Painting Program in Studio Arts
The Painting Program at seeks to educate students in the dual practices of studio art and critical thinking.
Course work in the painting sequence promotes the students' mastery of the technical and aesthetic language of painting and an appreciation of painting's traditionally vital place in the culture at large.
Painting 1 provides a solid introduction to the methods and materials of observational painting. Students will be introduced to a variety of painting tools and processes, and will learn to construct canvas and hardboard painting supports. Studio subject matters are the point of departure for the study of proportion, space, light, color and composition. The observed landscape, figure painting and a variety of special themes comprise additional coursework. Attention will be drawn to identifying the point where subject matter begins to shift to content. Frequent participatory critiques will develop critical thinking skills and work in the studio is complemented by slide-lectures, readings and/or writing
Painting 2 introduces the student to the strategies by which literal subject matters may be selected and composed to form expanded references and non-literal meanings. Assignments move from deep pictorial space into flat space, while developing a 'visual syntax' for combining imagery derived from a variety of sources. Students may learn alternate ways of image making, including: silk-screen, digital processing, photo-transfer, collage, and mixed media. Emphasis on participatory critique will be heightened in Painting 2, as students' conceptual purposes become more developed.
Painting 3 examines the processes of abstraction. Starting with figurative subject matter and investigating various methods for abstracting, students eventually learn to work with non-representational abstraction ("non-objective art"). Understanding of the history, theories and possibilities of abstraction will be deepened by slide-lectures, readings, and/or writing. Participatory critiques will continue to be important for developing critical thinking. Painting 3 continues the student's shift from work generated by assignments to work that springs from the student's ideas and growth as a seasoned artist.
Painting 4 fosters and encourages the student to build upon their experiences in Painting 1, 2, and 3, and to develop their own artistic voice. Students experiment with new possibilities of materials, processes, color, composition, and subject matter towards the realization of an individual purpose. Students learn to articulate that purpose both visually and verbally, developing the skills of a mature "+studio practice." Emphasis is placed on modern and contemporary painting, theory, and practice. Readings, participatory critique, research, and discussion form an integral part of this course. Students will also be guided in the preparation of such materials as an Artist's Statement and applications for internships and graduate study.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
The BFA Program is a competitive degree program offering greater concentration in studio coursework and individual creative development. BFA students receive personal studio space and their degree culminates in a solo exhibition in University Galleries.
Special Topics Classes
Each year, the Painting Area offers a 'special topics' course. Previous special topics have included studies in Landscape, Collage and the Contemporary Figure.
Master of Fine Arts Degree
The Graduate Program at Illinois State University seeks to prepare each student for the career of professional artist. Moreover, we support and encourage students in the linked vocations of teaching, curating, arts administration, and gallery administration. All students are awarded a full tuition waiver plus assistantship with stipend each and every semester.
These are either Teaching or Administrative assistantships - A student might teach a class, assist in the classroom of one of the painting area professors or perform a number of supportive tasks required for the smooth functioning of the painting area. Individual studio space over a three-year period enables each Graduate student to develop his or her body of work, in preparation for working as an artist outside the institution. Students direct their own working methods with input from professional exhibiting artists on the faculty who guide the graduate curriculum plan. In conjunction with studio work, graduate students will study within the art history area which offers courses on modern and contemporary art theory and practice.
Students can elect to work with whom ever they chose in the capacity of Independent Study, thereby coming into contact with variable and diverse opinions. Interdisciplinary contact is encouraged, students electing to work in Installation or Performance may work with Faculty in Video, Sculpture, Drawing/Print-making, Photography, or Painting. Finally, graduate students are required to research and compose a written, supportive statement addressing the visual work in the MFA show.