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To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fine Arts at SVA, students must complete 120 credits as follows:

  • 72 credits in studio art courses 
  • 30 credits in humanities and sciences courses
  • 18 credits in art history courses
First-Year Requirements

AHD-1010 Art History I
HD-1015 Art History II
FID-1130 Drawing I
FID-1135 Drawing II
FID-1220 Painting I
FID-1225 Painting II
FID-1430 Sculpture
SMD-1020 Foundations of Visual Computing
HCD-1020 Writing and Literature I
HCD-1025 Writing and Literature II

Second-Year Requirements

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual humanities and sciences distribution credit needs.

Second-year students must take 9 studio credits per semester, including a minimum of 3 studio credits per semester of drawing as listed in Requirement B.

Second-year fine arts majors must take:

Requirement A
One semester of:
FID-2020    Sophomore Seminar
AHD-2020 Modern Art Through Pop I
AHD-2025 Modern Art Through Pop II

Requirement B
Choose at least one of the following studio elective courses in drawing:

FID-2120-FID-3168: Drawing; Drawing the Figure; Anatomy; Fur, Feathers and Scales: Comparative Animal Anatomy; Urban Botanicals.

Requirement C
Choose the remaining number of required studio credits from the following elective courses:

FID-2000 through FID-3999: Students should select courses that will benefit them in defining their studio practice. Second- and third-year level courses (FID-2000s and FID-3000s) are interchangeable.

Third-Year Requirements

Third-year students must take 9 studio credits per semester.

Third-year fine arts majors must take:

Requirement A
One semester of:

FID-3020 Junior Seminar
HDD-3200 Ideas in Art
  or AHD-2302 History of Video Art: 1965-1985
  or AHD-2303 History of Video Art: 1985 to Present

Requirement B
Choose 15 studio credits from among the following elective courses:

FID-2000 through FID-3999: Students should select courses that will benefit them
in defining their studio practice. Second- and third-year level courses (FID-2000s and FID-3000s) are interchangeable.

Requirement C
Visiting Artist/Critic Seminar

Fine arts majors are required to attend all visiting artists/critics lectures during their junior and senior years. 


Fourth-Year Requirements

Fourth-year fine arts majors must take:

Requirement A
One semester of:

AHD-4140 Senior Seminar
  or AHD-2302 History of Video Art: 1965-1985
  or AHD-2303 History of Video Art: 1985 to Present

FID-4500 Senior Workshop I
FID-4505 Senior Workshop II
FID-4507-FID-4521 Senior Workshop III *
FID-4524-FID-4544 Senior Workshop III *
FID-4554-FID-4577 Senior Workshop IV *
FID-4582-FID-4596 Senior Workshop IV *

Requirement B
A senior project consisting of a cohesive body of work and a written text that supports the ideas and concerns expressed in the work must be completed. All students must submit 15 high-resolution images (TIFF and JPEG formats) of artwork completed during the senior year.

Requirement C
Visiting Artist/Critic Seminar

Fine arts majors are required to attend all visiting artists/critics lectures during their junior and senior years.

Fine Arts General Course Listing

Sophomore Seminar
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this seminar, students will focus on the media image and its implications in their work. In practice, the photograph has become a drawing tool for the artist and we will explore photography and video in relation to painting and drawing. Projects in lighting and composition, as well as color and its effects will be explored in still photography and the moving image. Stop-motion video effects will be used to animate a drawing. Photography and related software will be employed to address space, texture and volume as formal concerns in image-making. Students will learn how to document their work, how to use a camera that goes beyond point-and-click and what range of possibilities can be achieved with these instruments. How to color correct prints and videos will also be covered. Sound and editing techniques as they apply to art production is included in this media primer.

AHD-2020 / AHD-2025
Modern Art Through Pop I and II
Two semesters: 3 art history credits per semester
These courses map the major movements and tendencies in modern art beginning with the realism of Courbet in the 19th century and continuing into the 20th century, including impressionism, postimpressionism, symbolism, fauvism, cubism, futurism, expressionism, Dada and surrealism. The art will be discussed in terms of the individual artist’s intent as well as in terms of historical events and cultural issues at the times in which they were created. The second semester will survey of art from the emergence of “modernism” through the radical transformations in established modes of art-making of the postwar period. Close attention will be paid to the social, political and economic contexts in which artistic styles and forms have materialized, grown or changed from mid-century to the present. Museum field trips are an important part of the curriculum.

Second- and Third-Year Drawing Courses

FID-2120 / FID-2125
Anatomy I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits
Anatomy can offer a concrete structure for drawing and painting the human figure. These courses relate the study of the skeleton and the muscles to the live model. We will concentrate on the skeletal system in the fall semester and the muscles in the spring semester. Students will complete three life-size drawings of the human skeletal system, which will include views of the skull, torso and extremities, establishing the core of the human figure. Two triptychs, each consisting of a nude, muscular and skeletal drawing of a male and a female body, will be completed. We will learn the landmarks of the skeletal system, their relationship to the muscular system and how they work together to define the human form. An anatomy text such as Albinus on Anatomy by Hale and Coyle or Anatomy for the Artist by Jeno Barcsay is required. 

Fur, Feathers and Scales: Comparative Animal Anatomy
One semester: 3 studio credits
Tracing the animal kingdom from jellyfish to insects to humans, students will gain a working knowledge of comparative animal anatomy. The focus will be on vertebrates (reptiles, birds, and mammals) and the morphological differences that constitute groups, families and individual species. There will be discussions on ecology, evolution and the depiction of animals throughout art history. Students will work from specimens from the SVA Nature and Technology Lab, on-location drawings and photos.

FID-2131 / FID-2132
One semester: 3 studio credits
The premise of this course is that drawing constitutes the fundamental basis of all visual language. As such, drawing will be explored through the development of both technical skills and concepts. Dialogues will revolve around contemporary visual issues. Work will involve the use of all media. Experimentation and invention will be stressed. Drawing will be viewed as a primary vehicle through which an artist grows in the struggle for freedom of expression.

Figure Drawing
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on the model. We will concentrate on the figure in space, how to structure a picture, the use of the picture plane as an organizing tool, and plastic form. We’ll use charcoal and then diversify media and scale. In the spring semester, students will approach the figure very directly, and then be encouraged to use the figure as a catalyst to explore other themes. Through direct observation, students will be encouraged to work with diverse materials as a means with which to approach the act of drawing.

Figure Drawing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Using a model, this course will begin with 10 one-minute poses and then move into a series of 20-minute poses. All materials are acceptable: watercolor, pencil, and pen-and-ink, among others. And all styles are welcome. Students will develop their own distinctive process.

FID-2153 / FID-2154
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this course, students will develop ideas conceptually and physically. The first step is to deconstruct a book and reconstruct it as an idea book or journal (with a variety of papers), which will become a personal encyclopedia of ideas. The fall semester will emphasize recognition (history of drawing included), documentation (personal record keeping) and making drawings. The spring semester continues these practices while also advancing presentation skills (matting, framing, documentation and storage of artworks). During the first hour of each session we will meet as a group to share our books and then work on drawing projects, with individual instruction available. Models will be available for a portion of most class sessions. Documentary films on Andy Goldsworthy, Jean Cocteau (Orpheus), Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol will be shown.

One semester: 3 studio credits
What does it mean to draw? How is drawing relevant in today’s art world? This course is about the experience of drawing and looking at drawings and about the possibilities of extending our traditional ideas concerning the limits of drawings. We will attempt to answer these questions through a series of discussions and exercises in and out of class. All types of materials are encouraged. Figurative and abstract imagery will be examined.

Urban Botanicals
One semester: 3 studio credits
This class will visit local sites in search of urban botanicals from which to draw creative inspiration. We’ll explore micro and macro environments, and the fractal realm of self-similarity and symmetry. We’ll see how the nature/nurture dialectic has been exploited by artists, and look to the less obvious lichens, molds and mosses as alternatives to the more ornamental botanicals. To meet the countless challenges that botanicals present, students will explore various mediums to create drawings/collages that range from the simple to the complex.

One semester: 3 studio credits
This course studies the application of pigments to the surface of paper and equivalent materials. This implies the history and practice of drawing, as seen from different points of view. The course stresses looking as a process of perception and invention of inner and outer images and the observation of the work in its making.

FID-3167 / FID-3168
Conceptual Drawing
One semester: 3 studio credits
What is drawing? Historically we think of graphite or charcoal on paper. Prior to the mid-19th century in Western cultures it was often a tool in a process, maybe in preparation for an oil painting or a sculpture. In the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century in the West, drawing finds a place to stand on its own as an art form employing ink, watercolor, collage, pastels, and various dry mediums. But what is drawing now? How can we securely differentiate drawing from painting, sculpture, photography and video? Do we even want to? Can the digital exist within the hand and vice versa? We live in an age of “the image” where our experience is mediated through simultaneous and multiple layers of information. How can drawing reflect and respond to the present?

Second- and Third-Year Painting Courses

FID-2207 / FID-2208
Painting and Mixed Media
One semester: 3 studio credits
Each session of this course will begin with a 20-minute warm-up assignment as a way to experiment with different approaches to painting and image-making. Students will then work on assigned and self-initiated projects. Working from observation, using systems to develop work and understanding drawing as a key to painting are just some of the approaches that will be explored. Experimentation with various materials and techniques is encouraged, as well as development of content through focusing on issues of identity, taste, politics, spirituality and philosophy. Home assignments, journal keeping and reviewing exhibitions are required. This is a rigorous course, as are the process of art-making and the discipline of being an artist.

Painting: The Narrative Image
One semester: 3 studio credits
This painting course will engage students in their development of the narrative image. Using traditional and experimental approaches to oil paint, acrylic and gouache, students will explore composition, color and process in relation to the narrative possibilities of the picture. Students will work from models, memory, and imagination and will explore the uses of the narrative image and its possibility to express ideas. The uses of narrative in contemporary art and storytelling in art history will be discussed. Students will develop their ideas as well as their technical skills.

FID-2217 / FID-2218
Painting: Out of Your Head, Onto the Page
One semester: 3 studio credits
From an image’s conception to its execution, ideas, materials and processes run together. In this workshop, we’ll investigate the use of novel and traditional materials and the range of pictorial sources: fine art to pop art, everyday life to nightlife, institutions and the politics of space, objective and subjective analyses. What’s your worldview? What’s your comfort zone and how can you exploit it? With an emphasis on interpretation of work through the materials used (paint, honey, nail polish), the context in which they appear (wall, floor, street) and the formal elements of construction (scale, application, space, light, subject), we will look for ways to describe and strengthen your point of view. Instruction is one-on-one with class critiques. Discussions about work by artists who employ analytic, eccentric, comedic, political, romantic or intuitive points of view are included.

Sensational Painting and ...
One semester: 3 studio credits
What do we do when we look? What happens as we build pictures? What makes an image memorable? We will consider the context for these concerns from Cézanne to psychedelic art to current exhibitions. Learn to focus your intentions while fine-tuning your intuition. Work from observation, imagination or printed sources with an emphasis on the distinctly physiological experience of painting.

Painting and Photographic Sources
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will concentrate on both the technical aspects and conceptual basis for working from and with photography in painting. The apparent objectivity of photographs will be used to investigate their hidden codes: what the photograph documents, what is suggested, what is left out and the social role of subject matter. We will discuss the formal qualities of images and how they might change the reception of a painting. Some emphasis will be given to the categories of dreams and hallucinations, memory and time, pictures and politics, and commercial images.

FID-2242 / FID-2243
The Abstract Image
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this course, students will develop a painting practice that employs imagery and pictorial means from both abstract and representational realms. This painting tradition includes the work of Henri Matisse, Philip Guston, Elizabeth Murray and Gerhard Richter, to name a few. Students will be encouraged to create images that incorporate the formal languages of modes of abstraction. The development of a mature studio practice will be stressed.

In Practice: Color Theory
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this multimedia course, students will explore color and the principles of color theory. Each project will incorporate a specific lesson about color and light as a starting point, which is subsequently developed into a more complex and personal work. This is a challenging course that will help students to acquire the skills to make visually dynamic works, as well as expand the way they use, perceive and understand color. Projects will incorporate painting, photography, collage and digital images. In addition to home assignments, students are required to keep a sketchbook and to review exhibitions.

Contemporary Watercolor and Beyond
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed for adventurous students using watercolor—one of the ancient art-making mediums still in use. In the class, form, composition, color, and basic techniques will be discussed and students will explore the expressive and stylistic possibilities of the medium in the 21st century. As the course progresses, projects will focus on visual problem solving and unconventional uses of this paint: different formats, including personal books and diaries, multi-panel paintings using the model, collage, narrative assignments and abstraction. Group and individual critiques, and discussions of historical and contemporary uses of watercolor will be included.

FID-3217 / FID-3218
Contemporary Practices: Exploring Methods and Materials
One semester: 3 studio credits
This studio course will explore the methods and materials concerning all forms of painting. From highly representational to nonobjective subject matter our contemporary practice is being reshaped. There have been many technological innovations in materials, leading to changes in the practice of painting that are specific to the 21st century. In addition, many historical materials have been upgraded to include modern alternatives. A complete examination of all painting mediums will be explored. Bridging the gap between representation and abstraction, artists working today utilize both historical and current practices. This course will examine individual expression in light of current usage. Gallery visits and in-class demonstrations will be an important part of the course, and students will be encouraged to consider how “thinking in their materials” will enable them to understand how materials enhance their concepts.

FID-3223 / FID-3224
Representational Painting
One semester: 3 studio credits
The goal of this course is to give students a strong foundation in both the intellectual and the formal aspects of painting. While representation in painting will be the subject, the focus will be on painting as a language and a process. Working from observation, various aspects of pictorial construction will be emphasized. Students will execute quick wet-into-wet paintings of the models to become more intimate with the material aspects of painting. Light and shadow will be discussed as a motor of representation. We will explore contrast of value, as well as warm and cool tonality, and then examine color and color theory and create paintings based on a complementary palette. Even while working within structured projects and a restricted palette, the expressive means of painting will be emphasized. The last phase of the course will focus on more complex projects in full palette. Students will be encouraged to develop their personal interests and subjects without abandoning formal aspects of painting. Group critiques emphasizing the verbalization of intent will be an essential element. Home assignments, slide presentations and museum visits are included.

FID-3236 / FID-3237
Painting: Issues and Ideas in Painting
One semester: 3 studio credits
This studio course is designed to strengthen your ideas through your materials, subject matter, content, context, technique and application. On an individual basis, we will discuss your sensibilities and how these may be encouraged toward developing a clear and unique voice. Contemporary and historical issues relevant to your practice are included, as in the exploration of formal and technical possibilities. Experimentation is encouraged. All disciplines are welcome and models are available on request. Group critiques will be held every five weeks.

Constructed Painting
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is for painters who want to work with materials, processes and techniques other than, or in addition to, traditional techniques of brush and paint on canvas. Students can explore collage, assemblage, relief, wall sculpture, fresco, in situ wall paintings, new media and other approaches to extending the dimensionality of painting’s surface. Any material can be used: fabrics, wood, metals, plaster, plastics, found objects, etc. We will critically examine differences between painting and sculpture in the context of picture plane, opticality, illusion, realness and objectness, and the way these terms are defined art historically, and look at how artists today engage these traditions.

FID-3251 / FID-3252
Painting: Studio Practices
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students will employ any media of their choice to further inform and advance their creative efforts. The emphasis will be on developing a dialogue and methodology that refines and explores new artistic territory. “Studio-time” is stressed to discover how best to further identify and realize intentions, how to organize efforts, and how to work both intellectually and physically in the studio. Research and archival practices will be taught. Internet sites will be employed to expand both technical and intellectual information and resources. Instruction is given on an individual basis. Students are encouraged to exchange ideas and techniques with their peers, as well as visit New York’s vast cultural resources on a regular basis. The understanding of visual culture, the evolution of a creative working process and the ability to communicate visual ideas are the goals of this course. There will be individual and group critiques.

FID-3268 / FID-3269
Painting: Refining Visual Language
One semester: 3 studio credits
Together, we will examine our assumptions about traditional painting in relation to a more contemporary experience of art-making. All approaches are welcome. Focus will be on discovering the problems of interest to each student and finding the material/metaphor most appropriate to each person’s objectives. Dialogue will center on developing the strengths of personal ideas in relation to the vast and rich community of painting’s vital past and intriguing present. This is a project-based course for students interested in developing their own ideas through a range of work in various media, emphasizing painting, but also encouraging works in other media. Students will be encouraged to explore form and express content. We will visit galleries and museums, and students will review various exhibitions on a regular basis. There will be group critiques throughout the semester.

Second- and Third-Year Sculpture and Digital Courses

FID-2413 / FID-2414
Ceramic and Mixed-Media Installation
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is an intensive production-based course focusing on the creation of mixed-media installations using ceramic as the starting medium. The course will be divided into two sections. The first will cover different aspects of plaster mold production and the use of liquid clay (slip) in order to produce duplicates of an object. The second section will focus on the students’ project ideas through the review of work of artists producing installation art; group and individual critiques and exhibition reviews. Once a basic knowledge of mold-making and slip casting is established, students will propose a series of projects of which some will be selected during group critiques for full production. Specific analysis of mixed media use for each student’s project will be reviewed and organized in terms of production and aesthetics during group session. Attention will be given to the context in which the installation is placed and viewed and its impact on the physical and cultural environment of society. Homework will be extensive in order to acquire an independent work ethic.

Body Casting
One semester: 3 studio credits
Body casting is the art of replicating the human form in a plaster casting. Students will make body castings from live models; the castings will then be corrected to match the live subject. Other techniques will involve using oil-based clay to create a “skin” for the plaster. Silicone rubber will be explored for mold-making and as a casting material. Discussions will include commercial applications for body cast products, special-effects makeup, specialty costuming, animatronic characters, three-dimensional commercial sculptures and holiday event mask-making.

Soft Sculpture
One semester: 3 studio credits
Coming into prominence during the 1960s, soft sculpture employs materials that are designed to integrate various components, such as cloth, rubber, foam, yarn, felt, paper, fibers, and other non-rigid materials. In this course students will examine professional fabrication techniques as we engage in various processes to explore forms and surfaces through mechanisms and structures, such as sewing, casting, form building and pattern-making. Each session will begin with a presentation and discussion of creative visual practices utilizing soft materials. After the fourth class session, students will have time to work on their own projects. Individual critiques will be given, which will include fabrication logistics and planning.

FID-2431 / FID-2432
Sculpture Without Limits
One semester: 3 studio credits
Sculpture without limits. Every kind of sculpture can be investigated. Every type of material can be used. Welding, building, carving, modeling, site-specific and mixed-media assemblage will be taught. Hands-on instruction and strong technical skills enable each sculptor to realize his or her own thoughts. Weekly critiques will discuss work done in class. The idea comes first and then the sculpture. Where it came from, what it means, how it got there. Visits to museums, galleries and studios will be assigned. Slide lectures will augment discussion.

FID-2438 / FID-2439
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed as a series of projects to encourage students to solve problems and discover working processes. Each project will begin with a discussion of contemporary artists, as well as current museum and gallery exhibitions. Various materials will be explored, from woodworking to mold-making, welding to video. We will meet for group critiques.

FID-2461 / FID-2462
Metalworking Techniques for Sculpture
One semester: 3 studio credits
The goal of this course is to enable students to work in metal for creating sculpture. Practical assignments will cover the fundamentals of welding, including MIG and TIG. We will explore techniques for shaping metal bars, sheets and plates (by machine and by hand), as well as how to grind, polish and finish metal, and then combine these techniques into finished projects. Students will be introduced to the computer-driven plasma cutter, which can cut steel up to a half inch in thickness.

FID-2483 / FID-2484
Silver Jewelry Making
One semester: 3 studio credits
This studio course will focus on basic metalworking for creating jewelry. Techniques covered will include: soldering and annealing, metal construction and forming, polishing and stone setting, as well as decorative finishes for surface treatment of metals, such as texturing, patinas, antiquing and stamping. Each student will begin with designing and creating a ring set with a stone, followed by personal projects that employ the areas covered in class. There will be time for experimentation. Individual instruction on additional techniques such as making chains, jump rings, clasps and hooks will be given for projects that require these techniques. Assignments vary each semester and students are welcome to continue their projects from a previous course.

FID-3403 / FID-3404
Ceramics: Unearthing the Possibilities
One semester: 3 studio credits
Ceramics is one of the oldest of all art forms with a fascinating history that reflects the development of human civilization culturally, artistically and technologically. In the mid-20th century ceramics experienced a profound shift of status from traditional craft to an expressive fine art material. Contemporary ceramic artists are employing ancient techniques and cutting-edge technology to create powerful, innovative artworks. In this studio-based course we will unearth the processes and origins behind these ceramic techniques with a focus on both sculpture and vessel making. Each student will create a unique body of ceramic work by developing personal concepts and a distinct artistic voice. Students will explore various forming methods, including slab construction, coil, extended pinch and throwing on the wheel. Tools such as the slab roller, extruder and the pottery wheel will be introduced. There will be glaze workshops with demonstrations of low-fire glazes, underglazes, china paints, slips, mason stains, decals and luster surfaces. Students will learn to operate the kiln and participate in loading and firing. Critiques, presentations, short readings, discussions and viewing exhibitions will be woven into the structure of the course.

Sculpture Now!
One semester: 3 studio credits
This is a hands-on, lo-tech sculpture course that is open to all students who want to make stuff. What kind of stuff? Objects, installations, hard/soft, tiny/large, intuitive/conceptual; we will explore it all. The personal preferences of students will determine material and fabrication options. The goal is to expand the creative practice and then build on that. Making stuff is part of that process. Individual critiques and group discussions is the other part. To broaden our experience we’ll attend exhibitions, films, lectures and/or performances that relate to our activities. It’s all part of having a large appetite for Sculpture Now!

Transmedia Workshop
One semester: 3 studio creditsThrough exploration and invention, and by embracing all media, students will engage in a critical discourse about what is happening in real time in the visual arts now, through their work. A fully mixed-media orientation is receptive to all students, including those who are primarily painters, photographers or video-makers, performers, etc., and to all approaches. The emphasis is on enabling students to experiment with a full range of traditional, unconventional and exotic materials, techniques and ideas: digital fabrication, audio, electricity, fluids, mechanical parts, photomontage, optics, metal, paper, wood. The development of student concepts and personal interests will be strongly supported. Our thinking will be placed in contemporary and historical context through presentations of visual and textual resources: slide shows, video, articles, web-based online materials and a weekly update on current exhibitions. Among the many ideas that will be explored are: perception, transformation, performance, the body and language, as well as the environmental, political and site-specific in art. Resources will be discussed and extensive technical help will be provided. There will be group critiques. Instruction will be on an individual basis.

FID-3446 / FID-3447
Digital Sculpture: Designing the Future
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course introduces methods and concepts in sculpture using state-of-the-art technology. Students will work collaboratively on sculptural installations using CNC (computer numerically controlled) and rapid prototyping machines. Each project will focus on generating a component-based system where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The final, full-scale installation will include new spatial concepts and novel materials. Software and equipment instructions will be provided. Guest lectures and studio visits are included.

FID-3453 / FID-3454
Video Installation: When Light Becomes Form
One semester: 3 studio credits
From low-tech projection to high-tech immersive environments, video installation has become a dominant medium for contemporary artists. Drawing from the history of film and video art, the students will explore some of the different techniques of analog and digital media in their work in the digital lab. This course will focus on developing students’ knowledge of video installation and encourage experimentation with a variety of approaches to the projected image. Students will generate four projects throughout the semester. We will meet regularly as a group and on a one-on-one basis to discuss current exhibitions, readings and student projects, and screen film/video work by some of the major figures in the field. The remaining time will be spent in the studio/lab. Students are encouraged to incorporate their personal interests and perspectives into their work. Projects will relate to ideas and forms of light projection from conception and production to display and distribution; creative relationships between visual and audio; the physicality of light; narrative and non-narrative structure; original and appropriated material; public and private exhibition; interaction with performance and objects/sculpture. The course will touch on issues of gender, social and political activism, and the history of media communication.

Interdisciplinary Workshop
One semester: 3 studio credits
To communicate with audiences outside of the art world, artists appropriate the ideas and practices of disciplines that were not previously considered within the realm of art. Projects in this course will explore these “alien” methodologies. Examples might include the techniques of mass production related to scale, cinematic time compression and its psychological implications for the unimaginable, the virtual spaces of the Internet, and social media platforms that reconfigure notions of public and private. The goal of this course is to discover how art can evolve in this new environment. Student may develop any area of interest as a focus of their work. All practices and media are allowed. The course will include discussions, film screenings, and other activities that relate to studio projects.

Second- and Third-Year Interdisciplinary and New Media Courses

Cut-and-Paste Workshop
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on cut-and-paste techniques as they are employed in image-making. The traditional underpinnings of collage will be investigated as a common thread to rethink, reposition and rework images and sound. Analog and digital approaches will be used to create a synthesis between popular and art-historical forms of collage. The course will be content driven and employ narrative, non-linear, representational and symbolic approaches to collage. We will begin using print media, then merge print with other mediums (paint, pastels, textures, found objects) to create mixed-media projects. We will transition into photo and digital collage/montage to analyze media as it has been used in the past and as it has developed with the advent of the Internet. Additionally, the course will explore cut-and-paste techniques using Photoshop, audio mash-ups and remixes.

FID-2661 / FID-2662
Embroidery and the Digital Sewing Machine
One semester: 3 studio credits
Digital embroidery transforms a handcrafted couture into a fine arts media. Just like a tattoo where an image is created with color and needles, the embroidered fabric or paper is needle-stitched in colored threads. The image is a file that can be saved and repeated as a multiple or repeat pattern. The course will cover digital sewing using registration applications. Techniques related to fashion and the fine arts will be explored. A visit to a commercial embroidery atelier will be held at the conclusion of the course.

FID-3521 / FID-3522
Wearable Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
Fashion as conceptual art on the canvas of the body is the focus of this course. We will explore how to design and create clothing and costumes, how to adapt and design patterns, sew and construct garments and accessories, print on fabric, applique, embroidery, beadwork, EL wire, quilting and stuffing. Students may also work with props and backdrops, special-effects makeup, and other elements to create a complete look. Art fashion can be exhibited as art, or used to create characters for performance, photographs and videos, or to develop an iconic look as a living work of art.

Photography and Beyond
One semester: 3 studio credits
Photography is a tool of experimentation and intellectual inquiry. Artists today make use of photographs to not only re-present, but also to explore, question and transform their experiences of the world. New modes of the photographic image, the digital, cameraless photography and photo chemistry processes expand the possibilities of photography as an artistic platform. This course will offer a hands-on approach to what photography encompasses in the 21st century, from point-and-shoot to advance editing and printing to the use of various papers and supports for the photographic image. We will explore the possibilities of dissemination of artwork through photo-based online and printed publications. Additionally, students will examine diverse methods and technologies that define image-making today. Guest lectures and visits to galleries and museums will augment studio work.

Photography: Theory and Practice
One semester: 3 studio credits
Much of contemporary culture, in one way or other, refers to photography. This introductory course offers a hands-on approach to shooting and printing photographs. It also covers photo theory, history and influential emerging photographers. Students will shoot and process their photographs in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, master archival inkjet printing and learn to shoot in a studio set-up using strobes—skills that have practical and artistic applications. In addition to our classroom work, we will regularly visit photo exhibitions at Chelsea galleries. By the end of the semester, students will have developed some knowledge of contemporary photographic discourse and the technical skills to shoot and print their own work.

Performance Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
Performance art is a way of extending and expanding your studio practice. It’s a way of working out ideas using your body as a time-based material. This course is designed for anyone interested in the inherent practices and narratives of performance art, and anyone who wants to push the disciplinary limits of their work. Each week students will make their own experimental performances while exploring the history and evolution of performance art. Group exercises will hone physical and vocal skills as well as build confidence. We will look at and engage with a wide range of performance forms, including Dada, happenings, Fluxus, conceptual performance, punk, drag, social practice and mixed-media spectacles.

Electronics and Interactivity I
One semester: 3 studio credits
If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with robotics, to make a video that “knows” when someone is watching it, or build a sculpture that beeps when you touch it, this is the course for you. In this course, students will construct several electronics projects that illustrate the possibilities of physical computing, and to provide students with tools for further exploration. Using Max/MSP/Jitter we will build custom electronics and program these microcontrollers to create strange and meaningful forms of interaction.

Electronics and Interactivity II
One semester: 3 studio credits
A continuation of FID-3611, Electronics and Interactivity I, in this course students will design their own projects with custom electronic circuitry and custom software. Students will use relatively simple electronic circuits and basic computer programming to develop rich and meaningful interactive sculpture, installation and audio/video works. How to program Arduino microcontrollers to respond to various kinds of sensors will be explored, and students will work with Cycling ‘74 Max/MSP/Jitter to control and respond to digital video, audio and other types of data.

Introduction to Augmented Reality
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed to give students an introductory look into creating augmented and virtual realities, with a focus on free-form interaction. As a survey course to new technologies, students will draw parallels between being at the forefront of the technology and how to utilize these tools in their own contemporary art practice. We will look into AR builders, 3D object and asset libraries, open source applications, SDK (software development kits), and other collaborative elements of production. As a secondary element, discussions on the historical foundation of new technologies, and the theory and practice of visual communication in an augmented realm. Experimental storytelling, the Internet as a visual tool, post-photography, and post-Internet thematics will all be explored, as well as the implications of introducing a 3D digital imaging platform like AR/VR to artistic practice. Students will present their work within a digital space and consider how their work functions from both a traditionally formal and conceptual aspect, as well as how that translates into contemporary media. From photorealism to hyper-stylization, and working with everything from texturing, lighting, rendering, photographic vantage points, topology, and more, students will learn about the wide ranges of possibilities in this new and fascinating technology while developing their own artistic voice using these new mediums. This course is designed for beginners with very little AR/VR/coding experience as well as more advanced students looking to expand their current practice.

Prometheus Unbound: An Introduction to Bio Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
Humans have been tampering with species development for thousands of years, and creating countless varieties of domesticated plants and animals. Today, advances in biotechnology allow for the creation of entirely novel life forms such as transgenic rats glowing with jellyfish genes. In this course, students will be introduced to the emerging field of biological arts through hands-on laboratory practices and discussions. Through bi-weekly excursions to local biotech labs, parks, pet stores and seafood markets we will examine altered organisms. In the lab, students will create a post-naturalist journal, bacterial paintings, culture plant tissue, generate and disperse native seed bombs, learn proper techniques for preserving vertebrates and generate post-mortem chimerical sculptures from biological media. Discussions will range from bio-ethics/ecological thought to science fiction/biological reality, and more.

Video Mapping Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
Video mapping (or spatial augmented reality) is an exciting projection medium that can turn almost any surface, regardless of its shape and size, into a dynamic video display. This course is intended for students who want to move into this powerful, creative medium and will focus on exploring popular video mapping software and hardware technology. Students will create a video-mapping project that will be featured on an architectural space in Manhattan.

Video Mapping Art II
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is a continuation of FID-3634, Video Mapping Art. Having explored the techniques of basic video mapping, students will proceed into advanced augmented reality theory and practice. This course will examine techniques in spatial scanning, multi-projector systems, projecting in moving objects, Kinect-based augmented reality installations, Colossal outdoors video projections and multi-platform performance environments. In addition, students will be introduced to specialized digital tools for video mapping such as TouchDesigner, HeavyM, Z Vector, DynaMapper (for iPad), TorsionSoft, Millumin, VPT (Video Projection Tools), LPMT (Little Projecting-Mapping Tool), Resolume Arena 4, Arkaos GrandVJ XT and Visution Mapio 2 Pro. Students will complete a project based in video mapping, which integrates course material in interesting and meaningful ways. To this end, at least half of the class time will be allocated for working on these projects with guidance from the instructor.

From the Laboratory to the Studio: Practices in Bio Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
From the decipherment of the human genome to industrialized food production, science has spilled out of the laboratory into our lives. As scientists engage in molecular engineering, the corporeal body and the manipulation of life forms have become a public and aesthetic discourse unto themselves. This course will examine intersections between laboratory practices and visual art production. Projects will employ video microscopes and scanning devices, scientific specimen collections, plant tissue engineering, new anatomical models and molecular cuisine. In addition, each student will design their own terrarium with fish, aquatic plants and/or micro eco-systems. Field trips and guest lecturers will complement course material. Students may work in a variety of media, from drawing and painting to the digital and performing arts.

FOOD: Projects in Bio Art
One semester: 3 studio credits
You are what you eat—or are you? Do you know what is in your food? From farm to fork what happens in between? Is what the food producer tells you true? FOOD: Projects in Bio Art focuses on how food production, industrial farming and GMOs have become part of our daily life. Projects will consist of growing plants hydroponically, DNA analysis of local food, and time-lapse photography and microscopic imaging of foodstuffs. In addition, we will explore the cultural differences, taboos and evolution of eating practices. We will look at culinary styles around the world, and their social, economic and political ramifications. We will examine urban farming, molecular cuisine, digital gastronomy, as well as pesticides and contaminates. Part forensic and part horticulture in practice, we will gather plants to extract pigments for watercolor; design food sculptures, including stencils for cakes; and use spices in novel ways. We will explore the effect microorganisms have on food—from cheese to e-coli to yogurt. From the good, the bad and the ugly, how has genetic engineering affected our lives? What effect is global warming having on food sources? Performance, painting, sculpture, public art, photography, illustration and cartooning, as well as community-based projects are welcome.

Digital Remix: Pushing Boundaries
One semester: 3 studio credits
More than ever, pictures have become a part of our contemporary experience and their wide availability presents today’s artists with an embarrassment of riches. Artists need to be innovative and intentional when finding and developing visual source material for their work. This course will offer a hands-on approach to creating personal archives, iconographies and narratives, to be used in the production of work—with an emphasis on experimentation. Students will be encouraged to pursue an interdisciplinary approach while discovering various methods by which to make artwork. During class sessions, photography and video will be explored as a means for generating images, and as tools for conceptualizing paintings, drawings, sculptures and mixed-media projects. Screenings and lectures will supplement class discussions. By the end of the semester, students will have generated new material and conceptual strategies to support their studio practice and will have developed a technical understanding of working with digital media.

Second- and Third-Year Printmaking Courses

FID-2806 through FID-2814
Printmaking: Silkscreen
One semester: 3 studio credits
Silkscreen, one of the most versatile and widely used methods of printmaking, will be explored through demonstrations and self-initiated projects. Painters as well as photographers will find a new way of expressing their ideas through screen printing. Images can be made using hand-drawn separations, photographic film, digital separations and photocopied images. Printing on canvas, T-shirts, wood, metal, glass, as well as large-scale works, are all possible with silkscreen. Large-scale digital output is available. Water-based silkscreen ink is used in class allowing for soap-and-water cleanup.

FID-2821 / FID-2822
Printmaking: Etching
One semester: 3 studio credits
This in-depth etching course explores the wide range of materials and techniques used to create the linear, tonal and photographic images of the intaglio print. Basic techniques cover line etching for pen-and-ink effects, drypoint for velvety lines, soft ground for both crayon-like lines and textures, aquatint for tones and lift grounds for the quality of watercolor. Inking techniques include black-and-white and color intaglio, à la poupée, stenciling, and chine collé for added color and texture. All processes will be discussed and demonstrated, along with photo etching techniques, monoprints, collagraphs and carborundum prints. Students will develop the skills to proof, edition and curate prints. On-going critiques will be included.

Printmaking: Monoprint, Woodcut, Linoleum
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will explore various printmaking processes, including woodcut, linocut, monoprint and collagraph to expand each student’s skills and techniques. These methods can be interpreted for many different artistic styles, from fine art to illustration and bold graphic design. Students will learn the fundamentals of woodblock and relief printing. Relief printing involves carving away at a block of wood or linoleum and then inking the surface with oil-based ink. The block is then transferred to paper by being run through a printing press. This course begins with an exploration of techniques for planning and carving out prints, and then takes students through various approaches to making complex, multicolor relief images using reduction cut and jigsaw techniques.

Bound and Unbound: Relief Print in Book Form, Portfolio, Serial Image
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will use a variety of relief-printing techniques, including woodcut, linoleum, and monoprint to create original artists’ books or portfolios of prints. Images will be carved into the block, the surface inked and transferred to paper. Students will have the option to create editions of each work or to work on a series of monoprints. Various bookbinding methods, including zines, Japanese stab bound, accordion and portfolio will be covered.

FID-2857 / FID-2858
Textile Printing: An Introduction
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will appeal to fine artists as well as graphic designers and emerging fashion designers. Demonstrations will demystify the process of printing on canvas, T-shirts or totes. Learn to use various methods of printing on fabric, from silkscreen to block printing and stencils. You will be guided through “step and repeat” color separation used in printing entire bolts of fabric, to “engineered” images for pre-made piece goods like jackets, hats and patches. Students will use textile inks that are permanent and washable for professional results. Start your own T-shirt business and know what to buy and where to buy it.

FID-3827 / FID-3828
Printmaking: Lithography
One semester: 3 studio credits
The majority of mass printing is produced by the lithographic process. It has the remarkable ability to reproduce all the subtle qualities of charcoal, pencil, ink, watercolor, and more. This innate characteristic is why so many artists over the years have chosen to work in lithography. Goya, Lautrec, Picasso, Rauschenberg, Johns and Bourgeois, to name a few. Lithography is a medium that readily lends itself equally to painting and drawing, as well as various digital and photographic media. This course will offer traditional hand-drawn and state-of-the-art methods in realizing multicolored, professionally printed editions or work resulting in unique monoprints. These will include the options to work with hand-drawn aluminum plates, Bavarian limestone, photographic plates or any combination of these techniques.

FID-3836 / FID-3837
Printmaking: Silkscreen Projects
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will concentrate on the use of silkscreen to realize personal projects, print editions, multiples, posters and portfolio pieces. Emphasis will be placed on idea concept, material choices and craft. The use of hand-drawn, photographic, photocopied and digital color separation techniques will be introduced in class. Large-scale digital output is available. Water-based silkscreen ink will be used, allowing for soap-and-water cleanup.

Printmaking: Silkscreen and Painting/Combined Media
One semester: 3 studio credits
Once regarded as only a commercial process, silkscreen has been a real force in the art world for the past 60 years because it lends itself to almost any artistic endeavor. Hand-drawn work, photography and/or digital imagery are easily transformed through silkscreen. In this course students will discover how to make the most of the silkscreen process by printing on a variety of materials, such as paper, canvas, wood, metal and plastic, among many others. The screen becomes another tool used in art-making with endless one-of-a-kind color variations. Students are encouraged to seek their own creative solutions.

FID-3847 / FID-3848
Printmaking: Letterpress
One semester: 3 studio credits
Letterpress is a versatile and adaptable printing medium that mixes easily with other processes and imparts a sense of depth and texture to impressions on paper. This course will give a thorough introduction to letterpress printing. Accurate color registration is easily accomplished and the experience of hand-setting vintage metal and wood typefaces will enhance each student’s knowledge and understanding of typography. Die-cutting with letterpress allows students to shape their printed projects. Starting with handset wood and metal type we will move onto the use of photopolymer plates from digital files and linocut and collage plates (collagraph) for printing. Letterpress can print on T-shirts and bags as well as plastics and papers. Historical examples of futurist/Dada and 19th-century ‘color explosion’ printing will be shown. Each session begins with a demonstration followed by studio time to work on individual projects, from type-based graphic designs to fine art limited editions. Instruction in the operation and maintenance of several presses will be covered. Illustration students may explore animation techniques on the presses, design students can concentrate on letter/word/text, and seniors can build and print final portfolio packaging.

Silkscreen: Build Your Own Business
One semester: 3 studio credits
Turn your art into your career. This course will cover the process of silkscreening, from creating hand-drawn and digital separations to learning how to print on a variety of materials, including paper, textile, metal and plastic. We will also explore how to utilize the silkscreen process to create your own line of products such as T-shirts, tote bags and greeting cards. Additionally, we will discuss building brand, pricing work, establishing a customer base and mastering social media for your company. How to create an online marketplace, how to package and ship the product and dealing with inventory will be addressed.

FID-3862 / FID-3863
Printmaking: Silkscreen and the Artists’ Book
One semester: 3 studio credits
Using silkscreen, students will explore various ways to present print as sequential images—artists’ books, themed portfolios and comics, even fanzines. The course will cover the process from concept to finished and bound multiples. Methods of making color separations for multicolor prints using traditional hand-drawn and modern photographic techniques will be included. Bookbinding techniques will be demonstrated, such as Japanese bookbinding, accordion folding and signature binding. Large-scale digital output is available.

Printmaking: Advanced Silkscreen and the Artists’ Book
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course offers the opportunity to make that ambitious book or series you’ve been working toward—from mockup to finished, bound multiples. Whether your project is a book, themed portfolio, or comics, you’ll learn the most effective way to present silkscreened, sequential images. Explore Japanese bookbinding, accordion fold and multiple-signature techniques. Large-scale digital output is available.

FID-3876 / FID-3877
Printmaking: Silkscreen Unlimited
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will explore silkscreen printing possibilities for all levels from beginners to experienced printers. We will explore tools, materials and methods for printing on a variety of surfaces, including plastic, metal, canvas, textiles, T-shirts, ceramics and skateboards. Learn about jigs to drill and form metal and Plexiglas. Get studio tips and logic. This is a hands-on make anything tour de force. We will discuss how to set up a working silkscreen studio in your home. Students can work on projects to present for thesis and other studio courses.

FID-3883 / FID-3884
Printmaking: Graphic Image Silkscreen
One semester: 3 studio credits
Silkscreen is ideal for making bold, iconic images, and a great tool for strengthening concept, composition and palette: Think Warhol, Pettibon and Hirst. This course covers all aspects of the silkscreen process, from making separations by hand and computer to printing on paper, Plexiglass, canvas, metal, and other media. Large-scale digital output is available.

Risograph Printing in the Age of Digital and Mechanical Reproduction
One semester: 3 studio credits
As technology transforms our lives, many artists have returned to print media with new ideas and approaches. For visual storytellers, independent publishers, image- and zine-makers, designers, fine artists, illustrators and photographers, the Risograph is a vibrant and flexible medium that bridges digital and analog printing techniques and allows artists and authors to explore questions of art and technology. How do the print and digital arenas influence, complement, and challenge each other? How do print and digital media affect the context of one’s work? What are the implications for art, culture and the human psyche? In this course we will explore these questions and more through print assignments, readings and critiques. Students will receive an overview of Risograph printing, and guidance in a range of techniques for various projects, including posters, zines, books, and other printed ephemera.

Third-Year Seminars

Visiting Artist/Critic Seminar
Fine arts majors are required to attend all visiting artists/critics lectures during their junior and senior years. Renowned artists, critic and curators will present their work and ideas through visual presentations and dialogue.


Junior Seminar
One semester: 3 studio credits
This seminar will introduce students to professional practices associated with art-world operations. How to present work, write an artist’s statement and a proposal for a grant or exhibition, compile a résumé and develop a cohesive body of work will be included. The seminar is intended as preparation for the transition into mentor-centered senior workshops. Budgets, inventory and market value will also be discussed.

Third-Year Art History and Humanities

History of Video Art: 1965 to 1985
One semester: 3 art history credits
What is referred to as “video art” has become a ubiquitous feature of 21st-century art practice, yet it is an art form whose emergence is still a relatively fresh aspect of contemporary art history. This course will explore the origins of video art, examining its sources in film, photography and performance art. Through screenings of key works; discussion with artists, critics and curators, and in directed readings, students will be exposed to important works and individuals associated with the first two decades of video. Special attention will be paid to an understanding of the cultural and social context that supported the emergence of video art. We will focus upon the evolution of video art from both a technological perspective as well as the development of a video’s critical and institutional framework. Artists whose works will be viewed and discussed include Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Peter Campus, Vito Acconci, Frank Gillette, Juan Downey, Joan Jonas, Chris Burden, Lynda Benglis, Ira Schneider, Andy Mann, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Shigeko Kubota, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Mary Lucier, Woody and Steina Vasulka, Ilene Segalove, William Wegman, Tony Oursler, Antoni Muntadas, Keith Sonnier, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Dara Birnbaum, Ant Farm, Videofreex, TVTV, Marcel Odenbach, Dan Graham, Doug Hall, Richard Serra, Howard Fried, Terry Fox, Paul Kos, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley and Ernie Kovacs.

History of Video Art: 1985 to Present
One semester: 3 art history credits
As video art became more widely accepted and the tools became increasingly affordable and available, the medium quickly emerged as a primary site for the global dialogue that characterizes contemporary art practice. Among the topics to be addressed in this screening, lecture and discussion course will be the emergence of Asian, Latin American and European Video Art, the continued development of sculptural video installation work and the emergence of the market for video art. The blurring of the lines among video art digital art forms, digital cinema and art made for the Internet will also be addressed. Artists whose works will be viewed and discussed include Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Peter Campus, Vito Acconci, Frank Gillette, Juan Downey, Joan Jonas, Chris Burden, Lynda Benglis, Ira Schneider, Andy Mann, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Shigeko Kubota, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Mary Lucier, Woody and Steina Vasulka, Ilene Segalove, William Wegman, Tony Oursler, Antoni Muntadas, Keith Sonnier, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Dara Birnbaum, Ant Farm, Videofreex, TVTV, Marcel Odenbach, Dan Graham, Doug Hall, Richard Serra, Terry Fox, Howard Fried, Paul Kos, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley and Ernie Kovacs.

Ideas in Art: 1960 to the Present
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
This course will investigate contemporary art, from pop art to postmodernism. Beginning with the 1960s, which witnessed the birth of pop art, minimalism, postminimalism and conceptual art, we will study how these movements continue to be relevant today. Readings include primary texts and critical works. There will be visits to museums and gallery exhibitions. 

Fourth-Year Seminars

Visiting Artist/Critic Seminar
Fine arts majors are required to attend all visiting artists/critics lectures during their junior and senior years. Renowned artists, critic and curators will present their work and ideas through visual presentations and dialogue.

Professional Practices
One semester: no credit
This course is intended for students who wish to pursue graduate studies, artist-in-residence programs and gallery representation. Topics will include: writing an artist’s statement, grant proposals, an analysis of art galleries, applying to graduate schools and portfolio presentation.

Senior Seminar
One semester: 3 art history credits
Unlike the historical avant-garde that situated itself outside of mass culture, today’s emerging avant-garde art seems to anticipate ways of working from within and in relation to mass culture. Art is steadily moving out from the “white cube” to participate in a global continuum that’s hosted by satellite TV and cable, the Internet, all forms of wireless communication and international biennials. The fractious history of art and mass culture has grown exponentially within the past two decades in direct proportion to the invention of new imaging technologies and the development of global economies. This course proposes to examine the scant, but rich, history of relations between art and mass culture, and to chart the rise of media-related art. We will immerse ourselves in screenings of contemporary video/multimedia work of the past two decades and seek out as many pertinent exhibitions as we can throughout the semester. We will also read interviews with artists and curators, as well as texts on media theory, globalism and the like. 


FID-4500 / FID-4500
Senior Workshop I and II: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Video Art, Multimedia
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Senior Workshop: (aka The Monday Night Team) is a mentorship program in which an individual student’s art and working process are the subjects of discussion. The goal of these courses is to aid students in developing a working methodology that produces a final body of work. One-on-one critiques, group critiques and outside evaluators (artists/critics) format the courses. In addition, reading materials, group discussions and presentations complete the sessions. 

FID-4507 through FID-4596
Senior Workshop III and IV
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per section
Senior Workshop is a tutorial in which students develop their senior project with two instructors. A finished studio project and an accompanying written statement are required. Students are expected to be critically informed and historically aware of the conceptual underpinnings of their practice.

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587