The Foundation Studies Program comprises a series of sequential courses taken by all B.F.A. in Art and B.A. in Art degree-seeking students. These courses occur during the first two consecutive semesters of a student’s first year within the Fine Arts Department at Winthrop University. Concepts contained in these courses serve to educate the beginning student on broad issues concerning art and art history in order to adequately prepare them for their area of specialization.
Foundation courses in Drawing, Two-Dimensional Design and Three-Dimensional Design make up the ‘core courses’ in Foundations Studio. The Foundation year also includes Art History surveys and Introduction to Fine Arts. Students may exempt some 100 level studio courses upon production of a portfolio, which is juried by the Fine Arts Faculty.
During the Foundation year, students are given the opportunity to work with a wide variety of media. Drawing classes focus on observational drawing and include the study of both linear and atmospheric perspective. Graphite, charcoal, ink, color pencil and pastel are typically used in a variety of approaches and techniques including gesture, contour, tonal rendering and geometric or planar analysis. Two-dimensional design classes focus on the composition of the picture plane. Media such as ink, paint, marker, color pencil and collage are used with an emphasis on process, visual research and craftsmanship. In three-dimensional design, students explore spatial concepts in a variety of media including wood, paper, cardboard, wire, clay and mixed-media. A focus on both creative problem-solving and craftsmanship is emphasized. Extensive study of the Elements and Principles of Design is undertaken in all subjects in order to produce unified and effective composition.
In addition, the Foundation Studies Program, as part of a professional degree program within a Liberal Arts University, reflects the core ideology of a sound Liberal Arts Education through exposure to a breadth of art concepts and experiences related to interdisciplinary issues.
By providing a common experience, the Foundation Studies Program also educates the student in numerous other, less obvious yet vital ways, such as problem-solving, time management, the discovery and growth of one’s aptitudes and skills, redirecting one’s mistakes into accomplishing a successful outcome, and staying on task.
Fine Arts Courses in the Freshman Foundation Year:
- Two-Dimensional Design 1 ARTS 101
- Three-Dimensional Design 1 ARTS 102
- Drawing 1 ARTS 120
- Introduction to Fine Arts ARTT 112
- Media Studies (3-D ARTS 204; Photo ARTS 205 or 2-D ARTS 206)
- Computer Imaging in Design ARTS 281
- Drawing II ARTS 220
- Introduction to Art History from the Prehistoric to the Middle Ages ARTH 175
- Introduction to Fine Arts Portfolio ARTT 113
- Foundation Porfolio Review ARTT 200
- Media Studies (2nd Media Studies Required)
- Introduction to Art History from the Renaissance to the Present ARTH 176
- Digital Photography ARTS 364
- Foundation Portfolio Review
The Freshman Foundation Portfolio Review serves to assess the individual student artist’s progress in learning the basic elements and principles associated with art and design. The review goes beyond course evaluation to consider overall skill and concept development within the three areas of Foundation studies:
- Three-Dimensional Design and Media Studies or
- Two-Dimensional Design and Media Studies or
- Photo Media Studies
- Computer Imagining
- Written Self-Assessment
In addition, it seeks to determine the student’s level of self-motivation and initiative, as well as his/her growing abilities to sustain creative effort and visual inquiry. As such, the review is a vital opportunity for students to demonstrate their potential to move into Specialization areas. The Freshman Foundation Review typically takes place during the last month of the spring semester.