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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Studio Art

Studio art student

Students may take studio courses in many media, from sculpture and drawing to video, photography and printmaking. We also offer interdisciplinary courses organized around conceptual questions and themes. Classes take place in studios with spaces for hand-setting type, using bandsaws, creating installations and designing computer graphics. All senior art majors have their own studio spaces.


All graduating art majors and minors will:

  • Develop familiarity with original works of art and/or architecture and with research tools appropriate for the discipline, including print scholarship, online databases and various reference materials.
  • Communicate their ideas effectively in written, oral and (as appropriate) material form, including public presentations that rely upon the display of visual images or artwork.
  • Engage a range of disciplines in their work, in the spirit of a liberal arts education.

Art studio and architecture majors and minors will demonstrate:

  • Mastery of practices or techniques in the current field of practice for at least one medium (e.g, painting, installation, photography, digital media).
  • Fluency in an extensive and pertinent vocabulary for describing their own work and the art historical antecedents with which it shares relationships.
  • Familiarity with professional practices and global perspectives within the cultural landscape of contemporary art.

Art history majors and minors will:

  • Learn to read original objects, architectural settings and written scholarship analytically and synthetically.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the different ways that spaces, monuments, and objects have intersected with lived and imagined experiences throughout history and the world over.
  • Demonstrate expertise in self-directed research, including fluency with a range of methodologies and debates across the discipline.


Lee Burns, Alexis Callender, Lindsey Clark-Ryan, John Slepian, Fraser Stables and Lynne Yamamoto.


12 courses, which will include:

1.  One 100-level course selected from the following: ARS 162, ARS 163, ARS 172. (Note that certain upper-level courses indicate specific 100-level course prerequisites.)
2.  ARH 110 Art and Its Histories
3.  Two additional 200-level or 300-level art history courses
4.  One additional course with a contemporary emphasis, relating to art history, visual studies, or film and media studies, to be chosen in consultation with adviser
5.  Five additional studio art courses, (one of which may be at the 100-level). Students may work across concentrations but must take the full sequence of courses (usually three, including a 300-level course) in at least one of the following areas of concentration:

  • drawing
  • digital media
  • graphic arts
  • installation
  • painting
  • photography
  • sculpture       

6.  ARS 385
7.  ARS 399: J-term graduates should take ARS 399 in their junior year. All other students should take ARS 385 and ARS 399 in their senior year.

Declaring the Plan B major A student may declare a Plan B major any time after she has completed the introductory (100 level) studio art requirements and one additional studio art course. She must present a portfolio of work to the Portfolio Review Committee. Portfolios will be reviewed each semester, just before the advising period. Students who receive a negative evaluation will be encouraged to take an additional studio course or courses, and resubmit their portfolio at a subsequent review time. Students who receive a negative evaluation may resubmit their portfolios in subsequent reviews up to and including the last portfolio review available during their sophomore year. These students will be offered suggestions for strengthening their portfolios through additional studio coursework in the same or other media represented in the portfolio. The additional studio courses will count toward fulfilling the major requirements.

Mapping the Plan B major Upon receiving a positive portfolio evaluation, a student should select and meet with a Plan B adviser. Together they will discuss her interests and review her studio work to date, and select an area of studio in which she will concentrate. In exceptional cases the student and her adviser may design a sequence of studio courses that draws from several areas of concentration.
The following courses are repeatable with different course content and instructor, for a maximum of 8 credits: ARS 264 Drawing II, ARS 362 Painting II, ARS 363 Painting III, ARS 364 Drawing III, ARS 372 Advanced Printmaking, ARS 374 Sculpture II, ARS 383 Photo II, ARS 384 Topics in Photography (pending CAP approval), ARS 386 Topics in Architecture.

**In response to the current unprecedented circumstances, the Department of Art is allowing up to two Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) courses from Academic Year 2020–21 to count towards the major.**


Lee Burns, Alexis Callender, Lindsey Clark-Ryan, John Slepian, Fraser Stables and Lynne Yamamoto.

Designed for students who wish to focus on studio art, although they are majors in another department. With the assistance of her adviser, a student may construct a minor with primary emphasis on one area of studio art, or she may design a more general minor which encompasses several areas of studio art. 


One 100-level course selected from the following: ARS 162, ARS 163, ARS 172 and five additional courses in studio art, of which at least three must be at the 200 level and at least one must be at the 300 level.


Lindsey Clark-Ryan

Graphic arts seeks to draw together the department’s studio and history offerings in graphic arts into a cohesive unit.


  1. ARS 163
  2. ARH 247 or 268
  3. any four ARS classes from: 269, 270, 272, 275, 369, 372, of which one should be at the 300 level or a continuation of one medium