in internships, community involvement and other related visual arts opportunities.
Senior Exhibition (2 credits) focuses on exhibition strategies, practices and standards encountered when soliciting opportunities and preparing work for exhibition. Students gain experience and knowledge regarding exhibition consideration, venues, planning, contracts, design, and marketing and promotion. Working collaboratively, students organize and present an exhibition of the work they produced for their senior project.
Foundation Review: All students participate in the Foundation Review which replicates the artist critique encountered in graduate school and at the professional level. This takes place in a student’s second year, or after 20 credits in the major. It requires portfolio preparation with a written and oral statement before the entire Art faculty.
Annual Student Art Exhibition: Student work from all courses is exhibited in the Chester Gallery (yearly Student Exhibition) and at the Simon Center gallery (on a regular basis). Students work is selected by faculty for inclusion in these exhibitions.
Fieldtrips: Students across the art curriculum participate in field trips to art museums and galleries through their art history courses, in combination with studio courses and as members of the Student Art Association. In addition, students visit artists’ studios, or are visited by artists in the art and art history classrooms when appropriate.
Study Away opportunities: Short and long term are strongly encouraged. The department keeps a list of recommended programs and can help with applications and placements.
Gallery: Some students are involved beyond their regular course work in installation processes and related activities of the Chester Gallery at New England College. Work study opportunities are available as are internships.
Internships: Internships are strongly encouraged and can be substituted for a studio art or art history course at the intermediate (2000, 3000) level. Qualified students will be encouraged and invited to apply for competitive internships at local museums and galleries, including the Chester Gallery. Various offices on the NEC campus also provide photography and design internships.
Travel Opportunities (Immersion): Art faculty periodically lead college funded trips abroad.