Art Studio

Rie Hachiyanagi, Chair

Rose Ryan, Academic Department Coordinator


201 Art Building
413-538-2200
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/artstudio

Overview and Contact Information

Mount Holyoke’s Department of Art encourages artistic exploration while providing technical skills and interdisciplinary opportunities. Whether enrolled in introductory or advanced studio courses, students learn to express themselves in a range of methods and material. Analysis of original works and engagement with contemporary issues are part of the rich studio experience. The Department of Art offers both a major and a minor with courses taught by accomplished visual artists. In addition to working closely with these professionals, students also benefit from the department’s ties to the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, and its affiliation with the Five College Consortium.

Faculty

This area of study is administered by the Department of Art and Art History:

Rie Hachiyanagi, Professor of Art

Joseph Smith, Professor of Art

Ligia Bouton, Associate Professor of Art

Gina Siepel, Lecturer in Art

Amanda Maciuba, Guest Artist in Art

Jacob Rhoads, Visiting Artist Lecturer in Painting 

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 48 credits:

ARTST-120Drawing I 1,24
or ARTST-131 Studio Art Foundations
Six courses in studio art at the 200 level24
Three courses (12 credits) at the 300 level as follows:12
Junior year:
Advanced Studio
Fall senior year:
Senior Studio
Spring senior year:
Advanced Studio (non-thesis students)
Senior Studio (thesis students)
8 credits in art history at any level8
Total Credits48

Additional Specifications

  • Courses may be taken within the Five College Consortium, as approved.
  • The department strongly asks that students seek the advice of the studio art faculty in selecting courses, their number, and their sequence in constructing a studio art major.
  • Any student going abroad in her junior year or semester should consult with her advisor before leaving to assure the verification of transfer credits in the major.
  • The department will allow students to major in studio art and minor in art history.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 24 credits:

ARTST-120Drawing I 1,24
or ARTST-131 Studio Art Foundations
Five courses in studio art at the 200 level 320
Total Credits24

Additional Specifications

  • Courses may be taken within the Five College Consortium, as approved.
  • The department strongly urges that students seek the advice of the studio art faculty in selecting courses, their number, and their sequence in constructing a studio art minor.

Teacher Licensure

Students interested in pursuing licensure in the field of visual art can combine their course work in studio art with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the major of studio art, please consult your advisor or the chair of the art department. See further information in the catalog about the minor in education and Teacher Licensure, and consult Ms. Lawrence in the psychology and education department. 

Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component. Copies of the test objectives for the MTEL are available in the art department and in the Department of Psychology and Education.

Additional information about the Licensure Program, including application materials, can be found on the Teacher Licensure Program website.

Course Offerings

ARTST-120 Drawing I

ARTST-120BV Drawing I: 'Observation, Practice, and Experience'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An intensive practice of observational drawing will challenge common assumptions about how the world is seen and has implications for all aspects of imagination and critical thought. The course will focus on the foundational elements of space, line, tone, value, vision, and the body. It will utilize multiple drawing techniques, tools, materials, and scales, and it will engage in rigorous observation to tap the analytic and expressive capacities of the medium. Studio investigations will be supplemented with critiques, lectures and demonstrations. The work of relevant historical and contemporary artists will be examined.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Siepel
Advisory: No previous studio experience required. A student may take only one ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Along with ARTST-116 and ARTST-131, this 120 course will function as a prerequisite course for 200-level studio art courses. Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-120FR Drawing I: 'Form, Structure, and Space'

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This intensive drawing course will challenge students' assumptions about the world around them. The course will begin from the beginning, using an embodied connection to the tools of drawing to explore foundational elements of space, line, plane, surface, and tone. This course is grounded in hands-on methods where students will work with a variety of drawing media to tap into both the analytic and expressive capacities of the medium.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
A. Maciuba, J. Rhoads, G. Siepel
Advisory: No previous studio experience required. A student may take only one ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Along with ARTST-116 and ARTST-131, this 120 course will function as a prerequisite course for 200-level studio art courses. Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-120VE Drawing I: 'Visual Exploration'

Fall. Credits: 4

An introduction to both the technical and conceptual aspects of drawing as a primary tool for visual expression and analysis. Art historical contexts as well as the dialogue between the arts and other disciplines will be considered. Emphasis is placed on learning to see, and to think visually.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads, The department
Advisory: A student may take only one ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students preregistering for this course must attend the first class meeting of the semester or their names will be dropped from the class roster. Along with ARTST-116 and ARTST-131, this 120 course will function as a prerequisite course for 200-level studio art courses. Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-131 Studio Art Foundations

ARTST-131SE Studio Art Foundations: 'Seeing, Making, and Being'

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This hands-on interdisciplinary introduction to the tools and practices of 2D, 3D, and 4D art will encompass multiple approaches including drawing, sculptural construction, site-specificity, and video. Students will undertake conceptual exploration in conjunction with formal and technical skill-building and interdisciplinary dialogue, including a studio-based exploration of museum objects in a post-colonial context. Studio work will be supplemented with critiques, discussion, collaboration, and research, as well as study of relevant contemporary and historical artists.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Siepel
Advisory: No previous studio experience is required. A student may take only one ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Along with ARTST-116 and ARTST-120, this 131 course will function as a prerequisite course for 200-level studio art courses. Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-137 Topics in Studio Art

ARTST-137CD Topics in Studio Art: 'Costume Design I'

Fall. Credits: 4

An introduction to the art and work of the costume designer in the performing arts. Students will learn how a designer approaches a script, how the designer's work impacts a production, and what methods are used in the execution of the design process. Students will learn how to develop their own visual imaginations and how to create visual concepts through discussions and renderings.

Crosslisted as: THEAT-124
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
V. James Sanders
Advisory: No previous experience in theatre, performance, or the visual arts is required.
Notes: lab; $50 materials fee. Theatre tickets and any design supplies are the responsibility of the student.

ARTST-137SC Topics in Studio Art: 'Scene Design I'

Fall. Credits: 4

An introduction to the art and work of the set designer in the performing arts. Students will learn how a designer approaches a script, how this work impacts a production, and what means are used in the execution of the process. They will learn how to develop their own visual imaginations and how to create visual concepts through discussions, renderings, models and some hand drafting. No previous experience in theatre, performance, or the visual arts is required.

Crosslisted as: THEAT-122
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
V. James
Notes: lab; ; $50 materials fee. Theatre tickets and any design supplies are the responsibility of the student.

ARTST-220 Drawing II

Further exploration and investigation into the techniques and conceptual issues of drawing. The human figure is used as a departure point for developing perceptual skills and personal expression.

ARTST-220DT Drawing II: 'Drawing As Thinking'

Spring. Credits: 4

Artists, engineers, scientists, and other visionaries have always used drawing as a language of thought. Drawing can document the present or envision the future, it can be a tool for problem solving, a mode of expression, and an experimental art form. In this course, we will dig deeply into visual perception and markmaking through observational drawing, further training our eyes and hands. We will explore experimental practices, including mapping, diagramming, emergent forms, and three-dimensional "expanded field" drawings. Multiple media will be used, and coursework will involve a research component.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Siepel
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of materials.

ARTST-221 Digital Photography I

Fall. Credits: 4

This course explores the basics of photography using digital technologies with emphasis placed on three objectives: first, the acquisition of photographic skills, including composition, digital capture, scanning, Photoshop, and printing; second, an introduction to contexts, such as historical, critical, theoretical, and contemporary movements in photography to advance visual literacy; third, the deepening and expanding of a personal way of seeing. Students will have directed and self-initiated shooting and printing assignments. Slide lectures, readings, and short writing assignments will complement the practical aspects of the course.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
K. Stewart
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students interested in taking this course should possess a digital SLR or an advanced compact camera. Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of materials. Five College students require permission of instructor to enroll.

ARTST-226 Topics in Studio Art

Topics courses are offered each semester which are outside the realm of the usual course offerings, focusing on contemporary issues.

ARTST-226AB Topics in Studio Art: 'Painting: Strategies in Abstraction'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Students in this course will explore diverse approaches to painting abstractly, such as abstraction from observation, gestural improvisation, geometric abstraction, and systems painting. After examining why such strategies were used by previous artists, students will be asked to develop their own approaches to abstraction. Students will also develop skill and confidence in handling materials, the ability to interpret and make meaning in abstract images, and a personal approach to color.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Advisory: This course is open to those who have no previous painting experience as well as those who are seeking to take Painting II.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-226AR Topics in Studio Art: 'Painting: Abstraction to Representation'

Fall. Credits: 4

Students in this course will explore pictorial strategies that were first developed by abstract painters but have provoked significant shifts within representational painting as well-such as color field painting, process painting, and conceptual abstraction. After examining the history of such approaches, students will use them to develop personal projects that may be abstract, representational, or somewhere in between. Special attention will be paid to the metaphorical potential of materials and to developing personal approaches to color.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Advisory: The course is open to those with no previous painting experience as well as those seeking to further develop their abilities.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-226DH Topics in Studio Art: 'Printmaking/Digital Hybrid'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will explore several ways by which to integrate digital techniques with printmaking by hand. Using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, students will incorporate digital methods to develop their imagery but ultimately will print their final work using traditional processes. Students will learn the basics of each technique before moving onto those using digital intervention. Processes studied in depth will include relief and engraving on wood, collographs, and using the laser-cutter to create hand-cut stencils and matrixes for a variety of monoprint techniques.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
A. Maciuba
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Advisory: Five College students require permission of instructor to enroll
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-226TS Topics in Studio Art: 'Painting Outside Oneself'

Spring. Credits: 4

Students in this course will expand their artistic practices by making work that is purposefully unlike anything they have made before. In one project, students might develop a fictional artist and then create work from different stages of that artist's career. In another, students might generate hybrid paintings that merge drastically different styles into a new pictorial language. Ultimately, stepping outside of oneself will be explored as a means of personal transformation and artistic growth.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-236 Painting I

Spring. Credits: 4

This course introduces the basic principles and techniques of painting. Students will learn to use a variety of painting tools, to accurately see and mix colors, to analyze surface qualities, and to prepare supports. Working primarily from direct observation, they will strive to articulate form, to capture spatial relationships, to create purposeful compositions, and to make meaningful images. Subjects will include still life, figure, interiors, and the landscape.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials. Five College students require permission of instructor to enroll

ARTST-237 Painting II

ARTST-237DV Painting II: 'Development and Exploration'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Through a series of increasingly complex color, spatial, and compositional problems, this course consolidates and builds upon the principles and techniques studied in Painting I. Students use these skills to establish their own lines of inquiry, and to explore the formal and conceptual issues that arise from them. To this end, course assignments require increasing degrees of self-direction as the semester progresses, and material and technical experimentation is encouraged. Group critiques play an important role in helping each student formulate her own concerns and ways of working. Subjects include still life, interiors, landscapes, and figures.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131, and ARTST-236.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of materials.

ARTST-246 Sculpture I

Spring. Credits: 4

Introduction to fundamental sculptural techniques and three-dimensional thinking. Various media are explored spanning traditional through digital approaches, with an emphasis on understanding the language of sculpture through concept and material.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
L. Bouton
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Advisory: Priority given to majors, minors, and prospective majors.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials. Five College students require permission of instructor to enroll.

ARTST-256 Printmaking I

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is an introduction to the four basic areas of printmaking: relief, intaglio, screen printing and lithography. Students will begin the semester learning the basics of each technique through attending demonstrations and working on small projects in each area. Students will then choose to focus on one of the four processes, spending the remainder of the semester learning more advanced methods within their chosen area and completing a series of in-depth projects.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
A. Maciuba
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Advisory: Five College students require permission of instructor to enroll
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-257 Printmaking II

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Printmaking II builds on students' existing skills learned in Printmaking I or Printmaking/Digital Hybrid, and deepens their engagement with various forms of print. The course explores concepts such as layering, multiplicity, and mediated forms of production. An emphasis will be placed upon examination of the role of printmaking and print media within contemporary art context. Students challenge themselves with various modes of display and distribution, while blurring distinctions between traditional and innovative processes.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
T. Millman
Prereq: ARTST-120, ARTST-131, ARTST-256, or ARTST-226DH.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-266 Body and Space

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course focuses on the issues surrounding body and space through installation, performance, and public arts. Students explore the possibilities of body as an energetic instrument, while investigating the connotations of various spaces as visual vocabulary. The self becomes the reservoir for expression. The course examines the transformational qualities of the body as the conduit that links conceptual and physical properties of materials and ideas.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
R. Hachiyanagi
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: This course has no prerequisite and counts towards studio art major and minor requirements as a 200-level course.
Notes: 2 studios (2 hours and 30 minutes); Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-267 Papermaking with Local Plants

Fall. Credits: 4

Students collect usable local plants. They examine and record them before and after drying, then cook and crush them to make paper pulp. As they learn how to process those plants, they study how their methods directly connect to papermaking techniques in various indigenous cultures, especially in Africa, the Pacific, Latin America & Asia. Students conceive and construct their art projects inspired by historical/cultural/biological/ecological/personal aspects of plants as well as their physical qualities.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
R. Hachiyanagi
Prereq: At least one 200-level studio art course.
Advisory: Five College students require instructor's permission for this course. Email the professor with a list of all the studio courses previously taken.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-269 Japanese Papermaking and Aesthetics

Spring. Credits: 4

In this course, students learn traditional practice and history of Japanese hand papermaking, while exploring contemporary applications of the method. Thin, translucent, resilient paper is great for drawing and printmaking, as well as for sculptural construction and paper casting. This fluidity of medium naturally encourages students to become interdisciplinary in their art making. The apparent fragility, structural strength, and surprising longevity of the material will be grounds for philosophical investigations into the nature of creativity. Students learn and write about Japanese history, culture, traditional art, and unique aesthetics, as well as about paper.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
R. Hachiyanagi
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131 and at least one 200-level studio art course.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials. Five College students require instructor's permission for this course. Email the professor with a list of all the studio courses previously taken.

ARTST-280 Topics in Studio Art

Topics courses are offered each semester which are outside the realm of the usual course offerings, focusing on contemporary issues.

ARTST-280AB Topics in Studio Art: 'Artists' Books'

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of bookbinding, artists' books and zines. A variety of book structures and skills will be demonstrated, discussed and used throughout the semester. Throughout the course students will develop a basic understanding of what a book is, where it fits in contemporary art practice as well as its historical context. Students will use the technical bookbinding skills discussed to create a series of both one-of-kind artists' books as well as a small edition of zines.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
A. Maciuba
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-280FP Topics in Studio Art: 'Art-Making on a Fragile Planet'

Fall. Credits: 4

What does it mean to be an artist in the Anthropocene? How can we use sculpture to explore pressing environmental issues while still taking responsibility for our consumption of materials? Through research, discussion, and production, this class will explore the possibilities and approaches available to us as artists for meaningful social engagement and response to our current environmental condition. We will utilize a wide range of fabrication approaches and raw materials, including dysfunctional objects, recycled materials, and digital and time-based media.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
L. Bouton
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Advisory: The course is open to those with no previous sculpture experience as well as those seeking to further develop their sculptural abilities.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-280NP Topics in Studio Art: 'Narrative Painting'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In the past few years, many contemporary painters have shown renewed interest in one of painting's oldest functions -- telling stories. Students in this course will first explore historical forms of narrative painting before considering its many uses today: to advance political agendas, to reimagine or recover histories, to memorialize, to cultivate attention, to entertain, and to impart values. They will create paintings in relationship to historical and contemporary events, found texts, myths, literature, and stories they write themselves.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Rhoads
Prereq: ARTST-120 or ARTST-131.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

ARTST-390 Advanced Studio

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Concentration on individual artistic development. Emphasis will be placed on experimentation, thematic development, and critical review. Students may elect to take this course more than once.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
R. Hachiyanagi
Restrictions: This course is limited to Art Studio majors only.
Prereq: At least four 200-level studio art courses.
Advisory: Studio art majors only. Minors require permission of instructor. Mount Holyoke students only
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-392 Five College Advanced Studio Seminar

ARTST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.
Notes: Senior studio majors may elect to become candidates for an honors thesis with approval of the studio faculty. NOTE: Students enrolled in all studio courses will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.

ARTST-395SS Senior Studio

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

R. Hachiyanagi
Restrictions: Limited to Mount Holyoke Art Studio majors in their senior year
Instructor permission required.
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Students enrolled in all studio courses will be responsible for some of the cost of course materials.