The School of Art+Design at Purchase College offers the intensity, depth, and excellence you are looking for. This acclaimed undergraduate BFA program, with its faculty of exhibiting artists, addresses the complexities of the 21st-century art world and prepares you to join it.
Art+Design at Purchase stresses the acquisition of traditional artistic tools and skills, but also insists on cultivation of the mind. You will work intensively in your chosen concentration, with full encouragement to collaborate with artists in other media.
You will grow as an artist and as a human being. You will also be required to sample widely from the many excellent offerings in the liberal arts, including art history.
The BFA program offers a four-year curriculum of study with majors in:
Minor in Visual Arts
Students at Purchase College have the opportunity to minor in the visual arts. The purpose of the minor is to provide students who are not degree candidates in the School of Art+Design with an understanding of processes, issues, and skills in the visual arts.
Each student works closely with an assigned faculty advisor to establish his or her program. All students fulfill foundation requirements and then specialize in one area or tailor a program of interdisciplinary study under faculty sponsorship. Each major has a specific sequence of courses leading to a required senior project in that area.
The program educates students in the art and practice of visual communications, from industrially multiplied graphics to books, magazines, pamphlets, posters, packaging, and signage. The roles of the artist/designer are continually expanding as printed and electronic communications reshape our world. To prepare students for this range of options, the program provides a hands-on studio environment, emphasizing the marriage of practical and conceptual skills. The program encourages the role of the artist/designer as the generator of ideas—a person who can combine imagination, theory, and a command of visual language.
Painting and Drawing
Students in painting and drawing benefit from the variety of views of faculty members who are all practicing and exhibiting artists. Studio work is complemented by trips to New York City to visit galleries, museums, and artists' studios. In the junior and senior years, selected students may be assigned semiprivate studios. All students enjoy critique and review sessions by the resident faculty, as well as by visiting artists and critics.
The curriculum covers camera formats from 35mm to 8x10 and includes work with black and white, color, and nonsilver materials. Specific courses are given in studio, view camera, and collotype techniques. The program is devoted to fine art photography, though many graduates are working successfully in applied fields.
Students work with photographs as documents, objects, experiments, evidence, statements, prayers, confessions, jokes, notations, accidents, prophesies, indictments, products, concepts, and poems, while wrestling with the knot of reality and image.
Purchase College offers one of the finest and most comprehensive printmaking facilities in the country. Students receive comprehensive, up-to-date training in lithography, silkscreen, intaglio, woodcut, papermaking, photomechanical techniques, and the art of the book, leading to the development of skills as artists or master printers. The extraordinary facilities in the Center for Editions provide students with a wide array of technologies for print and electronic media.
Exploring contemporary concerns, students can opt to work in a variety of traditional and new media. The curriculum encompasses: object making, studio furniture making, site-specific work, installation, inter/multimedia, and video. Facilities include more than 25,000 square feet of shop/studio space with professional-caliber equipment for working in wood, metals, bronze casting, ceramics, plaster, fabric, plastic, video, light, sound, and interactive multimedia computing.
The facilities of the 160,000 square-foot Art+Design building help make great work possible. It is one of the largest educational facilities of its kind in the Northeast. Most studios and shops are open until 2:00 am.
Painting/Drawing students have access to nine light-filled studios. Photographers enjoy group darkrooms and 24 individual darkrooms, developing and finishing rooms, color and nonsilver darkrooms, and suites for digital/computer photographic processes.
Sculpture students have more than 25,000 square feet of shop and studio space superbly equipped for working in wood, metals, ceramics, plaster, fabric, plastics, video, light, sound, and interactive multimedia computing.
Printmaking students train on Brand presses, lithography stones, silkscreen vacuum printers, paper beaters, process cameras, platemakers, a Mailander press, a Solna offset cylinder press, digital software, letterpress, and hand bindery.
Also on campus is the Neuberger Museum of Art, the eighth largest university museum in the nation. The museum is an ongoing inspiration for students and an incomparable teaching resource. Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee, it houses a permanent collection of more than 6,000 works of art, with an emphasis on 20th-century American art. A full schedule of exhibitions, lectures, films, concerts, and intermedia events are presented throughout the year. Admission is free for Purchase students.
Art+Design at Purchase offers professional training with a general education component in the liberal arts and sciences. To grant the BFA degree, the School of Art+Design requires that students complete a minimum of 128 credits: 88 credits in visual arts studio courses, 12 credits of art history, and 28 additional liberal arts credits. The academic requirements are listed under each major. In order to graduate, B.F.A. students must fulfill all general degree requirements as well as the requirements for their major.
The Foundation Program
First-year students are required to complete an Art+Design foundation program consisting of a freshman seminar; studio courses in drawing, design, and 3-D and digital media; and ARH 1020/History of Art Survey II, which also satisfies the humanities requirement in the core curriculum. Students are also required to complete two additional courses that satisfy core curriculum requirements: LWR 1110/College Writing (Fall) and an approved course in another core curriculum category (Spring).
For more information, please visit the School of Art+Design site.