Foundations Program

Students enroll in four art courses 12 credit hours of art their first semester. Students interested in art want more art classes and this allows those who are unsure to have an excellent opportunity to evaluate both their interest and their commitment to art, without wasting time or money.

The First Year Experience consists of:

Fall Semester
Visual Thinking I
Introduction to Visual Art
One course in the student’s major
One course in another discipline of art, such as drawing
English 101 Written English

Spring semester
Visual Thinking II
One course in the major
One other studio course
English 102 and or other General studies classes

Visual Thinking Skills

This class represents the first step in becoming an independent visual thinker and artistic problem solver and thus is the backbone and heart of the Shepherd University Art Department program.

In this non-traditional class the student has not one instructor but three or more. As the name implies, the course is a stimulus and critique class wherein students are introduced to the complexities of creating and interpreting contemporary visual art. Students are expected to make use of skills they have already acquired or are now acquiring in other studio classes in order to solve complex visual and conceptual problems. Class time is utilized for discussion and critique with students creating independently (outside of class) to resolve the problem at hand. In this manner, students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and to actively seek assistance and information, rather than passively wait for information to be provided. In order to be successful, artists must cultivate independence, resourcefulness, and the ability to be actively engaged in the pursuit of their work.

Introduction to Visual Art

This course introduces students to the language of art, as well as to the history that informs contemporary art making. It supports the activities and learning that take place in the Visual Thinking Skills I course through historical and contemporary examples, readings and discussions.

Students are expected to take a course in their major so that they can begin to understand the particular demands and expectations of the concentration. Students who are unsure, or perhaps have two areas of interest, have an opportunity to take classes in both concentrations and decide which is best suited to the student’s particular methods of working. It is important to complete Written English during the Freshman year, as language and writing skills are an essential component to becoming a successful practicing artist.