The Undergraduate Program in Studio Art
CHAIR Mel Ziegler
DIRECTOR OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES Mark Hosford
PROFESSORS Mel Ziegler, Michael L. Aurbach, Marilyn L. Murphy
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR Mark Hosford
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS Vesna Pavlovic
SENIOR LECTURERS Farrar Hood Cusomato, Susan DeMay, Mark Scala
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR Paul Young (English)
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Jonathan Rattner (Film)
Courses in art are offered in a variety of media, which provide wide-ranging methods and perspectives. Our courses emphasize creative and critical approaches tolearning.
Many students will use the program in art as a foundation for careers in which creativity and the visual are especially valued, as the basis for advanced training in professional schools (such as art, architecture, museum studies), and for employment in galleries, museums, commercial art, or design-related fields. An important goal of the department is to help students become readers of the rich visual environment in our culture throughout their lives, as well as to encourage creative approaches to learning in all disciplines.
The Department of Art offers several opportunities for extracurricular activities in the arts. Recently a student-run art gallery opened. A new art club called Viral Student Group has begun. BLUEprint is an organization for students inter- ested in entering the field of architecture. Our Space 204 arts laboratory has exhibitions and workshops all year long. Studio VU lecture series brings some of the most important artists working today to campus for lectures and one-on-one studio visits with students.
There are several campus organizations in the arts. The Sarratt Visual Arts Committee allows students to have a hand in curating and hanging exhibitions, as well as hosting art openings at the Sarratt Gallery. VISION sponsors lectures and discussions about the history of art as well as a roundtable of alumni majors, who discuss their current careers and how they arrived at them.
Since 1984 the department has supervised the awarding of the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award to an eligible senior student. The Hamblet Award provides the means for travel and independent art activity for one year, culminating in a one-person exhibition at Vanderbilt. Students wanting toparticipate in the spring competition must be graduating seniors who are studio art majors.
The Allan P. Deloach Memorial Prize in Photography was established in 2000 in memory of Allan Deloach (B.A. ’63) by two of his colleagues at IBM. This cash award is open to any student who has taken a studio class in any discipline at Van- derbilt. Midsouth Ceramics awards are given to the top three ceramic projects in the annual open house, and the recently established Plaza Artists Materials award is given to four students each year. All competitions are judged by outside professional artists.
Program of Concentration in Art
The art major requires 36 hours and presents our students with the
opportunity to explore their ideas conceptually, as well as to learn
the technical skills involved in the creation of art. The program offers a wide range of classes and media. Our students are offered a strong grounding in traditional processes such as drawing, painting, and sculpture, as well as the opportunity to explore contemporary processes involving video, digital, and photographic media. Our diverse faculty of artist/educators represents a wide range of teaching styles and aesthetic philosophies. We consider how ideas have been developed through the centuries as well as how specific techniques have been used to enrich the expression of the idea. In addition to modern art history offerings, art majors are encouraged to take courses in pre-Renaissance and/or non-Western art history, philosophy of aesthetics, and film. The Contemporary Art Maymester offers an opportunity to study contemporary art in an concentrated manner.
PLEASE NOTE - Although we try to keep information on this website current, please check with the Department of Art to make certain you have the most up to date information on courses offerings and degree requirements. This information may vary from what is currently listed on this website or in the course catalog.
Requirements for the Program of Concentration in Art
Drawing Requirement (6 hours)
- Options: ARTS 102, 202, 203, 205, 207, or 208
Studio Requirements (15 hours), which must include at least:
- One 2-D course (ARTS 110, 111, 112, 120, 121, 122, 130, 210,
211, 220, 221, 222, 230, 231)
- One 3-D course (ARTS 140, 141, 150, 151, 152, 240, 241,
- One time-based course (ARTS 171, 172, 173, 271, 272, 273)
- Within the 15 credit hours, students must take one 200-
level ARTS course.
Related Requirement (9 hours), which must include each of the following:
- Either HART 110 or 111 (suggested for entry into 200-level ARTS courses)
- One course from the following: ARTS 180, 285, 288, HART 231, 242, FILM 125, 201, PHIL 241
- One additional 200-level History of Art (HART) course
Directed Study (6 hours)
- ARTS 290, Directed Study: Senior Show and Contemporary Practices
- ARTS 291, Independent Research: Senior Show
Majors are required to complete the Independent Research course, ARTS 291, their senior year. This course is designed specifically to help prepare majors for their Senior Show. For this reason, it is typically taken in the spring semester of the senior year. No other independent research/study course may be counted toward the major.
Honors Program in Art
The Honors Program in the Department of Art offers excelling art majors the opportunity to pursue their interest at a higher level. To be admitted to the Honors Program in Art, students must have:
- At least a 3.25 cumulative GPA.
- At least a 3.5 GPA in courses that count toward the major in art.
- Completed the sophomore year.
Students interested in pursuing the honors program should contact the director of undergraduate studies. Application materials must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies in the applicant’s junior year; applications may be submitted electronically. Applications must include ten digital images of recent work with written explanations of each image. Applicants will be notified in writing of the department’s decision.
Each honors student shall have a committee consisting of one faculty member appointed by the department chair, the student's selected honors adviser, and the director of under- graduate studies.
Requirements for graduation with honors in art:
- Successful completion of the requirements for the major in art.
- Successful completion of either ARTS 180 Sources of Contemporary Art or ARTS 285 Maymester Contemporary Art Blitz.
- Successful completion of a senior exhibition.
- During the senior year the student is required to register for ARTS 299a (3 credit hours) in the first semester and
299b (3 credit hours) in the second semester in order to complete a written thesis, expanding concepts explored in the senior exhibition.
- Successful oral defense of the thesis and senior exhibition during the final semester of undergraduate study.
- At least a final 3.25 cumulative GPA.
- At least a final 3.5 GPA in courses that count toward the major in art.
Minor in Art
The minor in art requires 18 credit hours of course work, including the following:
HART 111 (History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern), ARTS 102 (Drawing and Composition I), and four other ARTS courses, with at least one at the 200 level.
Please refer to the official catalog for prerequisites and more information.
Art Studio (ARTS)
101. Introduction to Studio Art.
Processes, fundamental elements, and principles of art. Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, installation, and time-based art.  (HCA)
102. Drawing and Composition I.
Introduction to drawing: visual problems related to observation, idea formation, composition, media, and various forms of expression. Figure and landscape may be included. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
110. Printmaking I: Relief and Intaglio.
Introduction to printmaking media, including relief and etchings. Traditional and experimental approaches. Prerequisite: 102. FALL.  (HCA)
111. Printmaking I: Screen Printing and Lithography.
Introduction to printmaking media, including screen printing and lithography. Traditional and experimental approaches. Prerequisite: 102. SPRING.  (HCA)
112. Text and Image.
Intersection of art and writing. History, theory, and practice. Zines, posters, photography, new media, and artists' books.  (HCA)
115F. First-Year Writing Seminar.
Topics vary. FALL, SPRING. 
120. Photography I.
Black and white photography. The aesthetics and techniques of the black and white medium: 35mm camera use, film exposure, image quality, and darkroom practices. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
121. Alternative Photography.
Methods in image making. Photographic narratives, book making, pinhole cameras. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
122. Digital Imaging I.
Creation of still, photo-based images using digital cameras, scanners, and Photoshop software for digital output. Issues that affect contemporary art.
SPRING.  (HCA)
130. Painting I.
Technical and conceptual aspects of painting. Individual instruction based on ability and experience. Prerequisite: 102. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
140. Ceramics I.
Introduction to ceramic design and preparation of clay objects. Handbuilding, wheel-throwing, surface enrichment, glazing, and kiln-firing. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
141. Sculptural Ceramics.
Expressive art forms in clay. Assembled components, surface enrichment, and firing techniques. FALL.  (HCA)
Changing concepts, materials, and processes in sculpture. Individual instruction based on ability and experience. FALL.  (HCA)
Additive processes in sculpture. Problems involving found objects, kinetic/time-based ideas, and site-specific installations. SPRING.  (HCA)
152. Installation Art.
Historical survey from 1900 to present; studio practice; formal and conceptual issues. SPRING.  (HCA)
160. Digital Animation I.
Animation with computers. Traditional and experimental animations; interactive Web-based projects. FALL.  (HCA)
171. Video Art I.
Video as an art form. Group and individual productions. Viewing and discussion. Project analysis and critique. Relationship to such traditional media as photography and film.  (HCA)
172. Performance Art I.
History, theory, and practice of performance. Vocal studies and conceptual music, personal narrative, performance as a response to the cult-of-celebrity, body art, and performance with new technologies. Collaborative and solo performance projects. FALL.  (HCA)
173 Interactive Portable Media and Cellphone Art
Use of inexpensive media devices such as cell phones, music players, and other portable electronics to create campus-wide participatory events, including art projects, web interactive movements, unexpected musical environments, and grass roots media campaigns. Collaborative and solo projects.  (HCA)
180. Sources of Contemporary Art.
Contemporary studio art practice, issues, and theories. Visual and conceptual influences on living artists; idea formation. Students must participate in artist-in-residence projects. FALL.  (HCA)
190. Social Collective Art Practice. History and practice of making art within the social collective experience. Small group projects based on everyday living in The Commons. No credit for students who have taken 115F section 1. FALL.  (HCA)
202. Drawing and Composition II. Prerequisite: 102. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
203. Drawing and Composition III.
Prerequisite: 102 and 202. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
205. Life Drawing II.
Prerequisite: 102. SPRING.  (HCA)
206. Life Drawing III.
Prerequisite: 205. SPRING.  (HCA)
207. Drawing with Color Media.
Drawing on paper with wet or dry color media. Traditional and experimental approaches. Prerequisite: 102. FALL.  (HCA)
210. Printmaking II.
Advanced study in traditional and experimental printmaking processes. Prerequisite: 110 or 111. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
211. Printmaking III.
Advanced study in traditional and experimental printmaking processes. Prerequisite: 210. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
220. Photography II.
Concepts and techniques of conetmporary photographic practice; experimental projects and workshops using analog and digital media. Issues in contemporary art. Prerequisite: 120. SPRING.  (HCA)
221. Photography III.
Personal projects and critiques. Interdisciplalinary possibilities. Issues in contemporary art. Prerequisite: 120, 121.  (HCA)
222. Digital Imaging II.
Creation of still, photo-based images using digital cameras, scanners, and Photoshop software. Issues that affect contemporary art. Prerequisite: 122. FALL.  (HCA)
230. Painting II.
Prerequisite: 130. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
231. Painting III.
Prerequisite: 230. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
240. Ceramics II.
Development of ceramic design, both traditional and contemporary, functional and sculptural. Projects develop technical and aesthetic goals. Instruction includes demonstrations, slide presentations, field trips, guest artists, reports. Demonstrations include advanced throwing, complex constructions, glaze development with applications, and kiln-firing. Prerequisite: 140. SPRING.  (HCA)
241. Concept and Clay: Composite Forms.
Technical ability in handling clay and conceptual and interpretive elements in functional and/or sculptural forms. Individual solutions in form and surface. Prerequisite: 140 or 141. FALL.  (HCA)
250. Sculpture II.
Prerequisite: 150. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
260. Digital Animation II.
Art made with the aid of computers. Digital imaging, manipulation, motion, and interactivity. Programs and processes vary. Prerequisite: 122 or 160. FALL.  (HCA)
271. Video Art II.
Viewing, discussion, analysis and critiques. Relationship to photography, film, and performance. Group and individual productions. Prerequisite: 171. SPRING.  (HCA)
272. Performance Art II.
History, theory, and practice. Vocal studies, conceptual music, personal narrative,performance as a response to the cult-of-celebrity, body art and performance with newtechnologies. Collaborative and individual performance projects. Prerequisite: 172.SPRING.  (HCA)
273 Interactive Portable Media and Cellphone Art II.
Working with laptops and web cams, midi keyboards and digital music players, cell phones, video cameras, and other personal media devices to create art projects. Prerequisite: 171, 172, or 173.  (HCA)
285. Maymester Contemporary Art Blitz.
Intensive review of contemporary art through excursions to museums, galleries, and artists' studios. Insights from curators, dealers, and films. Cities vary each year. May be repeatedfor credit. MAY.  (HCA)
288. Selected Topics.
May be repeated with change of content up to a total of 9 hours. FALL, SPRING.  (HCA)
289. Independent Research.
Supervised work in extension of regular offerings in the curriculum. Registration only with agreement of instructor involved and with written approval of the director of undergraduate studies. FALL, SPRING. [Variable credit: 1–3 per semester, not to exceed a total of 6] (No AXLE Credit)
290. Directed Study: Senior Show and Contemporary Practices.
Theoretical and practical concerns including professional practices for artists. Students visit exhibitions and discuss contemporary art with directed readings and lectures, participate in critiques, and exhibit their work. Seniors with a concentration in art only. FALL.  (HCA)