Foundations

The Foundation Program provides beginning students with fundamental skills, knowledge and experiences essential to their development as visual arts professionals.

Professional success in the visual arts requires knowledge of past and present accomplishments in the field, an ability to make interdisciplinary connections, and a strong sense of self-direction. Students are encouraged to develop and enhance their technical skills, develop their critical judgment, refine their personal goals, and expand their understanding of history and culture. The curriculum offers an introduction to all of the visual arts professions offered by the School of Art, and helps prepares students to choose an undergraduate course of study.

All undergraduate degree programs in art, with the exception of the major in art history, require 12 semester hours of foundations courses. These included classes in 2-D and 3-D design and two classes in basic drawing, all taken during the Freshman year. In addition, all studio and art education majors must take a beginning life drawing class and a two-course sequence surveying the history of world art (excluding the general education course “Introduction to the Visual Arts”). Currently, this basic curriculum, taken at the Freshman and Sophomore levels, comprises a total of 21 semester hours of the 120 or more semester hours required to complete an undergraduate degree at NIU. Transfer students may satisfy some or all of these pre-requisite courses at other institutions, depending on the evaluation of their transfer credit upon entering NIU.

The Foundations Program provides beginning students with fundamental skills, knowledge, and experiences essential to their development as visual arts professionals. Professional success in the visual arts requires knowledge of past and present accomplishments in the field, an ability to make interdisciplinary connections, and the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self-direction. The curriculum also offers an introduction to all of the visual arts professions offered by the School of Art, encourages students to enhance their technical skills as well as their critical judgment, refine their personal goals, and expand their understanding of history and culture.

Goals

Upon successful completion of the Foundations Program, students will have achieved a professional disposition as demonstrated by:

  • Ability to develop and solve visual problems using various strategies for idea generation.
  • Ability to creatively translate ideas into visual terms using a wide range of art media and processes.
  • A capacity to think critically, and write and speak clearly about visual arts.
  • An understanding of the wide range of contemporary and historical visual culture and its role in society.
  • Manifest a work ethic that reflects integrity, teamwork, dedication to professional growth, social responisbility and the confidence to take risks.
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