The Foundations Area is an interdisciplinary program which serves to provide students of all areas of concentration within the department with a shared introduction to essential ideas, skills and processes common to all areas of creative practice. The program consists of seven courses, Foundations Studio I, Foundations Studio II, Drawing I, Drawing II, World Art I, World Art II and Visual Studies/Indigenous Arts. The goal of the area and these courses is for students to initiate processes of learning that will allow them to move into their areas of concentration carrying with them a common base knowledge of core issues in craft, form and design; a developing awareness of a creative self; and a shared familiarity with contemporary and historical issues in art and design.
The Foundations Courses are structured so that an emphasis is placed on student formulated content with the goal of helping students to develop self knowledge. Projects are often open-ended and require students to formulate an understanding of their passions, and preferred methods. Assignments frequently challenge students to carry an idea from one medium into another. Emphasis is also placed on critical thinking, through rigorous critiques, the incorporation into the studio process of analysis of written texts and writing and presentations.
Facilities and Equipment:
There are three dedicated Foundations classrooms within the Art and Communication
Building. Two of these are primarily for Drawing I and Drawing II and the third room
is for Foundations Studio I and II. All three are "Smart" classrooms, equipped with
digital projectors. The Foundations Studio classroom also has a cabinet with an assortment
of hand-held power tools including a jig-saw, a drill, a sander, a router and an assortment
The Drawing classrooms also have an enclosed outdoor courtyard for outdoor drawing. This courtyard also has a long (8' x 40') white wall for students to experiment with mural painting. In addition to these basic spaces students in Foundations courses frequently make use of the wood shop in the Art Building and the various digital labs in the Department as well as the 3D printers in the library.