Chair, Associate Professor
Professor Joel Sheesley
Visiting Professor Leah Samuelson
The Art Department, through its concentrations in Studio Art, Art History, and Community Art and Missions, presents art as an integral part of the Christian liberal arts mission at Wheaton College. We contribute to the development of whole and effective Christians by nurturing creativity and artistic expression as gifts from God to the individual, the church, and society at large. The Art Department provides education in visual perception, visual literacy, appreciation, and artistic process. We encourage students to make art that is culturally relevant, while seeking out beauty and significance, celebrating individual uniqueness, and participating in community.
The department provides access to artistic heritages of diverse cultural traditions, and explores these traditions through varied interpretative lenses. Such scrutiny employs critical perspectives informed by the best available Christian wisdom. We present historical and contemporary art theory and practice in both the fine and applied arts. The Art Department challenges students to evaluate and question received paradigms, and nurtures a constructive approach to the creation of redemptive visual metaphors rooted in a Christian vision of life. Through this training, we extend students’ capacity for critical thinking, analysis, and ethical choice into the visual and artistic realm, inspiring confidence, courage, and passion for what they do, based on being new creatures in Christ.
The department offers three concentration options for a major: studio art, art history, and community art and missions. The studio art concentration aims to prepare visual artists in a variety of media, culminating with a focused concentration in one of these areas: ceramics, drawing, graphic design, new media, painting, photography, printmaking or sculpture. Studio majors also receive a background in art history and criticism considered from a Christian point of view. The art history concentration provides a critical analysis, particularly of the western artistic heritage, and more generally of various traditions of world art, from a perspective informed by Christian values. It provides an opportunity for students to exercise basic skills of viewing, reading, research, analysis, critical thinking, and writing about art. The community art and missions concentration is an interdisciplinary program that merges the production of art, public spaces, and collaborative practices. The term community art has been used broadly to describe arts programs where an artist facilitates projects within a community setting. Examples include after-school programs for youth, community centers that offer intergenerational programming, site-specific mural projects, and public installations or performances. The community artist is one that enters into the lives of others to activate creativity, story-telling, discipleship, and worship.
Graduates of the Art Department have a sophisticated understanding of the visual arts developed in a liberal arts context. Art provides an introduction to many ways of knowing, problem solving, analyzing, and doing. These skills find application in a variety of work settings. A liberally educated artist is a desirable employee. Our students go on to find employment in a wide variety of art related fields, are accepted into graduate schools around the country, become professional artists and art historians, and also apply their artistic sensibilities in non-art entrepreneurial and service oriented vocations.
Studio electives should be chosen with two objectives in mind: a) to develop expressive competency in one medium (or set of closely related media), and b) to learn the artistic possibilities found in a variety of other media.
Other requirements include:
Participation in annual student exhibitions and art events scheduled for majors.
Participation and passing score in Sophomore Portfolio Review, and Junior Critique. Prerequisite or corequisite for participation in Sophomore Portfolio Review:, , , and .
Students are advised that(2 hrs) Sophomore Cornerstone is offered in the B Quad of Fall semester. Prerequisites or corequisites for Sophomore Cornerstone are: two of , and .
A passing score in Junior Critique is required prior to approval for Senior Exhibition.
Exhibition Practicum: This course must be taken as preparation for the Senior Exhibition. Students are required to take this course with the Art professor who will advise them for the student's Senior Exhibition. Students must obtain professor approval prior to registering for Exhibition Practicum. A passing grade for the Senior Exhibition is required for graduation with a Studio Concentration, Art Major.
Students are advised that(2 hours for Studio Art majors) is typically taken in the senior year and is offered in the Fall. is typically taken in the senior year in either the Fall or Spring semester. Sophomore portfolio reviews and Junior critiques take place in the Spring semester. Schedules should be planned accordingly.
Requirements for a major in Art with a Community Art and Missions Concentration are 40 hours including Studio Art: , , or , , , (4), , plus 1 Elective Studio Course Art History: (Gen Ed) or (Gen Ed), , . Urban/International Interdisciplinary: or , , , (Gen Ed).
Students are advised thatand are typically taken in the senior year. The Community Art Concentration culminates in a Senior Presentation documenting the development of a Community Art project.
Requirements for a major in Art with an Art History Concentration are 35 hours including , , , ; 12 hours chosen from , , , ; (2), 6 hours from and/or or supporting course or study abroad; one Studio Art course; and attendance at art events scheduled for art majors .
Students are advised that(2 hours for Art History major) is offered alternate years in the Fall so should be taken in the junior or senior year.
A reading knowledge of two foreign languages is recommended for students who anticipate graduate study
An Alternate Art History Concentration requires, , ; 12 hours chosen from , , , ; (2); 16 hours of supporting courses from other departments (see Art Department Prospectus for acceptable supporting courses); attendance at seminars scheduled for art majors. Art history supporting courses can apply to both an Art major and the major of the course’s native department, making the alternate Art History concentration especially conducive to double majors.
Students are advised that(2 hours for Art History major) is offered alternate years in the Fall so should be taken in the junior or senior year.
A reading knowledge of two foreign languages is recommended for students who anticipate graduate study.
Art History courses ART 352, , , and 471 may be taken at any time, but they are taught sequentially, spanning four semesters. Thus, each course is offered every other year. Art majors should ideally follow the sequence chronologically.
The art survey, aesthetics, and history courses do not require drawing ability or active participation in studio work. Courses with no prerequisite are open to all students regardless of ability or previous training.
Requirements for a minor in Art are 17-19 hours as defined in the department's Prospectus for Minors, which must be followed. It defines the following set of alternative course groupings: Art History; Painting/Drawing; Ceramics/Sculpture; Graphic Design/Photography; Printmaking/Photography; Photography/Film; Drawing/Printmaking; and other specific combinations subject to prior departmental approval.
Suggested Computer Equipment: Art students are encouraged to choose a Macintosh computer since all software and instruction in relevant areas occurs on a Macintosh platform. Adobe CS6 and related software is available at the Wheaton College Bookstore for a discounted price.
ART 221. Taking Pictures. A basic introduction to photography using simple digital cameras. Students will make pictures in response to visual images and art objects from art history and different cultural contexts. Can be used for Gen Ed credit (3)
ART 231. Sculpture I. An extension of the principles of design into three-dimensional issues of structure and space, emphasizing introduction to materials and equipment. Historic and contemporary approaches to sculpture are considered as means to develop a personal approach to issues of space, form and object. Can be used for Gen Ed credit (3)
ART 241. Sophomore Cornerstone. A discussion of art and artists, theological views of artistry, and art theory in the 20th and 21st centuries. These are examined in light of various traditional Christian views of the relationship of the Christian person to culture. We explore how theological and cultural attitudes, along with artistic theories and methods, can shape the form and direction of artistic work. Each student is encouraged to evaluate and develop his/her own method or response to God, the created world, and cultural realities, through artistic means. (2)
ART 251. History of Art & Architecture I (Ancient – 1700). Introduction to select periods of art and architecture from cave paintings to the cusp of the modern era (c, 1700), including Ziggurats, Pyramids, Israelite visual culture, Greek and Roman art, Byzantine icons and Gothic Cathedrals, the art of the Renaissance, Reformation and Baroque. Enrollment priority will be given to Art Majors. Taking ART 351 immediately after this course is recommended (but not required). Offered every Fall semester. (4)
ART 302. The Understanding of Art. The origin and development of the fine arts; the functional and aesthetic qualities of art. Only one section of 101, 102, or 302 may be taken for credit towards graduation requirements. For transfer and upper division students. Meets art portion of the Literature and the Arts cluster general education requirement. (2)
ART 312. Film and Darkroom Photography. Basic studies in design and composition, camera operation, technical mastery of black and white film and paper, darkroom procedures. Emphasis on aesthetic and perceptual awareness, visual literacy, proficiency in the use of analog photographic materials and processes. Study of major works and significant photographers. Cameras and basic equipment available for check-out. (3)
ART 316. Ceramics I. A general introduction to ceramics through hand-building techniques with an emphasis on the vessel as a vehicle to explore issues in contemporary art. Introduction to the technical skills, history, and thought process of working with clay. Historic and contemporary approaches to ceramics are considered as means to develop a personal approach to the material (3)
ART 318. Graphic Design I. Typography; Students will engage the fundamental principles of design in structured and experimental ways. There will be primary focus on typography: its history, organization, and the relationship between the expressive quality of form and the communication of meaning. We will work both with our hands and also in the digital environment; exploring the basic type and layout capabilities the computer affords (Adobe Illustrator and InDesign). (3)
ART 324. Digital Photography II. Continuation of . Photography explored creatively, informed by contemporary artistic concepts and methods. Students may explore documentary, artistic, and/or commercial practices, studio portrait lighting, animated 'moving' images, entrepreneurial possibilities. Prerequisite: or or consent of instructor. (3)
ART 325. Cinema. A study of the cinematic arts from its inception to current times. The focus will be on the critical film theory and aesthetic, technological, historical progression of the world cinema. (4)
ART 326. Digital Filmmaking I. Digital Filmmaking shows the trace of motion picture history as well as the trajectory of future cinema. Students confront issues of style and meaning while working on visual expression of radical imagination. (3)
ART 328. Advanced Digital Studio. (Formerly Web Site Design); Students will create and design content for the digital and web environment. Projects will be at times linear/narrative, but also interactive and engaging new and open source applications. Prerequisite: or consent of instructor (3)
ART 332. Graphic Design II. Visual Systems; Students will integrate typography and imagery in more complex systems and programs, with additional focus on Information design, publication design, and an introduction to motion sequences. We will also read and discuss writings of historical significance to the field. Prerequisite: . (3)
ART 336. Ceramics II. Continuation of skills and issues introduced in Ceramics I, with emphasis placed on the potter’s wheel. Introduction to glaze chemistry, with the goal of developing a personal palette of glazes. Prerequisite: . (3)
ART 351. History of Art & Architecture II (Modern and Contemporary). Introduction to art and architecture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries in Europe and North America, with special attention given to the city of Chicago. Movements explored include Rococo, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, medieval revivals, Impressionism, Modernism, Pop, and Contemporary art. Consideration is also given to the influence of non-Western art. Enrollment priority will be given to Art majors. Taking immediately before this course is recommended (but not required). Offered every Spring semester. (4)
ART 352. Medieval and Byzantine Art. Exploration of the visual theology of Early Christian art and architecture, following its development in Constantinople alongside the Celtic and Carolingian culture of the medieval West, and concluding in the artistic maturity of both these civilizations: Romanesque and Gothic in the West and Byzantine art in the East. Alternate years in Fall semester. (4)
ART 353. Renaissance Art. Exploration of art and architecture from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, in both Italian and Northern European contexts, including the impact of Protestantism. Artists examined include Giotto, Duccio, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bellini, Dürer, Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Bruegel, Holbein, and many others. Special attention is given to a critical examination of influential Renaissance art historians such as Giorgio Vasari. Alternate years in Spring semester. (4)
ART 354. Non-Western Art. Introduction to the indigenous visual cultures of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Special attention is given to the theology of non-Christian religions and to the art and architectural expression of Christianity in non-European forms. Alternate years in Fall semester. (2)
ART 381. New Media Art and Criticism. A workshop exploring the aesthetics of new screen media and digital interfaces. Assignments and projects will explore digital convergence, digital interactivity, digital spaces, digital temporalities, and digital narratives. Prerequisite: ART 318 or 326 or or . Also by consent of instructor. (3)
ART 382. Art and Technology. A workshop exploring some of the issues at the interface between the creative process and the possibilities offered by technological efficiencies. The course will engage a variety of theoretical models while students complete projects with digital video. (3)
ART 383. Digital Photography I. Basic studies in design and composition, camera operation, applicable technologies, visual literacy. Introduction to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and related software. Emphasis on developing creative personal practices informed by art history and contemporary visual culture. Study of relevant works and significant artistis. Cameras and basic equipment available for check-out. (3)
ART 425. Advanced Studio III. Advanced students (level #3 studios) in all media and studio disciplines meet together to define, evaluate, and encourage personal artistic development. Class sessions center on discussion of student projects. Discussion is organized around seminal readings that challenge status quo assumptions, provoke creative art-making, and inspire commitment to ongoing artistic explorations.
ART 429. Community Art II. A course on the streets of Chicago in which we survey twenty community arts organizations across the city. Site visits and case studies are the sole contents of the course. Intended for Art majors with a concentration in Community Art in the spring semester of their junior year. Prerequisite: (3)
ART 494-1. Senior Capstone for Art History. Exploration of the methodology of art history and the development of the discipline, including Classical precedents, Byzantine icon theology, Renaissance Neo-Platonism, German developments, Hegel, Marx, Feminism, Deconstruction and the “religious turn.” Alternate years in the Fall only. (2)
ART 494-3. Senior Capstone for Studio Art concentration. Typically offered in the Fall only. In this course, students recollect who they are as artists and what they are making. They develop a personal and artistic mission and goals, design and construct a physical portfolio object, and create other appropriate presences including resume, business card, website, e-book, etc. In addition, there will be discussions of select readings, technical workshops, and guest presenters. (2)
ART 497. Exhibition Practicum. Group practicum focused on the meaning, development, preparation, and production of senior show exhibitions. To be taken during spring semester of senior year. Prerequisite: successful participation in the Junior Critique process (2)
Revision Date: June 1, 2015
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