Visual Arts Studies

Uniquely located in a community of architects, historians and preservationists, the interdisciplinary Visual Arts program at RWU bridges multiple types of media, from drawing and painting to photography and digital media. You’ll engage in lively weekly “Intersections” seminars and receive individualized attention from faculty -- all active artists -- as you create a cohesive body of creative work that reflects your interests.

The Visual Arts Program prepares students for future careers in the arts with an interdisciplinary spirit and a global perspective. Uniquely located within a community of architects, preservationists and historians, the Visual Arts Program plays an active role in bridging the disciplines of the School.  The Visual Arts Faculty consists of active artists who share their experiences with students through lively and challenging discussions and critiques. Media explorations are encouraged throughout the program and culminate in the creation of a body of work that reflects the individual students' interests.  Balancing craft and conceptual agility, new and traditional media, the Visual Arts program positions graduates to engage in an increasingly interdisciplinary world.

To fit the students educational and career goals, Roger Williams University offers two degree tracks for visual artists—the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Fine Arts. The interdisciplinary nature of the program situated within a strong liberal arts curriculum provides a model of study that allows students to explore multiple areas of interest that then informs their creative work.  Our strength is the amount of attention given to each individual student-artist as they develop through the program, preparing them for a future in the arts by cultivating technical proficiency in a number of media, conceptual understanding through ongoing criticism, dialogue and understanding of the cultural context in which they are working.

Visual Arts Concentrations Available

  • Film, Animation and Video
  • Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
  • Photography and Digital Media
  • Sculpture

Distinctive Features of the Visual Arts Program

  • A dynamic student and faculty community with diverse interests
  • Visiting Artists who deliver lectures, have exhibitions on campus and work directly with VARTS students each semester
  • Internship program in partnership with the RWU Career Center
  • Innovative course design featuring the Intersections Program
  • Close Affiliation with the RWU Architecture, Art and Architectural History and Historic Preservation Programs
  • Frequent trips to Museums and Galleries in New York, Boston and beyond
  • Study abroad to our flagship program in Florence, Italy as well as other global venues

To Apply

A portfolio of two and/or three-dimensional work demonstrating evidence of an applicants creative potential is required for admission to the Visual Arts program.  The intent of the portfolio is to allow the program to begin to assess your emerging potential at this earliest stage in your Arts education.  Consistent with the mission of our School, Roger Williams University is interested in and celebrates the variety of expression that applicants demonstrate.  Applicants come from a variety of backgrounds, and we appreciate this variety as the basis for beginning the study of Visual Art at the college level.

For details, please see the Special Requirements for Undergraduate Admissions web page, or contact the SAAHP Office at (401) 254-3681, or saahp@rwu.edu.

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts Studies

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Degree Requirements

Foundation Course Requirements

VARTS101Foundations of Drawing 
VARTS231Foundations of Sculpture 
VARTS261Foundations of Photography 
VARTS281Foundations of Painting 

Intermediate Studios
The Intermediate Studio sequence is a two-part structure of 2 required courses + 3 intermediate studio options including at least one advanced studio option. Students complete all five required + elective studio courses.

 

 

VARTS361Introduction to Digital Media 
VARTS392Mixed Media 

 

 

Students select three (3) elective studios including at least one VARTS studio course at the 400 level or above:

VARTS201Drawing The Figure 
VARTS203Renaissance Drawing Techniques 
VARTS204Renaissance Drawing Techniques: The Human Figure 
VARTS232Intermediate Concepts in Sculpture 
VARTS241Introduction to Printmaking 
VARTS282Oil Painting 
VARTS301Advanced Drawing: Process and Content 
VARTS330Special Topics in Visual Art 
VARTS333Advanced Sculpture: Process and Content 
VARTS351Intermediate Concepts in Photography 
VARTS352Advanced Photography: Process and Content 
VARTS362Film, Video and Animation 
VARTS363Digital Media in 3D: Object and Spaces 
VARTS364Intermediate Concepts in Film, Animation and Video 
VARTS381Painting The Figure 
VARTS382Renaissance Apprentice Workshop 
VARTS383The Art of Buon Fresco 
VARTS430Special Topics in Visual Art 
VARTS431Topics in Sculpture 
VARTS451Topics in Photography/Digital Media 
VARTS469VARTS Coop 
VARTS472Visual Arts Thesis 
VARTS481Topics in Painting/Drawing/Printmaking 
VARTS530Special Topics in Visual Arts 

Seminars

VARTS190VARTS Intersections I 
VARTS290VARTS Intersections II 
VARTS390VARTS Intersections III 

Advanced Studies

VARTS471Visual Arts Professional Practices 
VARTS491Inter-media Workshop (4 credits) 
VARTS492Senior Studio (4 credits) 

History/Theory

AAH121History of Art and Architecture I 
AAH122History of Art and Architecture II 

Electives Requirement

Completion of three elective studios including at least one VARTS studio course at the 400 level or above is required for graduation.

Elective Offerings

Electives

VARTS201Drawing the Figure 
VARTS203Renaissance Drawing Techniques 
VARTS204Renaissance Drawing Techniques: The Human Figure 
VARTS232Intermediate Concepts in Sculpture 
VARTS241Introduction to Printmaking 
VARTS282Oil Painting 
VARTS301Advanced Drawing: Process and Content 
VARTS330Special Topics in Visual Art 
VARTS333Advanced Sculpture: Process and Content 
VARTS351Intermediate Concepts in Photography 
VARTS352Advanced Photography: Process and Content 
VARTS362Film, Video and Animation 
VARTS363Intermediate Concepts in Digitial Media 
VARTS364Intermediate Concepts in Film, Animation, and Video 
VARTS381Painting the Figure 
VARTS382Renaissance Apprentice Workshop 
VARTS383The Art of Buon Fresco 
VARTS430Special Topics in Visual Art 
VARTS431Topics in Sculpture 
VARTS451Topics in Photography/Digital Media 
VARTS469VARTS Coop 
VARTS472Visual Art Thesis 
VARTS481Topics in Painting/Drawing/Printmaking 
VARTS530Special Topics in Visual Arts 

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts Studies

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Degree Requirements

Foundation Course Requirements

VARTS101Foundations of Drawing 
VARTS231Foundations of Sculpture 
VARTS261Foundations of Photography 
VARTS281Foundations of Painting 

Intermediate Studios
Students complete twelve required + elective studio courses.

 

 

VARTS361Introduction to Digital Media 
VARTS392Mixed Media 

 

 

Concentration and Elective Studios
4 intermediate studios, including at least one advanced studio, and 5 additional Visual Arts elective studios. To create the optional media concentration, a sequence of 4 courses must be in the same media area, i.e.: Film, Animation, and Video; Painting, Drawing and Printmaking; Photography and Digital Media or Sculpture including at least on VARTS studio course at the 400 level. Elective studios may be from any of the other media areas.

Film, Animation and Video

VARTS362Film, Animation and Video 
VARTS363Intermediate Concepts in Digital Media* 
VARTS364Intermediate Concepts in Film, Animation and Video 
VARTS451Topics in Photography/Digital Media* 

Painting, Drawing and Printmaking

VARTS201Film, Animation and Video 
VARTS203Renaissance Drawing Techniques 
VARTS204Renaissance Drawing Techniques: The Human Figure 
VARTS241Introduction to Printmaking 
VARTS282Oil Painting 
VARTS301Advanced Drawing: Process and Content 
VARTS381Painting the Figure 
VARTS382Renaiisance Apprentice Workshop 
VARTS383The Art of Buon Fresco 
VARTS481Topics in Painting/Drawing/Printmaking 

Photography and Digital Media

VARTS351Intermediate Concepts in Photography 
VARTS352Advanced Photography: Process and Content 
VARTS363Intermediate Concepts in Digital Media* 
VARTS451Topics in Photography/Digital Media* 

Sculpture

VARTS232Intermediate Concepts in Sculpture 
VARTS333Advanced Sculpture: Process and Content 
VARTS431Topics in Sculpture 

*Maybe be applied to either the Film, Video, and Animation or Photography and Digital Media Concentrations

 

Additional Intermediate studio options may be applied to all concentration areas:

 

VARTS330Special Topics in VIsual Art 
VARTS430Special Topics in VIsual Art 
VARTS530Special Topics in VIsual Art 

Seminars

VARTS190VARTS Intersections I 
VARTS290VARTS Intersections II 
VARTS390VARTS Intersections III 

Advanced Studies

VARTS469VARTS COOP 
VARTS471Visual Arts Professional Practices 
VARTS472Visual Arts Thesis 
VARTS491Inter-media Workshop 
VARTS492Senior Studio 

History/Theory

AAH121History of Art and Architecture I 
AAH122History of Art and Architecture II 

Electives Requirement

Completion of two History/Theory electives is required for graduation.

Elective Offerings

History/Theory Electives

AAH305Theory and Methods of Art and Architectural History 
AAH311AmericanArt 
AAH312Modern Art 
AAH313African Art 
AAH315Art of Buon Fresco 
AAH317Giotto to Leonardo 
AAH318Michelangelo to Vasari 
AAH319History of Italian Renaissance Art 
AAH320The Art of Buon Fresco 
AAH321Arts & Arch of the Classical World 
AAH322Arts & Arch of the Medieval World 
AAH323Arts & Arch of the Islamic World 
ARCH324Evolution of Urban Form 
ARCH325History of Modern Architecture 
ARCH327American Architecture 
ARCH328Renaissance Architecture 
ARCH329Landscape Architecture 
AAH330Special Topics in Art and Architectural History 
FILM101Introduction to Film Studies 
HP341Pre-Industrial America 
HP342Industrial America 
AAH421Issues in Contemporary Art 

Intersections Program
The Intersections program is an ongoing, weekly seminar, required of all VARTS majors throughout their college career. Designed to build a sense of community among the students, the program provides a forum for lively discussion around a range of issues in the arts. Lectures, demonstrations, presentations or round-table discussions with students, faculty and guest artists stimulate an ongoing dialogue meant to complement the studio