A new Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual Art and Culture (VAC) with major options in Art History and Visual Culture, Studio Art, and Museum Studies, is available starting this semester.
The degree has a contemporary, liberal arts character that provides a rich educational experience while utilizing specialized resources and offering practical applications. Students will continue to take the basic survey courses that cover the art of all major time periods and areas of the globe, and they will take advanced, in-depth courses on a wide variety of topics and different cultures. In addition, students will take expanded offerings in studio art to provide a direct, hands-on understanding of art.
The majors in Art History and Visual Culture and Museum Studies offer opportunities unparalleled in any other state-supported undergraduate program in these fields. Majors gain academic proficiency through conducting professional research to present at intercollegiate symposia, public talks, and professional conferences, to present in researched art exhibitions, and to publish articles in both University and local journals. Further opportunities include museum and gallery internships, service-learning courses, and studies abroad in Europe and in China. The Department also has a growing collection of art and artifacts that students may study hands-on, including the Edie Ballweg Collection of Maya textiles, the Wimmer Collection of Oceanic art and artifacts, and, most recently, a large, museum-quality collection of African and Oceanic masks and sculptures donated by Guy Mace. All together, these opportunities provide excellent practical experience and exceptional preparation for professional work and graduate studies.
The Museum Studies major is also one of the few undergraduate degrees available in the United States with this focus. This degree option was developed in response to student demand and provides a rich educational experience combining an in-depth background in art history and experience in studio art with practical classes in museum work. Five new advanced Museum Studies courses have been developed for the degree, and the first of these courses, MST 380: Museum Collections Management and MST 350: Citizenship and Service-Learning in Museum Studies, area being offered this semester for the first time. And collaborations with area museums will play a bigger role in this curriculum in the near future.
The Studio Art major offers a solid core in art making practice framed within a liberal arts context that looks broadly at visual art and its relationship to culture. Students can elect to focus in one of the following studio areas: ceramics, digital arts, drawing, metals/jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture.
For more information about the new BA degree in Visual Art and Culture, see the undergraduate catalog description or contact the Art + Design Department.