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Visual Arts

Career and Academic Paths | Academic Advising | Major Program | Admission into the Major Program | Foundation Program | Animation/Interactive Media Concentration | Art History and Museum Studies Concentration | Cinematic Arts Concentration | Graphic Design Concentration | Photography Concentration | Print Media Concentration | Minor Programs | Art Education | Special Opportunities | Student Organizations |

Faculty

View faculty details

Professors

Dan Bailey
Mark Alice Durant
Ellen Handler-Spitz
James Smalls
John Sturgeon

Associate Professors

Guenet Abraham
Steve Bradley
Lynn Cazabon
Irene Chan
Cathy Cook
Vin Grabill
Preminda Jacob
Lisa Moren
Timothy Nohe
Kathy O'Dell
Peggy Re
Fred Worden

Assistant Professors

Kathryn Bell
Vivana Cordova
Eric Dyer
David Neal McDonald
Callie Neylan
Calla Thompson

Program Specialists

Melanie Berry
Calvin Custen
Charles Myers
Christopher Peregoy
Christian Valiente

Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture

Sandra Abbott
Symmes Gardner
William-John Tudor

Imaging Research Center

Dan Bailey
Lee Boot
Steve Brown
Eric Smallwood

Associate Dean

Kathy O'Dell

Director of Programs

Symmes Gardner

Courses in this program are listed under ART.

UMBC's visual arts department stresses the teaching of both traditional techniques and new technologies for making images. The faculty and professional associate staff have a diverse background in the fine and applied arts, spanning art history and museum studies, animation, interactivity, cinamatic arts, graphic design, photography, printmaking, drawing and book arts. Faculty research and creative endeavors center on the interdisciplinary aspect of the late 20th century digital and time-based art forms. From this unique perspective, the visual arts department incorporates these evolving technologies into the educational process to realize creative applications, ideas and concepts. As a result of this commitment to the interdisciplinary approach, the faculty is active in both national and international forums of exhibitions and publications. The visual arts department provides an engaging environment where students pursue the interrelationship between aesthetics and techniques in the context of past and present concerns within the visual arts.

Students are encouraged to explore a variety of courses to gain a thorough preparation and understanding of the various imaging processes and media available today. As a complement to these studio techniques, the program also provides a strong foundation in art history, theory and criticism. The visual arts department has a range of visual tools and facilities in place that provide students with in-depth, hands-on experience. The opportunity to explore art-making with these tools and to collaborate with other artists in making aesthetic decisions provides students with a rich background for the pursuit of both creative and production-oriented endeavors.

Foundation Program

Animation/Interactive Media calls upon the theories and artistic practices of animation, cinema, motion graphics, games and technology. Students in this concentration study animation and interactive media through a combination of traditional media and digital tools.

In-class critiques of personal work and investigation of the history of animation and interactive art are emphasized for the development of a framework from which students can begin their path as an animators and interactive artists.

Advanced level courses in animation incorporate technically intensive experience in 3-D computer animation and digital compositing, as well as exploration of emerging practices including real-time applications and performance or interactive animation. Interactivity courses address critical and aesthetic issues across a variety of forms including Internet art, games, simulators, and immersive environments. A thorough preparation in interactive techniques, including scripting, opens students to a deeper understanding of interaction design principles and aesthetics, taking them beyond a “point and click” paradigm of interaction and encouraging the exploration of interactivity as a complex field of exchange between artist: audience, creator: participant, organism: machine, body: space and self: other.

Throughout the animation/interactive media program of study, students are encouraged and expected to develop their own artistic voice through exploration of the media and critical review of their work. Students completing the animation/interactive media concentration have the opportunity to produce a fully developed work at the culmination of the program.

Note: ART 341 and ART 382 are gateway courses. ART 341: Introduction to Animation must be passed with a grade of “B” better for students to continue on to upper-level animation courses. ART 382 must be passed with a grade of “B” or better for students to continue on to upper-level interactivity courses.

For B.A. students:

with a concentration in animation/interactive media, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 341 Introduction to Animation (Animation gateway: must earn a “B” or better)
  • ART382 Introduction to Interactive Art (Interactive gateway: must earn a “B” or better)
  • ART383 Sound Design
  • ART 343 History of Animation
  • ART 384 Introduction to 3-D Computer Animation
  • ART387 Expression in Time and Motion
  • ART484 Advanced 3-D Animation
  • ART488 Advanced Topics in Animation and Interactive Media
  • ART 489 Senior Projects: time-based media

PLUS ONE of the following tracks:


Animation track:

  • ART347 Writing for Media
  • ART 447 Special Effects and Motion Graphics

Interactive media track:

  • ART380 History and Theory of Games
  • ART486 Advanced Interactive Media



For B.F.A. students:

with a concentration in animation/interactive media, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:
  • ART 341 Introduction to Animation (Animation gateway: must earn a “B” or better)
  • ART 382 Introduction to Interactive Art (Interactive gateway: must earn a “B” or better)
  • ART 383 Sound Design
  • ART 343 History of Animation
  • ART 384 Introduction to 3-D Computer Animation
  • ART387 Expression in Time and Motion
  • ART484 Advanced 3-D Animation
  • ART 489 Senior Projects: time-based media
Three visual arts electives
One Art History and Visual Culture elective

PLUS:

  • ART 488 Advanced Topics in Animation and Interactive Media OR
  • Upper level Animation and Interactive Media elective

PLUS ONE of the following tracks:


Animation track:

  • ART347 Writing for Media
  • ART 447 Special Effects and Motion Graphics

Interactive media track:

  • ART380 History and Theory of Games
  • ART486 Advanced Interactive Media


Animation/Interactive Media Concentration

Animation/Interactive Media calls upon the theories and artisticpractices of animation, cinema, motion graphics, games and technology.Students in this concentration study animation and interactive mediathrough a combination of traditional media and digital tools. In-class critiques of personal work and investigation of the history of animation and interactive art are emphasized for the development of a framework from which students can begin their path as an animators and interactive artists.


Advanced level courses in animation incorporate technically intensive experience in 3-D computer animation and digital compositing, as well as exploration of emerging practices including real-time applications and performance or interactive animation. Interactivity courses address critical and aesthetic issues across a variety of forms including Internet art, games, simulators, and immersive environments. A thorough preparation in interactive techniques, including scripting, opens students to a deeper understanding of interaction design principles and aesthetics, taking them beyond a "point and click" paradigm of interaction and encouraging the exploration of interactivity as a  complex field of exchange between artist: audience, creator: participant, organism: machine, body: space and self: other.
Throughout the animation/interactive media program of study, students are encouraged and expected to develop their own artistic voice through exploration of the media and critical review of their work. Students completing the animation/interactive media concentration have the opportunity to produce a fully developed work at the culmination of the program.

Note: ART 341 and ART 382 are gateway courses. ART 341: Introduction to Animation must be passed with a grade of "B" better for students to continue on to upper-level animation courses. ART 382 must be passed with a grade of "B" or better for students to continue on to upper-level interactivity courses.

For B.A. students


with a concentration in animation/interactive media, the following arerequired in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 341 Introduction to Animation (Animation gateway: must earn a "B"or better)
  • ART382 Introduction to Interactive Art (Interactive gateway: must earn a "B" or better)
  • ART383 Sound Design
  • ART 343 History of Animation
  • ART 384 Introduction to 3-D Computer Animation
  • ART387 Expression in Time and Motion
  • ART484 Advanced 3-D Animation
  • ART488 Advanced Topics in Animation and Interactive Media
  • ART 489 Senior Projects: time-based media

PLUS ONE of the following tracks:

Animation track:

  • ART347 Writing for Media
  • ART 447 Special Effects and Motion Graphics

Interactive media track:

  • ART380 History and Theory of Games
  • ART486 Advanced Interactive Media


For B.F.A. students

with a concentration in animation/interactive media, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 341 Introduction to Animation (Animation gateway: must earn a "B"or better)
  • ART 382 Introduction to Interactive Art (Interactive gateway: mustearn a "B" or better)
  • ART 383 Sound Design
  • ART 343 History of Animation
  • ART 384 Introduction to 3-D Computer Animation
  • ART387 Expression in Time and Motion
  • ART484 Advanced 3-D Animation
  • ART 489 Senior Projects: time-based media
Three visual arts electives
One Art History and Visual Culture elective


PLUS:

  • ART 488 Advanced Topics in Animation and Interactive Media
    OR
  • Upper level Animation and Interactive Media elective


PLUS ONE of the following tracks:

Animation track:

  • ART347 Writing for Media
  • ART 447 Special Effects and Motion Graphics

Interactive media track:

  • ART380 History and Theory of Games
  • ART486 Advanced Interactive Media



Art History and Museum Studies Concentration

The history of art is the history of the world in visual terms. These terms have been expanded dramatically in the 20th century by developments in photography, graphic design, cinematic arts, performance art, and digital art. Each of these modes of production has had a profound impact on more conventional art forms and, simultaneously, has fostered an ever-changing body of theory. The art history and museum studies course offerings are designed to enable students to explore these new developments and better understand their relationship with art of the past. Toward that end, works of art and pertinent theories are discussed in a broad context, to include social, political and economic motivations for an artist’s choice of medium, as well as the formal, stylistic and aesthetic elements of his or her work. Museum and gallery offerings in Baltimore; Washington, D.C. and New York City are used to amplify points made in classes. Our own collection of photographs, films and videos also provides students with a unique source of reference material.

Students concentrating in art history and museum studies are strongly encouraged to take more than one studio course. Foreign language profieciency at the 202 level is required. For those who intend to go to graduate school, a second language is recommended. Students work closely with their advisors in developing individualized programs.

Note: ART 323 20th-Century Art is the gateway course for students concentrating in art history and museum studies and must be passed with a grade of B or better to continue on to upper-level art history and museum studies courses.

For B.A. students

with a concentration in art history and museum studies, the following courses are required:
  • ART 210 Visual Concepts I: Two Dimensions
  • ART 216 Studies in Visual Culture (Prehistory through the 1750s)
  • ART 220 Art History I (Prehistory through Medieval)
  • ART 221 Art History II (Renaissance through Modern)
  • ART 321 From the Enlightenment to the Birth of Modernism (1750-1880)
  • ART 323 Modernism (1880-1960)
  • ART 328 Postmodernism (1960-present)
  • ART 329 Topics in Art History and Visual Culture


PLUS three of the following:

  • ART 424 Topics in Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
  • ART 425 Writing by and for Artists, Curators and Critics
  • ART 427 Museum Practice
  • ART 428 History and Theory of the Art Museum
  • ART 429 Seminar in Art History and Visual Culture and Theory
  • ART490 Senior Thesis Paper or Curatorial Project

PLUS one of the following:

  • ART 494 Visual Arts Internship
  • ART 498 Center for Art Design and Visual Culture Internship
  • ANCS 397 Ancient Studies Internship

PLUS six of the following:

  • ART 324 History of Film: Origins to 1965
  • ART 325 History of Film/Video: 1965 to the Present
  • ART 326 History of Photography
  • ART 327 Contemporary Directions in Photography
  • ART335 Origins and Issues in Design
  • ART 342 Film/Video Theory and Criticism
  • ART 343 History of Animation
  • ART 380 History and Theory of Games
  • ANCS 350 Topics in Ancient Studies (When Worlds Collide)
  • AMST 325 Studies in Popular Culture
  • AMST 344 Made in America. Material Culture in the United States
  • AMST 390 Theories of Culture & Media
  • ANTH 310 Ethnographic Film
  • ARCH 200 Greek Archeology and Art
  • ARCH 201 Roman Archeology and Art
  • ARCH 310 The Archeology of Ancient Egypt
  • ARCH 330 The Archeology of Bronze Age Greece
  • ARCH 380 Hellenistic Archeology and Art
  • ENGL 316 Literature & Other Arts
  • ENGL 342 Principles and Practices of Visual Literacy
  • ENGL 385 New Media and Digital Literacies
  • HIST 358 Art & Society in the Renaissance
  • HIST 705 Introduction to Public History
  • HIST 711 Practicum in Public History
  • MLL 301 Textual Analysis: Words, Images, Music
  • PHIL 368 Aesthetics
  • Foreign language through the 202-level



Cinematic Arts Concentration

The cinematic arts concentration provides students with the conceptual framework, historical context and technical skills necessary for the production of narrative, documentary or experimental projects in a fine arts environment. In this concentration, cinema is treated as an artistic medium; ideas are considered as important as technique. A study of film/video history, criticism and theory in tandem with a range of digital production and post-production tools forms the foundation for personal creative student work.

Note: 346 Moving Images III: HD Cinema is their gateway course and must be passed with a grade of B or better for continued advancement in cinematic arts courses.

For B.A. students

with a concentration in cinematic arts, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 324 History of Film: Origins to 1965
  • ART 325 History of Film/Video: 1965 to the Present
  • ART 305 Moving Images I
  • ART 315 Moving Images II
  • ART 342 Film/Video Theory and Criticism
  • ART 346 Moving Images III: HD Cinema
  • ART 347 Writing for Media Arts
  • ART 435 Topics in Cinematic Arts
  • ART 489 Senior Projects: time-based media
PLUS Two upper-level related courses


For B.F.A. students

with a concentration in cinematic arts, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 324 History of Film: Origins to 1965
  • ART 325 History of Film/Video: 1965 to the Present
  • ART 305 Moving Images I
  • ART 315 Moving Images II
  • ART 342 Film/Video Theory and Criticism
  • ART 346 Moving Images III: HD Cinema
  • ART 347 Writing for Media Arts
  • ART 435 Topics in Cinematic Arts
  • ART 489 Senior Projects: time-based media

PLUS Two of the following:

  • ART395 Television Production
  • ART435 Topics in Film/Video
  • ART494 Visual Arts Internship
  • ART495 Independent Study
PLUS four visual arts electives



Graphic Design Concentration

The graphic design concentration delves into those complex questions that absorb both the beginning and the advanced student in the expanding arena of visual communication. The curriculum encourages a rigorous handling of thought processes combined with inquiries springing from traditional, transitional and emerging media. The emergence of new multifaceted word and image forms opens the way for informed expression solidly built on curiosity, honest work, and the need to reason and create. The faculty encourages intellectual, intuitive and perceptual approaches to problem-solving, all balanced on the fundamental belief that effective communication, not style, is the desired goal. Although the graphic design concentration constantly acknowledges the influence and significance of new technologies in education, the question of essential sources for creative formative work is addressed through attention to development in the following areas: mark-making, reading and writing. These areas of observation are anchor points for development. Together, they provide the student with a comprehension of the intellectual and visual environment in which we live.

The study of design history, in association with instruction in typography, word and image, sign/symbol, semiotics and a range of digital and analog production methods form the foundation for a commitment through which research and expression can be accomplished. The graphic design concentration consists of a combination of required studio offerings in design and an elected group of technology-based courses in photography and/or computer-generated imagery. Design concepts and skills are fundamental to a broad range of careers and professions ranging from cultural, corporate, publishing and visual communications to graphic design and digital media. The requirements may be modified with permission of the graphic design advisor and faculty.

For B.A. students

with a concentration in graphic design, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

Note: ART 331: Graphic Design I is the gateway course and must be passed with a grade of “B” or better for students to continue on to upper-level graphic design courses.
  • ART 331 Graphic Design I: Image, Sign and Symbol
  • ART 332 Design and Technology I: Print
  • ART 333 Typography I
  • ART 334 Graphic Design II: Sign, Symbol and Series
  • ART 335 Origins and Issues in Design
  • ART336 Design & Technology II: Screen
  • ART337 Typography II
  • ART 430 Typography III
  • ART 431 Graphic Design III – Human and Environmental Design
PLUS TWO approved electives


Photography Concentration



The photography concentration in the visual arts department is committed to teaching students the aesthetic, critical, theoretical, technical and historical aspects of the medium. An emphasis on increasing the student’s visual literacy within the highly mediated environment that we inhabit is central to the development of creative work. Courses in basic darkroom skills, digital imaging and camera management lay the foundation from which more advanced conceptual, technical and aesthetic issues are formulated. In-depth investigations of the history of photography help to articulate the role that the medium has played in 19th- and 20th-century visual culture. At all levels of coursework, students are encouraged to explore areas of personally generated subject matter as a means of engaging camera, self and environment. Recent technological developments engaging the computer as a photographic tool are emphasized at all levels of the photography curriculum, along with traditional darkroom-based tools. Use of photography in conjunction with other media and methods is explored in upper-level courses, including installation, performance and time-based media.


For B.A. students


with a concentration in photography, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:
  • ART361 Digital Darkroom
  • ART 362 Black and White Photography
  • ART 364 Studio Photography
  • ART366 Documentary Photography
  • ART 327 Contemporary Directions in Photography
  • ART489 Senior Projects


PLUS four of the following:

  • ART 365 Sequence and Time
  • ART 367 Alternative Processes
  • ART368 Digital Alternatives
  • ART 369 Topics in Photography
  • ART494 Internship
  • ART495 Independent Study
PLUS one ART elective.



For B.F.A. students


with a concentration in photography, the following are required inaddition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART361 Digital Darkroom
  • ART 362 Black and White Photography
  • ART 364 Studio Photography
  • ART366 Documentary Photography
  • ART 327 Contemporary Directions in Photography
  • ART489 Senior Projects

PLUS SIX of the following:

  • ART 365 Sequence and Time
  • ART 367 Alternative Processes
  • ART368 Digital Alternatives
  • ART 369 Topics in Photography
  • ART375 Photographic/Digital Processes in Printmaking
  • ART460 Installation Art
  • ART494 Internship
  • ART495 Independent Study (repeatable)
PLUS one elective in cinematic arts or Print Media
PLUS two visual arts electives


Print Media Concentration

The print media concentration engages new forms of artistic expression through interdisciplinary explorations by mark-making and gesture with bodily, mechanical and technological tools. A strong foundation in art history and theory is supplemented by discussions of historical, conceptual and critical approaches to print media, providing a framework for investigation into the technical and material aspects of print-based practices. Manual, photographic and digital print processes are explored with an emphasis on the fluid manipulation of materials. The print media concentration allows for a variety of approaches to print practice, incorporating two- and three-dimensional multiples, book arts, installations, performance, documentation and other hybrid expressions.

Note: ART 320: Introduction to Printmaking is the gateway course and must be passed with a grade of “B” or better for students to continue on to upper-level print media courses.

For B.A. students

with a concentration in print media, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 320 Introduction to Printmaking
  • ART 360 Mixed-Media Book Arts
  • ART 370 Silkscreen Printing
  • One Media History course: ART 324, 325, 326, 327, 335, 343, 376, 380
  • ART 465 Intermedia Studio
  • ART489 Senior Projects
  • ONE Media History course: ART 324, 325, 326, 327, 335, 343, 380

PLUS two of the following:

  • ART 314 Drawing
    OR
  • ART 362 Black and White Photography
  • ART 375 Photographic Processes in Print Media
  • ART 375 Alternative Processes in Print Media
  • ART 460 Installation Art

PLUS nine credits of upper level ART electives


For B.F.A. students

with a concentration in print media, the following are required in addition to the visual arts core courses:

  • ART 314 Drawing II
  • ART 320 Introduction to Printmaking
  • ART 360 Mixed-Media Book Arts
  • ART 370 Silkscreen Printing
  • ART 375 Photographic Processes in Print Media
  • ART 423 Art Since 1945
  • ART 460 Installation Art
  • ART 489 Senior Projects
  • ART 494 Internship
    OR
  • ART495 Independent Study
  • One Media History course: ART 324, 325, 326, 327, 335, 343, 380
PLUS 12 credits of upper level ART electives



Special Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to enhance their education by taking part in the visual arts department Visiting Artist Program. Throughout the year, a mix of prominent and emerging artists visit the department to present their work, attend classes, etc. Presentations are open to the public. Past artists include Vito Acconi, Carolee Schneeman, Fred Wilson and Janine Antoni. The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture exhibits contemporary art by nationally known artists. Students have the opportunity to exhibit their works in an annual exhibition. The Imaging Research Center (IRC) is a state-of-the-art facility combining research, education and professional training in animation and computer visualization. The IRC’s student internship program provides advanced students with opportunities to work on actual 3-D animation projects and develop a portfolio of work. In coordination with the Shriver Center’s cooperative education and internship program, advanced-level visual arts majors may obtain internships at area firms and companies in design and production disciplines related to the student’s field of study. Student Organizations Filmmakers Anonymous is a student-run group providing an open forum for cinematic arts students, as well as others interested in the field of cinema. Filmmakers Anonymous offers the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and to show work in a critical, yet supportive, environment. American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Baltimore Student Chapter is a student-run organization which fosters a community for graphic design students in the visual arts department. It organizes programs relevant to design and visual communications issues. The Visual Arts Council of Majors (ARTCOM) meets on a regular basis to discuss issues and develop programs relevant to visual arts majors.