Visual Arts

The Art History Department offers a major with a Concentration in the Visual Arts.   Here, students have the option of doing a studio thesis instead of a written one.  Visual Arts Concentrators work closely with faculty advisors who assists them in planning a program incorporating personal interests while meeting departmental requirements.

Requirements for the Major in Art History with a Visual Arts Concentration

A minimum of 12 courses:

1. BC1001 and 1002 Introduction to Art History. This two-course sequence is required.

2. Art History: BC3031 Imagery and Form in the Arts. To be taken in the spring semester during the junior or senior year.

3. Studio courses: BC3530 Advanced Studio AND BC3999 Senior Independent Project
(to be taken in the Senior year) 
Students produce their senior thesis projects in conjunction with the Advance Studio BC3530 (fall) and Independent Projects BC 3999  (spring) courses.  (Please see description of the senior thesis below). You will develop, research, and create your thesis project in consultation with faculty members and peers in the Visual Arts Concentration. You will also attend and participate in group critiques, and guest artist lectures scheduled during the academic year. You will present your visual art project in two group senior exhibitions scheduled at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters of the senior year.

4.  One Seminar Courses in Art History (may also be counted toward the historical and regional distribution requirement.)

5.  One 19th or 20th century elective courses, in Art History.

6. Two elective courses in Art History

7. Three elective courses in Visual Arts-Studio

*Courses in film are accepted toward the major requirements. 

*Studio courses cannot exceed 30 points of credits.

SENIOR THESIS PROJECT FOR VISUAL ARTS CONCENTRATORS

Description: The Senior Project in the Art History Visual Arts Concentration is scheduled in the last year of the major.  By that time you will have taken Imagery and Form BC 3031 and a variety of Art History and Studio courses, which may help form your approach to your thesis project.

BC3530 Advanced Studio AND BC3999 Senior Independent Project provides a two-semester framework in which to complete a senior project. Your Senior Project should be a cohesive body of work based on original concepts and executed with some technical proficiency.  A paper approximately seven to ten page in length will accompany your Senior Project outlining your artistic goals.  This paper will serve as an artist’s statement and should describe what your work would mean to viewers as well situate your work vis-a-vis artistic precedents.

You also will take part in a senior thesis exhibition, which will be accompanied by a catalog. Here, you will be responsible for both installing your work and for taking it down at the end of the show.

Grades: Two grades will be awarded in connection with your work on the Senior Project.  One will evaluate the way in which you have fulfilled the course requirements, that is, the regularity of your meetings and the effort you have made in completing your thesis.  This grade will be a letter grade.  The second grade will be awarded on the basis of the evaluation of the Senior Project itself.  This evaluation will consider whether or not the aims of the project were met: a pass with distinction, a pass or a fail.

OPTION FOR VISUAL ARTS CONCENTRATORS - WRITTEN SENIOR THESIS:

Art History Majors concentrating in Visual Arts may chose to do a written Art History Senior Thesis instead of the Visual Arts Senior Project. To do this they must: Notify their adviser of their intention to do so by the end of their junior year with permission from both the Visual Arts Director and Art History chair. They must then take both Methods and Theories of Art History (BC3970) & the written Art History senior research seminar (BC3959 and BC3960).  (These three courses required for the written thesis option replace the Visual Arts sequence, BC3031 Imagery and Form in the Arts and BC3530 Advanced Studio AND BC3999 Senior Independent Project.)

 BARNARD COLLEGE STUDIO COURSE OFFERINGS

Note: Barnard studio courses are limited to 15 students with instructor’s permission. Instructor decides the roster on the first day of class.   For further information please contact the Barnard Art History Department @ arthistory@barnard.edu

AHIS BC 2005x-BC2007x Painting I and III
This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making. Students acquire a working knowledge of concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor. Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments. Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production. - J. Snitzer 
3 points Course Limited to 15 Students. Permission of Instructor. Attend the first Class.

AHIS BC 2006y-BC2008y Painting II and IV
A continuation of painting I & III, open to all skill levels. Students will further develop techniques to communicate individual and collective ideas in painting. This course will focus on individual and collaborative projects designed to explore the fundamental principles of image making. Students acquire a working knowledge of traditional studio skills and related concepts in contemporary art through class critiques, discussion, and individual meetings with the professor. Reading materials will provide historical and philosophical background to the class assignments. Class projects will range from traditional to experimental and multi-media. Image collections will be discussed in class with an awareness of contemporary image production. - Joan Snitzer
3 points Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

AHIS BC2001 DRAWING STUDIO - Empirical Studies 
Drawing is a foundation for all other forms of visual art. This studio course is primarily a workshop augmented by home assignments, visiting artist lectures and museum/gallery visits. This class is open to all students from introductory to more advanced levels. The semester is divided into two sections: (1) Perspective and (2) The Body. Starting with perspective, the goal is to explore the history and contemporary importance of this form; then shift to the body, where the goal is to build a visual language that records the human form in space and in time. This course uses the practice of drawings as a tool to interrogate the meaning of observation in the practice of art. - Nicolas Guagnini (offered in the Fall semester)
3 points Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

AHIS BC 2012 DRAWING STUDIO: Extended Projects
This class will explore drawing as an open-ended way of working and thinking. The class is designed to expose students to the practice of drawing in our contemporary context. Though this is primarily a studio course, class critiques of student work are augmented by feedback from guest artists, lectures and museum/gallery trips. Throughout the semester, students will discuss their work one-on-one with the instructor and as a group. Starting with individual projects, we will investigate drawing as a practice involving diverse forms of visual culture and collaboration. - Nicolas Guangnini (offered in the Spring semester)
3 points Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

AHIS BC2015 SYNTHESIS: AN APPROACH TO MIXED MEDIA
Synthesis: the composition, combination or transformation of parts or elements to form a whole. This studio course will explore the unique position of combining various mediums and techniques in the visual arts platform.  What does it mean to use principles of drawing in the making of a photograph? Why explore sculptural forms through the materiality of painting? The course will look closely at a select group of contemporary artists who move fluidly through various forms and modes of working.  The course consists of the following key areas: material, form, concept, intersection and synthesis. Through out the studio course, students will address conceptual, formal and process-oriented issues related to working across mediums in the visual arts. - Leslie Hewitt  (offered in the Fall semester)
3 points Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

AHIS BC 2018 FREESTYLE AND DISPLACEMENT IN CONTEMPORARY ART PRACTICES 
"Freestyle," the important 2001exhibition held at the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, helped usher a generation of artists into public discourse and scrutiny. The exhibition highlighted a cacophony of influences, histories, and art tendencies. The wide array of artworks and approaches to art making that it put on display challenged the art world and questioned conventional thinking about art made by artists of color in the twenty-first century. Taking the "Freestyle" exhibition as a point of departure, this course will explore a series of questions including: How do the after-effects of displacement radically change an artist's way of making art? What kind of impact have contemporary notions of diaspora, migration and exile have on the new art practices? What insights do these new practices and the objects and performances that result from them produce? We will study the visual art practices related to this trajectory and the exhibitions that contextualize them. At the same time, the course will challenge students to experiment and construct artworks from their own subjectivities in ways that intersect with the questions and concepts that arise from the investigation. - Leslie Hewitt (offered in the Spring semester)  
4 points Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Please attend the first class.

AHIS BC3003 SUPERVISED PROJECTS IN PHOTOGRAPHY
This class is designed for students to conduct independent projects in photogray. Priority for enrollment to the class will be Barnard students who are enrolling in classes at ICP.  The cost of ICP will be covered by Barnard.  All of the other students enrolling in the course (CC, GS SOA) will be responsible for their own ICP course expenses. - John Miller
3 Points Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 15 students. General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

BC3530 ADVANCED STUDIO
An interpretive study of the theoretical and critical issues in visual art. Projects that are modeled after major movements in contemporary art will be executed in the studio. Each student develops an original body of artwork and participates in group discussions of the assigned readings.  - J. Snitzer
4 Points. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Permission of the instructor. General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART). COURSE ONLY OPEN TO SENIOR BARNARD ART HISTORY and VISUAL ARTS MAJORS AND IS A BARNARD VISUAL ARTS MAJORS REQUIREMENT.

AHIS BC3999 INDEPENDENT PROJECT
COURSE ONLY OPEN TO SENIOR BARNARD ART HISTORY and VISUAL ARTS MAJORS AND IS A BARNARD VISUAL ARTS MAJORS REQUIREMENT.
3 points Enrollment limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required. Attend the first day of class.

Columbia University Visual Arts Department

Joan Snitzer, Director of the Visual Arts Program, can be reached by email at jsnitzer@barnard.edu.