The Photography Division provides an academic atmosphere in which students and faculty conduct rigorous and open investigations into the nature and meaning of photographic representation in contemporary culture. The division takes a broad and progressive approach to the practice and definition of photography. The curriculum includes traditional black and white darkroom photography, color photography, large-scale photography, alternative processes, video and digital processes.
The Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art is designed for students who want to focus on specific academic, artistic and career preparation in their chosen discipline. As a professional undergraduate degree, students are well prepared for graduate studies or an active career as professional studio artists/designers.
1. In-depth understanding of design principles, concepts, media and formats
2. Strong critical, analytical and communication skills requisite to engage in advanced academic and professional level work
3. Acquire technical skills and the resourcefullness to advance themselves as professionals in their own studios
4. Understand the contemporary critical, theoretical and art historical context that they are engaged in as working artists
Assessment Tool #1
In order to assess Learning Outcome #1, #2, and #4, studio art students have regular in-class critiques, written exercises, including artist's statements and exhibition reviews, sketchbook excercises, and research involving artists and movements that culminate in visual presentations within the class.
Assessment Tool #2
To assess #3, each BFA Photography Studio Art student is required to enroll in a Senior capstone course: ART 441 Advanced Photography and present their work in a senior exhibition on or off-campus and have their faculty mentor approve their work.
Assessment Tool #3
To assess # 4, all BFA Studio Art students are required to take a full range of Art History coursework, write research papers, complete quizes and written examinations.
Use of Assessment Tools #1, #2, #3:
Faculty in the Photography BFA Studio Art division assess student outcomes of curricular objectives through a close mentorship with each student (required of all BFA students) in coursework, critiques and oversight of their final senior exhibition projects. Student work is assessed throughout the duration of the program using the College of Fine Art's online e-portfolio databank, yearly division exhibitions in the Lionel Rombach Gallery, and Scholarship portfolio assessments each April.
Faculty discussions in the studio art areas began in 2005/06 to address a redesign of the studio art "core" foundations curriculum to better reflect contemporary practices and the growing importance of artists being able to articulate conceptual ideas and enhance their critical thinking skills.
Findings and Changes:
To strengthen and expand enrollments in the BFA degree program, Holistic Admissions standards were put into place in the fall 2006. Applicants with advanced studio art skills were now able to apply directly into their chosen division by portfolio review, instead of being admitted as a BA Studio Art major first.
In the fall of 2007, a Core Foundations faculty specialist was hired to lead the curriculum overhaul in the Foundations area, resulting in the design and implimentation of the new First Year Experience core curriculum, featuring eight conceptually themed 8-week workshops (100A, 100B, 100C, !00D, 100E, 100F, 100G and 100J) that replace ART 101, 102, 104 and include three Art History courses in a 21 unit required set of pre-requisites for entrance into any 200-level studio art course.
- ART 441: Advanced Photographybecame a required Capstone course for portfolio development and professional practices information for all Photography BFA students.
- Core pre-requisites set: 21 unit core First Year Experience, including 9 units of Art History.
- Course modifications for curricular clarity in the Photography area include: ART 241: Beginning B/W Darkroom Photography, ART 242: Beginning Digital, ART 340: Trends in Contemporary Photography, ART 341E: Self-Portrait Photography, ART 341B: Untrue Narratives, ART 341D: Altered Surface Photography, ART 343a: Traditional Photographic Techniques, ART 344: Digital Photography, ART 345: Large-scale Photographic Processes, ART 346: Color Photography, ART 349: Artists' Video, ART 441: Advanced Photography, ART 444: Advanced Digital Photography, ART 440: Trends in Contemporary Photography, ART 446: Advanced Color Photography,
- New courses include: ART 442: Large Format Photography and ART 448a: Discovering Place