Studio Art

Studio Art

Courses & Curriculum

Canisius College offers a minor in studio art that prepares serious art students for further undergraduate study at an art school. The minor is also an option for students who would like to experiment in visual media for their own personal enrichment. All course offerings will improve students’ conceptual, perceptual and technical art making skills.  Studio art minor students will develop a body of work and portfolio alongside a faculty comprised of professional artists.  Students’ art works are displayed throughout the academic year in the Peter A. and Mary Lou Vogt Art Gallery on Lyons Hall’s fourth floor. Students who complete the studio art minor will have the knowledge, experience and portfolio necessary for further studies in the visual arts. They will also have a deeper understanding of themselves as human beings.

Departmental Learning Goals

Goal 1: Studio Art students use visual design terminology. 
Students will:

Objective A:  Define the elements and principles of design in visual art through discussion and critique.

Objective B: Write an artist’s statement using terms describing the elements and principles of design.

Goal 2: Studio Art students develop technical skills. 
Students will:

Objective A: Utilize hand/eye coordination when rendering from life, still life, or nature.

Objective B: Utilize skills specific to different studio disciplines such as woodworking, printmaking, carving, sculpting or photography.

Goal 3: Studio Art students articulate, verbally and in writing, conceptual approaches used in studio art while making, discussing, and observing art. 

Students will:

Objective A: Explicate the rationale behind the art they make, materially, conceptually and formally.

Objective B: Engage in critical discourse on their own and others’ art work.

Goal 4:  Studio Art students describe broad developments and trends in art history and contemporary art. 

Students will:

Objective A: Position their work within a contemporary art framework and compare their work within larger art historical themes.

Objective B: Evaluate any given piece of art within a contemporary framework and find its fundamental art historical significance. 

Goal 5:  Studio Art students experience placing work on public display.

Students will:

Objective A: Locate galleries or venues appropriate for the display of their work.

Objective B: Curate and hang their work for exhibition.

Studio Art Minor (6 courses)

The heart of the studio art minor consists of four required courses:

FAS 110 Two-Dimensional Design 3 credits
FAS 130 Three-Dimensional Design 3 credits
FAS 120 Drawing I  3 credits
FAS 250 Studio Art Capstone 3 credits
Studio Art Electives:  2 courses 6 credits

Students further explore and deepen their art making skills through a combination of two elective courses in computer design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and/or sculpture.  

Prospective minors should consult the Studio Art program director..


Freshman Seminar: 
FYS 101 Special Topics Writing Intensive        3 credits
This writing-intensive studio art class requires students to look at, write about and create art works based on contemporary issues in art. Students will be exposed to local gallery exhibitions and will engage in the production and revision of 15 pages of polished prose that will be followed by the creation of art in a hands-on studio environment.
FAS 110 Two-Dimensional Design         3 credits
Investigation of the formal elements and principles of design in two dimensions. Hands-on studio environment with computer-based assignments will involve students in practical and creative solutions to design problems. (Field 3)  Fall, Spring 

FAS 120 Drawing I      3 credits
Investigation of the formal, material and historical fundamentals of drawing. Exercises with dry and wet media progress through perceptual rendering, collage, narrative and imaginative drawing. (Field 3)  Fall, Spring, Summer

FAS 130 Three-Dimensional Design   3 credits
Investigation of the formal elements and principles of design in three dimensions and their relationship with the space they occupy. Particular emphasis is placed on material and presentation. (Field 3) Fall, Spring, Summer

FAS 131 Sculpture I   3 credits
Emphasis on traditional techniques. Assignments cover specific materials (plaster, wood, styrofoam, metal, paper) and particular techniques (armature construction, wood working, riveting, mold making, papier mache). (Field 3)Prerequisite: 3D Design or portfolio review by instructor. Fall, Spring, Summer

FAS 140 Introduction to Still Photography     3 credits
Basic techniques of photography explored through the use of 35mm cameras and film. Emphasis on the development of black and white film and the visualization process of taking pictures. Prerequisite: 35mm camera with manual controls. (Field 3) Fall & Spring 

FAS 141 Digital Photography   3 credits
Review basic photo skills as they relate to the operation of  digital cameras. Students are introduced to the digital workflow using Photoshop to develop a personal style that is reflected in a printed and digital portfolio. Prerequisites: No prior photo experience, students must have a D-SLR camera (digital single lens reflex camera) (Field 3)  Fall, Spring, Summer

FAS 142 Travel Photography  3 credits
Learn how to navigate location shoots and capture the spirit of the specific culture in front of you. Find the right location shots, maximize the light situations regardless of climate or time of day and learn proper ethical behavior for photojournalists. Review basic camera operations for both film and digital picture taking. (Field 3)  Summer 

FAS 150 Color   3 credits
Combines in-depth color theory with actual design and composition making learned through traditional studio set-ups and contemporary computer applications. (Field 3)  Fall

FAS 151 Personal and Political Art   3 credits
Course engages students in the interplay between personal modes of artistic expression and political concerns in art. Contemporary mixed media and installation art will be primary considerations. Drawing, painting and collage will be the principal media.  (Field 3)

FAS 160 Printmaking I   3 credits
Introduction to the history and processes of basic printmaking including relief printing, monoprints, pronto plate lithography, ‘image-on’ intaglio and other photo-sensitive and non-toxic processes. Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission of instructor. (Field 3) Fall

FAS 161 Experimental Printmaking Techniques        3 credits
Introduces students to the history of printmaking as an art form. Students will explore alternative methods of mark-making and hand-printing without the use of toxic chemicals, acids or presses. This process incorporates drawing and design skills while exploring color relationships via the intrinsic nature of printmaking. (Field 3) Summer

FAS 162 Monotype Techniques     3 credits
Introduction to and concentration on monotype, a combination of printmaking and painting. This process utilizes drawing, painting and design skills.Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission of instructor. (Field 3)  Spring

FAS 170 Painting I   3 credits
Investigation of the formal, material and historical fundamentals of painting. Exercises in watercolor and acrylic paint progress through grisaille, monochromatic, limited palette and full palette treatments of subject matters. (Field 3) Spring, Summer

FAS 220 Drawing II   3 credits
Deals with conceptual and perceptual issues of representation. Emphasis is on finding a more personal and creative vision. Artwork, readings, gallery visits, critiques and discussions included. Prerequisites: Drawing I.  (Field 3)  Fall, Spring

FAS 222 Figure Drawing I         3 credits
In-depth work with human figure as primary subject matter.  Students work from model for half the semester.  Emphasis on anatomical structures and expressive use of figure in composition-making. Work in range of media. Students also work on independent, personal projects using figure. (Field 3)Fall

FAS 231 Clay Studio             3 credits
Course emphasizes the basic process of clay modeling and mold making in plaster. Beginning with hand-built sculptural forms, students progress to realistic clay modeling that will be completed by making a mold and casting in plaster. (Field 3)

FAS 240 Color Photography       3 credits
Explores the basic concepts and techniques of color photography using both traditional silver-based media and the digital studio. Prerequisites: Intro Photo or approval of instructor, digital or 35 mm. camera w/ manual controls.(Field 3)

FAS 241 Intermediate Photography         3 credits
In-depth study of advanced digital photographic workflow including color management, visual interpretation of the digital negative and the application of artificial light in the studio and field. Prerequisite: Intro Photo or portfolio review with instructor; 35mm digital single lens reflex camera with manual controls.  (Field 3)

FAS 250 Studio Art Capstone      3 credits
The culmination of a studio art minor, students put together a portfolio and create a body of work or installation for exhibit in the gallery. The portfolio includes work from the other three required minor courses and new work created for the capstone project. Prerequisite: 2D Design, Draw I and 3D Design or permission of instructor. Spring 

FAS 260 Printmaking II              3 credits
A continuation of printmaking processes learned in Printmaking I. Students experience a more self-guided studio environment where they are expected to build upon the techniques and processes learned in Printmaking I and expand on them in the form of practice and experimentation. Personal style and conceptual direction begin to develop alongside process. Prerequisite: Printmaking I  (Field 3)  Spring 

FAS 270 Painting II            3 credits
Students consider further technical and conceptual issues of representation and abstraction. Goal is a more personal and creative vision. Artwork, readings, gallery visits, critiques and discussions included. Prerequisites: 2D Design and Painting I  (Field 3)  As needed.

FAS 271 Landscape Painting          3 credits
Photo-based and open air painting will be the focus of this course. Students will also consider critical issues and trends in landscape painting and representation. Issues will include urban vs. natural scenes, panoramic and close-up composition making, and imagined, abstracted and perceptually observed subject matter. Prerequisite: 2D Design, Drawing I or Painting I preferred (Field 3)

FAS 322 Figure Drawing II         3 credits
Further work with human figure as primary subject matter. Students work from model for half the semester.  Review anatomical structures and continue with expressive use of figure in composition-making. Work in range of media. Students also work on independent, personal projects using figure.Prerequisite: Figure Drawing I  (Field 3) 

FAS 370 Figure Painting III           3 credits
Students work primarily from models for portrait and full figure painting compositions. Formal, technical issues are stressed. Conceptual and contemporary issues concerning the human figure are also significant considerations. Prerequisite: Figure Drawing II or Painting II preferred. (Field 3)  As needed.

FAS 499 Independent Study in Studio Art          3 credits
Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, department chair and associate dean.