Links to other Art+Design undergraduate courses:
Graphic Design | Painting and Drawing | Photography | Printmaking | Sculpture

Foundation and General Visual Arts

VIS 1020: Introduction to Visual Communication

An introduction to digital visual communications and basic creative software applications used by professionals outside of the visual arts. The course focuses on building a digital and visual vocabulary and developing skills within the Mac iLife suite and Photoshop. Concepts include basic design principles, resolution, printing, scanning, optical media, and multimedia presentations. Digital literacy is promoted through observation, discussion, workshops, tutorials, exercises, collaborative work, reading, writing, and small projects. Coursework is designed to integrate the student’s field of study with digital visual communications.

Credits: 2

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1050: ComX

This common experience brings freshmen in the School of Art+Design together as a community, allowing them to engage and draw links between the class activities and the rest of the foundation curriculum. Students experience happenings ranging from artist lectures, films, and readings to performances and field trips. Includes required meetings each week with peer advisors outside the scheduled class time.

Credits: 1

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1060: Foundation Drawing

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1070: Extended Media

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1080: Visual Language

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1240: Special Topics in Visual Arts: India/Tibet

Students explore various art-making processes through the unique lens of the cultures of India and Tibet. Readings, lectures, writing, and studio work are combined with locally developed research to form projects that focus on themes established by the instructor.

Credits: 4

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1250: 2-D Processes

Students focus on collaborative learning, critical thinking, and expansion of visual vocabularies in this foundation studio course. It fosters independent thinking—from generating ideas, research, and physical manipulations to collaboration, revisions, and analysis. Projects employ drawing, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and photography, and address color, gradients, surface, patterning, and sequencing.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1260: 3-D Processes

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).

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1270: 4-D Processes

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1330: Lens and Time

Students explore time- and lens-based artistic processes that use pictorial space, narrative strategies, sequence, sound, video, social practice, screen-based interaction, and coding.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 1710: Line/Space/Body: An Exploration of Antibes

Students incorporate on-site drawing, ephemeral site-specific sculptures, and performance around the city, using both found and traditional materials. Exploration of the spaces that are Antibes is expanded to include not just the physical, but also the historical, political, and psychological.

Credits: 4

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2025: The Photographic Artist’s Book

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.

Credits: 4

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2030: Theme and Variations

Students research, investigate, and comment on the architecture at Purchase College, using the Visual Arts Building as a focal point to investigate both 2-D and 3-D methods of site-specific art. Projects may include site drawings, temporary interventions with interior and exterior architecture, and object-based installations. All media and backgrounds are welcome.

Credits: 2

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2050: Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novel

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2100: Color

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2110: Color Seminar

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2120: Crossover I

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2130: Travels, Imaginary and Otherwise

Working both in and out of the studio, students use travel as the organizing metaphor for their work. Projects include site research and play with structuring systems such as maps, logs, and the larger issues of time and movement. A wide range of tools, materials, and concepts are used.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2150: Key Class

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.

Credits: 1

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2200: Collage

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2450: Making Art on the French Riviera

Students discover the Mediterranean landscapes, seascapes, and ancient hill towns that attracted great modern artists. Each student creates a portfolio, using any number of media based on his or her interests, such as photography, drawing with pastels, oil pastels, and colored pencils, painting and woodblock printing.

Credits: 4

Department: Art + Design
VIS 2880: BSVA Seminar I

A survey of contemporary artists, ideas, and texts in which cross-disciplinary research and critique skills are taught. A combination of slide lectures, discussions of readings, and museum/gallery visits familiarize students with contemporary art discourse, its interdisciplinary character, and many of its important figures. Guest lecturers from various backgrounds visit throughout the term.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3000: Art in the Age of Electronic Media

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3060: Master Class: Applied Design

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.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: (SCP2080 Or VSC2080 ) And (SCP2150 Or VSC2150 )

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3120: Crossover II

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3150: Digital Drawing

A studio-based exploration of digital techniques used for drawing. Discourse from various strands of art history and contemporary theory is introduced in critiques and discussions to help students learn to use digital tools and become comfortable exploring new territories in their work with these tools.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: (VIS1060 And VIS1070 And VIS1250 )

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3350: Art and Activism

Examines the role of artists and other media makers in U.S. social movements during the past two decades. Major themes include struggles over urban space; the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexuality; tactical media; radical pedagogy; art and community. This seminar is grounded in readings drawn from art, political theory, social history, and journalism.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3370: City as Studio as Seminar

Urban space has long been the prime locus for social transformation. This seminar and on-site exploration of New York City and related environs links together a series of sites that harbor deep psychological and mythological resonance with specific texts and artworks. Fieldwork employs tactics to collectively document meta-city narratives hidden within the urban subconscious.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3380: The Latent Image

A hands-on seminar that explores the evolving relationship between the subject and the viewer through a careful scrutiny of the image as a document. Students look at how artists and writers have augmented or subverted ideas of the image through claims of both intimacy and indexicality.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3400: Contemporary Art Theory

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3420: Make, Mix, Move

An interdisciplinary investigation of making, using such methods as collage and assemblage. Working both digitally and physically, students explore materials, found images and objects, and original content, culminating in kinetic and animated projects.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3425: Special Topics in Visual Art

An extensive study of a particular topic or technique in the visual arts. Topics vary each semester.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3440: Contemporary Issues in Art

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. The course is designed to run in parallel with a Maass Gallery exhibition organized by the guest faculty which serves as a pedagogical laboratory for enrolled students and the college as a whole. This course is recommended for Art+Design students, Arts Management, Art History, and other students interested in the role of art within the public sphere.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3470: Special Topic Colloquium

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.

Credits: 2

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3500: The Arts for Social Change

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3550: Making Community: Art and Urban Renewal

A summer service-learning course that takes place in struggling urban centers, in which students work with city residents to help rejuvenate abandoned homes. Activities and topics include skill-sharing workshops with residents, readings, lectures, and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, interrogating the impacts of gentrification, the roles of outsiders in development, and the unintended consequences of good intentions in transitional neighborhoods.

Credits: 4

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3650: Center for Editions: The Archive Project

Students explore new models for collaborative publications through an interdisciplinary research endeavor, investigating the role of the artist as a preservationist and redefining the act of visual documentation. Starting with their lived experience, students define the value of archiving in contemporary culture through making printed/digital publications and exhibitions. Both students and faculty invite guest speakers, artists, and printers to collaborate.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3880: BSVA Seminar II

Independent research is introduced as a major focus. Students gather threads from classwork, with their humanities studies, to begin a comprehensive archive. Discussion and critique reinforce the loop between making, research, and analysis. Course topics focus on advancing key frameworks in the field. The seminar serves as a laboratory for senior projects and culminates in an independently driven project.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design
VIS 3920: Artist Assistant

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.

Credits: 6

Department: Art + Design
VIS 4050: Peer Mentoring

In this seminar, which facilitates the peer-mentoring program, students are taught methods to support their roles as leaders and peer mentors of incoming students in the School of Art+Design. Their mission is to reinforce the student community, providing a support system that supplements the curricula. Tools are introduced in class meetings to enhance student experience and professional practice. Students meet weekly with their peer mentees.

Credits: 2

Department: Art + Design
VIS 4470: Field Trips

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Art + Design