A Visual Art education at Brown is a rich experience of conceptual challenge, skill-building, and self-discovery. Our students acquire the intellectual and practical tools to make art, as well as to interpret and critique the world of images. We offer a range of courses: drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture, digital media, and video. Our students also have opportunities to take courses at the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design.
For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Visual_Art/
VISA 0061. Drawing I and II: Introduction and Advanced Tutorial in Comillas.
Drawing on-site and in the studio from nature, still life and the imagination in a variety of media. Great emphasis is placed on creative work and classroom participation. Weekend field trips are required. Course taught in Comillas, Spain.
VISA 0062. Printmaking Workshop.
No description available.
VISA 0063. Painting I and II: Color and Pattern, Nature and Culture in Comillas.
This high immersion studio class will investigate painting based on information collected from the surrounding environment and within the town of Comillas, Spain. Assignments will relate to the ocean, mountains, animals and Northern Spanish culture with an emphasis on color. Assignments will stem from direct observation and selected visual findings within the landscape, field trips and local architecture. The class will accommodate both beginning and advanced level students through individual and group critiques.
VISA 0064. Sculpture/Installation/Site Work.
No description available.
VISA 0100. Studio Foundation.
An introduction to basic visual art concepts, exploring a range of materials with emphasis on experimentation and analysis of visual relationships. Drawing is a vital part of this course. VISA 0100 is a prerequisite to any advanced studio course work at Brown or the Rhode Island School of Design.
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VISA 0110. Advanced Studio Foundation.
Some students arrive at Brown with a greater understanding of visual art principles than most, yet need an introduction to other aspects before taking more advanced courses. Figure drawing is practiced throughout the semester, utilizing a variety of media. Weekly outside assignments explore diverse themes and become the subject of comprehensive class discussions. Portfolio review required for admission submitted one week prior to the start of classes. See morning mail & department website for details. Students will be notified by the end of the first week of classes.
VISA 0120. Foundation Media: Sound and Image.
This foundation studio course focuses on the production and theory of screen-based digital media artwork and introduces the computer as a medium and a tool for art. The principles and techniques web design, and sound and image production are addressed in readings, screenings, and a number of specific projects. During pre-registration, the course is open to Visual Arts concentrators; all others may enroll with instructor permission. After pre-registration ends, registration for all students is by instructor permission only. Enrollment limited to 12.
VISA 0130. 3-D Foundation.
This is an extensive study in form and structure. It is designed to develop spatial understanding and the fundamentals of 3-dimensional design and construction. Students will explore the structural, compositional and conceptual implications of common materials, such as wood, metal, plaster and found objects. Projects are designed as a means for investigating a variety of sculptural processes. Students will learn safe usage of power and hand tools, casting techniques, wood and metal work. In addition, special emphasis will be placed on creativity, critical thinking and the ability to successfully articulate ideas visually.
VISA 0140. Photography Foundation.
This class is a wide ranging technical and conceptual introduction to photography. Through weekly projects, students will be exposed to 19th -21st century photo processes.Topics covered include cameras, lenses, software, darkroom overview, scanning, natural and artificial lighting, alternative processes as well as concepts such as selective focus, color temperature, composition. Short readings and in-class slide presentations on a diverse range of photographers will introduce students to the history of photography. This course will prepare students for upper level Photography classes at Brown and RISD.
VISA 0150. Digital 2D Foundation.
This foundation studio course introduces the basic practices and concepts of two-dimensional digital media production including image acquisition, editing and manipulation, vector illustration, and preparation for online and offline viewing. Through studio exercises, readings, and assignments we will experiment with the production of electronic images. We will be looking at and producing work that is conscious and critical in nature, and which combines aspects of contemporary art, media, and technology. Collaboration and group work will be encouraged to share learning techniques and skill resources.
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VISA 0710. Introduction to Filmmaking: Time and Form (MCM 0710).
Interested students must register for MCM 0710.
VISA 0730. Introduction to Video Production: Critical Strategies and Histories (MCM 0730).
Interested students must register for MCM 0730.
VISA 0750. Digital Art (MCM 0750).
Interested students must register for MCM 0750.
VISA 0800H. TV/Not TV: Theory and Production (MCM 0800H).
Interested students must register for MCM 0800H.
VISA 1110. Drawing I.
Drawing from nature, still life, the model, and the imagination in a variety of media. A continuing series of outside assignments emphasized. Visits to galleries and museums and pertinent exhibitions may be undertaken. The portfolio of the individual student will be the basis of evaluation. Great emphasis is put on classroom participation. Pre-requisite: VISA 0100
This course restricted to 20 students. 18 seats will be available during pre-registration. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration should attend the first meeting.
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VISA 1120. Drawing II.
Drawing from the imagination, the model, and landscapes in a variety of media. Great emphasis is placed on creative work and on classroom participation. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or 0110. This course restricted to 20 students. 18 seats will be available during pre-registration. This class will satisfy VA concentration requirement for drawing. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or were unable to pre-register should attend the first meeting.
VISA 1130. Drawing for Projection.
A studio course which will address the issues and techniques of drawing for motion, animation and/or projection. We will undertake one semester- long project undertaken with several short parallel works.
VISA 1140. Monumental Drawing.
Monumental Drawing is an immersive studio art course exploring expansive, experimental approaches to drawing. Large-scale, ambitious projects will engage risk-taking and developing meaning through intensive studio work. Contemporary drawing has become a powerful medium in its own right. From process and experiential beginnings to site-specific and conceptual directions, artists have pushed the medium with ideas and projects that challenge any restrictive definition of the medium. Through innovations in concept, materials, form and location, there are limitless ways of approaching the making of and defining what a drawing can be. Studio projects assigned will explore and expand upon these ideas.
VISA 1210A. Big Woodcut.
This class will work both in black and white, as well as in color, using a reduction process. The emphasis will be on printing on a large scale, using various types of paper. Much independent work will be required, along with participation in classroom discussions and critiques. Lottery for spaces reserved for nonconcentrators. Prerequisite: VISA 0100.
VISA 1210B. Etching.
Covers all aspects of black and white etching, using zinc plates. Combines an emphasis on traditional skills and craft with a critical and theoretical approach to images. Extensive outside work required. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110.
VISA 1210C. Investigating Collage.
This course will be an artistic and intellectual investigation of 2 dimensional collage, which is the juxtaposition or arrangement of multiple images or parts of images to create fresh meanings and narratives. We will be working mostly with scissors, paper, printing, painting, and glue, supplemented with slides and reading. Use of the computer to complete some assignments will be optional. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110.
VISA 1210D. Lithography.
Lithography is the most versatile printmaking process. Working on limestone and aluminum plates, students will learn to produce, process and print their work in black and white. Class participation is vital, as students will be aiding each other in this complicated process. This course requires considerable time outside of class. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110.
This course restricted to 17 VA or Art Semiotic Concentrators, and others by permission of the instructor. 10 seats will be available during pre-registration.
Students who are unable to pre-register should attend the first class.
VISA 1210E. Printmaking.
This course covers a range of traditional and digital printmaking processes. The course will explore how traditional and digital techniques can be used together and how they may interact with and influence one another. Work will be in both black and white and color. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110.
VISA 1210G. Silkscreen.
This course will provide students with a thorough knowledge of both water-based screen printing techniques and digital imaging. The intersection of digital printing processes and screen printing within the context of contemporary works on paper will be explored through a series of experimental mixed-media projects. Work will be in both black and white and color. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110. This course restricted to 17 students. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or were unable to pre-register should attend the first class.
VISA 1210I. Woodcut.
Woodcut, the simplest printmaking method, has been used as a communication device for more than a thousand years. Students will work in both black and white and color to address contemporary issues. The history and aesthetics of the political poster will provide the foundational knowledge for the class. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110. Enrollment limited to 17. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or who were unable to pre-register should attend the first class.
VISA 1210J. Making Monotypes: Ideas Through Printed Variation.
The aim of the course is to understand the variability, sequencing potential and the inherent luminosity of the monotype medium and to use these attributes to discover and advance one's own visual ideas. Monotype refers to the making of a single unique print through press and non-press means. Several rapid projects with themes will precede a longer series culminating in a final epic portfolio of independent content. Individual, peer, and small and large group critiques will occur weekly for feedback. Readings and visits to the Bell Gallery and the RISD Museum of Art collections will give both a historical context and a singular appreciation to the studio.
VISA 1210K. Digital Printmaking.
This studio art course investigates possibilities for using the computer along w/traditional painting and printmaking processes to produce image-based intermedial work. We will explore how computers and computer networks have changed the creation, content, form, distribution, and exhibition of artwork through a series of assignments, readings, discussions, and slide lectures, and how computers and digital media can intersect with a traditional studio practice. Students will produce a portfolio of mixed-media work. Photoshop, Illustrator, the internet, and digital printers, along with traditional painting, drawing, and printing mediums will be used as tools for art-making.
VISA 1240. Art of the Book.
Will examine the book, structurally and conceptually, as artist's medium. Students will learn the materials, tools and techniques of making books, as they explore the expressive and narrative possibilities of the book form. Topics and projects may include digital imaging, combining text and image, traditional binding or digital publishing. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or were unable to pre-register should attend the first meeting.
VISA 1250. Art of the Book.
We will examine the artist’s book from the printer/publisher perspective. Students will learn the basics of book design, traditional typography & letterpress printing. Students will consider the book and its related printed matter in service of its content. The course will be run as a fine press publishing house. Students will produce individual and group projects, including bookplates, broadsides, and books. Studio work will be augmented with field trips, artist visits, and guided exploration of the special collections at the John Hay Library. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or were unable to pre-register should attend the first meeting.
VISA 1310. Painting: Beginning to Intermediate.
Painting for a variety of interests and aptitudes - basic instruction in media and painting procedure, emphasis on development of the image as a visual statement. Will build stretchers, cover basic color principles, and painting techniques. Images, related books, and articles are discussed. Individual criticism is given; participation in group discussions is required. Students not admitted during pre-registration should attend the first class.
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VISA 1320. Painting II.
The advanced class covers information beyond the introductory level. Individual criticism is emphasized. Students are required to complete all structured assignments and to participate in regularly scheduled discussions. Prerequisite: VISA 0100 or VISA 0110, and VISA 1310. This course will be restricted to 18 VISA Concentrators and others by permission of the instructor. 10 seats will be available during pre-registration. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or were unable to pre-register are advised to attend the first meeting of the class.
VISA 1330. Drawing with Watercolor.
This course will be a rigorous examination of the possibilities of drawing with watercolor. We will do a lot of work outside and there will be an emphasis on unorthodox use of the watercolor medium. Because the basis of watercolor is sound drawing, there will be considerable instruction and practice in drawing fundamentals such as perspective, value, composition, scale, rendering, etc. Recommended prequisite: VISA 0100, 0110, or comparable foundation level course is expected, or by permission.
VISA 1410. Sculpture: Material Investigations.
This studio course addresses basic sculptural methods, i.e., additive + subtractive modeling, casting, and assemblage, and common sculptural materials, i.e., wood, metal, plaster, and found objects. Demos + workshops on a number of sculptural tools and materials form the foundation for this studio. Students develop sculptural solutions to a given set of problems. Contemporary issues raised in critiques and readings. Extensive outside work is expected. Students who are not admitted during pre-registration or were unable to pre-register should attend the first meeting of the class.
VISA 1420. Sculpture II: Conceptual Propositions.
This studio course explores a number of contemporary sculptural theories and practices. Contemporary issues raised in critiques and readings. Completion of VISA 1410 is suggested, but not required. Demos and workshops on a number of tools and materials will be given as needed. Students may take this course more than once, as the problems can be customized for those with more experience. Extensive outside work expected. Please attend first day of class.
VISA 1430. Elm Tree Project.
This is an intensive studio course requiring a considerable out of class time commitment.
VISA 1510. Black and White Photography.
This course offers introduction to traditional black and white 35mm darkroom techniques, including processing film, silver gelatin printing and related techniques. While the class is primarily a studio course, it will be supplemented by weekly slide presentations and discussions of assigned readings. Slide presentations will focus on individual photographers in the history of the medium. Topics of discussion will include photographic genres, the photo essay, editing and sequencing a body of work, personal visions, social and political context, documentary versus art photography. Students may check out 35 mm film camera from the Dept.
VISA 1520. Digital Photography.
Over 1.8 billion photographs are uploaded to the Internet each day. Since everyone’s a 'photographer', what type are you? While we constantly produce images for ourselves and others in private and public, this course will ask students to critically rethink this tool. Image-making, from “capture” to “color-correction” and beyond will be consciously addressed, as we approach photography from the perspective of contemporary art practice and produce a final portfolio of prints. Class will be discussion, slideshow, studio and critique. Prior experience in photography preferred not required. A digital SLR type camera may be checked out from the Department.
VISA 1700D. Reframing Documentary Production: Concepts and Questions (MCM 1700D).
Interested students must register for MCM 1700D.
VISA 1700N. Open Source Culture (MCM 1700N).
Interested students must register for MCM 1700N.
VISA 1700P. Radical Media (MCM 1700P).
Interested students must register for MCM 1700P.
VISA 1700R. The Art of Curating (MCM 1700R).
Interested students must register for MCM 1700R.
VISA 1700S. Narrative and Immersion (MCM 1700S).
Interested students must register for MCM 1700S.
VISA 1710. Site and Sound.
This studio course provides an overview of contemporary sound art, facilitates the development of site-based sonic artwork, and encourages a critical approach to sound and audio practice. Work will be developed for and from specific sites with special emphasis placed on modes of listening and the physical characteristics of sound itself. Examples of site-specific sound work in a variety of formats including performance, installation, sculpture, literature, and radio are presented and analyzed.
VISA 1720. Physical Computing.
This studio course is an intensive introduction to electronic devices for use in artmaking and includes hands-on experience working with sensors, motors, switches, gears, lights, simple circuits, microprocessors and hardware-store devices to create kinetic and interactive works of art. Demonstrations, lectures and critical discussion of work will be given to develop concepts and technical skills. Demonstrations, lectures and critical discussion of work will be given to develop concepts and technical skills.
VISA 1730. Exploration in Video Art.
This studio course provides an overview of contemporary video art and video installation practices, facilitates the development of video work in expanded space, and encourages a critical approach to interactive moving image practice. Students will develop a set of video installation pieces for particular spaces and situations beyond the standard single-screen video format. Basic video production and post-production techniques will be covered and complimented by readings and screenings.
VISA 1740. Time Deformations.
This studio course explores modes of electronic media by focusing on time as a primary material. Students will develop projects for specific sites and situations in response to assigned topics individually and in groups. Selected works in video, sound, performance, and online media that make innovative use of temporal strategies will be examined. Production work will be complimented by technical lectures, readings and discussions, and screenings.
VISA 1800A. Accessorizing Painting: The Exalted Surface.
This studio course will examine the crossover between decorative arts and painting. Drawing upon sources such as fashion, textiles, adornments, jewelry, furniture, hair and architecture we will study how design aesthetics demonstrate class, position, lineage or a particular period in the history of painting and embellishment. Students will be encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of media and work on projects based on their selected researched subject areas. Enrollment limited to 14 Visual Art concentrators. Prerequisite: VISA 1310.
VISA 1800B. Elm Tree Project: Site and Material.
No description available.
VISA 1800C. Honors Seminar.
Required for students who have been accepted as candidates for honors. The seminar meets weekly to discuss readings and for group critiques. Includes group trips to New York and Boston, to visit galleries, museums, and artists' studios. Instructor permission required. Must be accepted into Honors Program. WRIT
VISA 1800D. Inside Out: Queering Art Theory and Practice.
An exploration of "queer" work explored through readings, slides, videos, and studio projects. Discussion of foundational texts of queer theory and how they have influenced art of the last decade. Requires serious commitment to both intellectual work and studio practice.
VISA 1800E. Installation of Mixed Media.
No description available.
VISA 1800F. Interactivity and the Intersections of Virtual and Physical Space.
A multidisciplinary study of interactivity and production and installation of interactive sculpture. Students revisit methods in drawing, painting, sculpture; consult research studies in the psychology of interactive tasks; and survey theoretical discussion in New Media. These principles are directly applied to produce artwork that merges, or hybridizes, virtual and physical space. Applications required.
VISA 1800G. Junior/Senior Seminar in Visual Art.
In this seminar we will seek to identify and analyze various visual-rhetorical operations evident within contemporary art practice. Students will be introduced to a number of terms and operations within linguistic rhetoric, and then examine how they can be mapped to correlates within the field of visual art. Students will be required to read various articles in preparation for each class, followed by open discussions. Students will be selected to lead discussions. There will be short writing assignments, and as a final qualifying project, students will create a series of artworks (in the medium of their choice). Jr/Sr VA Concentrators.
VISA 1800H. Negotiating the Everday.
This seminar contains three chapters; maps, public art and the art of everyday. Through these three lenses we will investigate the ways in which art has tried to negotiate and respond to the everyday world. Each section will involveboth reading/discussion production and critiques.
VISA 1800I. Painting III.
No description available.
VISA 1800K. Microscopy in the Visual Arts.
VISA 1800L. Hybrid Art: Bricolage.
The theme of the course is bricolage; a process which develops novel solutions to problems by making use of previously unrelated knowledge, ideas and objects.
We will utilize low tech materials on mid to large-scale three-dimensional work and will foster multidisciplinary studio practice. Students will be encouraged to take risks,cultivate new ideas and expand their creative process. Students must be highly motivated and committed to extensive work outside od class. Preference will be given to students with prior experience in sculpture.
First class List Art, Rm. 323 All other classes at the Tockwotton Studio
Monday Wednesday 1:00 -4:50 PM
VISA 1800M. Sound and Art.
This course will explore sound art as a multidimensional medium situated between physical, psychological and cultural spaces. Students will gain an introduction to the practical, technical and historical aspects of sound art through studio work and will learn about and apply concept development ans installation strategies.
VISA 1800N. Video Production.
VISA 1800O. Drawing with Watercolor.
This course will be a rigorous examination of the possibilities of drawing with watercolor. We will do a lot of work outside and there will be an emphasis on unorthodox use of the watercolor medium. Because the basis of watercolor is sound drawing, there will be considerable instruction and practice in drawing fundamentals such as perspective, value, composition, scale, rendering, etc. Recommended prequisite: VISA 0100, 0110, or comparable foundation level course is expected.
VISA 1800P. Art/Work: Professional Practice for Visual Artists.
Visual artists don't have agents or managers--you have to do it all yourself. This class covers business basics including tracking inventory and preparing invoices; taking legal precautions like registering a copyright and drafting consignment forms; using promotional tools; and making decisions such as choosing the right venue for your work. Grants, residencies, and relationships with galleries & nonprofit institutions will be discussed in depth. Work will emphasize community the practical, skills to thrive as a visual artist. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors in Visual Art. WRIT
VISA 1800Q. Experimental Musical Instrument Design.
Will explore experimental musical instrument design, and by extension, experimental musical composition and performance. Students will develop an understanding of the science and art of instrument design through readings, listening exercises, and workshops. Concurrently, students will learn how to conceptualize, design, and fabricate their own experimental instruments using a variety of hand and machine tools. Percussive, stringed, and wind instruments will all be considered. Additionally, a select number of electronic devices and digital processing techniques will also be introduced. Individual and group musical compositions will be developed over the course of the semester, and performed in midterm and final concerts. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructor permission required.
VISA 1800R. Sonic Psychogeography (MUSC 1240A).
Interested students must register for MUSC 1240A.
VISA 1800U. The Art and Science of Visual Perception.
This course will explore the connections between the science of visual perception and art and design. A variety of visual systems will be studied, including those beyond human perception. Pivotal visual issues in nature and design such as coloration, contrast, patterning, and the role of edges in nature and design will be central to our work. Through a combination of lectures, visiting artists and scientists, hands-on design assignments and scientific experiments, the class will explore connections between camouflage and signaling communication in the animal world and their adaptive use as shared principles in art, advertising, logos and symbols. The class will pay particular attention to the physics of light, and its effect on visual perception and visual illusion. Enrollment limited to 12.
VISA 1910. Individual Study Project in the Practice of Art.
Work on an approved project leading to the presentation of a portfolio, under supervision of an individual member of the staff. Project proposals must be filed with the department no later than the first week of the semester. Section numbers vary by instructor.
VISA 1990. Honors.
Section numbers vary by instructor.
VISA 2450. Exchange Scholar Program.
VISA XLIST. Courses of Interest to Visual Arts Concentrators.
Leslie A. Bostrom
Professor of Visual Art
Professor of Visual Art
Walter S. Feldman
John Hay Professor Emeritus of Bibliography and Professor Emeritus of Visual Art
Professor of Visual Art
Paul T. Myoda
Associate Professor of Visual Art
Associate Professor of Visual Art
Associate Professor of Visual Art
Theresa Claire Ganz
Assistant Professor of Visual Art
The Visual Art concentration engages in artistic practice across a wide range of media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, and digital imaging. Courses in art history combine with these to frame the direction of the concentrator's work and to develop his or her critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to cultivate an informed and thoughtful individual perspective. Students in the Visual Arts department enjoy cutting-edge facilities and a knowledgeable faculty. These two resources inspire creativity and pleasure in our concentrators while they explore the discipline. Students acquire the intellectual and practical tools to make art as well as to interpret and critique the world of images. Students also have the opportunity to take courses at the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design. All Visual Art (VISA) courses are graded S/NC.
Concentration Program Requirements
|VISA 0100||Studio Foundation (Prerequisite for all upper-level studio courses)||1|
|2 of the following 4 discipline-based foundation courses are required.||2|
|Foundation Media: Sound and Image (This course is a prerequisite for upper-level Media courses such as New Genre and Video Art)|
|Digital 2D Foundation|
|5 additional studio courses are required. A minimum of three elective studio courses must be taken in the Brown Visual Art Department||5|
|3 HIAA courses are required:|
|HIAA 0010||A Global History of Art and Architecture||1|
|1 course covering Modern or Contemporary Art History such as those listed below||1|
|Art After ‘68|
or HIAA 0810
|20th Century Sculpture|
or HIAA 0870
|20th Century British Art: Edwardian to Contemporary|
|One additional History of Art and Architecture course.||1|
|Senior Thesis Exhibition: which does not carry academic credit, is required for graduation (usually presented during the seventh or eighth semester).|
The project is a two-semester enterprise and counts as two courses taken for graduation credit VISA 1800C (Sem I) and VISA 1990 (Sem II) but will not count as two of the eleven courses needed for the visual art concentration. Students that are planning to complete their degree requirements in December must apply for honors by December 5 of the previous year.