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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 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.

The Department of Art is excited to offer a robust range of remote classes in fall 2020. We are committed to providing a full and engaging curriculum in Art History, Studio Art, and Architecture.


In anticipation of questions about the studio experience in art and architecture courses, we’d like to communicate that our approach forefronts physical making, conceptual exploration, and the opportunity for meaningful artistic responses to the complexities of our current world. 


The fall schedule reflects the following changes:


  • Intaglio Printmaking will not be offered (replaced by ARS268: Topics in Printmaking)

  • Introduction to Digital Media is offered M/W evenings (instead of T/Th evenings)

  • Photo 2 will not be offered (it will be offered in spring)



ARS 162: Intro to Digital Media 

Instructor: Lucretia Knapp

M/W 7:05 – 9:35PM

This introductory course is an exploration in Digital Media that includes the construction, manipulation and reception of computer-generated imagery with a component addressing time-based media. Fundamental concepts of design, and engagement in historical, theoretical and technical exploration will assist in forming your artistic practice.

Zoom will be used for regularly scheduled group classes, lectures, discussions, exercises, and individual meetings. We will also have a few guest speakers join us via Zoom. The small size of the class, the group sharing of thoughts and projects, will foster a sense of community. No previous knowledge of the software is necessary. A digital SLR or a personal cellphone that has the capability of shooting still images can be utilized. The Adobe software we will be using will be made available to each student.



ARS163: Drawing 1

Instructor: Alex Callendar

M/W 9:20 AM – 12:10 PM

This course will be taught by remote synchronous instruction via Zoom. Through drawing demonstrations, individual and small group meetings, workshops, collaborative play, and independent projects, we will learn various techniques of observational drawing that promote traditional methods, experimental drawing, and creative expression. Material kits will be assembled for students to purchase so that everyone can feel prepared and able to make their own flexible workspace where they are. 



ARS163: Drawing 1

Instructor: Katy Schneider 

T/Th 1:40 – 4:30PM

We will meet twice a week via Zoom at the designated class time, working simultaneously but in our personal spaces. With regularly scheduled, individual meetings via Zoom, students can expect a highly personalized experience. Collaborative projects involving small groups will enhance community building. Assignments and peer responses will be posted to a shared online space. Developing a practice that enables art making in any type of living space will encourage life-long pursuits. Students at every level of experience will find their abilities and learning style supported. 



ARS172: Studio Art Foundations

Instructor: Lee Burns

M/W 1:40 – 4:30PM

This course will meet twice a week in its scheduled time using Zoom. The course is designed to encourage students’ creativity and self-expression in response to assignments that will involve two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and time based work.  Written materials, organizational details, and images will be shared through Moodle and Google Docs.

ARS172: Studio Art Foundations

Instructor: Justin Kim

T/Th 9:20AM–12:10PM

This course will be meeting twice a week, as scheduled, via Zoom. This course emphasizes process, research, experimentation, and risk-taking. It involves problem solving across traditional media-boundaries. Assignments will encourage a range of responses in two-dimension, three-dimensional, and time-based media and practices. Assignments will allow students to explore both studio and site-specific approaches. The course is designed to foster students’ self-direction and conceptual agility across the curriculum.

ARS 263: Intermediate Digital Media

Instructor: Lucretia Knapp

M/W 1:40–4:30 PM

This course builds working knowledge of multimedia digital artwork through experience and experimentation with various software programs, with a focus on time-based media. The emphasis of the class is on video art, video performance and experimental sound. In addition to viewing and discussion of a handful of film, video and sound works, we will work on a few in-class exercises and complete individual projects and possibly one collaborative project. 

Zoom will be used for regularly scheduled group classes, lectures, discussions, exercises, and individual meetings. We will also have a few guest speakers join us via Zoom. The small size of the class, the group sharing of thoughts and projects, will foster a sense of community. No previous knowledge of the software is necessary. A digital SLR or a personal cellphone that has the capability of shooting video can be utilized. The Adobe software we will be using will be made available to each student. We will also take advantage of some free shareware programs.

ARS266: Painting 1

Instructor: Elizabeth Meyersohn

M/W 1:40 – 4:30PM 

This will be a comprehensive introduction to painting. The course will be taught using water-based acrylic paints and mediums presented via Zoom and moodle. The class will begin with simple painting exercises building up to more complex color, compositional issues and issues of self and identity. The class will explore issues of content, colors and the history of a variety of expressions in painting. Weekly demos and presentations on artists will take place remotely. We will meet twice a week at the designated class time. Each student will purchase painting “kits” which includes paints, mediums, surfaces and an inexpensive desktop or outdoor easel. Prerequisite: any 100 level class or permission of the instructor.



ARS268: Topics in Printmaking: Beyond the Print Shop

Instructor: Lindsey Clark-Ryan

T/Th 9:20AM – 12:10PM

While collaborative and community-oriented, printmaking is usually tied to specific equipment and resources that can be difficult to access. This course emphasizes how printmaking as a process and way of thinking can both support a creative community and adapt to respond directly and personally to one’s current circumstances. We will use water-based methods such as stenciling, relief printing, texture rubbing, and basic book construction to explore our perception of time, variation, location, color, and transparency. These methods have the capacity to create work that is small and intimate, large and immersive, and/or continually in flux. The course is appropriate for students with or without printmaking experience. Prerequisite: any 100-level ARS course or permission of the instructor.



ARS273: Sculpture I

Instructor: Lee Burns

M/W 9:20AM – 12:10PM

The successful results from the spring shift to remote indicate that a remote art class can offer a rewarding studio art experience with comparable learning to an in-person class. The class will involve Zoom, email, Moodle notifications and use of Forums, Google Slides for presentation of student work, and Google Docs for scheduling activities. Topics will involve different processes from a traditional Sculpture class that would utilize fired clay, plaster casting and mold making among others. Instead, the students will approach 3-D work with alternate materials and processes.



ARS275: The Book: Theory and Practice

Instructor: Barry Moser

T/Th 9:20AM – 12:10PM

The beginning of the semester will be devoted to learning skills, and these formal sessions will become less intense as the term goes along, when there will be more independent work on individual projects. The semester will commence with a few basic design problems. Adobe InDesign will be used for simple broadsides (paper printed only on one side) and more complex problems including designing a fully-fledged book. Without access to a printshop, we will not be working with metal type or presses this semester, but there will be the option to have final book designs commercially printed.



ARS277: Woodcut Printmaking

Instructor: Lindsey Clark-Ryan

T/Th 1:40 – 4:30PM

Woodcut, and relief printing in general, is one of the more adaptable and accessible printmaking techniques, so we can go forth and make prints in a variety of situations. We will focus on using water-based materials for projects that can be completed wherever each student resides. We will meet on Zoom and design other virtual and long-distance interactions adapted to our group. 



ARS280: Introduction to Architecture Design

Instructor: Elisa Kim

M/W 1:40 – 4:30PM

All students will participate in hands-on (analog) model making, while the fundamentals of architectural drawing will be taught digitally (3d modelling and 2d drawing output). Students will be provided with a kit of materials and tools for making. The studio will also include remote guest visits from a variety of practitioners and academics in the discipline of architecture. The semester will culminate with a final project addressing issues of spatial justice in the public realm.



ARS282: Photo 1

Instructor: Fraser Stables

T/Th 1:40 – 4:30PM

This class will involve several short projects followed by more sustained independent work. Students will be encouraged to work creatively with lens-based equipment and technologies that are available to them, and which have synergy with project ideas. Possible approaches include digital cameras, phones, webcams, social media, physical constructions, site-specific presentation, etc. Various techniques and equipment will be introduced, the use of which will be optional depending upon student preference and equipment access. Students who take this class in fall 2020 will be granted darkroom access and training during their next in-person semester.



ARS380: Architecture Design Studio: Terrestrial

Instructor: Elisa Kim

M/W 9:20AM – 12:10PM

ARS 380 will follow a remote learning model, however, all students will participate in hands-on (analog) model making and will be provided with a kit of materials and tools. The studio will include remote guest visits from various practitioners and academics in the discipline of architecture and may also include collaborations with other studios within the Department of Art (TBD). The studio will focus on issues of mobility in public spaces as related to issues of race, gender, and civic participation. 

ARS385: Senior Studio

Instructor: Alex Callender

M/W 1:40 – 4:30PM

While this course will be taught remotely in Fall 2020, Senior Studio 1 will maintain its focus as a space for rigorous and engaged independent studio ideation and experimentation. Working in varied, and project-specific media, students will develop their practice through material inquiry, collaborative projects, readings and group discussion, and individual studio meetings. We will consider what artistic research means to each student, and discuss professional practices broadly within the arts. We will work in conjunction with the Imaging Center and other Smith maker centers to offer students as much assistance with technology and analog material processes as possible to envision their work. Our class will utilize our synchronous meeting time, with the expectation of needed flexibility and student-scheduled small group meetings.

The end of the semester will culminate in a digitally-based platform that promotes student work and artistic achievement to the Smith community that will be developed by our class as the course progresses. This capstone course is required for all senior ARS majors.


Lee Burns, Elisa Kim, 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.


Lee Burns, Elisa Kim, 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

Director of Honors, Studio Art

Lee Burns

The college's official requirements, guidelines and deadlines are available on the class dean's website.

Every year the art department organizes an informational meeting about honors, an 8-credit class focused on independent research. We strongly encourage interested students to attend this discussion of important deadlines and the timeline for applications. Department guidelines and practices related to honors can be found on the art department's honors page.