Art and Art History
Associate Professor Beldue (Chair); Professors Dunning, M. Wolfe; Associate Professors Canejo, Rundquist, Skidmore, E. Tomberlin; Assistant Professors Dittenber, Martin; Senior Lecturer Taylor; Lecturers Anderson, E. Bares, C. Tomberlin, West
The mission of UNC Asheville’s Department of Art is to provide an environment that nourishes creative thinking through visual experience for students at all stages of life. The department views the study of studio art, art history, and theory and criticism as essential to the development of artistic sensibility. The liberal studies curriculum enriches the art student’s vocabulary by stressing the importance of linking one discipline to another. This adds texture and depth to the content of each student’s work. Additionally, the department encourages students to be fully involved in the university’s undergraduate research program.
For students who wish to pursue art history studies, the department offers a B. A. degree with a concentration in art history. The concentration allows students to study visual culture from prehistory through current times in introductory survey courses, followed by upper-level courses that focus on particular eras, such as Renaissance, Baroque, Contemporary or on topics such as museum studies or Latin American art. Senior capstone courses emphasize the research process and require students to write an in-depth thesis paper. Additionally, a number of students who have a concentration in art history pursue internships related to art history, gallery and museum work.
For both studio art and art history, the process of self-discovery is initiated in the freshman year in the Foundation Core, in which the basic principles of art are introduced. Students are encouraged to discover their own way of integrating these concepts into quality works of art. For studio art majors, both concept and technique are honed in discipline-based courses such as painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography and printmaking during the sophomore year. A student’s approach to work becomes individualized in concept, style and technique in the upper-level courses.
The required foundation courses, ART 122, 133 and 144, are the basis upon which the studio concentrations are built, providing each student with an essential variety of studio processes as well as historical background and critical theory. Students choosing the Art History major complete either ART 122 or 133. Both of these courses address the history and the theory behind two-dimensional and three-dimensional visual aesthetics.
B.F.A. Senior Exhibition capstone courses require each student to complete a related body of work and accompanying research paper. This body of work is presented as a solo exhibition of art in partial fulfillment of the B.F.A. studio degree. During the fourth-level media course, B.A. studio majors are required to complete a portfolio of work that demonstrates competence in one media area. The work will be exhibited in a senior group exhibition.
The senior capstone courses in Art History and in the B.F.A. program are demanding in scope and require that a close relationship be maintained between faculty and students. Because the creative process often challenges preconceived ideas, students learn to be articulate in the search for meaning and validity in their work. The department believes that differences of opinion regarding individual image-making can be resolved in a positive way that involves mutual respect. The result is a mature body of work that prepares students to be independent thinkers and entrepreneurs.
Overall, the art curriculum prepares students for advanced studies or for admission into graduate programs and provides the basis for a variety of career opportunities. Art majors have five options, described in the following sections, from which to choose. In addition to the majors, the department also offers minors in studio art and art history.
Departmental Admission Requirements
All students interested in majoring in Art should obtain a copy of the Department of Art Guidelines from the department office. The Guidelines should be used in conjunction with this catalog. Declaring a major in Art requires the student to complete a Declaration of Major form that must be signed by the department chair.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Before declaring a B.A. in Art (Studio Art), students must have credit for ART 122 and 133. Before declaring a B.A. in Art History, students must have credit for ARTH 201 or 202.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
A student must apply for entrance to the B.F.A. major in Art. The application process is outlined in the Department of Art Guidelines. Before applying for the B.F.A., a student must have credit for ART 122, 133, 144, and 12 additional hours of art courses at the 200-level or above. Students must also have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in ART and ARTH courses.
Art and Art History