Transdisciplinary Visual Arts
Advisory Board:Dorotha Lemeh
Amy McLaughlin (Affiliate Assistant Professor)
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."
As our ways of interacting with the world change and expand through, for example, new technologies, widespread, growing access to new information and new forms of media, and through scientific and cultural exchange, so must our ways of understanding and evaluating such interactions. The Wilkes Honors College (WHC) program in Transdisciplinary Visual Art encourages students to examine and develop multiple forms of analysis and critique from various academic disciplines which cross, interact and shape knowledge. Basarab Nicolescu explains transdisciplinary, as between the disciplines, across the different disciplines and beyond the disciplines . The courses of this transdisciplinary concentration require breadth of inquiry into a number of disciplines and the creation of visual art. Such inquiry is predicated on the notion that disciplines are concomitant and potentially symbiotic ways of sharing knowledge and making meaning, and that such collaboration fruitfully informs and is informed by the visual art created.
The Honors Transdisciplinary Visual Art Concentration works significantly with other disciplines in the humanities, the natural and social sciences. Students learn basic visual vocabulary, and are expected to develop their own aesthetic standards. The analysis of the art, though valuable, is only a portion of the curriculum. Artistic production along with the development of visual literacy, and an understanding of their relevance to the individual's artistic practice is an indispensable part of this academic study. A combined exploration of these areas will help students to construct meaningful visual images and forms, to develop problem-solving skills, to differentiate arguments from opinions, and to speak, write, or otherwise represent their ideas in a coherent and persuasive way. This program assists students in preparing for careers in the art field, including art history, art criticism, studio art, scientific illustration, and arts administration in community and public art programs.
Requirements: All students concentrating in Honors Transdisciplinary Visual Studies Concentration must complete 2 introductory courses, 5 additional Visual Arts courses, and 5 courses in related disciplines. Students must spend two semesters of their senior year in consultation with their concentration advisor researching and writing an honors thesis or completing the capstone project. Those choosing to specialize in Fine Art Studio Art or/and Scientific Illustration must prepare an art exhibition along with a catalogue and/or an honors thesis; students without an area of specialization or who choose to specialize in Visual Studies (Art Criticism, Art History & Theory) must complete an honors thesis.
I. Introductory Coursework (2 courses, 7 credits)
Concentrators must take:
II. Additional Coursework in the Visual Arts (5 courses, 15-20 credits)
Concentrators must take a minimum of 5 additional courses in the Visual Arts from the approved list, which is organized into three academic tracks:
Students who choose not to specialize in one of the areas may select any 5 courses from the list, regardless of the area, for a broad range of study. Students selecting one of the three tracks of specialization must select their courses as follows:
Track 1: Fine Art - Studio, Electronic Arts & Digital ImagingThe introduction of new media technology in the visual arts has significantly altered the ways in which understanding, creating, and making meaning from images occurs in art. While the Fine Art - Studio, Electronic Arts & Digital Imaging track supports traditional methods of studio application in addition to, or instead of, non-traditional methods of creation, it requires that students learn about and utilize new media techniques in their course of study. Traditional methods include painting, drawing, printmaking, installation, performance, and sculpture. Non-traditional approaches include electronic moving media, computer arts, interactive devices, new media digital art elements, projections, digital photography and digital video. The course of study in Fine Art - Studio, Electronic Arts & Digital Imaging cultivates the background required for students to confidently pursue graduate study or careers as professional artists and will prepare students to create strong, diverse portfolios for entering today s eclectic contemporary art world. Of the 5 additional Visual Arts courses taken from the approved list, at least 4 should be Studio Art courses (indicated by a 'C' in the course number) and at least 1 must be Critical Theory in the Arts courses. Students planning to complete graduate work in studio arts are encouraged to select 3 additional courses in Track I: Fine Art Studio for a total of 8.
Courses Satisfying "Additional Art Coursework"
Track 1: Fine Art - Studio, Electronic Arts & Digital Imaging
Track 2: Scientific Illustration (BioArt)To be admitted into this Track, students must have completed ART 1300C Honors Drawing I; and Art 1202C Honors Design and Color Phenomena and undergo a portfolio review; or otherwise have permission from the concentration advisory board.
This course of study involves and supports close observation, analytical assessment, accurate portrayal and illustration of plants, mammals, insects, and other scientifically relevant specimens. The scientific illustration track is open to students interested not only in medical illustration but also in, for example, Anthropology, Ecology, Environmental Studies or Marine Biology. Students pursuing the Scientific Illustration track are expected to take a minimum of 15 credit hours of coherent coursework in a relevant natural science, anthropology, or environmental studies, exclusive of credit hours used to satisfy the natural science or other core requirement. The course of study in Scientific Illustration prepares students to create strong portfolios that will enable them to pursue graduate study or careers as professional illustrators. Of the 5 courses taken from the approved list, at least one course needs to be a philosophy course. Students planning to pursue graduate study in scientific illustration are encouraged to take natural science courses covering a broad range of areas and time periods. For those interested in pre-medical illustration additional coursework in one or more of these areas of science Human Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Cancer Biology, Genetics, and Microbiology is essential. Students considering graduate school are encouraged, though not required to take studio art courses beyond the 5 classes required in order to build a strong portfolio. Students focusing on this track are encouraged to take IDS: 2173 Honors Arts, Humanities, and Science Seminar.
Courses Satisfying "Additional Art Coursework"
Track 2: Scientific Illustration (BioArt)
Track 3: Visual Studies (Art Criticism, History, and Theory)This course of study requires transdisciplinary explorations of conceptual and theoretical frameworks in the Arts, Humanities, Natural and Social Sciences. The fields of study, which such transdisciplinarity may engage, include Art (criticism, theory, history, design), Anthropology (physical, cultural, linguistic, archaeological), Area Studies (African, American, Asian, Middle Eastern), Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies (Conservation, Ecology, Geography, Oceanography), Film Studies, History, International Studies, Literature, Media Studies, Philosophy (aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics), Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Women Studies. In the area of Visual Studies a strong background in art, art history, art criticism and writing prepares students to pursue graduate study or careers relevant to creative production in cultural and social venues. Of the 5 Visual Studies courses needed to complete the requirement students are encouraged to take at least 3 upper division courses in Art History or in studio-based Critical Theory in the Arts. Students planning to complete graduate work in art history are encouraged to take art history courses covering a broad range of areas and time periods as well as consider pursuing a minor in one of the following disciplines: Anthropology, Critical Theory, English, History, Philosophy or Women s Studies.
Courses Satisfying "Additional Art Coursework"
Track 3: Visual Studies (Art Criticism, History, and Theory)
III. Honors Courses in Related Disciplines (4 courses, 12 credits)
All concentrators must take at least 4 courses in a related discipline (not art or art history) from the approved list below. These courses are, like the rest of the Liberal Arts curriculum, integral to the development of a mature, articulate, well-rounded individual knowledgeable about the field. Students are encouraged to expose themselves to other ways of constructing knowledge and understanding the world. If students would rather fulfill this requirement pursuing a minor in another discipline in order to fulfill this requirement they may do so. This focus helps students to develop their critical and analytical skills so as to argue persuasively and coherently in oral or written forms.
IV. Honors Thesis (6 credits)
A visual art portfolio with an exhibition, a written catalog or thesis, or a combination thereof, constitutes an honors thesis in the Transdisciplinary Visual Arts Concentration. The choice for the thesis completed in most cases is Track Dependent.
Honors Thesis for Track I: Fine Art - Studio, Electronic Arts and Digital Imaging; and Track II: Scientific IllustrationA senior thesis exhibition with a 20 to 30-page catalogue and/or thesis is the culmination of a student s training in the area of Fine Art - Studio, Electronic Arts & Digital Imaging or the focus in Scientific Illustration. The contents of the portfolio and written text reflect the student's confidence, artistic maturity, and ability to both visually and contextually critique the production of such images and objects. A senior thesis exhibition will be held either during the Spring Symposium or in a gallery space of the student s choosing. A copy of the portfolio with catalogue and/or thesis will be given to the WHC and kept in book form and/or placed in a digitized file, which is then placed in the library archive.
Honors Thesis for Track III: Visual Studies (Art Criticism, Art History & Theory)Senior Thesis in Visual Studies (Art Criticism, Art History & Theory) is the culmination of a student s training and study of the visual arts, art history, and art criticism. The contents of the thesis reflect the student's confidence, scholarly maturity, and ability to contextually critique the history of visual forms, their creative production, and historical development of such images and objects. Therefore the senior thesis will be compromised of a written document of 30 to 50 pages combining text and images, a public presentation (Symposium) and defense of his/her research. A final corrected or edited copy of this thesis research will be submitted in book form and/or as a digitized file electronically.
V. Internship or Study Abroad
Students are required to satisfy the Honors College requirement of an internship or Study Abroad Program by doing an internship or study abroad that focuses on the visual arts.
VI. Minor in Transdisciplinary Visual Art:Fine Art Studio, Visual Studies or Scientific Illustration
19-23 Credit HoursTo receive a minor in TVA students must take Art 1202C (4 credits) and Art 1300C (3 credits) as well as at least 4 courses from among the courses in Section II. For a minor in TVA focusing on Fine Art Studio or Scientific Illustration, any combination of upper-level courses may be selected from Section II/Tracks I or II. For a minor in TVA with a focus on Art Criticism or Art History the 4 courses must be selected from the list in Section II/Track III. Students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average in courses taken for the Minor Concentration. At least 50% of upper level credits in the minor must be from Honors College courses.
Students are reminded that they must have 45 credits of upper level (3000 or 4000 level) coursework to graduate.