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Art & Art History Courses

Course information found here includes all permanent offerings and is updated regularly whenever Academic Senate approves changes. For historical information, see the Course Catalogs. For actual course availability in any given term, use Course Search in the Portal.

Art Courses

  • ART 103. Introduction to Sculpture (1). This studio course introduces the fundamentals of three-dimensional design. It stresses line, plane, and volume and the ways these elements occupy and activate space. Additionally, principles that transform viewers’ interpretations and realize artistic intent are addressed through the use of unifiers, modifiers, symbols, metaphors, and embellishments. This course combines studio projects, class discussions, readings, and slide lectures with group critiques. Art appreciation is also a component of this course. Prerequisite: First-year standing or declared Studio Art or Art History major or minor. (2A) Offered each semester.

  • ART 115. Introduction to Drawing and Design (1). This studio course introduces the basic concepts, techniques, and processes of design and drawing. Pencil, ink, collage, charcoal, and other media are used to foster a comprehensive understanding of the descriptive, formal, and expressive possibilities of drawing and design. Group and individual critiques. (2A) Offered each semester.

  • ART 117. Introduction to Digital Photography (1). This studio course introduces the basic techniques, processes, and creative possibilities of digital photography. Students will learn the expressive potential of light, composition, contrast, focus, and perspective. We will examine both the historical and aesthetic issues associated with the practice. Includes studio projects, lectures, assigned readings, class discussions, field trips, and individual and group critiques. Offered each semester. (2A) Prerequisite: continuous access to a digital camera with exposure controls and 5 megapixels.

  • ART 125. Introduction to New Media (1). This course is designed to investigate the basic techniques, concepts, and practices of digital imaging, as well as to support students’ conceptual development. The application of photographic and graphic-related software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator Creative Suite, are introduced in this course. It is also intended to strengthen critical and research skills through students’ artistic productions. The course includes readings, class discussions, writing, slide presentations, individual projects, and group and individual critiques. (2A)

  • ART 135. Figure Drawing (1). This course focuses on observational drawing, particularly of the human figure. Working from live models, a diverse range of drawing processes and media are utilized in the development of a figurative vocabulary. Slides, critiques, and discussions center on figurative themes in art. (2A) Offered occasionally.

  • ART 150. Specialized Media (.25 - 1). A studio course covering the techniques and concepts of media not included in the regular offerings of the art department, such as collage, installation, and performance art. Topics course. Offered occasionally. (2A)

  • ART 200. Etching (1). A studio course that introduces the techniques, history, and concepts of intaglio printing (or etching) as a visual medium of expression. Emphasis is on idea development and visual representation of specific concepts. This course challenges students conceptually, theoretically, and technically through provocative readings, slide talks, class discussions, and individual projects. Instruction includes all aspects of the print studio, health concerns, editioning, and care and presentation of prints. (2A) Normally offered each fall. Prerequisite: Art 103, 115, or 135.

  • ART 201. Screen Printing (1). This course serves as an introduction to the techniques, history, and concepts of screen printing (aka serigraphy) as a visual medium of expression. Class time is devoted to demonstrations of processes, lectures, discussions, critiques, and studio time with instructor feedback. Students learn safety and maintenance procedures of the printmaking studio. Course emphasis is on developing a body of work through critiques and discussions of screen printing in a contemporary art context. Prerequisite: any 100-level studio art course.

  • ART 202. Relief Printmaking (1). This course serves as an introduction to the techniques, history, and concepts of relief printmaking as a visual medium of expression. Class time is devoted to demonstrations of processes, lectures, discussions, critiques, and studio time with instructor feedback. Students learn safety and maintenance procedures of the printmaking studio. Course emphasis is on developing a body of work through critiques and discussions of relief printmaking in a contemporary art context. Prerequisite: any 100-level studio art course.

  • ART 205. Introduction to Painting (1). A studio course covering the materials, processes, and procedures of painting with acrylics. Descriptive, formal, decorative, and expressive modes are explored. (2A) Normally offered each semester. Prerequisite: Art 115 or 135.

  • ART 210. Intermediate Sculpture (1). This studio course emphasizes development of the student’s own artistic voice through the creation of three-dimensional objects. Projects are structured to inspire conceptual development. Students learn to understand and situate their work within the context of contemporary art and theory while also learning about diverse materials and processes including mold-making, woodworking, and metalworking. Emphasis is on safe, efficient, and productive studio practices and tool usage in a working sculpture shop. Includes readings, slide talks, class discussions, writings, and critiques. (2A) Normally offered each fall. Prerequisite: Art 103, 115, or 135.

  • ART 215. Intermediate Drawing (1). The emphasis of this course is placed squarely upon investigating a variety of drawing approaches, attitudes, processes, and materials. Students are challenged to create a visual vocabulary that explores the expressive, descriptive qualities of line, value, space, and media. We interrogate notions of drawing by confronting idea development, conceptual ways of knowing, and the development of skills and techniques. This is not an independent study course, thus the interaction found in presentations, demonstrations, lectures, and critiques addressing issues of content and structure is vital. (2A) Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Art 115 or 135.

  • ART 250. Book Arts (1). This course explores the complex, interdisciplinary processes of bookmaking and bookbinding as an art form. Students learn about visual aspects and processes of book structures and their content. We talk explicitly about the relationships between structure, content, text, and image. Additionally, students are challenged with the processes of bookmaking through their personal exploration of themes. The content of the books may be explored through multiple media such as photography, writing, drawing, and/or collage. We also discuss histories and theories about how information can be structured and the status of the book in contemporary society. Prerequisite: any 100-level studio art course.

  • ART 280. Intermediate Topics in Specialized Media (.5, 1). A studio course covering techniques and concepts of media not included in the regular offerings of the art department. Course may include demonstrations, slide lectures, readings, critiques, and independent research. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Prerequisite: one 100-level studio art course.

  • ART 305. Advanced Painting (1). This course places an emphasis on the synergy between individual and group exploration in the student’s media of choice. We identify and investigate the creation of individual expression and the cognitive structure of a visual vocabulary. The course asks students to challenge their perceptions and definitions of art in context of the contemporary art world. This is not an independent study course, thus the verbal and visual dialogue between students and professor is essential. Offered each year. Prerequisite: Art 205.

  • ART 310. Advanced Topics in Sculpture (1). This studio course builds on conceptual, theoretical, and technical principles covered in Art 210. Students have greater latitude to explore their own concepts and media in individually directed projects through additional projects and exercises and through discussion and written work. This course also includes demonstrations of processes and individual research. Offered each year. Prerequisite: Art 210.

  • ART 325. Graphic Design: Commercial Exploration and Experimentation (1). This course examines the visual relationship of content, aesthetics, and design for effective two-dimensional advertising and introduces students to the fundamentals and cultural ramifications of graphic design. Students use various programs in the art department computer laboratory as tools in assigned projects; they also research and study the historical/creative process of advertising. Course includes field trips to galleries, graphic design companies, and product manufacturers. (2A) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: Art 115.

  • ART 380. Advanced Topics in Specialized Media (.5, 1). A studio course covering the advanced techniques and concepts of media not included in the regular offerings of the art department. Course may include demonstrations, slide lectures, readings, critiques, and independent research. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: at least one 200-level studio art course.

  • ART 384. Senior Seminar in Art 1 (.5). A course concerned with theoretical and practical issues related to the senior art exhibition, including installation practices and publicity. The course also covers career issues such as artist résumés, graduate school portfolio applications, and copyright law. A portion of the course addresses recent developments in art through guest lectures, discussions, and field trips. (CP) Offered each fall. Prerequisite: senior standing.

  • ART 385. Senior Seminar in Art 2 (.5). A course concerned with theoretical and practical issues related to the senior art exhibition, including installation practices and publicity. The course also covers career issues such as artist résumés, graduate school portfolio applications, and copyright law. A portion of the course addresses recent developments in art through guest lectures, discussions, and field trips. (CP) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: senior standing.

  • ART 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Individual work outside the scope of the regular course offerings of the art department. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

  • ART 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

  • ART 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.5).

Art History Courses

  • ARTH 110. Arts of China (1). This course examines the arts of China from the Neolithic period through the 20th century. Different media are studied in the context of concurrent literature, politics, philosophies, and religions, as well as in the context of China’s engagement with cultures beyond its borders. Broader topics include the artist’s place in society, intellectual theories of the arts, and questions of patronage. No previous exposure to Chinese art or culture is required.

  • ARTH 150. Introductory Topics in Art History (.5-1). This course provides an introduction to the primary methods and approaches in the study of images and objects. While individual topics will vary depending on the instructor, all classes will teach the skills of visual analysis and object-oriented research, and cultivate in students an understanding of the importance of objects' historical and social contexts, both in the period of their production and across history. Intended to introduce students to the breadth of art history and prepare them for upper-level coursework in this and related fields, the class considers a variety of media, including (but not limited to) painting, sculpture, architecture and urban planning, film and photography, and design. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (5T)

  • ARTH 210. Ancient Greco-Italian Art and Architecture. (1). An introduction to the art and architecture of ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome, from the Early Bronze Age through the Imperial period. Special emphasis is given to classical Athens, the Hellenistic world, and Rome of the late Republic and early Empire. (2A) (Also listed as Classics 230.) Prerequisite: one course in either Classics, Art History, or archaeology, or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.

  • ARTH 231. History of Photography (1). This course addresses the evolution of the photographic image from its introduction in 1839 to the present. Within a loose chronological organization, broader themes and social and historical contexts are emphasized. The course also introduces critical approaches to photographs as art. A substantial portion is devoted to contemporary photographic activity. Field trips supplement regular class meetings. (5T) Prerequisite: One unit of 100-level art history or consent of instructor.

  • ARTH 245. Modernism and Postmodernism: Art Since 1900 (1). This course offers an introduction to developments in 20th- and 21st-century art. Within a loose chronological organization, broader themes are emphasized, social and historical contexts considered. Slide lectures and discussion are enriched with readings in critical and cultural theory and field trips to area art museums. (5T) Offered each year. Prerequisite: One unit of 100-level art history or consent of instructor.

  • ARTH 250. Topics in the History of Art (.5, 1). Selected topics of focused interest or special importance in the history of art. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered each year. Prerequisite: one unit of 100-level art history or consent of instructor.

  • ARTH 255. Contemporary Art in an Age of Global Warming (1). What role, if any, can art play in solving current environmental challenges? Is it ethical for artists to make more objects in a world already littered with too many? What would an art based on a true integration of ecological, aesthetic and ethical consciousness look like? This course explores artist-based perspectives on building a more sustainable future -- exciting territory where the very purpose and practice of art are being redefined. We examine a range of contemporary art practices and pressing environmental concerns. Through historical and contemporary readings and field trips, we consider artists’ initiatives within the context and history of environmental thought and contemporary art theory. Scientific labs and fieldwork allow us to test the viability and ethics of key artworks. Additionally, the Science Center building serves as a case study of green architecture. A strong interest art, art history and/or environmental studies are required. (5T) Prerequisite: sophomore standing

  • ARTH 350. Advanced Topics in the History of Art (.5-1). Selected topics of focused interest or special importance in the history of art. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered each year. Prerequisite: junior standing and two units of 100-level art history or junior standing and one unit of 100-level and one unit of 200-level art history.

  • ARTH 375. Art History: Theory and Methods (.5). This seminar offers a historiography of the discipline of art history and an introduction to the methods of research used to analyze, interpret, and understand art and visual culture. Class sessions are devoted to the critical analysis of formalist, iconographic, feminist, Marxist, and semiotic approaches, among others. A significant portion of the course is dedicated to current art historical theory and practice. Offered every other year, first module fall semester. Prerequisite: junior standing and at least one unit of 100-level and one unit of 200-level art history, or permission of instructor.

  • ARTH 385. Art History Capstone Experience (.5). This course provides an opportunity for art history seniors to utilize & share what they have learned during their academic careers at Beloit. Working collaboratively, students will develop creative art history programming for the campus community (e.g., a series of gallery talks, an exhibit, a student-faculty reading group, a film or lecture series) to be completed by the end of the semester. Students will thus gain practical experience, develop their skills of project management, and have the opportunity to share knowledge. (CP) Offered every other year, second module fall semester. Prerequisite: junior standing and at least two units of art history.

  • ARTH 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Individual work outside the scope of the regular course offerings of the art department. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

  • ARTH 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

  • ARTH 397. Research Assistant in Art History (.25 - 1). Assistance to an art history faculty member in scholarly research. Prerequisite: art history major; junior standing; B+ grade point average in art history courses; consent of instructor.