Academics Visual Arts
The visual arts at Marlboro are distinguished by a commitment to the idea that the study of form and expression in our various media leads not just to further work in the discipline, but also to ways of seeing and engaging with the world. In addition, we welcome all students who wish to work in the visual arts as part of other studies.
A complex set of experiences is encouraged in all students who concentrate in the visual arts. These include:
- The study of drawing or other graphical medium
- The study of art history and visual culture with emphasis on the direct experience of art works in museums and galleries
- Significant work in more than one medium
- A developed formal and critical vocabulary with which to discuss both their own work and the work of others
- The completion of a substantial body of work that is presented in a final individual exhibition
Areas of Interest for Plan-level Work:
- Psychology and the visual arts
- Artistic pedagogy in the support of education
- Mixed media sculpture
- Architecture and landscape
Good Foundation for Plan
A student considering a Plan in the visual arts should consult appropriate faculty members in the freshman or sophomore year for advice in planning a course of study.
We believe there are many doorways into the study of art so introductory classes in our various media can be taken in any sequence. Eventually students planning to concentrate must approach the following requirements.
For students whose Plans are 50% or more in Visual Art
The act of observing and thoughtfully responding by hand in a two-dimensional medium is fundamentally important. Therefore students should expect to take a course in drawing, printmaking, or two-dimensional design.
Study in more than one medium is important to any developing artist. We ask that all Plan students have taken at least one course outside their main medium. If that medium is two-dimensional we ask that that course be in a medium that is three-dimensional such as sculpture or ceramics and vice versa.
Students concentrating in the visual arts should understand the fundamental link between their own work and the historical tradition out of which they come. For this reason students doing Plan work in the visual arts are
required to take a minimum of two courses in which they engage in a substantive way with the history of works of art. One of these classes must be Art History; the second can be an approved visual culture class in another discipline. These classes are an opportunity for students to get information, inspiration, feeling and content conveyed visually across time and cultural boundaries. This experience also is valuable as students situate themselves in a tradition, whether that tradition is one they seek to perpetuate, change or subvert.
Plan students are also required to take two semesters of Art Seminar Critique (ART359). This course meets weekly and provides an opportunity for students to share the work they are doing on Plan and a forum for developing a critical vocabulary and an understanding of the the form and content of their own work and the work of others.
The issues surrounding the presentation of art works is complex and integral to the success of the work. Therefore all Plan students, no matter what the percentage of work they are doing in visual art must mount an exhibit of their work for outside evaluation.
Upon completion of a Plan in the visual arts, we require that students submit, with the written portion of their Plan, two sets of digital images: one to be bound with their Plan and kept in the library and the other to be added to the collection of the college.
Preparation for a Cross-Disciplinary Plan
For students with Plans under 50%
We encourage students doing Plans in other areas of the curriculum to consider the inclusion of a percentage in the visual arts no matter how large or small. Close consultation with Plan sponsors and other art faculty at the time of Plan application will determine how much of the above will be necessary to successfully complete minority Plans. Typically, partial Plans would include a minimum of 1 Art History -- 1 semester of Art Seminar Critique, and 1 course outside the main medium choice of that student.
Sample Tutorial Topics
- Printmaking Techniques
- Landscape and the Human Body
- Etching Technique and Process
- Five Artists Working with Technology
- Consumer Culture in Sculpture
- Completing the Farm and Greenhouse Design
- Exposures: Teaching a Cross-cultural Youth Program
- Ways of Being: Perceptions of Reality and Identity, Mixed Media and Works on Paper
- Creation of a Multi-media Thesis Exhibition
- Documentary Photography