Art majors at Berry prepare for a lifelong dedication to art as a unique form of knowledge and expression. Art becomes a way of life.
In the art program, students are encouraged to work hard, seek inspiration, and be creative and innovative using imagination while developing critical thinking and writing skills. All art majors will have the opportunity to experiment with various media as they develop their own artistic vision and prepare for the senior exhibition. Painting, watercolor, drawing, photography, digital imaging, web design, graphic design, ceramics, prints and mixed media all are areas that can be explored, as are art history, art criticism, museum studies and arts administration. Many Berry art majors have the opportunity to use one of our private or semi-private art studios which are available 24 hours a day.
All successful students in Berry’s art program earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in one (sometimes two) of the concentrations listed below:
- Studio Art
- Art History
- Art Education
Typically, students who elect studio art or art history concentrations prepare for a career in the art world and continue on to graduate school. Students interested in teaching art in a public or private school, elect the art education concentration.
Painting and Drawing
Drawing and painting classes at Berry provide students with a substantial introduction to modes of representation, traditional and modern techniques, and aesthetic awareness. These areas challenge students to develop critical skills to hone and advance their personal vision.
As the principles of drawing are common to all visual disciplines, “Beginning Drawing” is a core requirement for all art majors regardless of concentration. “Figure Drawing” provides students with a thorough investigation of the figure by working from live models, muscle plates, and skeletons. Drawing is a primary component of painting and is utilized in “Beginning Painting” via issues such as composition and extended through basic painting skills and color theory. Students may further their technical skills in painting and develop a personal style in intermediate and advanced level painting classes.
Photography and Electronic Media
Students can take a number of courses that involve making photographic or digital works. We use traditional methods like the pinhole camera, and the “zone system” in black and white photography. We use new image making techniques involving the latest computer software and hardware in digital imaging, web and graphic design classes. Students create a wide variety of works, ranging from elegant black and white photographs, to composite computer images and websites. In 2-D design, students use computers to explore color and other design elements.
Ceramics students learn to hand-build and to throw. They learn to formulate and mix clay and glazes, and fire gas and electric kilns. The focus is on imagination, technical mastery, and developing maturity and independence. Students in our undergraduate program are doing things that many graduate students do at larger universities. Berry students can fire Raku, stoneware, earthenware, and salt, in either oxidation or reduction. Since classes are small, we can and do respond to individual student needs.
Prints and Mixed Media at Berry
Students learn to make intaglio, relief, and screen prints. In our program, students are encouraged to experiment with various media and develop a personal direction as they prepare for their senior exhibition. If the students find that combining different media best serves their ideas, they can do so at the advanced level through a critique-based course for intermediate students and seniors working in any medium.
Art History Theses and Internships
Students organize and curate exhibitions for theses and internships. Art history concentration students are involved in various research projects. Their research satisfies the requirements of the Senior Thesis (required of all Art Majors electing the Art History concentration), or academic internships.
The Martha Berry Museum is an excellent resource for our students since they can research works of art in the permanent collection, and use the exhibition space for their work on exhibitions.