Studio Art Courses

Student artist at work in class.

For current class offerings, times, and additional information,
please visit: Office of the Registrar: Schedule of Classes.

MFA Studio Berlin, American University Department of Art

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Courses: Studio Art Department

ARTS-100: Art: The Studio Experience 1:1 (3)

This beginning studio course introduces students to painting, drawing, sculpture, and design combined with visual literacy. The course focuses on the interrelationship of hand, eye, and mind to create informed works of art that engage larger critical, formal, or cultural dialogues and relate basic visual language to analytic and creative processes of the artist. Usually offered every term.

ARTS-205: The Artist's Perspective: Drawing 1:2 (3)

This introductory drawing course examines observation as a tool of discovery. Students explore traditional and conceptual notions of looking and experiment with different materials, techniques, and practices in order to examine visual perception. The course investigates drawing as a two-dimensional and three-dimensional medium. Usually offered every term. 

ARTS-210: The Artist's Perspective: Painting 1:2 (3)

This course is an introduction to the practices, production, and consideration of contemporary painting techniques and strategies. Using acrylic paints and other materials students will engage in technical, creative, and conceptual projects that introduce a broad range of approaches to painting including both representation and abstraction. Students learn the language of painting and investigate its traditional and contemporary contexts. This course is a Habits of Mind: Creative Inquiry course.

ARTS-215: The Artist's Perspective: Sculpture 1:2 (3)

This course is an introduction to the practices, production, and consideration of sculptural design and visual/tactile problem solving. A variety of materials and processes, both physical and conceptual, will be explored through technical projects, creative projects, and supplementary research assignments. This course is a Habits of Mind: Creative Inquiry course.

ARTS-235: The Artist's Perspective: Video Art (3)

An introduction to contemporary video art and its representations of time, this course emphasizes experimental approaches over conventional narrative. Projects involve shooting and editing individual video assignments for class critiques, developing individual video assignments for class critiques, and developing personal moving image art projects. Examples of artists' film and video are screened and discussed in the context of readings and written assignments. Usually offered every term

ARTS-240: The Artist's Perspective: Printmaking (3)

This introductory printmaking course examines observation and expression through the processes of wood cut, drypoint, and etching. Students are introduced to traditional and contemporary art language, practices, techniques, and tools through the medium of print. Usually offered every term.

ARTS-245: The Artist's Perspective: Digital Photography (3)

This introductory course explores new technologies in contemporary photographic practice. Though technical aspects of digital photography are covered, the main focus is on making and looking at photographs. Utilizing Photoshop, technical topics center on cultivating a digital workflow, which includes digital capture, image editing, and digital output. Students become familiar with both historic and contemporary photographic work as well as ideas around light, composition, visualization, editing, and sequencing of images. Critiques are the central forum for students to develop their ability to speak about their own work as well as their peers'. The course concludes with students developing a final portfolio of photographs. Grading: A-F only. Note: Students are required to provide their own digital SLR camera and fixed (not zoom) lens. Usually Offered: every term 

ARTS-420: Painting Studio (3)

This is an intermediate and advanced course that encourages experimental approaches to painting through historical and contemporary study. Students creatively explore issues of color, surface, and composition, and are encouraged to begin exploration of individualized concerns that can be addressed through image making. Thematic studies provide opportunity for intensive investigation of ideas. Offered in Spring Term. Prerequisite: ARTS-210 or equivalent.

ARTS-440: Sculpture Studio (3)

This is an intermediate and advanced course that focuses on the interrelationship between object and environment. Students investigate materials and concepts used in historical, contemporary, and experimental art practices. Course structure focuses on creative problems and solutions. Students explore form, content, and context through individual projects. Offered Spring Term. Prerequisite: ARTS-205 or ARTS-215.

ARTS-460: Drawing Studio (3)

This is an intermediate and advanced course in drawing. Students explore selected drawing media, locate a direction of study, and develop a personal visual vocabulary in artwork. Drawing is investigated as an initiating and developing tool for creative thinking. Emphasis is on the process, production, and research needed to produce consistent and creative work. Usually offered every term. Prerequisite: ARTS-205 or equivalent.

ARTS-463: Relief Printmaking Studio (3)

Investigation of the historical techniques utilized in woodcut, linocut, and surface printing. Students pursue individualized projects while mastering technique. Emphasis on the experimentation, the development of the technique, and the utilization of printmaking as a tool for challenging studio practice and expanding broader critical concerns. Usually offered every fall. Prerequisite: ARTS-205 or equivalent.

ARTS-464: Intaglio Studio (3)

An introduction to basic printmaking processes including monoprint, etching, drypoint, and aquatint. Students investigate the history and process of the intaglio print in relation to individualized projects. Emphasis on the experimentation, the development of the technique, and the utilization of printmaking as a tool for challenging studio practice and expanding broader critical concerns. Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite: ARTS-205 or equivalent.

ARTS-470: Expanded Media Studio (3)

This course explores cross-disciplinary use of digital photography, video, sound, performance, media installation, and social practice. Each student develops individual artistic expression and conceptual approach to creating a coherent art project. Students become familiar with a variety of digital and time-based contemporary art forms and their technologies and discourses, while engaging in critical thinking and dialogue. Usually offered every spring.

ARTS-400: Senior Seminar (3)

May be repeated for credit. This studio and criticism course considers the inspirations and practices of contemporary artists and also emphasizes the relationship between art making, culture, and audience. Gallery/museum trips and artist lectures help students contextualize their work in current art practices. Readings, group discussions, and critiques facilitate deeper understanding of the social and conceptual issues surrounding contemporary art. Students pursue an individualized body of studio work that culminates in an exhibition. Permission of instructor.

ARTS-620: Advanced Printmaking (3)

May be repeated for credit. Individual projects in printmaking with emphasis on the investigation of contemporary art issues. Students develop a suite of prints or other related investigation in either tandem with their advanced studio work or based on a theme of their choosing in consultation with the instructor. Usually offered every term. Prerequisite: ARTS-463 or ARTS-464, admission to M.F.A. program, or permission of instructor.

ARTS-630: Advanced Sculpture (3)

May be repeated for credit. Individual projects in sculpture. Students explore formal and critical issues concerning two- or three-dimensional work. Students are encouraged to manifest ideas three-dimensionally with respect to the environment or installation of their work. Usually offered every term. Prerequisite: ARTS-440, admission to M.F.A. program, or permission of instructor.

ARTS-460: Drawing Practicum I (3)

May be repeated for credit. Drawing as research. This course explores the process of the sketch in developing, proposing, and planning visual works in various media. Students work on synthesizing ideas and representing them formally and conceptually, with emphasis on individual creative expression. Usually offered every fall. Prerequisite: admission to M.F.A. program, or permission of instructor.

ARTS-660: Research Practicum I (3)

Studio practice as research and its context. Students explore the process of developing, proposing, and planning visual works in various media. The emphasis of this practicum, which can operate as an extension of students' studio practice, is on creating a series of related work. Usually Offered every term.

ARTS-600: Twentieth Century Art Theory (3)

A contextual analysis of contemporary issues in art as a development of critical thinking throughout the twentieth century. This course presents a theoretical and philosophical consideration of the development of critical, cultural, and social dialogs defining art and practice from the advent of Modernism through its institutionalization and the eventual rise of post-Modernism. Includes figuration, abstraction, formalism, spirituality universalism, the art object, the art original, myth, authorship, allegory, conceptualism, the capitalist impulse, colonialism, authenticity, and the role of audience. Usually offered every fall. Prerequisite: admission to M.F.A. program, or permission of instructor.

ARTS-601: Contemporary Art Theory (3)

A theoretical and philosophical consideration of art practices. A detailed analysis of contemporary and cultural studies including post-colonialism, gender, globalization, positioning painting, the state of art and emerging trends in contemporary art. Students evaluate the relationship between artists and the writer/critic. The course introduces students to a broad range of critical thinking and to develop their skills in verbal and textual analysis. Students consider the relationship of their art to contemporary rhetoric. Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite: admission to M.F.A. program, or permission of instructor.

ARTS-670: Expanded Media Studio

This course explores cross-disciplinary use of digital photography, video, sound, performance, media installation, and social practice. Each student develops individual artistic expression and conceptual approach to creating a coherent art project. Students become familiar with a variety of digital and time-based contemporary art forms and their technologies and discourses, while engaging in critical thinking and dialogue. Usually offered every spring. Prerequisite: admission to M.F.A. program, or permission of instructor.

ARTS-797: Master's Thesis Seminar (3) 

Independent work toward students' thesis exhibition and written thesis statements. Consult the department for registration and participation requirements. Usually offered every term. Prerequisite: M.F.A. candidate with permission of department chair. Usually offered every term.

Facilities

Wooden Sculptures on view in the Katzen Art Center

Click here to find out more about the Katzen Center For Arts Facilities.