College Art Classes

Art Classes in College

The majority of art classes center around a single artistic medium (or a variety of them if it’s an intro class). Students usually work on a string of projects and are given multiple opportunities to revise and improve their art throughout the semester.

This course explores how artists pushed the boundaries of figuration and representation. From Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to pure abstraction, students will be introduced to major movements in Western painting.

Introductory Drawing

Whether you want to draw for a living or just as a hobby, art classes can help you find your creative voice. Research shows that students who take art are more likely to pursue their dreams and follow through on projects.

This class introduces the fundamental skills of observational drawing, emphasizing form and plane construction. From still-life objects to the human figure, students learn how three dimensional structures can be represented on a two dimensional surface. This course is intended for the beginning artist.

Introductory Painting

Whether you have taken studio art classes in high school or are new to the medium, this course provides an introduction to painting using a variety of paints and materials. Students will learn how to use different brushes and paint application techniques.

Designed for the beginning student, this class explores various drawing media including charcoal, ink, graphite and watercolor pencils. Students will develop intensive sketchbook work and larger drawings based on observation. Class critiques and discussions allow the beginner to refine both concepts and expression to create a personal synthesis.

Introductory Sculpture

An introductory studio course that introduces students to three-dimensional design. Projects involve a combination of creative expressivity and focused research into the history and social context of sculpture.

Assemble, carve and model with wood, found objects and plaster. Use simple sculpture techniques (additive and subtractive) to create small projects that build on one another. Learn to visualize and analyze your work with informal critiques.

Students advance to more complex project-based art and develop verbal and written competencies related to the evaluation of creative work. Projects may include installation art, casting/moldmaking and welding/metal fabrication.

Introductory Graphic Design

Whether you are looking to make a career change or simply add another skill to your resume, this introductory graphic design class offers the essential skills and tools needed to succeed in visual communications. It provides a comprehensive foundation in creative image making and typographic development using traditional and electronic means.

During this course, you will learn the basics of design principles like symmetry and asymmetry, scale, framing, hierarchy, and grids. You’ll also explore the triad of visual communication by studying the relationship between message, form, and audience. You will also discover the implications of color for designers and artists, as well as study and practice color qualities and harmony.

Introductory Photography

If your ambitions are more artistic than practical, you’ll probably choose a degree in the field of fine arts. This includes a bachelor of fine arts, or BFA, or a master of fine arts, or MFA.

This introductory course introduces brand-new photographers to the fundamental skills of digital image-making. Topics include camera functions, working with natural and artificial light and composition. Students must have a digital camera with manual operating mode to participate in this class. The program includes critiques of assignments. ARTS 355 requires 8 sessions. 2.5 hours each.

Introductory Digital Media

Whether you’re planning on becoming a content creator or just want to be able to understand the philosophies behind digital media, this class is for you. It will teach you the various avenues of digital production, and how they relate to art and design.

This course will explore the foundations of abstraction, which first appeared at the turn of the 20th century. You’ll discover how artists broke free of figuration and representation after thousands of years, setting the stage for movements like Impressionism, Cubism, and more. Students will also study the psychology of creativity and delve into claims that art can heal.

Introductory Bookmaking

Students learn a variety of basic book arts techniques and explore the relationship between form and written/visual content. No prior book art or papermaking experience is required.

This course will provide valuable beginning and intermediate level skills in bookbinding and custom box making. Detailed instructions guide you through the construction of five projects: pamphlet books, flat-back and round-back books, as well as a slipcase and clamshell box.

Designed for bibliophiles, this concentration connects you to the exceptional resources of the Mortimer Rare Book Room and the wealth of book artists and papermakers in the Pioneer Valley. It combines classroom study, independent research and relevant hands-on experiences in fields that include publishing, libraries, printmaking and graphic design and book arts.

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