Angled view of installation of small works on a gallery wall
Kenneth Bivens

Studio Art at Illinois

The BA and BFA in Studio Art offer a student-initiated path through a variety of studio art course offerings.  Students may choose a general concentration in studio art, allowing them to use an array of studio practices from different disciplines, or to accumulate media-specific credits leading to concentrations in fashion, new media, painting, photography, sculpture, or printmaking. Concentrations will be noted on the student’s transcript and degree, indicating material expertise and qualification for discipline-specific employment or advanced study. [test]

First year courses introduce basic materials and conceptual approaches to making art, using traditional media including drawing and painting, printmaking, clay, plaster, wood and metal, as well as new strategies, including coding, digital imaging, interactive media, and time-based applications. By incorporating new and traditional strategies and technologies students will understand visual organization and communication in 2D (artworks in two dimensions, such as drawing, painting or printmaking), 3D (artworks in three dimensions, such as sculpture and installation), and 4D (artworks of a time-based nature, such as, video and performance art).

BA and BFA Studio Art students are provided with individual studio spaces housed in a communal studio building, where they pursue a self-selected studio practice. This setting provides a strong, vibrant community of student-artists working together as they establish their focus and participate in exhibitions, performances, and critiques.

Studio Art graduates will enter professional lives as artists at a time when the boundaries between art and other fields are vanishing. Creative individuals with broad and versatile material, technical and intellectual skills will be in demand within expanding diverse practices that comprise contemporary art and society.

Bachelor of Art Studio Art (BASA)

The Bachelor of Art Studio Art (BASA) is designed to offer students rigorous education in studio (or fine) art while permitting them the time to pursue studies in other areas, with a major part of the educational experience occurring in areas outside studio art. The BASA focuses on the study of art, design, and art history in the context of a broader program of general study offered by the diverse research and teaching activities across the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign campus. Students choose from courses that will lead to concentrations in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, New Media, or (general) Studio Art.

Graduates of this program will be better prepared to pursue multi-disciplinary careers in a variety of industries which make use of artistic skills including visual literacy, creativity, and image- or object-making skills, including museum display studios, motion picture special effects studios, video gaming production companies, animation studios, private art studios (their own or others’) and print shops.

The advanced BA Studio Art student can look forward to a changing menu of courses on a variety of topics, taught by a diverse faculty with expertise in a wide variety of conceptual, material and technical strategies for making art. The BA Studio Art’s curriculum offerings are designed to reflect an increasingly dynamic culture and provide students with experiences and skills that promote adaptability after graduation.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Studio Art (BFASA)

The Bachelor of Fine Art Studio Art (BFASA) differs from the BASA in that it accommodates students wishing to continue study in the studio arts, allowing for a “deep-dive” into upper-level research and making courses within a dynamic, innovative, broad-interest curriculum. Graduates of this program will be prepared to pursue careers as independent studio artists who make original and unique works of creative art for exhibition in arts institutions such as galleries and museums. They will be prepared for advanced study in Studio Art MFA programs. They will also be prepared to pursue multi-disciplinary careers in a variety of industries which make use of artistic skills including visual literacy, creativity, and image- or object-making skills, including museum display studios, motion picture special effects studios, video gaming production companies, animation studios, private art studios (their own or other’s) and print shops.

The BFASA offers students unprecedented flexibility in determining their own courses and topics of study while engaging in a diverse, innovative, research-oriented curriculum. In response to a rapidly changing world in which artists and designers are constantly presented with new tools, platforms, topics, strategies and venues for exhibition, publication, performance and other types of cultural work, the BFA in Studio Art prepares students for the workplaces of the future. This degree is designed to equip graduates with the skills necessary to not only create artwork, but to communicate, think critically and creatively, and gain experience in a broad range of topics that will prepare them as innovative artists and as global citizens. Students will navigate a dynamic curriculum that is responsive to current trends in art, culture and creativity. It encourages new, interdisciplinary initiatives and fosters collaboration and research at the undergraduate level within the context of a premier research university.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts experience culminates in two capstone courses, in which students will determine a unique project developed from their entire educational experience. From these courses, the BFA Studio Art student will develop a thesis paper to document and create a narrative of their research activities and artistic projects as well as demonstrate their ability to clearly articulate the themes, concepts and position of their work in the context of the contemporary art world. A finished portfolio of visual work will demonstrate their material, formal, technical and expressive abilities

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