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Visual Arts

In the Visual Arts program at Antioch College an emphasis is placed upon the study of art that involves not only the development of strong technical skills in traditional and experimental media, but also in the development of visual literacy, an understanding of art history and theory, and an awareness of the issues and concepts present in art and visual culture today.

The material concerns related to drawing, painting, and sculpture provide foundational base for our investigation of form and the construction of meaning within the work. Students will grow competent with the materials and methods of these media, and will be introduced to the concerns that will start to inform their personal artistic practice. Throughout this period of experimentation and growth, students will begin to understand the importance of process and the necessity of extended exploration within material, form and meaning. Students will also be asked to critically examine traditional disciplinary boundaries and to consider what is possible when these boundaries are able to open up and become unfixed and malleable.

The studio courses in the Visual Arts major involve intensive material exploration combined with the understanding that critique and discussions are integral to an understanding of work within a contemporary discourse and we must be able talk about the work we make and the work we see. Courses in Modern Art History, Contemporary Visual Culture, and Visual and Critical Studies introduce students to ways in which artists have addressed—and informed—their social, political, economic, and material worlds. Students will be introduced to historical and contemporary artwork and a variety of texts, from artists’ writings to critical theory. As a way to build upon the program, the artist-in residency program is designed to introduce students to courses and artistic practices not regularly offered at the college.

The Visual Arts major will prepare students for graduate work in the Visual Arts or related careers, but visual art is, at its core, a humanist endeavor and can help to prepare involved students, majors and non-majors alike, for a wide variety of endeavors beyond the studio or the confines of an art world.