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The Art major at SMCM provides a supportive environment in which a broad range of creativity is fostered. Our curriculum introduces students to techniques and concepts that build progressively towards a self-determined artistic practice. In addition to developing art-making skills, students learn critical thinking, reflective self-evaluation, articulation of creative intentions, and art historical contexts. Because our curriculum values interdisciplinary thinking, many of our students complete second majors, and minors in other fields of study, and are encouraged to integrate these diverse interests into their work.
The core courses for the major teach basic technical skills, while emphasizing visual literacy and analysis as fundamental tools for both understanding and making art. Beyond this core, studio art majors choose electives from a range of mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital art, and photography.
Advanced courses expand students’ understanding of contemporary art and the interdisciplinary relationships between mediums, while continuing to improve their technical abilities. These upper-level courses include self-directed projects that lead to focused explorations of content relevant to each student. Students continue to build their historical understanding by taking additional courses in art history. The Art Major culminates in a yearlong capstone experience in which students create a body of work for exhibition or presentation accompanied by a written artist statement, and public talk.
The flexible requirements of the Art Major allow students to tailor their coursework to serve a variety of post-graduation goals. Our program prepares students for graduate school and careers in the arts including practicing artist, art education, community arts, graphic design, media production, and architecture, as well as a wide range of professional and personal activities for which practical skills, analytical abilities, and visual literacy are key components.