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Undergraduate Foundation and General Visual Arts Courses (VIS)

Note: In sequenced courses (e.g., I, II, III, IV), successful completion of each course is a prerequisite for the next course in the sequence. For example, VIS 2120/Crossover I is a prerequisite for VIS 3120/Crossover II.

Foundation Studio Courses

VIS 1050
/ 1 credit / Fall
This common experience brings freshmen in the School of Art+Design together as a community. Every year a new theme is embraced and becomes the touchstone for the class, engaging each student and drawing links between the class activities and the rest of the curriculum. Students experience happenings ranging from artist lectures, films, and readings to performances and field trips. Includes required meetings outside the scheduled class time.

Foundation Drawing
VIS 1060
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Drawing is explored as a distinct practice inspired by particular media and traditions, as well as a fundamental tool for exploring ideas across disciplines. Observational skills are emphasized, but seeing extends beyond the visual, enriched by physical, intellectual, and personal experience. Analytical and intuitive approaches are developed toward the goal of communicating significant form and content.

Extended Media
VIS 1070
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Working thematically toward a finished project (realized in an artist’s book), students gain experience in traditional and alternative methods for art making. Digital media, printmaking, and photography are used as unique forms or in new combinations. Emphasis is on the process of making and the challenge of expressing ideas. Demonstrations, critiques, readings, slide lectures, visiting artists, and films are included.

Visual Language
VIS 1080
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Introduces the fundamental theories and methodologies of visual communication that explore the relationship between form and content. Through observation, analysis, writing, exercises, and projects, students begin to develop work processes that involve articulation, visual research, concept generation, form making, and craft skills. Class time is spent generating ideas, establishing criteria, and making and refining form.

2-D Processes
VIS 1250
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A foundation studio course that expands on VIS 1060 and 1080; taught by members of both the drawing and graphic design faculty. Students explore interrelated perceptual, abstract, formal, and expressive concerns. Advanced techniques like wet media, experimental formats, and the use of computer technology further extend the vocabulary and processes that enable students to relate form and content.
Prerequisite: VIS 1060, 1070, and 1080

3-D Processes
VIS 1260
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A foundation studio course that introduces the fundamental skills and vocabulary needed to design and create three-dimensional works. Students explore areas of 3-D construction, sculpture, and design, ranging from object to installation and using a variety of processes, materials, and techniques, including wood, metal, plaster, clay, mixed media, and digital tools (e.g., vector and raster graphic programs).

4-D Processes
VIS 1270
/ 3 credits / Every semester
An introduction to physical and digital tools used to create collaborative, performative, interactive, and community-focused works. Students explore and gain fluency with the interplay of the handmade and the digital, undertaking projects that play with location, time, sound, or collaboration, or any combination of these.

General Visual Arts Courses

Programming for Visual Artists
VIS 1450
Refer to NME 1450 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

The Photographic Artist’s Book
VIS 2025
/ 4 credits / Summer (offered in Italy)
Students create a photographic essay that is inspired by their observations and experiences of Pisciotta. The development of content and narrative strategies, along with a consideration of sequence, rhythm, and layout in books, is discussed. Working with digital cameras (a simple one is fine) and Internet publishing, each student creates a self-published book. Offered as SOA 2025 for students in other disciplines.

Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novel
VIS 2050
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Wordless books, or novels in pictures, are from the early 20th century. Using the medium of woodcuts, artists like Frans Masereel were able to create complex narratives told only with images. This course examines the history of these books and how they are relevant today. Students learn how to effectively plan, develop, and create a hand-printed woodcut novel. Offered as SOA 2050 for students in other disciplines.

VIS 2100
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Color affects the work of all artists and designers. This seminar/studio engages two ways of understanding color: color behavior and color meaning. Assignments include color studies, readings, and discussions. Color is addressed as relevant to all media, and students are asked to make color studies and present analyses of how color is used in their own studio practices.

Color Seminar
VIS 2110
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Color is the most relative of all visual attributes. The seminar makes use of this relativity as the means by which visual awareness is heightened and refined through fundamental studies in color action and interaction. This is not a course in color theory; rather, it is a practicum in color as experienced. Mastery of basic color grammar and syntax leads to a personal sense of looking and expression. Offered as SOA 2010 for students in other disciplines.

Crossover I and II
VIS 2120
and 3120 / 3 credits (per semester)
Special topic (offered irregularly)
Juxtaposes art and science as inquiring and creative pursuits. Exchanging knowledge of the materials and processes used in their creative endeavors, students collaborate on three innovative projects that focus on perceived relationships between science and art. Visiting professionals, at work in studios and labs, provide insight into thinking and doing through and across the disciplines of art and science. VIS 2120 is offered as SOA 2040 for students in other disciplines. VIS 3120 is designed for students who wish to pursue in greater depth the issues exemplified in VIS 2120, and is offered as SOA 3040 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Key Class
VIS 2150
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Introduces new transfer students to the School of Art+Design, its faculty, and core values. The class explores what it means to be an artist at Purchase College. What are the expectations, challenges, and rewards? Activities include discussions, artist lectures, films, performances, field trips, and peer advising. Includes required meetings outside the scheduled class time.

VIS 2200
/ 3 credits / Fall
The collage medium is often associated with Cubism because it has the power to both fracture and reassemble shapes and images. This course explores the fabrication of two-dimensional artworks, using a variety of materials (both found and created), including paper, fabric, wood, metal, and string, along with drawing and painting elements. Offered as SOA 2020 for students in other disciplines.

Art in the Age of Electronic Media
VIS 3000
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An overview of electronic media and its relationship to the fine arts. This course covers the genre from its infancy to the present and focuses on the study of the art and artists critical to the genre’s development. Lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and visiting artists are augmented by assigned readings, critical writing, and examinations. Offered as NME 3000 for new media majors and SOA 3001 for students in all other disciplines.

Internet as Public Art
VIS 3040
Refer to NME 3040 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

Master Class: Applied Design
VIS 3060
/ 2–3 credits / Every semester
Coordinated by faculty in Art+Design, this master class includes guest lectures by the resident artist in the Center for Applied Design and focuses on areas related to the particular artist’s pursuits. Students engage in collaborative research and studio production as they explore the cultural relevance and social impact of objects. Open to students in other disciplines; may be taken a maximum of three times for credit.
Prerequisite: VSC 1020 and 2080, or permission of instructor

Crossover II
VIS 3120
Refer to VIS 2120 and 3120 for description.

Real-Time Media Processing
VIS 3230
Refer to NME 3230 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

Contemporary Art Theory
VIS 3400
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Contemporary art theory is examined in a historical context, illustrating how theory illuminates, defines, and shapes the meaning of images. The roots of modern and postmodern art theory are examined through critical readings, lectures, slide presentations, and artists’ documents. Assignments include group discussions based on the readings and presentations, critical papers, and a final research paper. Offered as SOA 3200 for students in other disciplines.

Video Performance
VIS 3435
Refer to NME 3435 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

Contemporary Issues in Art
VIS 3440
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An introduction to contemporary art theory, criticism, and contemporary practice. Using 20th-century and contemporary artwork and ideas, artists’ writings, and other readings, students are exposed to a variety of contemporary art and encouraged to widen their visual vocabulary. A research component is required.
Prerequisite: Four semesters of visual arts studio courses

Special Topic Colloquium
VIS 3470
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
This colloquium augments the Art+Design undergraduate program by focusing on the independent research of a current MFA student with advanced standing. The graduate student shares his or her unique research through readings, workshop activities, studio critiques, writing, and other assignments. Open to all visual arts majors; offered as SOA 3170 for students in other disciplines.

The Arts for Social Change
VIS 3500
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Public art is used in this course to promote community engagement and cross-cultural interaction. Students use established, recognized methods of collaboration to explore local community issues, concluding with the physical implementation and exhibition of student-led solutions. Offered as SOC 3237 for sociology majors and SOA 3237 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing

Community-Centered Media
VIS 3545
Refer to NME 3545 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

Interactive Installation: Hacking the Everyday
VIS 3720
Refer to NME 3720 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

Experimental Web Practice
VIS 3770
Refer to NME 3770 in New Media Courses (School of Film and Media Studies) for description.

Undergraduate Learning Assistant
VIS 3800
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Students assist faculty members with the delivery of an undergraduate studio course. Duties include grading, demonstrations, and other tasks assigned by the faculty sponsor. A maximum of 4 credits in VIS 3800 (or a combined maximum of 6 credits in VIS 3800 and VPD/VPH/VSC 3950) may be applied toward the BFA.

Artist Assistant
VIS 3920
/ Variable credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Students assist visiting resident artists in the School of Art+Design or the Neuberger Museum of Art with the creation of a new work. Duties are assigned, overseen, and evaluated by the faculty sponsor and may include fabrication, technical support, rendering, printing, or other artistic practices.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Field Trips
VIS 4470
/ 3 credits / Fall
The class meets at various museums, galleries, and alternative spaces in and around New York City, where students encounter a wide range of media, aesthetic sensibilities, and institutional settings. At least one class is devoted to discussing student work in relation to concepts explored during the field trips. Student-funded travel required.

Senior Project (Two Semesters)
VIS 4990 / 4 credits per semester / Every semester
The two-semester, 8-credit senior project is required for all visual arts majors in their senior year. It is an intensive independent study undertaken with faculty sponsorship, in which students pursue a particular theme or topic as a culmination of their undergraduate experience. A written thesis and visual documentation of the project must be submitted to the Library before graduation.

Senior Project (One Semester)
VIS 4991 / 8 credits / Every semester
This is a one-semester variant of the two-semester VIS 4990 requirement. Students who wish to pursue their entire senior project in one semester register with this course number.
Prerequisite: Permission of the senior project advisor and the director of the School of Art+Design

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