Undergraduate Sculpture Courses

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, VSC 2080/Direct Metal I is a prerequisite for VSC 3260/Direct Metal II.

Direct Metal I and II
VSC 2080
and 3260 / 3 credits (per semester)

I: Fall; II: Spring
Instruction in acetylene gas welding and all the tools required for direct metal fabrication of sculpture. The focus varies each semester (within the parameters of contemporary, nonfigurative sculpture) and includes the refining of technical form-making and welding skills. VSC 2080 is offered as SOA 2080 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite (for VSC 3260): VIS 1260

Thinking in Three Dimensions
VSC 2110
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Emphasizes the conceptual aspects of sculpture while continuing the development of technical skills in various processes and materials. The course is structured around assignments that develop individual industry, research skills, creative expressiveness, and class participation.
Prerequisite: VIS 1260
Recommended concurrent studies: VSC 2120 or 2280

Materials and Methods
VSC 2120
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Students learn to work with traditional sculpture materials and techniques, exploring the use of wood and metal as both a means to an end and a final material. Students create a “how to” book from their notes, including all methodologies taught, resources found, and materials used. Offered as SOA 2121 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: VIS 1260

Introduction to Wood
VSC 2150
/ 3 credits / Every semester
The specific visual and structural properties of wood are discussed with application to both functional and nonfunctional sculpture. Basic construction and forming techniques are introduced. Offered as SOA 2151 for students in other disciplines.

Introduction to Wood: Sculptural Techniques
VSC 2155
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Students are introduced to the specific visual and structural properties of wood, as well as techniques for working with wood from a sculptor’s perspective. Open to all visual arts majors.
Prerequisite: VSC 2120

VSC 2160
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Projects investigate collage from a variety of approaches, then move to assemblage sculpture and finally diorama boxes and object transformation. This exploration of the unique possibilities of collage/assemblage may include work with found objects and fabricated forms. Offered as SOA 2160 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: VSC 2080, 2120, or 2150

Figure Modeling and Drawing
VSC 2200
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Clay modeling from the human figure. Drawing and 2-D media are used for support and insight into issues of figuration. Armature construction and relief sculpture are explored.
Prerequisite: VIS 1260

Ceramic Sculpture
VSC 2270
/ 3 credits / Fall
Focuses on clay as a sculptural medium with emphasis on process and the development of sculptural ideas. Various techniques are taught, including slab building, modeling, and some mold making for clay.
Prerequisite: VSC 2120

Digital Tools for Sculptors
VSC 2280
/ 3 credits / Fall
Provides students with a digital toolset for creating sculpture today. Students explore the role of 2-D drawing tools, animation, video editing, and 3-D modeling software in the creation of sculptures and installations. The focus is on the potential of using virtual and physical tools together in the production of art works.
Prerequisite: VIS 1260

Video Art I
VSC 2420
/ 3 credits / Every semester
An introduction to video as a creative visual, auditory, and spatial medium. Students learn the fundamentals of video production with the goal of making original work in the genres of single-channel tape, performance, and installation. At the same time, students are introduced to key works in the history of time-based arts in a weekly thematic program of viewing, listening, reading, and critique. Offered as NME 2420 for new media majors.

The Digital Object
VSC 2600
/ 2 or 3 credits (variable) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Three-dimensional digital objects mostly remain virtual, experienced only in computer and video games, in cinema, online, and in immersive or semi-immersive virtual environments. This course enables the building and actualization of virtual form into sculptural form using state-of-the-art computer object-generation techniques.
Prerequisite: VIS 1260

Bronze Casting
VSC 3070
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Students produce forms in clay or wax and cast them in bronze. The traditional methods of lost-wax casting are explored, and students participate in all aspects of bronze foundry work.
Prerequisite: VSC 2120 or permission of instructor

Performance Art
VSC 3155
/ 3 credits / Fall
An introduction to performance art as a creative, visual, experiential, and time-based medium. Through structured projects, students learn ways to create and document performance pieces. Projects may include live performances, video and photo documentation of private actions, interactive pieces, and sculpture/installation works. Through presentation and lectures, students are introduced to significant historical and contemporary works. All mediums and backgrounds welcome. Offered as SOA 3155 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: VIS 1270

Shelters and Structures
VSC 3190
/ 3 credits / Fall
Using Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space as a text, students investigate the idea of shelters and structures, both built and imaginary, as a source for 3-D work ranging from the miniature to the environmental, from the substantial to the ephemeral. Offered as SOA 3190 for students in other disciplines.

Off the Grid: Curves with Wood
VSC 3240
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
To design and make objects that use curves, the designer/maker must think and act “off the grid.” This class explores form by using curves to define line and volume. Students learn about and experience the techniques used to produce curvilinear forms in wood (e.g., shaping, steam bending, bent laminations, panel forming, pattern routing, jig making and finishing).
Prerequisite: VSC 2120 or 2150

Direct Metal II
VSC 3260
Refer to VSC 2080 for description.

Intermediate Wood I and II
VSC 3270
and 3275 / 3 credits (per semester)
I: Every semester; II: Special topic (offered irregularly)
In these sequential courses, information and experience gained in VSC 2150 are used to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the way an object’s overall form is affected by the methods used in its construction. More complex joinery and shaping processes are presented and practiced.
Prerequisite: VSC 2150 or 2155

Digital Dimensions
VSC 3310
/ 3 credits / Every semester
In this studio introduction, students explore the relationship between the three-dimensional world and digital technology. In this creative new-media environment, students are given a foundation for developing 3-D content and integrating it into their preferred field. Students generate digital objects, prepare them for real-world fabrication, and create virtual-reality simulations and photorealistic sculpture proposals. Offered as NME 3300 for new media majors.
Prerequisite: VSC 2280, VSC 2600, or NME 2100

Public Art: Making a Proposal
VSC 3350
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Takes advanced students through the process leading to the fabrication and installation of a public art commission. Students answer a call for proposals; create a professional-level response, including a written statement, model, drawings, budget, and fabrication schedule; and present to a committee of experts for appraisal. This course is especially recommended to any student considering making a public art proposal for the Purchase College campus. Offered as SOA 3150 for students in other disciplines.

Video Art II
VSC 3420
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A workshop devoted to the production of independent video projects. Students are expected to have some facility with electronic cameras, sound, and editing techniques and to be highly motivated in the use of video as a creative tool. The course is strongly (though not exclusively) focused on video installation, exploring both its unique properties as a mixed-media, time-based form and its relationship to other contemporary 3-D practices. Offered as NME 3420 for new media majors.
Prerequisite: VSC/NME 2420 and, for new media majors, NME 2100

Direct Carving
VSC 3470
/ 3 credits / Every third semester
An introduction to carving as a discipline in sculpture. Initial emphasis is placed on technical issues of tools and process with the intent of using carving as a method of producing art objects. Historical and contemporary issues are also explored.
Prerequisite: VSC 2120 or 2150

Multiples: Methods for Making
VSC 3480
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Various methods used to make sculptural multiples are explored. Mold-making techniques are taught in clay, glass, paper, and mixed media. Assignments focus on achieving technical expertise and understanding the use of the multiple in contemporary sculpture. Offered as SOA 3180 for students in other disciplines.

Field Trips: Looking at Sculpture
VSC 3540
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Weekly field trips to gallery and museum exhibitions of contemporary sculpture in New York City. Students write responses on a regular basis, both analyzing the exhibitions seen and relating them to their own work. Several classes are held on campus to discuss each student’s current studio work. Open to students in other disciplines on a space-available basis with permission of instructor.

Junior Sculpture Studio I and II
VSC 3550
and 3560 / 3 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
This two-semester course is intended to foster the discovery and sharpening of personal vision and the development of personal initiative and self-motivation. Students have the opportunity to work independently on self-generated projects, which are then presented for both group and individual critique. Required for sculpture majors.
Prerequisite: Limited to visual arts majors who have completed 60 studio credits and intend to complete a senior project in sculpture

VSC 3570
/ 3 credits / Every semester
This intensive exploration of installation art consists of a series of temporary projects that explore site-specific work, which may include a variety of media. Taking into account the range of sensory experience, space and time take on a greater importance than in object-based art works.
Prerequisite: VSC 2120, or VSC 2080 and 2150

Sound/Interactive Media I
VSC 3630
/ 3 credits / Every semester
Sound is explored as material in the context of the visual arts, using DAT recorders, sampling, synthesis, processing, computers, sensor control, and MIDI systems. Projects may include making sonic instruments, sounding objects, and experimental video; ambient, interactive, performative, and multimedia installations; and surround-sound DVDs. Advanced technological means enable uncharted explorations in the time-based arts. Offered as NME 3630 for new media majors and SOA 3210 for students in all other disciplines.

Sound/Interactive Media II
VSC 3640
/ 3 credits / Every semester
A continuation of VSC 3630, for advanced sound and multimedia projects. Sound is further explored in ambient, interactive, performative, time-based, and site-specific installations. Tools available include the Kurzwell K2600 Architectural Synthesis System and Macintosh computers with mixing, synthesis, and DVD surround-sound mastering technology. Interactive programs in the studio include MAX, Jitter, and Cyclops. Offered as NME 3640 for new media majors and SOA 3220 for students in all other disciplines.
Prerequisite: VSC/NME 3630

Studio Assistant
VSC 3950
Refer to VPD 3950 in Painting and Drawing Courses for description.

Senior Seminar I
VSC 4800
/ 3 credits / Fall
Focuses on commitment and professional practice. Students generate portfolios and documentation materials of their own work. Public speaking is emphasized as students learn to articulate and clarify their own work. Teaching methods include lectures, discussions, readings, and field trips. Required for all students undertaking a senior project in sculpture.
Prerequisite: Declared concentration in sculpture

Senior Seminar II
VSC 4810
/ 3 credits / Spring
Extends the goals of VSC 4800, preparing students for the “real world” after graduation. Students research venues for their work, write grant proposals, investigate job possibilities, etc. Contemporary issues in sculpture are addressed through readings and discussions. Required for all students undertaking a senior project in sculpture.
Prerequisite: VSC 4800

Senior Project for Sculpture (Two Semesters)
SCP 4990 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every semester
The two-semester, 8-credit senior project is required for all sculpture 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 for Sculpture (One Semester)
SCP 4991 / 8 credits / Every semester
This is a one-semester variant of the SCP 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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