The synthesis of capabilities in studio, analysis, history and technology is emphasized from the BFA Foundation forward and in the BA in Art. For BFA majors, the Foundation sets the stage for student attention to synthesis as a hallmark and ethos of education at BU School of Visual Arts. Across all four years and undergraduate degrees, SVA emphasizes the role of drawing as a practice and form of analysis that helps students more fluidly connect making with conceptualization through a wide variety of modes. The thesis year and the culminating thesis project, BA Capstone, or Art Education Curriculum document mirror – with individualized mastery – this approach to integrated, experiential, and intellectual learning. In the senior year, each BFA student’s ambitious thesis body of work is exhibited in a professional gallery. Student publications document this culminating synthesis of material and intellectual investigation and inquiry.
Rather than focus on the separation of majors at the start, the SVA undergraduate experience, curriculum, courses and opportunities integrate the following:
- Hands-on and intellectual learning;
- Traditional processes with new technologies (for example, drawing from the model and in the Boston University Medical Anatomy Lab in Anatomy and Figure Drawing can be expanded to the tablet and 4-D space for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Projects in the Anatomy Lab and Medical Graphics Internship projects informed by this class);
- Experiential and reflective opportunities for seeing work first-hand that informs writing about the field;
- Research that matters because it is personalized as well as formalized;
- Form-making and the creative, experimental, artistic use of language that comes before, around, besides and after the studio process to make sense of a body of work in time.
Taken as a constellation, SVA courses for undergraduate students connect with the BU Hub to teach our majors to practice and reflect on aesthetic exploration, research, communication, inquiry, creativity, and the individual in relation to society and history. Knowledge arises from experiential learning in a collaborative context in the studio and on site in cultural spaces. The SVA Foundation and majors teach and reinforce that art making is a learnable and iterative process. Students learn that success is founded in both consistent practice and risk taking and gain confidence through listening to and responding to peer and instructor feedback. They gain self awareness by exploring feeling and thought as a force of expression and a way to communicate ideas. Through their coursework and co-curricular experiences, students are sensitized to the notion that as artists they are engaged members of diverse communities. They build awareness that their experiences and perspectives, while essential to their understanding of self, are not universal. The focused integration of studio processes with liberal arts capacities, foundational skills in making, and the importance of practice, presentation, critique, and self-awareness are all introduced by the SVA BFA Foundation, practiced in the majors, and honed for professional preparation through the BFA thesis or BA capstone processes and coursework.
Learn more about our undergraduate degree offerings in Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Art Education, and a BA in Art.