Studio Art at Denison
We are living in a time filled with options galore for the serious art student. Ours is a program that respects art traditions of the past but has a progressive eye to the future. We realize and celebrate the dazzling impact visual culture is having on our contemporary lives.
Denison is a place where differences and individuality are celebrated as we strive to be a residential liberal arts college in a contemporary world. With five faculty positions (and four in Art History), we offer topical and relevant approaches to the teaching of Art, we also encourage the fluidity of learning and see art as a bridge to all areas of study and research. Our art program emphasizes art-making as a means to think about not only oneself, but one’s relationship to the world of ideas from multiple perspectives.
We offer two degrees in studio art : the B.F.A. and the B.A. Our B.F.A degree is unique for a liberal arts college our size. It allows students interested in both an art school and a liberal arts academic experience to have both. Allowing for more in-depth time in the studio, the B.F.A is a studio intensive program that also encourages fluidity between the different artistic disciplines. State of the art technology continues to move our program in exciting new directions. Our Studio courses include new media/digital technology, photography, video,sculpture, painting, drawing, life drawing, printmaking, ceramics, studio art foundations and performance art. We also offer specialized courses in comics, film, fibers and design.
One of the primary goals of our Studio Art Program is to encourage independent and creative thought. In our courses, students will find ample opportunities to examine and reflect on the world around them with curiosity and a critical eye. As well as being creaitve, our students are hard workers and are always active in the department. You can walk through our studios late at night and find our students working on projects round the clock.
Our graduates are high achievers. We have studio graduates studying in graduate schools across the country and working as professional artists, designers, art therapists and architects. Many of our students go on to work in the realms of fashion, advertising, media and commercial art.
Students and Faculty
As a liberal arts college, at Denison we try to balance our students’ courses in Studio Art with their other academic interests on campus. We often encourage our BA students to consider doing a double major and find ways to make connections between the subject matter in their other major and their artwork. We offer small classes with a lot of personal attention, particularly for majors.
We also offer students a variety of ways to approach art activity with faculty and the community. Students work in our museum, some on art exhibitions of works taken from our extensive permanent collection, others with visiting artists - helping to install shows of their work. As a part of our goal of having students work closely with faculty, we have created several student jobs in the department, ranging from research assistants to teaching assistants who help faculty in their studio classrooms. Our dynamic Studio faculty exhibit their work nationally and internationally in a variety of venues. We all have studios in the art building or in town, near to campus so our students see first-hand the work that their instructors are making.
We love our home – the recently renovated Bryant Arts Center (formerly historic Cleveland Hall) and the fantastic facilities it provides for each of our studio disciplines. This 102-year-old historic building has been transformed into a state of the art, truly amazing arts facility that vividly projects us all into the future. With spacious studios and classrooms, it is the size of some small art schools. Our senior studio is a spectacular space where our senior studio art majors have their own personal space to work within an enormous shared studio. Bringing art history and studio art together within its walls, the Bryant Art Center is a true diamond for the Arts on a national level. The building is a destination for all students, not just art majors. There’s a classroom with a piano where music and theatre classes are taught regularly.
We are also very proud of the Bryant Arts Center LEED Gold Certification. By following LEED Gold specifications, the Bryant Arts Center is an important milepost on Denison’s path to environmental sustainability.Denison is one of only 290 colleges and universities to make a commitment that all new campus construction will be built to a LEED Silver standard, as set by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
Visiting Artist Series
The department is fortunate to have a very active Visiting Artist Program. In recent years the Vail Visiting Artist program has enabled us to host well-known artists from a variety of disciplines. Visiting artists present their work in public lectures, demonstrations during the creation of an original work of art or through an exhibition in one of our galleries. Many visiting artists spend significant time with students through one-on-one meetings and critiques. We have had visiting curators put together group exhibitions of contemporary artists in our galleries bringing a variety of contemporary work to our campus.
Some recent visiting artists: Glen Ligon, Heather Rowe, Halsey Rodman, Michael Stickrod, Pam Lins, Jim Winters, Tomas Vu, Jeffry Mitchell, Timothy Berg, Sergio Vega, Jack Balas, Paul Scott, and Tania Bruguera.
Annual New York Trip
We take our senior majors on an annual fall trip to New York City to experience a wide range of art in person and to visit working artists in their studios. The Studio Art program organizes trips in the spring for all our students to travel to other major cultural destinations to see art first hand.
Field trips to nearby Columbus (home of The Wexner Center of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art) happen frequently in our classes. We have school vans scheduled the first Saturday of every month to take our students to the Columbus Gallery hop. Columbus is only a 35 minute drive from Granville.
Working Beyond the Denison Campus
Beyond the campus our students have participated in prestigious internships through the Denison Internship Program and the Michele Myers Internships in the Fine Arts. Students consistently are accepted into competitive study abroad programs around the world with special emphasis on studio art and art history. Students have studied art in places such as Australia, Mexico, Italy, Senegal, Copenhagen and Japan. We have had students accepted into study abroad programs at Goldsmith College, Burren College of Art, Glasgow School of Art and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie - all internationally renowned art schools. Other students participate in the New York Arts Program and The Philadelphia Center as interns with artists or in museums, galleries or community centers. Still, other students have participated in the Denison Internship Program. Our faculty are leaders for the Deuce (Denison Experience in Urban Culture and Expression), a First Year Studies pre-orientation program in Philadelphia aimed at students interested in the arts and visual culture. The department also gives academic credit for a variety of in-term and summer internships. We have had students intern at the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Sotheby’s, ABC News, Marvel Comics and the Columbus Museum of Art, to name a few.
Denison Student Art Collective
Our art students run an art collective that is open to all Denison students interested in art. The group has over 40 members today with members majoring in a range of disciplines – not just art. They are a vibrant, active organization that meets weekly, with a mission to make a difference in their community through art. Some of the events they have organized are Art workshops in taught in our facilities for children from neighboring underserved schools, a series of murals for the visitation rooms of the Newark’s Family Services building and every fall for the last 4 years they raise over $2000 for the local food pantry with their Empty Bowls fundraiser.
They also co-plan an annual all-day, all-student-run arts event every April that brings student artists together from Music, Dance, Theatre, Cinema and Creative Writing with Studio Art students in the Bryant Arts Center for a day of performances and exhibitions celebrating all the arts at Denison.
Importance of Creativity
We believe nurturing creativity is vital for each one of our students, because the ability to think creatively is essential to any problem solving process – not just making art.
In our program we create classroom environments where all our students feel free to honestly express themselves, feel safe to take risks in their work and feel comfortable engaging in critical dialogue. Our particular Studio Art program at Denison is a community of faculty and students who work together to foster creativity – individually and collectively.