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Guide for New Students

For further information about the Art & Art History Department please contact David Lefkowitz (Studio Art) or Baird Jarman (Art History).

Art - Studio (ARTS)

Studio art introduces students to many ways that artists think and work by presenting a variety of technical and conceptual approaches to different media. Students develop their abilities to create images and objects, as well as their sense of purpose behind artistic expression. Students also explore the critical role art plays in society. Courses are designed both for students who want to try art for the first time and for potential majors and students who might pursue careers in art.

Can I major in it? Yes, a studio art major is offered.

Topics explored: Courses are offered in drawing, painting, printmaking, paper arts, photography, sculpture, metals, ceramics, woodworking, book arts, and digital and electronic media.

How to get started: Students interested in taking studio art courses should enroll in one of the drawing courses, ARTS 110 (Observational Drawing) or ARTS 113 (Field Drawing). Either of these courses fulfills the pre-requisite for almost every other studio art course. At least one section of ARTS 110 is reserved for first-year students each year. Students who wish to pursue 3-D courses, such as ceramics and metals, without taking a drawing course may take ARTS 122 (Introduction to Studio Sculpture) as a pre-requisite.

Students who have taken a college-level drawing course (AP or IB) or have other comparable experience may petition to place out of the 100-level drawing courses by submitting a drawing portfolio to the department.

Students contemplating a major in studio art should take at least one introductory studio course during their first year. It is also recommended that potential studio art majors take an art history course in their first year.

Carleton offers a studio art seminar in New Zealand and Australia every other winter.

Follow this link for information about Studio Art’s Integrative Exercise (comps) for seniors.

Art History (ARTH)

Art history introduces students to the analysis of artistic images, artifacts and architecture from different cultures and time periods. Students examine the historical context for the production and viewing of such works, their functions and meanings, and their roles in shaping people, perceptions, events and societies.

Can I major in it? Yes, an art history major is offered.

Topics explored: Art and architecture as political tools, as cultural touchstones, as objects and structures used in religious practices; artistic and architectural techniques, styles and media; race, class and gender in art; art theory; cultural patrimony issues; and many other issues.