Course Descriptions

ARTS 110 (CA) Introduction to Sculpture (1)

This course will introduce students to the fundamental sculptural processes of addition, subtraction and substitution. Emphasis will be on students executing, understanding and discussing quality craft, successful composition, productive conceptualization and creative problem solving. Students will explore various sculptural methods including steel fabrication, wood construction, plaster construction, assemblage and mold-making.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Fourie

ARTS 116 (CA) Introduction to Drawing (1)

Students explore processes used to produce drawings on two-dimensional surfaces. A series of studio problems provides direct experience with the instruments and materials employed to produce drawings. Instruction and assigned work emphasizes skill-building in observational drawing and engagement with two-dimensional design principles and visual communication.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

ARTS 121 (CA) Introduction to New Media (1)

This course introduces students to art-making strategies in a variety of forms including mixed media (combinations of traditional and experimental art materials), installation, and time-based media (such as 2d animation, video). Through a series of studio assignments, students will learn to generate creative ideas, explore materials and techniques, and develop artworks that communicate their ideas. Emphasis will be placed on understanding new media practices in contemporary art and on learning to connect form to content.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment:  Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Opie

ARTS 132 (CA) Introduction to Experimental Photography (1)

This course introduces experimental photographic practices. Pinhole photography will feature prominently as the technology of choice in the class. In any given semester one or more of the following photographic practices may also be explored: cyanotype, Van Dyke Brown, Photogram and digital scanner-bed. Assignments will focus on the fundamentals of photography: use of light, composition and the development of necessary technical skills. Additionally, students will earn to develop content-driven photographic series focusing on the relationship between form and content, subject matter and meaning. To inform students studio practice, this course will introduce historical and contemporary photographic practices through readings and slide lectures.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Opie

ARTS 135 (CA) Introduction to Painting (1)

A series of studio problems using systems of design, composition and techniques that study past and modern problems in painting. Demonstrations are presented to show the integration of past drawing systems in the making of paintings. Open to beginning students.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Thompson

ARTS 152 (CA) Introduction to Printmaking (1)

A series of studio problems using systems of design, composition and techniques that study the diverse ways of producing prints. Demonstrations will be presented on the techniques necessary to produce intaglio etching, woodcuts, monoprints, collagraphs and digital prints.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Thompson

ARTS 216 (CA) Video Art (1)

This course introduces video as a medium for artistic expression, personal and social inquiry. Students gain an understanding of the video art-making process and develop proficiency with video equipment, using single-camera shooting and non-linear editing. Assigned work will guide students in exploration of video as an art-making tool. Theoretical texts and work by video artists will be viewed and discussed.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: Any ARTS course
  • Offered: Annually
  • Instructor: Opie

ARTS 231 (CA) Etching: Processes and Themes in the Printed Age (1)

Studio demonstrations are given in the use of tools and materials needed to produce etchings. Color printing techniques are introduced with an emphasis on modern and contemporary techniques.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Spring Semester
  • Instructor: Thompson

ARTS 232 (CA) Black and White Photography (1)

This course introduces technical and conceptual uses of black and white photography. Students explore technique through shooting, developing and darkroom printing of 35mm film. Periodic student presentations and critiques of artwork address uses of photography as an art form to communicate ideas. A 35mm SLR camera with fully manual settings and a 50mm lens is required.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: Any ARTS course
  • Offering: Every Semester
  • Instructor: Opie

ARTS 239 (CA) Drawing Concepts (1)

Students will explore and analyze conceptual strategies in contemporary drawing in order to generate projects that use traditional and experimental approaches. Students will develop projects that are in dialogue with contemporary art practices using strategies such as exploring personal research through a thematic series, engaging in a daily drawing practice, and developing a visual vocabulary or system to shape a drawing project.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Staff

ARTS 254 (CA) Material Exploration in Sculpture (1)

This course requires students to pick a specific sculptural material and to examine thoroughly its inherent meaning, physical properties, qualities and characteristics for three-dimensional expression. The structure of the course will allow the student to produce a unified body of work that reflects his/her specific interest. Emphasis will be on experimentation, the development of technical skill, and creative problem solving. The course will also involve a critical analysis on the use of materials by prominent contemporary sculptors.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate Springs
  • Professor: Fourie

ARTS 321 Drawing Inquiry (1)

This course introduces drawing as a means to explore and convey the nature of mark-making through traditional and experimental approaches that push the boundaries of what we define as drawing. Students will use strategies such as site-specificity, interdisciplinary work, and digital mixed media to engage with unconventional approaches to drawing.

  • Prerequisite: ARTS 116 or ARTS 239
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Staff

ARTS 331 (CA) New Media, Historical Themes (1)

Students explore wide possibilities in digital and mixed media art-forms. Thematic prompts guide students to reflect on past art-forms in the creation of new works of art using expanded multi-media approaches such as video, online media and installation. The course emphasizes clear communication of ideas through artwork and development of skills to analyze visual culture, with a focus on how to best communicate to an audience.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Prerequisite: Any ARTS course encouraged but not required
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Staff

ARTS 336 (CA) Painting: Contemporary and Conceptual Practices (1)

A series of studio problems using systems of design, composition and techniques that study current problems in contemporary painting. Open to beginning students.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Spring Semester
  • Instructor: Thompson

ARTS 340 (CA) Concepts of Sculpture (1)

This course focuses on the relationship between idea, form and material. Students will be required to produce a series of sculptures that explore one specific idea, concept, personal or social issue of their choice. Metaphor and symbolism will be examined and used as a vehicle for communicating meaning. Emphasis will be placed on the unity of the body of work being produced as well as on clarity, craftsmanship and presentation. Students will also be expected to analyze critically the use of conceptual content in contemporary sculpture.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Professor: Fourie

ARTS 342 (CA) Topics in Sculpture (1)

This course allows students to conduct an in depth, focused exploration of topics, genres and modes of expression not covered by the regular sculpture curriculum, and could address such areas as: sculptural installation, site specific sculpture, the sculpture of the body/figure, multi-media sculpture, environmental sculpture, sculpture and the preformative aspect, and the found object in sculpture. The class will focus on one assigned topic, and the topic will vary from semester to semester. An experimental, innovative approach to the topic will be encouraged. May be repeated for credit if the topics varies.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Fourie

ARTS 343 (CA) Printmaking: Monoprints and Mixed-Media (1)

Monoprinting is the perfect platform for introducing the elements of mixed-media that incorporate drawing, collage, painting, cut paper, digital printing and the three-dimensional aspects of image making. Since monoprints are unique and not editioned, this medium allows us the opportunity to explore contemporary processes of image making that stress the concept of working in a series, rather than creating a single, end-in-itself piece. Demonstrations will be given in color monoprinting and the introduction of mixed-media elements into the contemporary practice of producing series-based works that integrate these various media within the discipline of printmaking.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Creating in the Arts
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Thompson

ARTS 355 Topics in Photography (1)

This interdisciplinary studio course will allow students of photography to focus on in-depth work on a topic, genre, or mode of expression in fine arts practice. Topics offered will include photographing the sacred and profane, historic forms of photography, and other topics as designed by instructor. The course can be repeated for credit as the topic varies.

  • Prerequisites: ARTS 132 or ARTS 232
  • Offering: Alternate Years
  • Instructor: Opie

ARTS 357 Photography: Documentary and Conceptual Practices (1)

Through a series of individual projects of increasing complexity, the student will be introduced to forms of photography that explore intellectual frameworks for projects (conceptual approaches). Lectures and assigned work will also introduce the particular tradition and approaches in fine art documentary photography. Intermediate and advanced darkroom photography as well as color digital photography will be explored. Emphasis on the photographic process as a creative medium with be stressed throughout the course as students are encouraged to develop personal imagery.


ARTS 360-377 Independent Projects (.5 or 1)

For advanced art students. Individual study and work in areas of the Art major's special interest. Printmaking (360 & 361), Painting (362 & 363), Drawing (364 & 365), Ceramics (366 & 367), Sculpture (368 & 369), Photography (374 & 375), and Video (376 & 377).

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

ARTS 441W Contemporary Art Theory and Practice (1)

Through essential readings, critique sessions, writing, discussion, peer review, and the making of original artwork, this writing-centered course provides a forum for the exploration of contemporary art theories and practice. Oral and written assignments will be required of the students in response to selected reading from texts, periodicals, books, journals, artist interviews in a variety of media, and videos dealing specifically with critical art theory and practice as well as current and recent discourse in the field of contemporary art. Students will also be asked to examine and contextualize their own artistic production, and compare it to the theories they are introduced to through readings and other media. The course also examines the role of artists and artmaking in contemporary culture so students must respond critically to the subject matter at hand, analyze the texts and art products and understand the methods, practices and materials utilized in the creation of contemporary art. The course also aims to integrate theory and practice by requiring that students conceive, design, and execute original works of art that embody their understanding of the theories and concepts they are introduced to during the course of the semester.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Grew, Fourie, Opie, Thompson

ARTS 496 Senior Studio (0.5 Fall; 0.5 Spring)

The Senior Studio is the culminating experience in the Art major program. The course is devoted to all aspects of conceptualizing and preparing a major work or series of works, the thesis project, that demonstrates technical mastery, conceptual engagement and thematic coherence. Students work on their projects independently throughout the fall and early spring semesters with supervision of a studio faculty advisor. Successful theses are exhibited in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Coursework emphasizes productive staging of a major project. Special guest lectures and topics are presented. This is offered as a year-long single-credit course, 0.5 in the fall and 0.5 in the spring. Students must register each semester.

  • Prerequisite: Completion of 2 courses at Willamette in medium to be pursued in thesis. Enrollment by instructor consent.
  • Offering: Every Semester
  • Instructor: Fourie, Thompson, Opie