Department of Art & Art History

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Graduate student work: Ryan Ruehlen
Graduate student work: Ryan Ruehlen

Painting/Drawing

Hand-made marks allow a viewer to recreate in their mind the actions of the artist. In this way, the artist opens a portal through which a viewer can observe the artist’s perspective of the world. The history of the discipline of mark making offers a multitude of perspectives from which all artists and cultural makers can sample. Marks made without the hand illuminate processes in the world that give rise to actions. These processes become a surrogate for the hand and offer artists a new context for mark making. The Drawing and Painting Area fosters an environment of exploration and promotes a variety of approaches to art making, ranging from traditional media, such as oil paint on canvas, to experimental tactics that challenge the idea of tradition and blur boundaries between media. Moreover, the Drawing and Painting Area approaches material and conceptual explorations as inextricable and encourages students to carefully consider the implications of their decisions when making art.

Undergraduates: Students working towards a Studio Arts degree can select drawing or painting as their area of emphasis. The diverse faculty in the Drawing and Painting Area are working contemporary artists whose professional practices operate within the tradition while, at the same time, challenging the boundaries of drawing and painting.

An example undergraduate track through a drawing and painting concentration in two and a half years (after Foundations):
Year 1
First Semester: Beginning Drawing
Second Semester: Beginning Painting, Intermediate Drawing

Year 2
First Semester: Intermediate Painting, Figure Drawing
Second Semester: Advanced Drawing, Figure Painting

Year 3
First Semester: Advanced Drawing/Painting, Color Theory

Note: Figure Drawing, Figure Painting, and Color Theory can be taken at any time as they do not require pre-reqs beyond Foundations.

The area also offers a concentrated degree in drawing and painting in the form of a Bachelor of Fine Arts. This is a highly competitive degree and students must apply to the BFA program with a portfolio that displays a unique vision, internal drive, and advanced understanding of practice that sets them apart from the average studio arts major. Once accepted into the BFA program, students will be expected to develop technical proficiency in their media, engage in a critical dialog with their peers, investigate the conceptual underpinning of their own ideas and interests, and work closely with the full-time faculty. Every BFA student will be assigned a faculty mentor. This degree is intended for students that believe they want to be a professional in the arts community.

All students in the Drawing and Painting Area must show a rigorous commitment to their creative impulse and a willingness to foster their intellectual curiosity through their chosen media.

Graduates: The Drawing and Painting Area offers a competitive two-and-a-half-year Master of Fine Arts degree. The diverse faculty in the Drawing and Painting Area are working contemporary artists that exhibit both nationally and internationally. Working alongside these and other faculty in the department offers students the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of experimentation and interdisciplinary pursuits, all the while receiving critical feedback from a variety of perspectives. An emphasis is placed on conceptual rigor and the current dialog of each student’s inquiry.

MFA students choose a graduate committee comprised of no fewer than four faculty members, with two from the Drawing and Painting Area and all others from any other department on campus. First year MFA students must pass a first year review in order to advance onto the second year. A second review occurs prior to the student’s final thesis semester; this is called the pre-thesis review. A final thesis review takes place during the student’s MFA thesis exhibition held in the CU Art Museum. The MFA thesis includes both the exhibition and a written paper addressing the student’s practice. Equal weight is given to the written thesis and creative work. Students must pass the final thesis review in order to receive a degree.

Graduate Application Information

Area Faculty

Alvin Gregorio

Alvin Gregorio

Painting/Drawing
Mike Womack

Mike Womack

Painting/Drawing
Françoise Duressé

Françoise Duressé

Painting/Drawing
Marina Kassianidou

Marina Kassianidou

Painting/Drawing
Kay Miller

Kay Miller

Emeritus
Painting/Drawing
Chuck Forsman

Chuck Forsman

Emeritus
Painting/Drawing
Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson

Emeritus
Painting/Drawing