The Art Field Group offers a major that includes required courses in Studio Art and Art History, and an option for a combined major with Media Studies or with another Program of Study. More information about the programs can be found below and in the course catalog.
In studio art, the relation of the artist-teacher to the students precludes the possibility of overly specific course descriptions, other than general indications of media and level of advancement. However, it is important to note that entry-level courses assume no prior knowledge. First-year students are encouraged to enroll in these classes. Lower division studio art courses focus on the development of individual ideas in the context of class assignments. Additionally, but no less important is acquiring an understanding of tools, materials and techniques for the successful manifestations of those ideas. The artist-teacher presents material from her/his experience, convictions, technical knowledge and aesthetic sensibilities in the order and at the rate which, in her/his judgment will best related to the needs of the class and the individual student. Classroom activities are placed in the context of an historical perspective. Ample opportunity for dialogue among the students and artist-teacher is encouraged. The advanced studio course offerings have prerequisites and as such, are oriented toward more complex problem-solving and projects, both for the individual and for the group.
Art/Media Studies Combined Major
A combined major in Art and Media Studies requires: seven (7) Media Studies courses (one introductory critical/theoretical Media Studies course; one introductory production course; one media theory course; one media history course; and three additional electives); six (6) Studio Art courses in at least three different media, and two Art History courses. Up to two courses can count for both fields if approved by the student’s major advisers. In addition, students should take both Capstone courses (Senior Projects in Art and Senior Seminar in Media Studies) or can choose to substitute an independent study for one Capstone course as approved by major advisers.
Studio Art, Combined Major
Combined Major in studio art requires 10 courses, which allows for a reduction of one (1) studio art class in the major. Art students are encouraged to consider combined and full majors with other disciplines. Recent combined and full majors include art and Environmental Studies, art and anthropology, art and art history and art and psychology, among others.
Students in the studio art and art history majors will be encouraged to enroll in no less than one semester of study abroad, usually during the junior year. Such study may be taken through one of Pitzer’s many study abroad programs. No honors program is available in the studio art major.
Studio Art Honors
Art majors with a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.5 overall will be invited to have their work evaluated for honors. Students will submit a written proposal that will be evaluated by Art faculty in the fall of their senior year. Selected students will go on to write a thesis to accompany their artwork in the senior exhibition and prepare an oral defense of their work. Students who complete these required thesis components and receive a grade of “A” will be recommended by the Art Field Group for honors.
There are four exhibition spaces to accommodate these exhibitions. The Salathé Gallery, located in the lower level of McConnell Center, functions as a classroom lab and a gallery and is administered by members of the art faculty. The Nichols Gallery, located in Broad Center, is a spacious gallery that lends itself to large-scale painting, sculpture and performance activity. The Hinshaw Gallery, is an intimate domestic space located in the Grove House and is administered by the Grove House Committee. The Circle Gallery, located in the Gold Student Center, is a medium sized gallery that can accommodate free-standing and pedestal-based objects, as well as two-dimensional work. The Lenzner Gallery is appropriate for works in all mediums and is particularly suitable for film and video.
Pitzer Advisers: B. Anthes, T. Berg, C. Ennis, S. Gilbert, T. Krajnak, J. McCoy
Student Learning Outcomes
- Gain knowledge of the theory, history, and philosophy of art.
- Gain an understanding of art objects and traditions in their historical contexts and across cultures.
- Learn how to communicate effectively about art works in both written and oral forms
- Learn how to conduct research in art history.
- Attain the skills and knowledge to pursue a productive career or further education in art history, or a related field.
Our graduates will:
- Develop diverse formal and conceptual vocabularies.
- Learn to select appropriate materials, techniques and concepts in order to create informed, intentional and communicative works of art.
- Learn to refine, revise, and think critically about their work and that of their peers.
- Understand their work within the context of art history and global contemporary artistic practice.
- Attain the ability and confidence to articulate, verbally and through the written word their unique point of view.
- Display professionalism in the documentation and presentation of their work.