The Bachelor of Fine Arts program is designed for exceptional students who are interested in pursuing a professional career in the field of Fine Arts. They must have demonstrated superior ability and motivation in a particular studio art discipline. Students within the B.F.A. program can concentrate in Ceramics, Drawing, Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, or Sculpture.
A concentration in Ceramics will start the student at beginning levels of hand building techniques and exposure to the potter’s wheel manifested through assignments that balance the student’s creativity with technical training. As the ceramic student advances through the area, they will use slab construction, mold made form, and the pottery wheel to create more advanced ceramic form. Students are taught glazing techniques throughout with a special course devoted to teaching knowledge of clay and glaze materials. Advanced ceramic students concentrate on their personal ideas and goals. The Department of Fine Arts’ Ceramics Club is very active, sponsoring an annual fall fund raising sale and as an active part of NCECA’s (the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) yearly convention.
A drawing concentration begins with the foundation level classes of Drawing Fundamentals I and II. These classes stress the importance of learning composition, perspective, and the understanding of form through the use of pencil, charcoal, ink, and pastels. As students progress, figure drawing classes becomes a means to increase their understanding of form and line through the nude model. In the advanced drawing classes, a human model is available to students who wish to pursue a greater understanding of its form. All students at this level are expected to create ambitious work that has a particular focus, be it exploring a specific medium or working with a chosen theme.
A student concentrating in metalsmithing will first be introduced to the area at the 200 level following foundation classes through the use of materials and tools necessary to create objects in metals. Students will be exposed to the techniques of raising, planishing, casting, forging, soldering and metal fabrication. Metalsmithing majors will concentrate on studio problem solving based on their skills, interests and objectives. Personal inventiveness within the discipline is encouraged.
A painting concentration beginning with Painting Fundamentals will emphasize methods and media through the basic principles of composition seen in the still life, landscapes, portraiture, memory, and imagination. Majors will then explore media through either traditional or experimental approaches. Depending on interests and objectives, painting majors are asked to investigate their own ideas about painting, whether in media or content.
A printmaking concentration begins with Printmaking Fundamentals, a class which will introduce students to the media of etching, lithography, woodcut, and monotype. Students are encouraged to explore the printmaking media by considering how it can be exploited to empower their artistic expression. As students progress into advanced printmaking classes, they will create an individual theme for their semester’s work. In tandem with this, there is a deeper exploration of media, including the use of color and integration of digital and traditional media. Printmaking students regularly attend national printmaking conferences hosted by the Southern Graphics Council.
A sculpture emphasis will start at the fundamentals level, a class designed to expose students to several media processes, most commonly the use of plaster, wood, and stone. As a student advances, several new processes such as metal fabrication, clay, and assemblage are introduced. As processes advance, so does the emphasis on the student’s own personal vision. After several levels of advanced sculpture, students are asked to create sculpture through their own productivity and ideas. Because sculpture is an area not clearly defined by a specific media, many sculpture students decide to use combined media for their art explorations.