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Art + Design

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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Art > Foundations Program

Foundations Program

Mission Statement

In the Foundations Program, students will acquire the conceptual and making skills required to move forward in any of the School of Art + Design's programs of study. Students work through a series of learning experiences designed to address traditional, interdisciplinary, and innovative approaches to the technical and conceptual practices involved in the production of contemporary art and design. Faculty expertise is a guiding principle for both formal and conceptual studio problem solving as well as cultivating synergy among all 4 studio Foundations courses. Students who complete the Foundations Program will acquire the skills to creatively produce and reflectively discuss their work and that of their peers.

Program Structure

All students enter the School of Art + Design as either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) studio art or art history major. During the first year, all studio art students complete Foundations classes. In the second year, students take major area studio and topics classes. Studio art students may continue in the BA track, or apply for admission into a BFA degree during their first year (Interior Architecture) or second year (Graphic Design or Studio Art).

The Foundations Program consists of 4 studio courses and 1 lecture course (major/minor only), all taken within the first year of study. Two studio courses per semester are recommended and there are no prerequisites for any of the 4 studios so they may be taken in any order. Each studio course meets for 6 contact hours per week with at least 6 hours of homework per week expected.

There are no standardized textbooks required. Instead, readings will be excerpted from contemporary books, journals, and art exhibition catalog essays to assure a diverse and current discourse. A lab fee will be attached to each studio course to support group projects, project goals and learning experiences. Upon completion of the Foundations Program, students are equipped to advance into second year School of Art + Design Program offerings.

Individual Course Descriptions

Description builds skills in drawing, image making, three-dimensional modeling, and ‘data mapping’ in the consideration of and making of art and design.

Function explores the physical, metaphorical, and cultural significance of art’s function, the relationship of the artist/designer to tools as a vehicle for problem solving, and the many roles of the artist/designer in society.

Image explores the making of still, moving, informational, and anthropological investigations of images, image systems, and cultural contexts.

Structure explores structure as it can be applied to physical, organizational, conceptual, spatial, contextual, and fixed as well as plastic approaches in the consideration of and making of art and design.

Visual Art in Practice and Theory: Critical Perspectives will emphasize the historical and theoretical contexts and approaches that inform the production and analysis of visual culture.

The Foundations facility includes drawing studios, general classrooms and a studio dedicated to Three-Dimensional Studies. The program also utilizes the School's darkrooms and other facilities.


For more information please contact Lori Esposito, Foundations Chair.