Undergraduate Study
Abroad Program


Course Description

This course is designed for students who have considerable experience in painting and drawing and who wish to further their technical skills in painting while concurrently working through independent projects focusing on conceptual and personal issues. Painting is primarily in oils and is used to shore up any technical issues, by focusing on one medium; to connect to an art historical lineage and the language of painting; and to introduce the student to more sophisticated and critical approaches to their chosen area of focus in the context of the contemporary dialogue.

Project work will revolve around an open-ended theme and students will be guided through various stages, with their concurrent conceptual and technical considerations, in the development of their work. As a way of situating themselves in their new context, students will be given an initial project assignment, and will make visual responses to their experiences. They will then work through various technical and visual stages as they develop their chosen theme(s) and will finalize these initial projects for mid-term. The second half of the term will involve the continued development of their work through the expansion of their theme, allowing them to bring in ideas being explored and developed in other courses and media. Students will carry out research towards a final project, which will involve a resolved work or series of works for the final exhibition.

In order for the students to situate their work within a broader context of art-making, and an art-historical lineage, there will be site visits to churches and museums in Siena, as well as slide presentations of artworks through to the contemporary. We will examine and discuss the various expressions of art from different periods, and the forces and world-views that shape(d) their respective contexts.

This course demands a high degree of commitment and self-discipline. Students are expected to carry out their projects and to work in their studios extensively outside class hours. There will be a mid-term and final group critique.


At least 3 semesters of upper-level studio art experience, demonstrated through a significant portfolio of previous work.

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