This is a transcript of the audio found in our Preview video, which is an introduction to the School's undergraduate programs.
Slide 1 (0:00)
Hello! Welcome to the School of Art + Art History + Design* Preview session.
Slide 2 (0:12)
My name is Katie Twiss. I’m the program coordinator here at the School, and I support our academic advising staff. Thanks for joining us for the virtual information session. If you have any questions after the session, we’ll be happy to answer via email. We’ll put that email up on the screen, and it will also be available on our website.
Slide 3 (0:30)
So, at this Preview session, we’d like to give you a look into each of the divisions within our School and talk a little bit about where those paths might take you. We’ll also talk about the School’s scholarship opportunities, classroom to career programming, study abroad programs, and professional development opportunities.
Slide 4 (0:48)
The first division I’d like to talk about is Art. In working towards the BA in Art, students can choose a concentration from four areas: 3D4M: ceramics, glass, and sculpture, Painting + Drawing, Photo/Media, or Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, also known as IVA.
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Our Art majors get to learn from and work alongside faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized artists. Our faculty all maintain their own studio practices and are all active in creating and exhibiting their work. They’re also recognized for their excellence in teaching.
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The studio coursework in Art is experiential — meaning it’s hands on and participatory. It takes place in spaces that encourage artistic development, exploration, and collaboration.
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Class sizes run small, usually between 15 to 22 students.
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So students get to know their peers and instructors on a first name basis.
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Students interested in the Art major start off by choosing from a range of intro level studio classes across different mediums. This allows students to explore and find out what mediums and processes are exciting or interesting to them, which then lead to higher level studio classes. For example, a student who starts off in a 100-level drawing class will tackle things like line, perspective, composition — those kinds of fundamentals. From there they can choose to go into the Painting + Drawing concentration and take advanced classes at the 300- to 400-level and really deep dive into those painting studio classes.
Slide 10 (2:22)
Students who enter the Photo/Media concentration might start with an intro to photo class. They then would take higher level classes that teach students to engage with the medium beyond just technical instruction and challenge them to look at Photo/Media in more experiential ways — for example, in installation or large scale media.
Slide 11 (2:41)
Students interested in exploring 3D forms might start off with an intro to glass class, like the students pictured here learning lampworking. From there, they might continue into the 3D4M concentration and go into higher level classes in glass or expand into other sculptural mediums to supplement those foundational skills.
Slide 12 (3:01)
Concentrations provide students smaller communities for deeper creative investigation and specialization once they get into the junior and senior years. For example, this undergrad started off taking an intro to ceramics class and really enjoyed working with clay, so she chose 3D4M as her concentration. She spent her senior year developing large scale clay pieces that drew upon her own experience in the equestrian world.
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In all their studio courses, our Art majors have access to technology and equipment that help them meet their exploration of artistic and educational goals. For example, here you can see a few work spaces that accomodate things like welding…
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…or large scale woodworking.
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We’re really lucky to have a strong community within the School which is developed through various programming, small studios, and critique of each other's work, but we’re also lucky to be part of a large liberal arts college within the University. Studying Art at the UW gives students the opportunity to explore a range of issues and ideas outside of their Art coursework. Students might take what they learn in introduction to globalization class or an environmental ethics class and use that to inform what they’re doing in ceramics or printmaking or vice versa.
Slide 16 (4:14)
An essential component of an Art major’s education is sharing, discussing, and looking at artwork in a variety of spaces including the many galleries that we have on campus. Students regularly engage in critique during their time in the Art major, which gives them a framework for looking at art and how to talk about it. Not only does this happen in the studio, but students also have the chance to attend shows, pop ups, events, and lectures throughout the quarter where they can further learn to engage in those conversations.
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Many students wonder where art can take them, and the answer depends a lot on where you want to go and how you want to use your Art degree.
Slide 18 (4:55)
Our Art majors are given the tools to excel as creative problem solvers and outside-the-box thinkers. This means our alumni move into work in diverse and sometimes surprising fields. A few examples of what some recently graduated Art majors…
Slide 19 (5:09)
…are doing now: here on the left — after graduation, Grace was hired as an artist and educator in Amazon’s Expressions Labs. This is a creative space for Amazon employees to sort of try their hand at a couple different mediums. Grace facilitates printmaking workshops, ceramics projects, and more for Amazon staff, and she also gets to use the space for her own projects — so that’s pretty cool. Just moving through…
Slide 20 (5:33)
Again, here on the left is Nathan Jones, he earned his BA with a focus in Painting + Drawing, and he completed a series of animation classes from the Computer Science and Engineering department. After graduation Nathan did an internship with Nickelodeon, and that gave him the professional experience needed to take on some freelance projects, which then led to an awesome job at Dreamworks animation where he worked as a storyboard artist. So, you can kind of see, there’s a wide variety of paths that our majors can take, and it really depends on what they’re interested in.
Slide 21 (6:06)
The next division I’d like to talk about is Art History. Not only do our Art and Design majors take Art History in conjunction with their studio studies, but we also offer an Art History major and minor for students who are really interested in honing that kind of visual literacy and analysis.
Slide 22 (6:22)
Our Art History students learn to dissect the historical and cultural contexts of images and really deep dive into questions about those works — not just “who made it?” or “what material was used?”, but “what does this say about the culture that created it?” and “how does this image relate to the world we live in now?”
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Students start off taking intro level classes — so, large survey style — and from there they move into upper-division classes which focus on particular topics or periods and are generally smaller and allow for more classroom discussion. Our Art History faculty are teachers, researchers. and scholars, and they all bring their own area of expertise to the classroom.
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For example, we have instructors who work with material in arts of China and India…
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Native American art, particularly Native art of the Pacific Northwest…
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Italian Renaissance and Baroque…
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Early and Modern Art in Europe…
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And modern and contemporary art in a global context.
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Students taking Art History classes have the opportunity to experience images and objects in person. For example, here we see Professor Bunn-Marcuse handling a piece of Pacific Northwest Native American art. Professor Bunn-Marcuse is a faculty member and also the director of the Bill Holm Center at the Burke Museum where she curates Pacific Northwest art.
Slide 31 (7:44)
astly, we’ll go ahead and talk about Design. We offer three options of concentration for students pursuing the Bachelor of Design degree — those being, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Visual Communication Design.
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Just to give you a brief overview of those — Industrial Design students work with the corporate and institutional innovation sector to develop new technologies and services from a human-centered design perspective. Industrial Design students study function and form and the connections between product, user, and environment. For example, this is an image of a student project in Industrial Design where a student wanted to design a set of cookware with the ultimate goal of interlocking and compacting in the interest of space saving.
Slide 33 (8:28)
Visual Communication Design educates and trains designers for the communication needs of industry and society. These designers provide information and visual solutions to complex problems in contemporary culture. For example, this VCD project — a student made to relay facts and anecdotal research related to the Seattle housing crisis, so really combining a lot of different information streams and additional research and data.
Slide 34 (8:55)
Interaction Design educates students to understand the structure and behavior of interactive products and services. Interaction designers create compelling relationships and experiences between people and the interactive systems they use. For example, these images are from a project an IxD student created to address specific commuting needs that he had as a bus user. So, he was really working with a particular set of problems and then addressing those with design. If you’re interested in learning more about each of the Design concentrations, we really recommend folks take a look at the student work section of our website. There’s a lot of great examples of the kinds of projects that students are working on in these classes.
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In terms of being accepted into Design, Design is a capacity constrained major so it is pretty competitive. We accept about sixty new students per year into the major and the coursework takes three years to complete. Because it’s experiential and builds upon itself, there’s really no way to expedite those three years.
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Students start off learning foundational elements of design and design thinking. Design begins with a first year of classes that introduce basic skills that every Design student needs to learn — things like color and composition, typography, basic design methods. For example, you can see this design drawing is from one of our first year Design students. Just an example of some of the foundations they’re going through. Similar to Art majors, Design majors get to benefit from the interdisciplinary environment inherent in a liberal arts university. They get to take classes that expand and strengthen their knowledge of other fields, which they can then incorporate into their design work.
Slide 37 (10:31)
In the second year, students begin to branch out into classes that address learning that is more specific to each of our three Design concentrations. By their junior and senior year, they have fully entered their concentrations and are working in those classes. So for example, Visual Communication Design majors will take advanced classes like advanced typography, or branding and corporate identity. This project is a great example of a VCD project completed by students. You can see it’s more than just designing nice letterhead, it’s also about how folks are going to interact with that design in the real world — for example the full plane wrap or the billboard.
Slide 38 (11:08)
IxD students take classes in things like visual storytelling and interface design to add to their toolkit and expand their research. This is an example of an IxD project a student completed. This student was a musician as well as a designer, and so he was working on creating an app that addressed his holistic needs as a recording artist — kind of making a one-stop-shop for all of his recording needs.
Slide 39 (11:33)
And then lastly, our Industrial Design majors complete classes in things like advanced drawing or materials and manufacturing. This picture is a great example of an Industrial Design student’s project. She was really into paddle boarding but was also a bike commuter, and so she responded to the unique design problem of how she could carry her gear by also biking. So she created a paddle board that could actually fold down and be carried by a bike commuter.
Slide 40 (11:58)
Design students are frequently required to work in teams. This prepares them for the realities of working as a designer where collaboration is key.
Slide 41 (12:07)
Our Design faculty consist of many professional designers actively engaged with the design community, both locally in Seattle, and on a national and international level. Students get the benefit of learning from professionals who are actively involved in current conversations about design. We also offer professional development opportunities like internship or job fairs and portfolio reviews with companies who are here to help our Design majors build confidence in their skills and their portfolios.
Slide 42 (12:39)
By the third and final year, students are preparing to complete advanced projects in their major that will become the basis for their professional design portfolios. During the final quarter, they’re expected to prepare their work for exhibition in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery here at the School of Art + Art History + Design. Hundreds of companies and professional designers attend this event to meet our graduating students and look at their work. It’s really another great opportunity for those students to make contacts and engage.
Slide 43 (13:07)
In addition to the resources students can find in their majors and in their studios and classrooms, we also offer a bunch of other great possibilities for learning during a student’s time here at the School. So we’ll kind of talk through a little bit of those now.
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As we’ve mentioned before, students are highly encouraged to show work during their time here at UW. The Jacob Lawrence Gallery is located in the Art Building on campus, and they show work from established artists as well as UW students.
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The gallery also has lectures and events in association with these exhibitions and offers a curatorial internship for our majors.
Slide 46 (13:45)
Parnasuss is the coffee shop in the basement of the Art Building and students also have the chance to show their work on their gallery walls. So, they sort of have a little bit more of an informal space and which is also curated by students.
Slide 47 (14:00)
We also have our Sand Point building which is about a 10 minutes drive away in Magnuson Park. This is home to a large gallery space as well as the Painting + Drawing graduate studios and some faculty studios. So, here you can see students engaged in critique in one of those spaces with some work from a show up on the wall.
Slide 48 (14:20)
In addition to making and creating in the classroom, students also have the opportunity to study abroad with our programs. This is a picture of students from one of our past study abroad trips to the Netherlands with one of our Art History professors — who is actually from the Netherlands, so it was a great opportunity for him to sort of show them his world and really give them in depth series of information about the work they were seeing. We’ve also offered wonderful study abroad opportunities in places like Rome, London, Paris, Italy, and more.
Slide 49 (14:53)
We’re constantly encouraging our students to develop their professional practices whenever possible. Our academic advising staff manages a Jobs and Opportunities blog, and we use this to connect students with opportunities to work, intern, volunteer, and submit work.
Slide 50 (15:11)
We also offer a number of great scholarships and award opportunities at all levels, including scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfer students who just indicate they’re interested in pursuing Art, Art History, or Design as a major. Once students are a major, they are eligible for merit based awards and scholarships within the School, so that’s something else to keep in mind. We have fellowships for undergraduates, which support research with faculty and students in different departments on campus. And then additionally, there’s the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards, and they offer opportunities for UW as a whole.
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And finally, this is what we're working toward and where it all culminates. At the end of a student's time here…
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We have our own graduation ceremony for Art, Art History, and Design students in the spring, where we wish them well and send them off to their new adventures.
Slide 53 (16:02)
And so that concludes our Preview session for the School of Art + Art History + Design. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Advising staff over email. You can reach us at email@example.com — that’s U A S K A R T @ U W . E D U. We’re not able to provide one-on-one advising appointments for prospective students, but we’re always happy to connect via email if you’re thinking about UW and thinking about Art, Art History, or Design. Thank you for joining us and have a great rest of your day!
*While always written as School of Art + Art History + Design, the School's name is spoken as School of Art, Art History, and Design.