Please update your web browser or disable Compatibility View.


Department Chair: Elaine Rutherford

Faculty: Dennis Frandrup OSB, James Hendershot, Samuel Johnson, David Paul Lange OSB, Rachel Melis, Simon-Hoa Phan OSB, Elaine Rutherford, Andrea Shaker, Lisa Stanley

The art department educates both art majors and non-majors in the theory, practice and history of art. This education involves the understanding of historical development of art in contemporary and past cultures, understanding the critical process used to assess art forms, understanding the meaning and evolution of art theories, understanding the basic concepts related to the structure of forms and understanding the technical aspects of art. This education is intended to prepare students for careers or further education in art. For the non-major, this education provides a preliminary understanding of art forms, the creative process and a beginning ability to employ critical analysis.

The department's studios, located on both campuses, provide facilities for drawing, design, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, computer art and photography. The Benedicta Arts Center Galleries and Saint John's Art Galleries schedule diverse exhibitions of artwork throughout the year. Special areas are available for exhibition of student work. Visiting artists, speakers, artists-in-residence, field trips and workshops supplement the students' experience of the art world.


Student learning and progress is assessed by means of critiques and portfolio reviews. Each course within the department has a strong component that addresses the critique process. Students learn how to interact with one another and the instructor to determine their strengths, weaknesses and how they might achieve better results in their work. At the conclusion of each semester’s work, a final critique is held with the instructor and student to assess the student’s progress.

Portfolio reviews are made to determine the student’s readiness to enter the major and/or to assess the student’s growth within her/his course of studies.


The art department offers a concentration in studio art, and minors in art history and art education.

Concentration in Studio Art (43 credits)

The studio art major allows students to combine a liberal education with preparation for graduate school or entry into careers as exhibiting artists, designers, elementary or secondary school teachers and other art-related fields. Students successfully completing the programs are academically prepared to apply for graduate study in studio art. They may plan careers as exhibiting artists, art teachers in secondary or elementary schools, or professionals in various art-related fields.

Required Courses:
113, 114, 211, 248, 351, 355; three studios chosen from the 200 and 300 studio courses and art history 101, 4 credits of non-western art history and 300.

Special Requirements:
A portfolio review precedes admission to the department. A senior exhibition is required for graduation.

Concentration in Art Education (47-55 credits)

Required Courses:
113, 114, 211, 215, 218, 248, 351, 355, one course from 217, 224 and 225, and two courses from any 200- or 300- level Art History course.

Special Requirements:
Students concentrating in art education are required to have two areas of emphasis which are met by taking additional approved courses in the areas of drawing, sculpture (including jewelry and ceramics), painting, graphic arts (including photography, or printmaking) or computer graphics.

Students concentrating in art education may receive special credit towards core, and upper-division requirements. Please contact the department chair.

Art Studio Minor (20 credits)

Required Courses:
113, 114; 12 credits in elective studio or art history.

Art History Minor (24 credits)

101, 4 credits in non-Western art history from the 200 level courses, one four-credit course in art studio, a minimum of 8 credits in upper-division (300 level) Art History courses and 4 additional credits that can be lower or upper division Art History credits.

Courses (ART)

Art Studio Courses 100 Level

113 Introduction to 2D Arts. (4)
This course emphasizes perception, the organization of form, the dynamics of color and the expressive possibilities offered by diverse media and drawing. It addresses the relationships between drawing and other 2D arts.

114 Introduction to 3D Arts. (4)
This course introduces the 3D art forms, especially 3D design and sculpture, with emphasis on form perception and analysis, process and content.

Notes: Each of the above courses is offered every semester. Multiple sections are possible depending on enrollment demand. Art majors and art minors are required to take both ART 113 (4) and ART 114 (4) ideally as first year students. Either course can be taken first.

Art Studio Courses 200 Level

211 Color-design. (4)
An investigation of color theories and design principles and their relationship to perceptual and expressive ideas. Fall and spring.

214 Drawing I. (4)
An introduction to drawing with an emphasis on techniques, concepts, and the process of visualization. Fall and spring.

215 Painting I. (4)
An examination of painting as object and process. Exploration of techniques appropriate to the media of oil or acrylic. Fall and spring. Prerequisite: 214 or 113 is highly recommended.

216 Sculpture I. (4)
Technical and conceptual principles of sculpture; traditional media: wood, stone, clay, plaster, welding and bronze. Fall and spring.

217 Photography I. (4)
Introduction to black and white fine arts photographic practices including darkroom techniques and aesthetic principles. Fall and spring.

218 Computer Art I. (4)
Introduction to the Macintosh platform, digital imaging, and the principles of two-dimensional design. Understanding the computer as a tool for creative expression. 2 of every 3 semesters.

219 Ceramics I. (4)
An introductory course that addresses the development of necessary skills to throw the basic ceramic forms, and prepare work for kiln firing. Students gain a general appreciation of the fine arts. Fall and spring.

220 Jewelry I. (4)
Major and non-major. An introduction to the techniques and aesthetic principles of jewelry design. Addresses the construction of chains, rings, pendants, etc., as well as model-making and casting in sterling silver. Spring.

224 Printmaking I (Intaglio and Relief). (4)
Introduction to the processes of relief and intaglio printmaking. In relief, the drawing and cutting techniques of the wood block. In intaglio, processes including drypoint, line etching, soft ground, and aquatint with emphasis on printing techniques.  Offered irregularly.

225 Printmaking I (Lithography). (4)
Technical and aesthetic problems in traditional stone lithography. Emphasis on crayon and tusche techniques. It also explores the process of creating monoprints and the art of making paper. Offered irregularly.

233 Topics in Studio Arts: 2D. (2 or 4)
A series of special interest courses offered periodically on topics such as: watercolor painting, creative problem solving, processes of abstraction, etc.

234 Topics in Studio Arts: 3D. (2 or 4)
A series of special interest courses offered periodically on topics such as: industrial design, architecture, ceramic and mixed media sculpture, installation/site specific art, etc.

248 Sophomore Topics. (2)
A practical seminar for those intending to major in art. Content includes formative portfolio review, help in the process of applying to the major, long-range planning, and experience in the safe operation of power tools and other shop equipment. Fall of sophomore year.

262 Digital Video I. (4)
A practical and theoretical introduction to digital video as an art form and a means of communication. Production includes writing, shooting, lighting and sound recording, while post-production involves editing image and sound on the Macintosh computer, and distribution in formats of tape, DVD, video installation and the Internet. Fall and Spring.

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research and/or creative work at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

Art Studio Courses 300 Level

Note: All 300 Level Studio III courses may be repeated once.

314 Drawing II, III. (4)
An exploration to Life drawing: portrait, figure, landscape and various environments, emphasis on experimentation and integration with other studio experiences. Fall and spring. Prerequisite: 214.

315 Painting II, III. (4)
Advanced individual or group projects under the guidance of the instructor. Spring and fall. Prerequisite: 215.

316 Sculpture II, III. (4)
Advance projects in traditional and experimental media. Fall and spring. Prerequisite: 216.

317 Photography II, III. (4)
Advanced photographic processes, creative explorations and professional techniques. Every third semester. Prerequisite: 217.

318 Computer Art II, III. (4)
Investigations of varied software to learn the usage of interactive multi media and animation in the production of electronic art. Every third semester. Prerequisite: 218.

319 Ceramics II, III. (4)
Emphasis on technical aspects of throwing lids, sets, and larger functional forms, the process of glaze development, kiln stacking and firing, and the aesthetics of form. Fall and spring. Prerequisite: 219.

320 Jewelry II, III. (4)
Advanced work in casting, fabrication, and stone setting. Experimentation in various media. Spring. Prerequisite: 220.

324 Printmaking II, III (Intaglio and Relief). (4)
The processes of relief and intaglio printmaking. In relief the student learns the technique of drawing and cutting the wood block. In intaglio the student develops skills in the use of drypoint, line etching, soft ground and aquatint with emphasis on printing techniques. It also explores the process of creating a monoprint and making paper. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: 224 or 225.

333 Topics in Studio Art. (2 or 4)
A series of upper division special interest courses offered periodically on topics such as: installation art, color photography, computer design, industrial design, ceramic sculpture, etc. Prerequisite: varies with topic.

351 Senior Studio Thesis. (4)
A seminar in which students learn how to develop and present their major thesis. Discuss topic selection, content, and working processes. They will learn to explore and discuss professional practices. Fall. Prerequisite: 248.

355 Senior Thesis Exhibit. (1)
Final exhibition of body of artwork by senior art majors.  Prerequisite: 351.

362 Digital Video II. (4)
Advanced camera, lighting, and sound recording techniques. In addition to Final Cut Pro, other advanced software are introduced: After Effects, Pro Tools, DVD Studio Pro and Cleaner. Prerequisite: 262. Spring.

371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

372 Open Studio. (1-12)
An opportunity for the most advanced students to function as professionals. Prerequisites: completion of all major requirements (Required Courses: 113, 114, 211, 248, 351; three studios chosen from the 200 and 300 studio courses and art history 101, 4 credits of non-western art history and 300), 300-level course(s) in intended studio concentration and approval of department chair. Fall and spring.

397 Internship. (1-16)
Supervised career exploration which promotes the integration of theory with practice. An opportunity to apply learned skills under direct supervision in an approved setting. Prerequisites: approval of the department chair and a faculty moderator, completion of the pre-internship seminar requirement.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Art." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.

Art History Courses 100 Level

101 Art, Aesthetics and Culture. (4)
This course examines the basic art themes and issues that are cross-cultural and cross-temporal. It will address aesthetics, style, process, materials, subject matter, etc. It is not an historical survey. Fall and spring.

Art History Courses 200 Level

200 Environmental Art and Architecture. (4)
This course focuses on a range of issues addressing art, architecture and their relationship to a sustainable environment. Through an analysis of critical theory, students will gain an understanding of the language and critical issues of art, architecture and their impact upon the environment. Through a hands-on approach, students will apply these concepts to make ceramic artwork in the SJU Pottery Studio. By using all native materials, designing through a programmatic structure of indigenous systems, in a sustainable framework the student will parallel architectural and design schematics presented in theory and research to an applied reality. Students will critically analyze readings, will discuss examples of art and architecture and will meet with artists in order to expand their understanding of the relationship between art, architecture and the environment. Spring.

208 Topics in Non-Western Art. (4)
Selected survey of great architecture, sculpture and painting of Asia and other non-Western cultures. A study of artworks in relation to religion, culture, philosophy and geography of the non-Western world.

209 European Art Survey. (4)
An introductory survey of the most significant periods in European art history from the Ancient World to the present. A study of artworks in relation to religion, culture, philosophy and geography of the European cultures.

240 Topics in Art History. (4)
A special interest course offered periodically on subjects or themes such as American Art, World Art, etc.

Art History Courses 300 Level

300 Modern and Contemporary Art. (4)
A survey course tracing the principle movements and theories of art in the Western world from 1850 to the present. Spring.

304 Baroque and Rococo Art History. (4)
A study of the developments in art and culture in Western Europe during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Concentrating on the changes in painting, sculpture and architecture and their social significance. Offered irregularly.

306 Art of the Classical World. (4)
A detailed examination of Hellenic and Roman cultures through archeology. Offered irregularly.

307 Medieval Art. (4)
Development of art forms and cultural developments from the late Roman Empire to the twelfth century. The course will include Byzantine art and the Iconoclastic Controversy in the Eastern Empire and the Romanesque and early Gothic in the West. Offered irregularly.

308 Renaissance Art in the North and in Italy. (4)
An examination of the developments in European art from the mid-14th to the mid-16th Centuries. The course will examine the Renaissance in Northern Europe and in Italy, noting the cultural and social differences in the two regions. Offered irregularly.

309 Topics in Art History. (2-4)
A series of special interest courses offered periodically on subjects or themes such as Japanese Ceramics, Icons, or Ritual Art.