Cast metal, pour iron, cut steel. Model and prototype digitally. Push scale and context. Add motion and electricity. Indoor and outdoor. Concept, create, install site-specific work.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
The Sculpture major is offered in the four-year bachelor of fine arts degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted by
Core Four—fundamental courses that are structured to enrich each student's professional development over four years.
Sculpture means so many things to so many different people that it's best defined by what it's not: flat. If it's got height, length, and width, it's sculpture, whether it's two tons of twisted iron or two ounces of carved gypsum. MCAD's 7,500-square-foot, fully equipped 3D shop is where students, armed with power tools and big ideas, explore the third dimension.
SC 3015 Fabricated Sculpture 3
The course will focus on the concepts, materials, and techniques of the constructed object. Emphasis is on fabrication and finishing in metal, wood, and plastics. Metal techniques include advanced cutting and forming, welding and soldering non-ferrous metals, metal spinning, and machining on the lathe and mill. Wood techniques include joinery, forming, and turning. Plastics techniques include hot and vacuum forming. Topics include drafting and shop drawings, fabrication hardware, appropriate combination of materials, and direct connection to the aesthetic of the object.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D
AH 3568 History of Sculpture 3
Sculpture as an art form has its own language and grammar, and understanding this language and grammar yields seminal insight into the history of art in general. This course will begin by examining the sculpture of the Greeks and continue through to the present day. Special attention will be given to the contexts of artistic production, the examination of materials and techniques, as well as the context in which sculptures are viewed. Class sessions are primarily lecture with some discussion. Requirements may include a sketchbook of ideas, notes and vocabulary, critiques, a short essay, a midterm exam, and a final exam.
SC 3030 Computer Modeling and Making Workshop 1
This workshop serves as an introduction to 3D digital processes and resources at MCAD. Students acquire a working understanding of Form-Z, the 3D modeling software used to create object files for digital fabrication; use MCAD’s 3D printers to “build” objects; and be trained in the use of our CNC router to machine object components. Instruction will also include the transfer of files from other software, the use of Mastercam to translate digital models to machine code, and post-digital techniques in fabrication.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D
FAS 3090 Critical Studies 3
Critical Studies examines the relationship between art, culture, and students' work. This examination is related to many forms, including the aesthetic, political, social, and philosophic components that exist within works of art. The focus is on making work in the context of issues from the culture. The cross-disciplinary composition of this course increases the depth of discussion and critiques. (May be repeated for elective credit with a different instructor.)
FA 4000 Professional Practice 3
This course addresses processes needed to succeed in the contemporary professional art world. Topics include grant writing, approaching galleries and graduate schools, and documenting and marketing work. Guest lecturers and course faculty will cover establishing a studio, copyright issues, tax and legal documents, and general professional business startup and concerns. Visiting artist presentations connect abstract information with real-world experience.
Prerequisites: Junior standing
SC 4010 Internship 3
Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a particular career area and valuable on-the-job skills. Internships may be arranged by the director of career services or initiated by students. All internships must be pre-approved through the career services office. For an internship to be approved, a mentor relationship and learning experience should exist beyond a simple employment opportunity. Three-credit internships require working 135 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
SC 5010 Advanced Sculpture Seminar 3
In this advanced studio course, students refine their personal vision through studio work and discussions on contemporary issues in sculpture. Examining their own studio practice in relation to current topics in the field, students expand their perspectives while developing their work. This course is for the advanced student who is interested in developing a self-motivated, sustained body of work through an understanding of the relationships between the formal, conceptual, and contextual aspects of sculptural form. Studio practice will be supported by development of critical thinking skills, individual and group critiques, guest critiques, writing exercises, and readings covering artists, criticism, and theory.
Prerequisites: four 3000-level Sculpture courses, successful Junior Review
ANIM 5100 Senior Project 6
During senior year, each Animation major is required to develop and complete a substantial body of work in a specific field. This course provides a forum for the critical evaluation of this work and curatorial guidance in preparation for the commencement exhibition. Course content includes critical readings, a position paper, individual and group discussions, a school presentation, and informational meetings.
Prerequisites: successful Junior Review, Senior standing
Select five of: 15 SC 3010 Casting and Mixed Media 3
This course focuses on the concepts, materials, and techniques of the cast and mixed-media object. Processes include various mold-making and casting techniques leading to created objects and the incorporation of found forms. Bronze and aluminum foundry casting from wax and traditional patterns as well as cast plastics and flexible molds are covered. Assembly techniques for dissimilar materials, patinas, and finishing refine the completion of projects. New processes and materials are introduced on a regular basis through class demonstrations and workshops. Although this course emphasizes technique, it is also concerned with the aesthetics of the object.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D SC 3020 Installation 3
This course explores space and site as a means of aesthetic communication. Object-based installations, interventionist strategies, and designed environments are explored. Topics include systems approach, audience, interactive and experiential work, and documentation as art. Image, sound, and language may all be incorporated. A variety of presentation techniques are covered, including traditional maquettes, photo-collage site proposals, and presentation drawings.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D SC 3040 Sculpture Studio: Form and Content 3
This course is an examination of current practices in sculpture and their historic connections. Students investigate contemporary concepts and advanced processes through individual research and production. The major objective is to develop an understanding of the core concerns of sculpture while producing a body of related work from concept to final presentation. Extended discussions of work encourage critical and analytical thinking. Demonstrations of materials, tools, and technologies are pursued as needed. Current periodicals, lectures, and field trips support course information.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D SC 3050 Site and Non-Site 3
In this course, students investigate both site-specific and more ephemeral non-sited works through collaborative and individually proposed projects. Experimental objects, spaces, and processes may include assemblage, documentation, public actions, guerilla works, or performance. Topics such as dwelling, community, and personal/public history are discussed. Students examine and challenge ideas of the natural, urban, and technological landscape. Presentation techniques include preparation of proposals, proposal writing, and public presentations.
Prerequisites: Installation, Fabricated Sculpture, or Casting and Mixed Media SC 3060 Public Art/Art in Public Places 3
This studio course covers contemporary and historical issues pertaining to art in public places, public art, public process, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Individual and collaborative course projects include drawing for design, scale model building, site planning, and final works. The course includes field trips to public art sites and discussions with public art administrators. This course is offered when a site opportunity is available.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D SC 3065 Kinetics: Time and Motion 3
This course focuses on time-based objects and spaces. Techniques include motion systems, electric art with motors and light, and simple sensors. Students may engage in interactive performance or reactive environmental works. Students work collaboratively on a Rube Goldberg-inspired chained event and individually on projects that culminate in a “Theatre of Time” exhibition. The history of mechanical and automata machines is presented along with historic and contemporary kinetic artists.
Prerequisites: Fabricated Sculpture SC 3090 Digital Fabrication 3
This course explores the possibilities of digital fabrication from computer-generated and found digital objects. Students will learn advanced 3D modeling techniques in Form-Z to create ideation, form development, presentation, and fabrication models in addition to techniques for capturing existing objects with MCAD’s Laser Scanner. Objects will be digitally fabricated from various materials and incorporated into finished works using MCAD’s 3D rapid prototyping and CNC router systems. Computer-assisted presentation techniques include rendering, lighting solutions, digital shop and fabrication drawings, and proposal projections.
Prerequisites: Computer Modeling and Making Workshop, one 3000-level Furniture Design or Sculpture course (3000-level Furniture Design or Sculpture course may be taken concurrently) SC 3095 Summer 3D Intensive 3
The focus of this course is providing technical and conceptual support for students interested in pursuing individual projects and research while taking advantage of seasonal opportunities. The course includes site visits and projects in the MCAD Gateway Sculpture Garden, as well as visiting artists, lectures, demonstrations on technique, and rigorous critiques of works in progress. Students are required to present their objectives and project proposals to the instructor and fellow classmates before work begins.
Prerequisites: one 3000-level Furniture Design or Sculpture course
First-Year Studio Foundation 15 FDN 1111 Foundation: 2D 3
This course is an introduction to creative thinking that develops skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. There is an emphasis on learning new ways to read and see the world and how to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.
FDN 1112 Foundation: 3D 3
This course is an introduction to understanding of visual creation for the development of knowledge, imagination, and perception. Students are introduced to basic three-dimensional concepts as well as materials and technical production processes. Classroom activities include shop demonstrations of tools and techniques, information, lectures, and discussions appropriate to promote the balanced fusion of practice and theory.
FDN 1211 Foundation: Drawing 1 3
This course is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the College. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior spaces, and landscape.
FDN 1311 Foundation: Media 1 3
Students are introduced to the digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media and laptop computing. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, student servers, Media Center, and digital resources. Students discuss media and media artists as well as study various software applications including Adobe Photoshop and web-development tools.
FDN 1312 Foundation: Media 2 3
Building on the skills acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this course takes up more advanced software applications. Through discussions and lectures, students explore various modes of media presentation, the power of moving images, and web work. Using a variety of software and hardware, students learn the basics of nonlinear editing, sound recording, and video recording.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 1
First-Year Liberal Arts Foundation 12 AH 1701 Introduction to Art and Design History 1 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the major stylistic, thematic, and historical trends in Western art history from prehistoric times through the nineteenth century. This course is designed to encourage a critical understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. The final section of this course deals with the emergence of modernity in art. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students will take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
AH 1702 Introduction to Art and Design History 2 3
This course introduces students to issues in contemporary cultural theory, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics include anti-aesthetic challenges to modernist aesthetics, the rise of consumerism, the proliferation of the designed object, and the transition from source-oriented media to user oriented media, among others. The course is a roughly equal mix of lecture and discussion. Students will produce short writing assignments and will complete written exams consisting of identification and essay questions.
EN 1100 Reading and Writing 1 3
Effective writing requires innovative thinking and creative engagement. Students in this course focus on building a writing portfolio by developing college-level writing skills and using these skills to produce a variety of assignments. Regular writing workshops will allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Assigned course materials will explore a variety of texts and objects. By the end of the course students will have the foundational skills to be reflective and eloquent writers. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, group work, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, directed group work and research assignments, and a portfolio of seven essays.
EN 1200 Reading and Writing 2 3
Key to the creative and critical nature of college-level writing is the idea that students explore a topic by developing a thesis that changes as they ask questions, explore ideas, and conduct research. To that end, this course extends and concentrates the thinking and communication skills introduced in Reading and Writing 1. The foci of this course are developing a thesis; engaging in critical and sustained research; and drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading a finished research project. As a result, students will become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project will be a completed research paper and a visual presentation using programs such as PowerPoint. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, research exercises, presentations and debates, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, a research journal, a major research paper and a final research presentation.
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as the artist/designer makes a series of decisions to guide its creative evolution. This course is designed to help students explore the development of new ideas and their own process of making. Students also create visual tools to track their creative process from idea through construction and then to post-production analysis. The course consists of discussions, critiques, exercises, and visual logs.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing FDN 1412 Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Practice 1
Practice is more than working methods: it’s the context, marketing, and creative space that maintain creative work. This course is designed to introduce students to the variety, tools, and foundations of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create a professional presentation of their work as well as hear from guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
varying Studio Electives 22
Sculpture majors take 22 elective studio credits in any media they choose.
Liberal Arts Electives
varying Liberal Arts Electives 24
Illustration majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:
Art History (6 credits)
Scientific Perspectives (3 credits)
Economic and Mathematical Systems (3 credits)
Global Perspectives (3 credits)
Political Thought and Ethics (3 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
Liberal Arts Capstone Course (3 credits)