Art and Art History

The department of art and art history offers courses that provide students with skills in artistic expression and appreciation, and teaches a critical understanding of the contributions of visual art to culture. Students are guided to explore their personal vision, combining studio work with academic studies in art history, with the liberal arts integrated in all courses.

Art and art history faculty and staff are committed to the development of women artists, designers and art educators, providing the breadth of traditional liberal arts education with an emphasis on women's art practice and feminist art history.

The art and art history department is located in the Visual Arts Building which houses first-class facilities and studios, including traditional ceramic, painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture studios, as well as a photography and computer lab. The Visual Resources Library has access to over a million digital images for research and study and also offers students an opportunity for work, capturing and cataloging artwork.

St. Catherine University is located in the heart of the vibrant Twin Cities arts community, ranked ninth among mid-sized U.S. cities in terms of the arts, including the visual arts. Major museums in the Twin Cities include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center, both within minutes of the University. There are also many smaller museums, galleries and sculpture parks in the area for students to visit.

ART 1000 Two-Dimensional Design — 4 credits

Introduction to the basic elements, principles and dynamics of visual art. Course features studio exercises and projects with exploration of two-dimensional art media and class critiques of studio work. Image-illustrated lectures, gallery visits, readings and critical writings supplement assigned studio problems as means of understanding concepts and acquiring skills in visual literacy and two-dimensional design. Required foundation course for studio art, visual art education majors and apparel design majors. Offered every semester. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 1010 Three-Dimensional Design — 4 credits

This foundation course is an introduction to the creation and understanding of three-dimensional form. Studio projects emphasize basic visual aesthetics, the principles and elements of spatial design and the processes and materials used to create sculptural forms. Three-dimensional design is also a preliminary course of study for architecture, furniture or product design, theater design, fashion design and many other disciplines. Image lectures, readings, critiques, gallery visits and written assignments supplement the course. Required foundation course for studio art, visual art education majors and apparel design majors. Offered every semester. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 1050 Art in the Twin Cities — 4 credits

Basic introduction to the study of visual art for non-majors. This art appreciation course emphasizes experiencing art directly and in-depth at museums and venues throughout the Twin Cities. Lectures will focus on themes and issues related to art including: the artist, the process of art and an overview of art history, visual culture and contemporary issues in art. Image lectures, discussions, readings, museum visits and written assignments. Offered in Evening/Weekend/Online Program.

ART 1200 Drawing — 4 credits

Introduction to drawing focuses on drawing from observation and mastery of essential skills that includes a section on drawing from the human figure. Course presents art theory and studio practice leading to competence at the foundation level. Studio exercises, critiques and sketchbook assignments, supplemented by image lectures and readings. Required foundation course for studio art, visual art education majors and apparel design majors. Offered every semester. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 1370 Making Better Photographs: Essential Principles of Photography — 4 credits

This fine arts course offers an introduction to fundamental digital photography tools, processes, and aesthetic principles. Emphasis is placed on the use of photography as a tool for developing creativity and heightened visual awareness. Image-based assignments address core technical and aesthetic decisions at every stage in the photographic process including camera controls, image editing and manipulation, compositional strategies, and preparing images for final display. Access to a digital camera is required for the duration of the course. Although a digital SLR (DSLR) or similar camera is recommended and offers the greatest flexibility and creative control, it is not required. The course can be successfully completed using any digital camera from cell phones to DSLRs. (Online sections only: Adobe Lightroom editing software installed on a personal computer is required for the duration of the online offering of the course. The education version of Adobe Lightroom may be purchased on a subscription basis through Adobe Creative Cloud.) Offered in the College for Women and the College for Adults.

ART 2000 Jewelry — 4 credits

Introduction to the use of metal as an art medium and of three-dimensional design as applied to jewelry. Emphasis on developing skill with metalsmithing tools and basic techniques in fabrication. Formal and conceptual development will be explored within the context of historical and contemporary jewelry and metalwork production. Offered in the summer.

ART 2150 Color — 4 credits

Basic principles and theories of color are explored in a hands-on sequence of assignments. Using paint as the primary medium, and introducing digital processes, color mixing skills are acquired that are important to the fine artist and designer, as well as to anyone interested in understanding the influence of color on the human psyche. Class procedures include demonstrations, illustrated lectures and critiques. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2250 Art and Technology — 4 credits

This course is an introduction to computers as a tool and digital culture as a medium for creative expression and communication. Students will gain a hands-on understanding of graphic software and hardware in both object- and pixel-oriented programs. The class will consider the impact of computer technology on visual art and culture by means of online research and discussion. Using the computer as an art-making tool, students undertake projects that incorporate their own artistic expression. Class procedures include demonstrations, illustrated lectures and critiques. Required course for studio art, visual art education and art history majors. Offered every semester. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2300 Painting: Oil — 4 credits

This course is an exploration of the processes of painting with oil on canvas and other supports. The subject matter stresses practical knowledge of materials and experience in the use of the art elements, especially color, light and volume in compositions that employ various subject matter. This course exposes students to a variety of traditional and contemporary techniques in order to encourage the development of a personal vision. Image lectures, critiques. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2310 Painting: Acrylic — 4 credits

This course is an exploration of the processes of painting with acrylic on canvas and other supports. The subject matter stresses practical knowledge of materials and experience in the use of the art elements, especially color, light and volume in compositions that employ various subject matter. This course exposes students to a variety of traditional and contemporary techniques in order to encourage the development of a personal vision. Image lectures, critiques. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2320 Painting: Watercolor — 4 credits

Explore the methods of painting transparent watercolors on a variety of papers. Students learn how to manipulate design elements and principles, especially color, in painting a variety of subjects. Personal expression and strong compositional strategies are emphasized. Offered in the summer.

ART 2340 Printmaking — 4 credits

Discover the world of multiple copies of the same image through printmaking. Students will investigate woodcut, etching, and other printing techniques on a variety of surfaces to explore drawn images, pattern and surface design. Traditional and contemporary approaches and techniques will develop students' ideas and personal imagery. Offered occasionally.

ART 2360 Introduction to Black and White Photography — 4 credits

This course offers an introduction to the basic skills of black and white photography, emphasizing both technique and the development of a creative visual vocabulary. Structured assignments develop a working knowledge of the camera and of the elements and principles of design. Both digital and darkroom processes will be explored. A self-directed final project encourages individual creativity. Some film and paper supplies are required. Cameras will be available for checkout. Offered every semester. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2370 Photography and Digital Storytelling — 4 credits

This course is an introduction to Digital Storytelling, an art form that emphasizes personal expression and the use of multimedia production tools to tell true stories. In the course students will produce short movies (under three minutes) using still images and sound to explore the many ways in which small stories convey big ideas. Students will learn how to capture, edit and sequence digital photographs and sound to create self-contained videos that can be viewed by a wide audience on a variety of platforms, including the internet and many mobile devices. No prior photography experience is necessary. A digital camera is required equipment for the course. A portable voice recorder capable of recording .mp3 or .wav files is recommended. This course can be taken in place of the ART 3360 Photography II or ART 3370 Digital Photography requirement for the studio art major with a concentration in photography and the studio art photography minor. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2400 Wheel-Thrown Pottery — 4 credits

In this introduction to the use of clay on the potter's wheel, pottery form and a range of surface treatments will be explored. Students are given a historical, aesthetic and technical foundation for working with clay on the potter's wheel. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2450 Ceramics — 4 credits

An introductory ceramics course, this class explores the possibilities of artistic expression in clay through hands-on experience. This course will review the history of ceramics as well as look at contemporary artists as students learn a variety of hand-building techniques. Students will be encouraged to go beyond learning the techniques toward developing their personal expression. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ART 2500 Sculpture — 4 credits

Sculpture is the study of form, formation and transformation. In this class, students will learn about sculptural form and space and the infitie possibilities of material, process and inspiration. Students will be instructed in clay, wood, plaster, metal and mixed media as well as installation and time-based art. Along with developing three-dimensional skills, students will be encouraged to begin developing their own sculptural aesthetic. Image lectures, field trips and readings. Offered annually.
Recommended: ART 1010.

ART 2550 Sculpture: Metal — 4 credits

In this introduction to the materials, processes, and forms of welded and cast sculpture, students will learn fabrication processes including welding, brazing, cutting, bending and metal casting, as well as finishing processes such as grinding and surface treatment. The possibility for sculptural exploration throughout the process will be emphasized as students work on independent projects. Studio work is supplemented with technical demonstrations, image lectures, readings, field trips and critical discussions. Offered occasionally.
Recommended: ART 1010.

ART 2600 Figure Drawing — 4 credits

In-depth study in drawing the human figure, featuring concepts, anatomy, vocabulary and process, with exploration of materials and techniques and consideration of aesthetic and cultural issues in depicting the human body. Studio work is supplemented by readings and discussion, illustrated lectures, critiques, critical writing assignment and class visits to galleries and museums. Offered in the College for Women and the College for Adults.
Prerequisite: Some previous drawing experience.

ART 2952 Independent Study — 2 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.
Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty and department chair or program director.

ART 2994 Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses. Topics may be either studio art courses or art history courses. Offered in the College for Women and the College for Adults.

ART 3150 Publication Design — 4 credits

This graphic design course offers hands-on computer experience in the major forms of printed communications: books, newspapers and magazines. Typography and the principles of visual communication integrating images and text are explored through exercises and projects. Students are introduced to historical aspects and contemporary issues in the field as well as current software for layout design. Class procedures include demonstrations, illustrated lectures, critiques and field trips. Offered in rotation every third semester. Offered in the College for Women.
Recommended: ART 2250.

ART 3180 Illustration Design — 4 credits

This graphic design course explores the concepts and techniques of communicating with images. Using appropriate software, students complete exercises and projects that introduce them to commercial practices, as well as develop their personal vision and style. Class procedures include demonstrations, illustrated lectures and critiques. Offered in rotation every third semester. Offered in the College for Women.
Recommended: ART 2250 and/or ART 1000 or ART 1200.

ART 3200 Graphic and Web Design — 4 credits

Graphic design is the application of art and communication skills to the needs of society. Using computer software, the first part of the course is a comprehensive foundation in the conceptual, aesthetic and technical aspects of graphic design, including graphic identity. The second part builds on these skills to explore designing for the internet using appropriate software. Students execute exercises and projects. Class procedures include demonstrations, illustrated lectures and critiques. Offered in rotation every third semester.
Recommended: ART 2250.

ART 3310 Advanced Painting — 4 credits

Continuation of ART 2300, 2310 or 2320 with greater independence, emphasizing development of a personal vision and style in painting. Offered every semester in conjunction with above courses. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisites: ART 2300, ART 2310 or ART 2320.

ART 3350 Advanced Printmaking — 4 credits

Advanced work in printmaking processes, investigating techniques learned in ART 2340 with photo applications and color printing. The development of a personal visual style will be encouraged along with traditional print editions. Offered in conjunction with ART 2340.
Prerequisite: ART 2340.

ART 3370 Digital Photography — 4 credits

This course offers an introduction to digital color photography. A semester-long project encourages individual creativity and the critical examination of issues in contemporary photography. Digital processes will be emphasized and incorporated throughout the course: working with Adobe Photoshop, scanning slides and negatives, making inkjet prints, and assembling images for on-screen display. An accomplished portfolio, including an individualized final project, must be presented at the end of the course. Students must provide their own 35mm and/or digital camera and film and printing supplies. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.
Recommended: ART 2360.

ART 3400 Advanced Wheel-Thrown Pottery — 4 credits

Continued exploration of ART 2400, using a broader range of clay bodies, surface treatments and firing techniques. Students will develop a greater critical understanding and a personal vision. Offered in conjunction with ART 2400. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: ART 2400.

ART 3450 Advanced Sculpture: Ceramics — 4 credits

A continuation of ART 2450, students will focus on expanding their clay skills while continuing to develop and refine their individual ideas. Students will also learn more about glazes and the firing process. Offered in conjunction with ART 2450. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: ART 2450.

ART 3500 Advanced Sculpture — 4 credits

Continued exploration and development of techniques, conceptual skills and content introduced in ART 2500 or ART 2550. Students will explore their ideas more deeply and in virtually any medium, as well as refine their vocabulary and knowledge of contemporary sculptural practice. Image lectures, critiques, readings and writing assignments supplement the course. Offered annually in conjunction with ART 2500.
Prerequisite: ART 2500 or ART 2550.

ART 4200 Women's Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive — 3 credits

A resurgence of activity and discussion around the issues of women and art has galvanized contemporary women artists to ask new questions. Structured around questions that the participants themselves bring, this innovative and rigorous course focuses on investigating ideas and creating art that arise through the combination of open studio work, intense individual tutoring, inspiring conversation and critiques, and presentations from guest artists, critics and art historians. This intensive four-week studio program is designed for individuals who have mastered basic skills and now wish to pursue deeper levels of understanding and expression in their work. Disciplines explored include painting, drawing, collage, photography, sculpture, digital art, installation and performance. Students are assigned a preliminary project and are expected to produce a major portfolio of work by the end of the course for class critique. Also offered as WOST 4200.
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

ART 4602 Internship — 2 credits

Structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves students in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, students must meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

ART 4604 Internship — 4 credits

Structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves students in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, students must meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

ART 4684 Directed Study - Studio Art — 4 credits

Directed study is provided for students whose unusual circumstances prohibit taking a regularly scheduled course but who need the material of that course to satisfy a requirement. Availability of this faculty-directed learning experience depends on faculty time and may be limited in any given term and restricted to certain courses.
Prerequisites: Faculty, department chair and dean approval.

ART 4800 Senior Seminar for Studio Art Majors — 4 credits

Senior Seminar for Studio Art Majors is a study of the resources and opportunities available to artists and designers to aid in their development as working professionals. Topics that will be addressed include career planning, resume writing, portfolio preparation, non-profit resources, graduate studies, and other strategies for making a living as an artist or designer. Course content will take the form of lectures, demonstrations, studio work, discussions, readings, visiting artist lectures, studio visits, and student presentations. There will be class presentations by working artists and professionals to acquaint students with a range of challenges and opportunities faced by artists and designers working in several disciplines. During the course, students will also be required to produce a self directed art project, and to critically examine their own work and the work of other students in order to clarify career goals and identify potential opportunities. Required course for studio art majors. Offered in the College for Women.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Portfolio Review II, approval of department chair.

ART 4850 Senior Exhibition — 1 credit

Preparation and exhibition of graduating studio art majors' artwork in the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. Represents the culmination of major study for studio art majors, including those studying visual arts education. Students must complete the Senior Exhibition within four years of finishing the other requirements for the studio art major. Offered spring semester only.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Portfolio Review II and approval of department chair.

ART 4951 Independent Study — 1 credit

Independent studies presuppose a measure of experience in the area of study and the intent to go beyond the content of scheduled classes.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and the department chair approval.

ART 4952 Independent Study - Studio Art — 2 credits

Independent studies presuppose a measure of experience in the area of study and the intent to go beyond the content of scheduled classes.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and the department chair approval.

ART 4954 Independent Study - Studio Art — 4 credits

Independent studies presuppose a measure of experience in the area of study and the intent to go beyond the content of scheduled classes.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and the department chair approval.

ART 4993 Topics — 3 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

ART 4994 Studio Art Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.

ARTH 1100 Introduction to Art History: Ancient Through Medieval — 4 credits

This course is an introduction to the history of Western art from prehistory through the Middle Ages. Beginning with the cave paintings of prehistoric France and Spain, this course surveys the visual arts and architecture of ancient Egypt and the ancient Near East, the Classical Greek and Roman worlds, and finally medieval Europe. It considers a variety of media (sculpture, pottery, wall painting, mosaics, and manuscripts as well as architecture) as meaningful expressions of their historical contexts. Questions surrounding how art and architecture function in society are explored throughout, and the basic principles of visual analysis are taught and utilized. Offered in alternate years. Offered in the College for Women.

ARTH 1110 Introduction to Art History: Renaissance through Modern — 4 credits

This course is an introduction to the history of Western art from the early Renaissance in Europe to the present in Europe and the U.S. It surveys the artists, architects, and art movements that constitute the canon of Western art since the Renaissance with an eye to examining how society influences artistic production and vice versa. The role of patronage, individual artistic personalities, religion, war and peace, and attitudes about gender are explored throughout. The basic principles of visual analysis are taught and utilized; students are also introduced to fundamental methods of art history such as iconography, formalism, and social art history. This course also includes a visit to, and analysis of an artwork in, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Offered in alternate years. Offered in the College for Women.

ARTH 1150 Ways of Seeing — 4 credits

The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe." John Berger made this claim in 1972, when he published a thin, but hugely influential book called Ways of Seeing. This course intends to bring Berger’s statement – and the insights of his book – to bear on our own experiences of art, history, and visual culture in the early 21st century. An introduction to the history of art and visual culture, this course considers local and global case studies that implicate images, image makers, and viewers. These are explored according to themes that cut across historical and geographical boundaries, themes that include, but are not limited to art and ideology, beauty and art, the female body and the male gaze, iconoclasm, piety and religious spaces, museums, popular and consumer culture, and social change. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ARTH 2650W Modern Art — 4 credits

This course offers students an introduction to some of the major artists, movements, and ideas of modern art as it flourished in continental Europe in the early 20th century. It also equips students with the skill of close looking and the ability to conduct original research on a single work of art. This writing-intensive course asks each student to conduct a semester-long research project on a work of modern art in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Concurrent with their research, students learn about the broader socio-historical context that made modern art possible. Beginning around 1880 and ending in the early 1940s, this course covers phenomena and movements including primitivism and abstraction as well as Cubism, Constructivism, and Surrealism. It also examines how concepts of race and ethnicity, class and gender shaped artistic production while considering the impact of WWI and WWII on modern art. This writing-intensive course is required for students majoring in art history, studio art, and/or art education. Offered annually. Offered in the College for Women.

ARTH 2670 Contemporary Art — 4 credits

This course examines key ideas and select episodes in the art of the past fifty, or so, years. It assumes that artists working today are keenly aware of and engaged with potent cultural mythologies that shape our ways of being in the world. How, then, do contemporary artists respond to such mythologies (or value systems)? How do their modes of visualizing this engagement with society manifest themselves in performance, film, video, installation, and conceptual art as well as in more traditional media such as painting and sculpture? Consideration of primary sources (i.e. artworks, artist's statements and interviews) and secondary sources (i.e. art criticism and art historical texts) will be central to course content and discussion. Fieldtrips and visits with artists are also integrated into the course schedule and assignments. Offered in alternate years.

ARTH 2994 Art History Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses. Offered in the College for Women.

ARTH 3630 Women in Art — 4 credits

This course considers the artworks, lives, and voices of selected women artists across history, geography, and society. As an art-history course, it is also attentive to the ways in which women artists have been written about – or not – in the history of art. It challenges, however, the conventional narratives that tend to govern the study of women and art (e.g. the overlooked woman artist, the forgotten maverick) by emphasizing, as much as possible, the material realities of their lives and the formal integrity of their work. Organized in three parts – history, theory, practice – this class includes lectures and discussions, individual and group work, films and videos, fieldtrips and visits with practicing artists and feminist scholars. The working definition of feminism that this course endorses comes from art historian Griselda Pollock, who believes: "Feminism signifies a set of positions, not an essence; a critical practice, not a dogma; a dynamic and self-critical response and intervention, not a platform. It is the precarious product of a paradox. Seeming to speak in the name of women, feminist analysis perpetually deconstructs the very term around which it is politically organized." Also offered as WOST 3630. Offered in alternate years. Offered in the College for Women.

ARTH 3700 Renaissance And Baroque — 4 credits

This course traces developments in painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy from the 14th century to the 17th century. The lives and works of Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, da Vinci and Michelangelo are considered in advance of their creative offspring in the Baroque period, artists and architects such as Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Bernini and Borromini.  Discussion of these artists and their creations will center on their materials and methods, reception, patronage and functions in society.  The impact of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation on the visual and plastic arts of these periods will also figure prominently.  Offered in alternate years.

ARTH 4000 Methods in Art History — 4 credits

This course provides students of art history with a toolbox of methodologies that enhance our understanding of art and architecture. It explores object-based methods such as connoisseurship, formalism, and iconography as well as methods that emphasize the various contexts in which artworks and buildings are created and understood: these include social art history (including Marxist and Feminist approaches), structuralism and post-structuralism, psychoanalysis and reception theory. Although methodological theories are the primary objects of study in this seminar-style course, applications of these theories in case studies are emphasized. Offered every three years. Required for art history majors.

ARTH 4684 Directed Study - Art History — 4 credits

Directed study is provided for students whose unusual circumstances prohibit taking a regularly scheduled course but who need the material of that course to satisfy a requirement. Availability of this faculty-directed learning experience depends on faculty time and may be limited in any given term and restricted to certain courses.
Prerequisites: Faculty, department chair and dean approval.

ARTH 4952 Independent Study - Art History — 2 credits

Independent studies presuppose a measure of experience in the area of study and the intent to go beyond the content of scheduled classes.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and department chair approval.

ARTH 4954 Independent Study - Art History — 4 credits

Independent studies presuppose a measure of experience in the area of study and the intent to go beyond the content of scheduled classes.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and department chair approval.

ARTH 4994 Art History Topics — 4 credits

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.