From the early years the department was a vibrant locus for innovation, interdisciplinary inquiry, and critical reflection. Artists on the faculty at that time included Allan Kaprow, Geoffrey Hendricks, Robert Watts and Carolee Schneemann, all instrumental figures in the Fluxus movement which is known for upending rules and blurring boundaries between disciplines. The department’s open approach included the founding of the first MFA program that was not discipline specific. These roots continue to influence experimental approaches in Art & Design.
The BFA in Visual Arts offers concentrations in drawing, media, painting, photography, print, and sculpture. Students may also opt to pursue a BA in Art or Art Minor.
Students explore drawing as a discipline with its own history, traditions, and materials, as well as one where boundaries are fluid enough to include the diverse media and conceptual approaches embraced in contemporary practice. Emphasis is placed on students developing personal visual languages with which to explore their interests and goals as artists in the 21st century.
Through creative exploration of video, audio, animation, interactivity, and art for the web as well as installation and performance, students in the media program develop a strong foundation in technical proficiency in the context of historical and theoretical research in technology, art, and contemporary culture. Media graduates will be able to enter a diversity of professional fields as they maximize their artistic potential and become creative problem solvers.
The painting curriculum is structured around a deep and rigorous engagement with the practice of painting. Students are challenged to explore the interwoven historical, material, formal, and conceptual aspects of the medium. Drawing on a range of technical approaches and historical models, including its relationship to other art forms, students are immersed in painting culture to develop and strengthen their individual artistic voices.
Through the study of photographic technique, the history of photography, and the critique of images, the photography curriculum emphasizes development of a personal voice. In the first year, students are introduced to photography through 35mm, 4×5, and other film cameras and the analog darkroom. The second year is devoted to digital photography, and the third year concentrates on portfolio development and preparation for the thesis exhibition. Optional advanced courses enable students to expand their practice of photography.
Students in the print program explore a full range of printmaking processes including silkscreen, woodcut, linocut, reduction printing, intaglio, lithography, digital printing, and letterpress as well as paper making and creating handmade books. Students study the history of print, paper, collaboration, and criticism. Courses encourage students to combine print mediums, and artistic development is addressed through individual and group critiques and the collaborative studio.
The sculpture program is devoted to the process of developing three-dimensional forms through the use of traditional and nontraditional materials. Curriculum and coursework are designed to provide students with a strong foundation in a range of technical skills and processes and to challenge more advanced students to develop their own personal voice. Emphasis is placed within the context of contemporary art practice and in recognition of historical developments.
The Visiting Artists program is central to Art & Design and includes weekly lectures, studio visits, and critiques by leading artists, curators, and writers working across a wide spectrum of practices and critical perspectives. Students across all programs are invited and encouraged to attend these public lectures, which take place throughout the academic year. All visiting artist talks are free and open to the public.
To view all upcoming Visiting Artist talks and more Art & Design events, please visit our events calendar.
Students: Visiting Artist video archive is accessible at art.rutgers.edu with NetID and password.
2019-2020 Visiting Artists
Alex Da Corte
Wickerham & Lomax
2018-2019 Visiting Artists
Farah Al Qasimi
2017-2018 Visiting Artists
Jennie C. Jones