Sep 24, 2020  
2011-2012 University Catalogue 
2011-2012 University Catalogue [Archived Catalogue]

Crafts - Bachelor of Fine Arts

Rod McCormick

Program Total Credits: 123

It is the mission of the Crafts program to produce craft artists (ceramics, fibers, jewelry/metals, wood, glass, and mixed media) who have sufficient conceptual knowledge and technical skills to realize their professional goals. Our goal is to educate artists who are articulate, knowledgeable about the field, self-directed and self-motivated. We want to help our students to be aware and curious, thoughtful and introspective, energetic and involved. Central to our Crafts program, and unique both in this country and internationally, the Projects series of required courses provides a common core experience to all craft majors. The course work is concept-driven, and balances the one-on-one exchange of information with interdisciplinary group learning. While students seek answers to assigned problems within the confines of their chosen materials, they also gain insight into the problem-solving approaches inherent in different media, and develop crucial skills in critique analysis, and perceptive appraisal. Other courses cover a mix of technical and conceptual material. For the balance of required major credits, students choose from a menu of modular media-specific courses. While specialization in a single medium is still the norm, this approach allows for mixed-media experimentation and the cross-pollination of ideas between disciplines.

In the Sophomore and Junior years, students make artwork in response to assignments.  Designed to cover key concepts, provide a sense of historical context, address contemporary issues, give the students familiarity with external reality, and help the student to define and focus their individual interests. Assignments are introduced with lectures and demonstrations, and often include a research component. Critique is an important component in which students learn to evaluate and discuss both their own work and the work of other colleagues and peers. Assignments also often include a public speaking component in which students make individual presentations before their faculty and peers.

In the Senior year, students define their project for the year, and produce a cohesive body of work that is installed in an end-of-year group exhibition. Lectures and assignments cover professional practices-resume, artist’s statement, grant writing, portfolio, and self-promotion.

Program Goals:

  • To strive for artistic excellence-to produce Craft artists who will go on to have an impact on the Craft field. Graduates will acquire both conceptual skills and technical skills, and have a considerable understanding of contemporary craft and art issues. This may be measured by looking at both student and alumni achievement. Student achievements include awards and honors in both University and national competitions, Fulbright and other fellowships, acceptance into graduate school, etc.

A. Conceptual Skills

B. Technical Skills

C. (Craft) History

D. Contemporary issues

E. Critical Thinking/Creative thinking

F. Oral and written skills

G. Research

  • To produce students who have an appropriate level of professional skills. Craft students must have produced or acquired photographic documentation of their portfolio, and produced written materials including artist’s statement and resume, and have an understanding of self-promotion practices (website, blogs, etc.). By the end of Senior year, students will have also written and submitted grant proposals and/or fellowship applications. The student must be able to install or display their work in a professional manner for shows, juries and exhibitions.

A. Portfolio documentation

B. Statement and resume

C. Professional opportunities (grants, residencies, etc.)

D. Business skills

  • To produce graduates who are independent thinkers and creative problem-solvers. For students, these qualities should be observable in student work that is original, personal and innovative. These desired qualities are also important for entering the profession. Ideally, the student is self-confident and able to take risks. Students should know their career goal and know how to begin to achieve those goals. At the same time, they should be adaptable-able to adjust goals when necessary to reinvent themselves and move forward. They should be able to identify both external opportunities and self-created opportunities. For Alumni, these qualities are observable in the level and variety of alumni achievements.

A. Independent thinking

B. Problem solving

C. Risk taking

D. Self structure of:

Career goals

Creative goals/studio practice

E. Research

Core Studio Projects Courses

Each semester all Crafts students take Projects, a core studio course. These courses provide aesthetic structure and involve discussion and investigation of broader Crafts issues, with critiques of the student’s work. Students then have the freedom to choose from a variety of technique-based courses, which aid in developing that aesthetic. Emphasis is placed on the interdependency of all the arts, with particular attention given to the unique contribution of Crafts ideology and practice. As a corequisite for Projects, each student must be enrolled in at least one core media-specific course in a major area of concentration: ceramics, fibers, jewelry, metalsmithing, and wood/furniture. These corequisites must be at the appropriate 200 or 300 level. Glass is currently offered as a department elective.

Single Medium Concentration

Students who know the specific medium on which they want to concentrate from Sophomore through Senior year, must take one three-credit, media-specific course in that concentration each semester of the three-year journey through the department. Four media-specific courses must be at the advanced level.

Dual Concentration

It is possible to have a dual concentration within the Crafts Department. Students entering the Sophomore year with an interest in two distinct media should take the 200-level prerequisites of each course early in the Sophomore and Junior years, followed by advanced level courses in the same two media during the Junior and Senior years. Two three-credit courses at the advanced level in each concentration will fulfill the 12-credit advanced-level requirement.

Multiple Media Concentration

It is possible to take courses during the Sophomore and Junior years in three or more media. However, this will require the greatest vigilance on the part of the student to meet all the requirements for graduation. Having sampled an array of introductory courses, the student must then take an additional introductory course in at least one medium in order to proceed to the advanced level. To meet the advanced level requirement as a multiple media student, it will be necessary to take all 12 advanced credits in one medium, or use studio elective credits to take advanced-level courses in additional media.

Freshmen Year Foundation Credits: 33

All Freshman students (and transfer students who lack sufficient background in the visual arts and design) enter the 18-credit Foundation core program that includes courses in drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, and time-motion studies. The Foundation program introduces the basic language and processes of the visual arts and prepares the students for entry into a major department. Through Freshman elective course offerings, students are introduced to major course options and opportunities offered by the College of Art, Media, and Design.

Sophomore Year Credits: 30

Fall Credits: 15

Spring Credits: 15

Junior Year Credits: 30

Fall Credits: 15

Spring Credits: 15

Senior Year Credits: 30

Fall Credits: 15

Spring Credits: 15

Core Media-specific Course Offerings:


Electives must include at least 9 studio credits outside of the Crafts offerings.

Additional Media-specific Course Offerings