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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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About the Studio Art Major

The Art Studio major consists of thirteen courses (39 credits) and requires experience in six distinct areas – design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and contemporary art criticism. Additionally, majors must take two courses in the history of art, one of which must focus on Art since 1945. Juniors and seniors are expected to begin a concentration in one medium (three advanced courses), and must undertake and complete a specific senior thesis project, due at the end of the major’s undergraduate career.

Students majoring in Art Studio often begin their academic experience by taking 100-level foundation courses in drawing and design. They often then move on to introductory classes in sculpture, painting, printmaking and photography. Art history courses are often taken before the end of the junior year to help the studio major recognize--before they begin their thesis work--the trends and currents that have influenced their predecessors and contemporaries in the world of art.

A vigorous visiting artist program brings to campus contemporary artists, who work closely with students, critique their work, and provide special workshops for majors and non-majors alike. Some students take advantage of internship opportunities that connect them with internationally known artists. The intimate setting of the Visual Arts program in its 21st-century building provide all participants with both the resources and the opportunities to make the W&L experience truly special.

While rigorous in design and implementation, the Art Studio curriculum does not echo those employed at schools of art and design. Rather, the major has been crafted to work within the liberal arts tradition that the university has embraced since its inception, and students are encouraged--even advised--to bring to the creative process the ideas and concepts they have learned in classes offered by other departments across the W&L academic landscape.