The Department of Art and Art History offers the Major in Art, B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) with two options of study: the Art Education concentration, and Studio concentrations. Both are considered professional degrees.
The Major in Art, B.F.A., Art Education concentration, embraces the artist-teacher concept, allowing students to develop a strong studio practice and take coursework to prepare to teach art at the K-12 level. Students engage in philosophical and theoretical studies, contemporary pedagogical practices, and arts-based research to prepare for the complexities of the K-12 art studio. Student teaching, field work, and service learning is expected and prepares students to enter a career as an art educator.
The Major in Art, B.F.A., Studio concentrations, is a professional degree for the studio art major. With 10 studio concentrations to choose from, students explore various mediums and gain a foundational knowledge base in art history. Students have opportunities to learn from master artists and study art throughout the ages, delve into different forms of expression, and investigate their impact on society. Students encounter diverse studio environments designed to provide depth and breadth of knowledge, immersive experiences, and mastery of processes necessary to communicate meaning in art. Choices for studio concentrations are in Drawing, Electronic Arts, Fibers, Graphic Design, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photo Image Making, Pottery, Printmaking, and Sculpture.
The curriculum progression in the department for the B.F.A. is similar within the concentrations and some concentrations may have restrictions. First-year students complete Foundations courses in form and observation, time and structure, color and composition, materials and space, and global art history. Sophomores explore various concentration courses and become familiar with studio practices for the concentration studios housed in dedicated classrooms that feature large, well-equipped studio spaces designed for exploration. Juniors and seniors focus on advanced topics in their chosen concentration by taking one upper-division course in their chosen field each semester. Additionally, at this level art education students are engaged in pedagogical course work.
Students will demonstrate:
- Fundamental knowledge and mastery of media and processes necessary to communicate meaning in a work of art.
- Ability to communicate clearly about their own art and the art of others in terms of both content and visual form.
- Knowledge about contemporary art and the motivation to view and discuss current local, regional, and national exhibitions.
In addition to the outcomes above, students with an Art Education concentration will be able to:
- Integrate literacy, numeracy, and other skill-building aptitudes while providing appropriate accommodation and differentiation strategies in the art experiences they develop for their students.
- Effectively document, analyze, and reflect on student learning and make appropriate changes for more effective instruction.
- Demonstrate proficiency in all areas of the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards.
Students with a B.F.A. in Art possess a number of transferable skills in communication, analysis, and critical thinking that are appropriate for work in traditional business as well as positions in academia and roles as freelance artists, graphic designers, art educators, art historians, studio fine artists and as “creatives” in government, industry, and non-profits. Employers appreciate art majors for their diverse skills and their ability to adapt to a variety of tasks and work environments. Participation in internships, cooperative education, service learning, and education abroad opportunities is highly recommended to enhance practical training and development. Graduates who go on for advanced studies can attain positions involving greater responsibilities with the possibility of rising to top professional levels. Depending on student interests, the electives taken, or the concentration selected, available career choices include, but are not limited to: art appraiser, art director, art therapist, exhibit designer, art critic, jeweler, gallery director, graphic design artist, free lance artist, sculptor, woodworker, welder, foundry worker, studio photographer, technical illustrator, painter, textile designer, weaver, art educator, art curator, art librarian, art museum educator, web page designer, photo lab technician, art restorer, and master printer, among many others.