The painting and drawing areas at Smith explore contemporary art practices through a wide range of stylistic approaches that emphasize what makes each medium so exciting. We have two dedicated painting studios for beginning (H211) and advanced painters (HL03). Students have regular access to the woodshop to build their own painting supports, and students within the program frequent The Imaging Center and the Design Thinking Initiative to complete intermedia painting projects. The drawing studio in Hillyer 203 has ample space for easel setups and more experimental drawing projects.
The curriculum offers various ways to learn and think about observational drawing and painting methods. Students develop their own creative process aided by those skills but are not confined to any one tradition of expression. Class projects are informed by readings and group discussion that reflect the broader contexts of the current art field, and students are encouraged to work from their own interests and experiences, including interdisciplinary approaches. Drawing I is a required foundation class for students who are interested in painting and drawing, and a student will then take a sequence of three courses in either area to complete their major concentration. Recent course electives have explored thematic content such as Drawing and Climate, Painting Comedy, and Drawing Social Justice.