The Studio Art track (with concentrations in Painting, Sculpture, Drawing and Photography) emphasizes the concepts, materials, and methods most commonly found in the making of contemporary art.
Through a series of hands-on studio courses, students have the opportunity to explore painting, drawing, digital photography, sculpture, installation and printmaking. Through an early emphasis on the mastery of materials and techniques, and a later emphasis on conceptual development, the track prepares students to confidently engage in the art-making process. Courses in art history and theory augment studio courses to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of how their work relates to both the past and the present.
Studio Art majors at Whittier College are problem solvers, builders and thinkers–they like working with their hands, and they revel in creating meaningful objects and images.
Students begin by exploring a wide range of foundational skills; they learn to draw, to create oil paintings, to use DSLR cameras, to weld, and to use the tools in the wood shop. As they progress through the major, they refine their skills through guided exercises aimed at challenging them both formally and conceptually. Their senior year, students mount a cohesive exhibition that addresses the themes that have come to define their work.
Whittier art graduates go on to work at museums, galleries, artists studios and schools. They are employed as arts administrators, curators, artist assistants, photographers and educators.
What You'll Learn, See, and Do as a Studio Art Major
- learn how to use the drill press
- visit the Getty, MOCA or LACMA
- create a perspective drawings in historic Uptown Whittier
- attend an artist talk by a contemporary curator, artist or critic
Sample Courses in Studio Art
Using wood construction, welding and assemblage techniques, students create sculptural forms combining visual properties and expression of ideas. This is a class that allows infinite possibilities through mixing and balancing media and techniques in individual pieces of artwork. Contemporary trends in the art world guide the work done in Sculpture I.
In this class, students learn the fundamentals of oil painting. From still-lifes to landscapes to portraiture, students learn how to manipulate materials to create striking, representational images. And they are exposed to the works of historical and contemporary painters throughout the semester.
This course exposes students to the vast array of possibilities that contemporary painting and drawing practices embody. Students explore collage, photography, mixed media, painting and drawing as they begin to refine the ideas and techniques that drive their creative approach.