MacMurray College's Art major strives to educate students in the development of a visual intelligence that allows them to be able to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions through visual media. This educational process assists the students in attaining the technical and conceptual skills in the production of visual art and develops an art historical awareness that prepares them for successful and professional careers in the visual arts. In addition, we contribute to the liberal arts experience by offering visual arts exposure and enrichment to non-art majors as a means of enhancing their appreciation of the visual arts, creative problem-solving, and critical thinking.
The major offers talented students the opportunity to grow and mature as visual artists in a supportive environment that prepares them for careers in the visual arts. Graduates of our program are currently pursuing their careers in photography studios, design agencies, and galleries in Chicago and St. Louis.
Art majors are required to complete 39 hours in the major. These include five studio courses to be taken in the freshman and sophomore years: ARTS 101, 102, 105, 202, and 204. Six other courses are to be chosen from among 103, 201, 203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 310, 336, 338, 351, 402, and 404, including at least two in Art History (207, 208, 310, and 338). In their senior year all majors must take 495 and 497 and create a thesis exhibition of their work.
A student may earn a BA or a BS degree in Art. The BA degree includes the college language requirement and is especially suited to an art history concentration. The BS degree does not require language and is designed for the studio artist. Areas of concentration include studio art (painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and graphic design), art history, and pre-art therapy.
A minor requires 24 hours, including at least 3 hours in art history.
Class Size and Facilities
Because of our size we are able to keep our class sizes small: all studio classes are limited to 15 or less. The smaller class sizes allow students to receive the personal attention they need as they develop as creative artists and thinkers. The facilities also make studying art at MacMurray College unique. The Art program is housed in the Putnam Center for the Arts.
The facilities include
- a state-of-the-art digital art lab;
- an art history lecture room;
- seminar room for critiques;
- a drawing and painting studio equipped with easels, painting tables, student lockers, and painting storage;
- a ceramic and sculpture studio equipped with potter's wheels, kilns, modeling tools, hand tools, and power tools;
- a fully-equipped photography darkroom for traditional as well as nontraditional black and white photography;
- private studio areas for art majors to work or study in comfort and privacy;
- the Applebee Gallery, offering professional art exhibitions each month.
Art majors exhibit their work in an annual art exhibition open to the campus and to the public. Professional art exhibitions are scheduled each month in the Applebee Art Gallery.
The program sponsors several trips each year to important exhibitions in this area and to major museums and art galleries in Chicago and St. Louis. Study tours abroad focusing upon the art of Europe, Central America, the Southwest, or New York City are offered in May Term.
ARTS 100. Art Appreciation. (3) A thematic approach to the study of the visual arts and how they function in various cultures and the world. Topics include "What is art?," "Who makes art?," "Who are artists and what roles do they play in society?," and "How does art become part of our lives and our history?" This course will include both lecture and studio components. Intended for non-majors. No prerequisite.
ARTS 101. Two-dimensional Design. (3) Introduction to the fundamentals of two-dimensional design introduced through projects in a variety of media. The course is composed of several projects that will emphasize the visual and intellectual aspects of form, visual organization and awareness, analytical thinking, craftsmanship, use of media and techniques, and the application of design principles. Lab fee. No prerequisite.
ARTS 102. Drawing I. (3) Introduction to the media, techniques, history, and principles of drawing leading to a better understanding of drawing style and methods of drawing. Emphasis is placed on drawing from observation; perceptual awareness; analysis; and rendering of line, form, value, texture, color, and perspective. Lab fee. No prerequisite.
ARTS 103. Ceramics I. (3) Introduction to hand forming techniques in clay with an emphasis on the construction of ceramic vessels using coil and slab hand forming techniques as well as an introduction to throwing on the pottery wheel. Additional attention will also be paid to glazing processes, studio clay mixing, and kiln firing methods. Lab fee. No prerequisite.
ARTS 105. Three-dimensional Design. (3) Introduction to the investigation of design as applied to three-dimensional media forms and space using various materials and methods. Emphasis is placed on the student's ability to invent imaginative and conceptually complex sculptures in response to a series of studio problems using hand building and simple materials. Lab fee. No prerequisite.
ARTS 115. Creative Art Workshop. (3) An introduction to the visual arts for non-art majors. This course will allow the non-art major to become familiar with the various techniques, tools, media, and methods of art making (painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture/ceramics). This course will also include an examination of the historical importance of these arts and their relevance today. No prerequisite.
ARTS 201. Graphic Design I. (3) An introduction to the fundamental elements of graphic design with an emphasis on compositional and conceptual visual communication, typography, page layout design, graphic design and production software, and prepress print production. Lab fee.
ARTS 202. Drawing II. (3) A continuation of ARTS 102, Drawing I, with further development of drawing techniques and methods for a personal and experimental approach. Abstract imagery, non-representational, and representational imagery will be explored. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 102.
ARTS 203. Ceramics II. (3) A continuation of ARTS 103, Ceramics I, with further development of ceramics construction, materials, and techniques. An advanced course with an emphasis on the development of personal style through the exploration of individual projects based upon historical and contemporary ceramic practices. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 103.
ARTS 204. Painting I. (3) An introduction to the materials, methods, techniques, and practice of oil and acrylic painting with an emphasis on pictorial organization and construction of form by color. Major interest is in development of the expressive potential of each student. Lab fee. Prerequisites: ARTS 101 and 202.
ARTS 205. Sculpture I. (3) An introduction to the basic techniques, tools, media, and methods of sculpture. Emphasis is placed on additive, subtractive, replacement, and modeling sculpture techniques and methods. Lab fee. Prerequisites: ARTS 102 and 105.
ARTS 206. Photography I. (3) An introduction to the fundamentals of black and white still photography. Emphasis is placed on the technical and aesthetic foundations of black and white photography, including camera functions, darkroom processing procedures, and presentation of work. A 35mm SLR camera with manual controls is required. Lab fee. No prerequisite.
ARTS 207. Ancient to Medieval Art. (3) History of the visual arts from the Prehistoric period through the Gothic period, with major focus on epochs of Western art history. Topics include a study of the visual arts, painting, sculpture, architecture, and related arts against the background of cultural, political, and economic development. No prerequisite.
ARTS 208. Renaissance to Modern Art. (3) History of the visual arts from the Renaissance through the Twentieth century, with major focus on epochs of Western art history. Topics include a study of the visual arts, painting, sculpture, architecture, and related arts against the background of cultural, political, and economic development. No prerequisite.
ARTS 302. Drawing III. (3) An advanced course in drawing emphasizing the development of personal style and the interpretation of the human figure through the use of a variety of media and techniques. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 202.
ARTS 303. Ceramics III. (3) An advanced course emphasizing work with clay in various traditional and contemporary techniques with an emphasis on personal expression and individual style. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 203.
ARTS 304. Painting II. (3) A continuation of ARTS 204, Painting I, with further development of painting methods, materials, and techniques. An advanced course with an emphasis on the development of personal style; an experimental approach to painting through exploration of individual projects informed by trends in contemporary painting history. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 204.
ARTS 305. Sculpture II. (3) A continuation of ARTS 205, Sculpture I, with further development of sculptural methods, materials, and techniques. An advanced course with an emphasis on the development of personal style; an experimental approach to sculpture through extended exploration of individual projects informed by trends in contemporary sculpture history. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 205.
ARTS 306. Photography II. (3) A continuation of ARTS 206, Photography I. An advanced course in black and white photography and digital photography, with emphasis on image manipulation and experimental processes. A 35mm SLR camera with manual controls is required. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 206.
ARTS 310. Non-Western Art. (3) History of the arts of the Non-Western world with a major focus on the arts of China, India, Japan, Polynesia, Africa, and the American tribal societies before 1900. Topics include a study of the visual arts, painting, sculpture, architecture, and related arts against the background of cultural, political, and economic development. No prerequisite.
ARTS 336. Digital Photography. (3) An advanced photography course exploring the technical and aesthetic aspects of digital photography as a contemporary art medium. Emphasis is placed on becoming familiar with digital imaging in Adobe PhotoShop, image manipulation, and image input and output. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 306.
ARTS 338. Art Since 1945. (3) History of the visual arts from the end of World War II to present day, with a major focus on the styles and movements that have shaped the contemporary art world. Topics include the study of visual arts of the US and the world, critical theory, and Postmodernism. No prerequisite.
ARTS 351. Graphic Design II. (3) A continuation of ARTS 201, Graphic Design I, with an emphasis on website production software and the elements of graphic design, conceptual visual communication, typography, and layout design as it relates to website design and publishing. Prerequisite: ARTS 201.
ARTS 402. Printmaking. (3) An introduction to basic printmaking processes, materials, and techniques, including historical background and significance. Emphasis is placed on the production of multiple reproductions using monoprint, relief cut, intaglio, serigraphy, and lithography. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 304.
ARTS 404. Painting III. (3) An advanced course emphasizing painting in various traditional and contemporary techniques with an emphasis on personal expression and individual style. Lab fee. Prerequisite: ARTS 304.
ARTS 495. Senior Seminar. (3) A course designed to coordinate and clarify career goals in art for art majors and minors. Each student will work on projects and goals which are tailored to a specific career or to graduate study. In addition, students will meet together to discuss art theory, ethics, career management, the development of a portfolio, and job search procedures.
ARTS 497. Senior Thesis. (3) A continuation of ARTS 495, Senior Seminar. Senior art majors are required to take this course during their last semester. Each student will select a faculty advisor to supervise the development of a coherent body of work for a senior thesis exhibit at the end of the student's final semester. Students will also be required to write a thesis to articulate their ideas about their work, develop a portfolio, and present both for a final faculty review.