Studio Art - Goals & Mission

The Visual Arts program at Fairfield broadens an awareness of the self, society, and culture by communicating fundamental ideas and images. Fairfield's faculty is dedicated to mentoring students of all levels, encouraging you to build on your innate talents and discover a personal vision.

Throughout your undergraduate experience, you'll be encouraged to:

  • Develop intuitive, creative, expressive, and aesthetic faculties, and the ability to connect these with reasoning skills
  • Develop perceptual, critical, and conceptual skills and understand the uniqueness of your own visual language to prepare for a career
  • Cultivate empathy, sensibility, and discernment through production and exhibition of your own work
  • Communicate critical observations clearly, concisely, and with sensitivity, in written and oral forms
  • Cultivate a deep commitment to and curiosity for the intellectual and creative life
  • Develop knowledge of major artistic achievements in Western and non-Western visual arts

At the Foundation Level, the program is committed to teaching you to work with the core visual elements of composition, perception, abstraction, and concept while introducing you to a range of 2D and 3D materials. A strong foundation allows you to interpret and conceptualize your ideas before moving into Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, Installation and Interdisciplinary.

The Studio Art Program is divided into 3 developmental areas:

The Foundation Studios are recommended as a basis for all other studio art courses. You will develop formal, technical, expressive, and problem-solving skills. Knowledge of modern and contemporary art is stressed and a survey of artistic disciplines is provided. Through these courses, you'll begin to investigate visual thinking.

The Advanced Studios build upon the foundation studios and focus on a particular discipline, such as painting, photography, and sculpture. You will develop a formal vocabulary, visual sensitivity, and manual dexterity. Materials and historical concerns are integral parts of directed and individual investigations.

In the Capstone Studios, you will further develop the diverse experiences and knowledge you have acquired as a studio art major and focus your newly-acquired skills on a specific theme or area of artistic research. In addition to creating this visual work, you'll develop an appreciation for aesthetics and concept exploration. Capstone experiences also develop creative autonomy. Once you complete the capstone studios, you will no longer be dependent upon externally supplied assignments - you'll be able to focus upon artistic questions of your own.

Studio Art courses are excellent preparation for life after Fairfield.