Studio Art


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

Sculpture I

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.

Painting 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.

Constructing Images

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. 

The information provided here is meant to provide an overview of the required courses. 

Refer to the College Catalog for detailed information about course prerequisites, course frequency, and additional course requirements.

Four Foundation Courses

ART 100 Introduction to Art 2-D
ART 101 Introduction to Art 3-D
ART 206  Western Art: 15th through 20th Centuries
ART 210 Drawing I

Five Intermediate Courses

ART 200 Digital Photography I
ART 222 Painting I 
ART 252 Sculpture I 
ART 288 Seminar in Visual Thinking 
ART 370 Contemporary Art 

Two Concentration Courses

Concentration in 2-D Media, Painting

ART 323 Painting II 
ART 324 Special Projects in Painting 

Concentration in 2-D Media, Drawing

Two semesters of ART 311 Special Projects in Drawing

Concentration in Sculpture

ART 353 Sculpture II
ART 354 Special Projects in Sculpture

Concentration in Digital Art

ART 300 Advanced Digital Photography
ART 301 Special Projects in Digital Art

Advanced Art Seminar

ART 388 Advanced Art Seminar must be taken during the fall term of the senior year and completion of the senior project usually takes place during the final semester.

A Senior Project