An emphasis in alternative media allows students the option of pursuing work in art that may fall outside the boundaries of other studio areas. Although many possibilities exist, new media, such as video art, computer generated works, and installation art, currently are top choices. Performance art represents another exciting option for presenting “live” theatre-like art in non-theatrical settings.
Art History and Criticism
The combining of theory and experience is the foundation for this major. In addition to traditional art history courses, students must take studio classes and be reasonably skilled in artistic techniques and methods. The program’s focus is on modern and contemporary art, but courses covering other periods are required. Art history majors can take advantage of Webster’s campus in Vienna, Austria. Vienna is considered a center of German and Austrian expressionism and is home to several world-class museums. Back in St. Louis, numerous internship possibilities are available including positions with the Saint Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, and the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis.
Students in this program learn all aspects of ceramic art, from mixing and forming clay to the firing and glazing process. Wheel-working and hand building are given equal emphasis, and students are encouraged to develop their own personal sense of form and shape. Self-discovery and class discussion of the creative process are integral aspects of working in ceramics. Webster’s ceramic studio includes eight gas and electric kilns, a glaze spray booth, sandblasting equipment, a slab roller, and a ball mill. Students have access to all this equipment and learn methods for glaze and clay formation.
Drawing majors at Webster will find a challenging and diversified program. All art majors are required to complete a four-course sequence focusing on traditional methods of drawing from observation. The upper levels of the drawing program lead to more contemporary concerns. Here students may choose from courses such as Advanced Figure Drawing, Conceptual Drawing, or Electronic Imaging. Many advanced drawing students find their work merging with other media, such as painting, printmaking, or digital photography. Two main goals of the program are the liberation of drawing majors into a style of their choosing, and the education of all art majors to the uses of drawing for other media.
Graphic Design engages art students with theory and practice focused on producing effective and visually dynamic design products. Using the latest professional technology, students study all aspects of design. Intensive and challenging creative assignments, coupled with a remarkable practical internship program, give Webster’s Graphic Design majors a competitive edge.
Painting majors at Webster will find a comprehensive program that stresses technical development, personal aesthetic, and the refinement of individual expression. The curriculum is divided into three phases; beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Beginning courses focus on color organization, formal and expressive analysis, and paint processes. Intermediate and advanced classes continue the development of paint handling, introduce experimental processes, and include museum and gallery visits. The program culminates with students preparing and installing a senior exhibit.
Technical expertise in photography is only one aspect of this emphasis. Students must also learn to use their technical expertise for creative expression. Students are expected to explore the relationship between meaningful content and technical competence in their work. Alternatives to standard photographic procedures such as image transfers, photo-enhanced bookmaking, digital manipulation, and non-silver processes are encouraged and offer great potential for expanding the artist’s expressive possibilities. Photography study trip destinations have included Rhode Island, Yellowstone National Park, New Mexico, and Ireland.
The printmaking emphasis engages students with the most current printmaking materials and practices. The non-toxic studio is fully equipped for work in relief, intaglio, etching, waterless lithography, and silk-screen. Alternative processes and a complete digital center add to the contemporary focus of the printmaking courses. The studio experience is driven by the student’s concepts and ideas and is enriched by an understanding of print history and theory. Classes in papermaking provide a unique creative option to any studio area, but are especially useful for printmaking and graphic design majors. The papermaking studio is a state-of-the-art facility, and students learn the history and techniques of hand papermaking as an art form.
Sculpture majors at Webster benefit from modern facilities and contemporary equipment. In fact, the most recent addition to the Department of Art, Design, and Art History was a sculpture studio, which includes an industrial-quality casting foundry. Students work with traditional forms such as bronze, aluminum, wood, and steel, as well as unorthodox molds like latex, plastic, ice, and even butter. Undergraduates enjoy nearly unlimited access to the studio, and significant individual attention.
The studio art major is designed for students who want a broad-based background in art. There are 45 required credit hours for this program (82 are required for the B.F.A.), which allows for a double-major and/or exploration of other academic areas. Students take classes in drawing, design, and art history and must complete a minimum of 15 hours from the remaining studio areas. Students majoring in art education would double-major in studio art and education.
The B.A. Visual Culture emphasis is available at the Vienna Campus. However, many of the required courses are regular offerings and may be used to supplement the visual culture coursework in Vienna. This program is offered through the Department of Art, Design, and Art History in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. Please see the Schools and Colleges catalog for further information.
A minor requires a minimum of 21 credit hours of formal coursework from the
University curriculum completed at Webster University. Courses used to fulfill
a major may not also be used to fulfill a requirement for a minor. A minor in Art should include a minimum of 3 credit hours of art history and 18 credit hours of art studio.
Art History Minor
A minor requires a minimum of 21 credit hours of formal coursework from the University curriculum completed at Webster University. Courses used to fulfill a major may not also be used to fulfill a requirement for a minor. A minor in Art History and Criticism should include a minimum of 3 credit hours of art studio and 18 credit hours of art history.