Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Studio Art Mission

The studio art program is designed to foster creative problem solving, original thinking and visual literacy within a liberal arts context.  Interdisciplinary by nature, the visual arts curriculum encourages students as "makers" to experience learning within the various artistic disciplines, such as painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, filmmaking, or mixed media, while exploring ideas that cross disciplines and dissolve boundaries between the sciences, humanities and the arts.  Engaging simultaneously in both technical and conceptual development, students gain deeper insights into the relevance or significance of their ideas within social, cultural, historical, spiritual, political or personal contexts.

Students also learn to respond in an articulate manner to works of art, their own and by others, in verbal and written form.  In studio art courses, students develop skills in critical thinking, visual analysis and self-reflection through verbal critiques, peer reviews, written reviews and artist statements.  A minimum of two required courses in art history provides an historical context of contemporary art making.

Students advance in their coursework with a deeper understanding of visual language.  After identifying an affinity for a specific artistic discipline, they prepare for professional practice by learning to develop an idea and translate it into visual form across multiple works of art over an extended period of time.  Students produce a cohesive and original body of work in their senior year and mount their work in a professional group exhibition in the college galleries.  This undertaking serves as their studio art capstone experience.

Whether studio art majors pursue further study in graduate school, professional work as an artist, or any number of careers related to the visual arts, the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills gained will be invaluable in their professional endeavors.  Beyond equipping students with the tools to succeed in the working world, a major goal of the studio art program is to cultivate a deep intellectual engagement with art and a love for art-making that will continue to enrich one's cultural experience for a lifetime.

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