The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art aims more specifically at the aspiring professional artist and designer, and prepares these students with the skills and knowledge needed to go on to graduate study or a design career.
The creative capacity of students pursuing the BFA degree leads them to express themselves visually. The degree curriculum enables these students to determine their artistic identity and their expressive voice, providing them with the tools and means to communicate their ideas, thereby participating within their community through their chosen emphasis. The intellectually rigorous program focuses on the communicative power of art—it demands of students a high level of commitment, introspection, and consideration. While still situated within a university that offers various opportunities for exploration outside the field of art, BFA students focus in greater depth in their studio art or graphic design practice. The extra art or design credits taken allow for further investigation into a chosen emphasis, ultimately producing a final body of work in that emphasis to be shown in a final professional gallery exhibition and explained in a final thesis or portfolio project.
The BFA in Art with a Studio Emphasis degree familiarizes students with the rich tradition of the visual arts, provides them with an understanding of the tools and materials available to the artist as a means of personal expression, shows students that there are fundamental concepts which unify all art yet which allow for infinite variation, and introduces to them alternative ways of looking, seeing, finding, and discovering. BFA studio art students explore a wide variety of media, gaining extensive studio experience and learning the techniques and expressive opportunities unique to each. A primary focus of the program is on students finding their own creative and conceptual voice, and discovering ways to visually communicate their thoughts and ideas.
BFA studio art students also more thoroughly investigate such potential in a single area of emphasis, from among those offered in DADAH. Students at this level learn within a more professional framework, where the relationship between student and teacher becomes that of apprentice and master. Through this unique teaching relationship, students develop a high level of achievement in an area of expertise, while further developing personal creative abilities. In this manner they establish a sound basis for significant professional accomplishments in art.
16th in the Midwest
Webster University continues to be highly ranked on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges report, now listed as 16th in Midwest Regional Universities and included in four best-of categories. This year, the University's score rose to its highest level since the ranking system was established.
Take a Virtual Tour of the Visual Arts Studio
The following curriculum for a BFA in Art with a Studio Art Emphasis major is an example only. It represents the department’s concern that a BFA Art graduate balance an exposure to various materials and techniques of art practice with a concentrated focus on a specific studio practice, while remaining exposed to other fields of thought, and the encouragement of study abroad to broaden one’s global vision. See the Degree Requirements link and the Degree Audit Worksheet for specific requirements and options.
|ART 1010 Creative Strategies||3|
|ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing||3|
|DESN 1210 Design Concepts||3|
|ARHS 2200 Current Art||3|
|FRSH 1200 GCP First Year Seminar||3|
|ARHS 2210 Intercultural History of Art||3|
|ART 1120 Principles of Drawing||3|
|ART 2315 Sculpture I||3|
|ART 2715 Fine Art Photography||3|
|ART 2110 Figure Drawing||3|
|ART 2610 Printmaking Concepts and Techniques||3|
|ART 2315 Sculpture I||3|
|ART 2540 Ceramics: Function||3|
|ART 2900 Major Acceptance Review||0|
|ARHS 3210 Nineteenth-Century Art||3|
|ART 2120 Intermediate Drawing||3|
|ART 2410 Painting||3|
|ARHS 2820 Sound and Noise Art||3|
|ART 3530 Ceramics Studio||3|
|ARHS 3250 Modern Art||3|
|ANTH 1100 Intro to Cultural Anthropology (Gen Ed Val)||3|
|HRTS 1100 Intro to Human Rights (Gen Ed Hist)||3|
|PSYC 1100 Intro to Psychology (Gen Ed Sci)||3|
|MEDC 1630 Media Literacy (Gen Ed ComI)||3|
|SUST 1000 Intro to Sustainability Studies||3|
|ART 3110 Conceptual Drawing||3|
|ART 3690 Book Arts||3|
|ART 3540 Ceramics Materials and Technology||3|
|DESN 1500 Digital Visualizations||3|
|ARHS 3150 Baroque Art||3|
|ART 3900 BFA Review||0|
|ARHS 2000 Short-Term Study Abroad Venice or Florence||3|
|ART 4020 Visual Arts Seminar||3|
|ART 4530 Ceramics: Special Studies||3|
|ART 4540 Ceramics: Molds||3|
|ARHS 4600 Topics in Art History: Symbols: Theory and Meaning||3|
|FLST 2060 World Cinema||4|
|ART 4530 Ceramics: Special Studies||3|
|ART 4950 BFA Senior Thesis||3|
|KEYS 4019 Art and Social Engagement (GCP Keystone)||3|
|PHIL 3120 Philosophy and Art||3|
|ANTH 2300 Culture and Communication||3|
Thesis and Exhibition
A BFA student’s experience at Webster culminates in a final body of work, which is discussed in a written thesis and displayed in a final exhibition. Student register for the thesis course in their final semester, and meet weekly with the thesis faculty leader. Students develop a body of work over the course of their final year in the advanced courses of their chosen area of study. Theses take the form of a written produced piece of work that describes the body of work, its concepts, style, media, etc, influences and connections to past or contemporary art production. The exhibition is entirely student led. Students find an exhibition space in St. Louis, set up the exhibition, advertise it, and organize the installation, opening, and deinstallation.
Areas of Emphases
The Ceramics program is designed to support both sculpture and utilitarianware, handbuilding and wheelthrowing. Students are prepared to build w/clay and finish work w/ceramic surfaces. However, the program also encourages cross-medium exploration with the intent of honing materials and content to express the integrity of the idea. The program parallels exposure to traditional and contemporary ceramics with the belief that knowledge of the historical/traditional forms of folk and ritual pottery and tribal fetishes contribute to the student's development in making an informed contemporary statement.
- ART 2530 Ceramics: Space
- ART 2540 Ceramics: Function
- ART 3530 Ceramics Studio
- ART 3540 Ceramics Materials and Technology
- ART 4530 Ceramics: Special Studies
- ART 4540 Ceramics: Molds
The philosophy of the drawing emphasis is:
- To promote a love and habit of drawing that will serve as a foundation for all areas of emphasis in the department.
- To develop competence in a variety of drawing media from traditional to experimental and interdisciplinary.
- To teach a wide enough range of skills and concepts to ensure individual choice in style or direction, whether figurative or non-figurative.
To achieve these goals, Webster's drawing program develops sequentially. The lower-level courses function in context with our foundations curriculum. It is because the early drawing classes are laterally integrated with these required courses that the first few semesters of drawing can focus on observational drawing and traditional drawing media without sacrificing creativity and new directions in art.
Intermediate and upper level drawing courses encourage conceptual and contemporary approaches to drawing, as well as interdisciplinary options. Other Topics courses in drawing provide students with opportunities to focus on specialized skills or directions in drawing.
- ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing
- ART 1120 Principles of Drawing
- ART 2110 Figure Drawing
- ART 2120 Intermediate Drawing
- ART 3110 Conceptual Drawing
- ART 3120 Narrative Figure Drawing
- ART 3140 Digital Drawing
- ART 3150 Anatomy Studies
- ART 4110 Advanced Drawing
Electronic and Time-Based Art includes performance art, video art, sound and noise art, digital art, and installation art. These contemporary art-making practices are unified in their engagement with time/space as a medium and mode of practice. Electronic and Time-Based Art takes an intermedial approach to art-making, focusing on modes of practice and the dialectic between media rather than any singular medium, unified by the concept of time as a material.
Electronic and Time-Based Art Courses:
- ART 2810 Video Art
- ART 2820 Sound and Noise Art
- ART 3820 Performance Art
- ART 3830 Time Studio
The teaching philosophy of the undergraduate painting program at Webster University focuses on providing students with the fundamentals and solid foundation in the craft of painting. Students are challenged to sharpen the technical skills of paint handling and archival support preparation while remaining open to experimental and alternative media.
As students develop the basic skills to address subject matter and content, emphasis is placed on the role of painting as a continuing source of conceptual development and expanding visual vocabulary in the context of contemporary art. The program maintains an open policy allowing for the discovery and investigation of individual aesthetic and conceptual directions, interpretations and expressions.
- ART 2410 Painting I
- ART 3410 Intermediate Painting I
- ART 3420 Intermediate Painting II
- ART 4410 Advanced Painting
The Photography emphasis considers and approaches the photographic medium as an expressive medium. Students learn the technical skills necessary to create meaningful bodies of work. With guided and self-directed projects, students develop their own artistic practice and do not just take pictures, but they learn to make meaning photographically.
- ART 2715 Fine Art Photography
- ART 2720 Intermediate Photography
- ART 3730 Color Photographics
- ART 3750 Alternative Photography
- ART 4710 Advanced Photography
The printmaking curriculum is designed to provide the opportunity for an introduction to a variety of printmaking processes including woodblock, intaglio, lithography, screenprinting, and alternative processes, as well as offering the advantage of advanced and specialized work. The conceptual emphasis is focused on helping student find the means to use printmaking to relevant, timely, and evocative work. Although students have freedom to choose from varied technical approaches their common goal is to measure their work by currents in the field and a contemporary standard.
- ART 2610 Printmaking Concepts and Techniques
- ART 3610 Printmaking: Silkscreen
- ART 3620 Intaglio Printmaking
- ART 3650 Printmaking Workshop
- ART 3680 Alternative Lithography
- ART 4630 Printmaking Studio
- ART 3630 Papermaking
- ART 3690 Book Arts
The Sculpture emphasis teaches students to make meaning through three-dimensional work. It introduces the various materials and processes of sculpture, including woodworking, metalworking, plaster-and metal-casting, and automation. As students develop, they learn qualities of craftsmanship, and an understanding of space itself as a medium. Advanced work processes individually along a student's particular interest to develop a body of work that explores focused themes, content, and techniques.
- ART 2315 Sculpture I
- ART 3320 Sculpture II
- ART 3330 Sculpture Workshop
- ART 4310 Advanced Sculpture
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