Studio Art

  • Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
  • Department Art and Art History
  • Academic Division The College
  • Offerings Studio Art minor

An instructor and student look at a piece of art An instructor and student look at a piece of art

Featured in the W&L curriculum for almost 60 years, the Studio Art program hosts a vibrant community of creators who specialize in the communication of ideas through visual forms.

Studio Art

While rigorous in design and implementation, the studio art curriculum has been crafted to work within the liberal arts tradition and students are encouraged—even advised—to bring to the creative process the ideas and concepts they have learned in classes offered by other departments across the W&L academic landscape.

A vigorous visiting artist program brings to campus contemporary artists who work closely with students, critique their work and provide special workshops for majors and non-majors alike. Some students take advantage of internship opportunities that connect them with internationally known artists. 

About the Program

The studio art major consists of 12 courses (36 credits) and encourages experience in design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Additionally, majors must take two courses in the history of art, one of which must focus on modern or contemporary art. Seniors must undertake and complete a specific thesis project, exhibited in Staniar Gallery at the end of Winter Term senior year. 

Students majoring in studio art often begin their academic experience by taking 100-level foundation courses in drawing and design. They then move on to introductory classes in sculpture, painting, printmaking and photography. Art history courses are often taken before the end of the junior year to help the studio major recognize—before they begin their thesis work—the trends and currents that have influenced their predecessors and contemporaries in the world of art.

Awards and Prizes
  • The Studio Art Thesis Award is awarded to a senior studio art major for outstanding work on their Senior Thesis Studio Project.
  • The Studio Art Prize is awarded to a senior studio art major for outstanding work done during their time in the Art Department.
  • The Class of 1964 Fine Arts Prize is awarded annually to a junior or senior whom the art faculty identifies as having done the most outstanding work in any area of the fine arts. This award is shared with the Music and Theater Departments.
  • The Sally Mann Prize for Photography is awarded annually to an exceptional photography student. This is also a purchase prize, used to acquire a piece of the student’s work created while at W&L. The piece becomes a part of the W&L art collection, and is permanently displayed in the photography area of Wilson Hall.
  • The E. Wright Ledbetter Endowment supports student travel and participation in the Society for Photography Education conference.
  • The Eileen Small Endowment for Printmaking supports summer opportunities and travel expenses to printmaking-affiliated conferences and exhibits.
  • Scholarships awarded annually to students to fund attendance to the Society for Photographic Education National Conference.

Andrea Lepage

Department Head

Caryl Bryant

Administrative Assistant

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Sample Courses

At W&L, we believe education and experience go hand-in-hand. You’ll be encouraged to dive in, explore and discover connections that will broaden your perspective.

ARTS 121

Light Studies and Optical Culture

Light and optics are the fundamental elements of photographic media and of contemporary media culture. This foundational course introduces students to the formal characteristics of light and lenses by surveying a variety of image-making practices, from primitive photographic devices to digital photography and video. Through a combination of classroom talks and hands-on projects, students encounter principles of black-and-white and color photography, as well as learning camera controls that open up a wide range of expressive possibilities.

ARTS 226

Introduction to the Book Arts

A creative exploration of the tradition of the handmade book. Students learn to make several styles of binding, including accordion books, pamphlets and Japanese bindings, developing some skill in letterpress printing, paper decorating and simple printmaking techniques to create original handmade books. Readings, discussions and slide lectures introduce students to the ingenious history of books and printing. Besides constructing imaginative, individual book art projects, students create one collaborative project. Lab fee required.

ARTS 232

Intermediate Sculpture

In Intermediate Sculpture: Extended Material Practice, students broaden their understanding of what sculpture can be through projects that materialize memory and imagine new futures. Emphasis is on studio projects in wood, metal, fabric and non-traditional materials, responding to the ways contemporary sculpture pushes at the edges of what defines it. The course compels students to add significant experience in materializing sculptural projects while deepening perceptions of their own practices.

ARTS 213

Drawing Italy

Living and drawing on site in Rome, Florence, Umbria and Tuscany, and with day trips to Pompeii, Assisi and other important art sites in Italy. Students explore Italy's vast artistic heritage within its cultural context, then apply this experience to their own art while working in the distinctive Mediterranean light. Media include pen and ink, pastel and acrylic.

ARTS 214

Drawing in Place

This drawing course is intended for intermediate drawing students. The goals of this intensive course are to practice drawing skills, learn about the tradition of art of place, and to produce a series of drawings based on a specific place. The first two weeks are spent brushing up on the basics of drawing while reading and discussing writings about place and site-oriented art. Image presentations and group discussion support the readings.

ARTS 221

Antique Photographic Processes

An exploration of 19th-century photographic processes within the context of the history of photography. Individual processes are learned through studio demonstration and intensive hands-on lab sessions. Processes covered in this course include salt printing, cyanotype, Van Dyke, kallitype, and platinum and palladium printing and toning, as well as wet plate collodion processes such as tintypes and ambrotypes. Students learn how to make enlarged digital negatives for contact printing from photographs that originate in either film or digital formats. In addition to technique, students learn the historical background of each process, as well as contemporary trends and artists working with these methods.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Andrea Lepage
Andrea Lepage

Andrea Lepage

Pamela H. Simpson Professor of Art History and Department Head

Andrea Lepage offers classes in the following areas: contemporary Chicana/o and U.S. Latina/o art, modern and colonial Latin American art, arts of Mesoamerica and the Andes, and Early Modern European art (Italian, Spanish, Dutch).

Clover Archer
Clover Archer

Clover Archer

Instructor of Art and Art History, Staniar Gallery Director

Archer teaches photography, arts management, as well as a studio seminar in the Department of Art and Art History. In addition to teaching classes, she is the Director of the Staniar Gallery and oversees the Staniar Gallery Internship.

Website

Leigh Ann Beavers

Leigh Ann Beavers

Instructor of Art

Beavers teaches courses in drawing, creating comics, printmaking and studio projects.

Christa Bowden
Christa Bowden

Christa Bowden

Professor of Art

Bowden started W&L’s photography program and teaches a variety of courses in the subject. She recently taught a class called Paris: History, Image, Myth, which featured a Spring Term in Paris.

Sandy de Lissovoy
Sandy de Lissovoy

Sandy de Lissovoy

Assistant Professor of Art

Professor de Lissovoy teaches courses in sculpture and design.

Kathleen Olson-Janjic
Kathleen Olson-Janjic

Kathleen Olson-Janjic

Emeritus Professor of Art

Emma Steinkraus
Emma Steinkraus

Emma Steinkraus

Assistant Professor of Art

Clover Archer
Christa Bowden
Sandy de Lissovoy
Kathleen Olson-Janjic
Emma Steinkraus
Andrea Lepage