Cast metal, pour iron, cut steel.
Model and prototype digitally.
Install site-specific work.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Sculpture
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 8,000-square-foot, fully equipped
3D shop is where students, armed with power tools and big ideas, explore the third dimension.
Sculpture is a major offered in the four-year BFA degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted by
Core Four—foundation courses that enhance students' professional development.
SC 3015 Fabricated Sculpture 3
This class focuses on the concepts, materials, and techniques of the constructed object. Emphasis is placed on fabrication and finishing in metal, wood, and plastics. Metal techniques include advanced skills in cutting, forming, and welding, working with nonferrous metals, and machining on the lathe and mill. Wood techniques include joinery, forming, and turning. Plastics techniques include cold and hot fabrication and vacuum forming. Related topics include shop drawings, fabrication hardware, the appropriate combination of materials, and direct connection to the aesthetic of the object.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D
AH 3568 History of Sculpture 3
Sculpture has its own language of form, and understanding this language yields insight into the history of art in general. This course begins by examining the sculpture of the Greeks and continues through to the present day. Special attention is given to the historic contexts of artistic production from the guilds to private studios, the examination of materials and techniques such as bronze casting or the carving of marble and limewood, and the context in which sculptures are viewed. Classes are primarily lecture with some discussion. Students take examinations and complete research assignments.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Art and Design: History 2 (may be taken concurrently) or instructor permission
SC/FURN 3030 Computer Modeling and Making Workshop 1
This workshop serves as an introduction to three-dimensional digital processes and resources at MCAD. Students acquire a basic understanding of formZ 3D modeling software used to create object files for digital fabrication; use MCAD’s 3D printers to “build” objects; learn to use the Laser Cutter; and are trained in the use of the CNC router to machine object components. Instruction also includes the transfer of files, the use of software 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 student work. This examination is related to many forms, including the aesthetic, political, social, and philosophical components that exist within works of art. Students focus on making work in the context of cultural issues. The cross-disciplinary composition of this course increases the depth of discussions and critiques. May be repeated for elective credit with a different instructor.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
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 preapproved 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 120 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
SC 5010 Advanced Sculpture Seminar 3
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. Examining their own studio practice in relation to current topics in the field, students expand their perspectives while developing their work. Studio practice is 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 furniture 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 class focuses on the concepts, materials, and techniques of the cast and mixed-media object. Processes include various mold-making and casting techniques that lead 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. Overviews of assembling dissimilar materials, patinas, and additional finishing techniques help students refine their 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 aesthetics.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D SC/FAS 3020 Installation 3
This class explores space and site as a means of aesthetic communication. Object-based installations, interventionist strategies, and designed or created environments are explored. Topics include systems approach, audience, interactive and experiential work, and documentation as art. All media are considered appropriate, such as object, image, sound, and language. A variety of ideation techniques are introduced, including traditional maquettes and photo-collage site proposals.
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 in response to peer group reviews and tutorials. 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 given as needed. Current periodicals, lectures, and field trips support course information.
Prerequisites: Fabricated Sculpture, Casting and Mixed Media, Installation, or Furniture Design: Materials and Techniques
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 the discrete object, situational context, place, community, and personal/public history are discussed in response to peer group review and faculty tutorial engagement. Students examine and challenge ideas of the natural, urban, and technological.
Prerequisites: One sculpture (SC) or fine arts studio (FAS) course SC /FAS 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. Students investigate both “site-specific” and “site as venue” public works through individual and collaborative projects and proposals. All media are considered appropriate for inclusion in the public realm. Design, planning, and presentation techniques include the RFQ, RFP, preparation of proposals, public presentations, design and presentation drawings, scale-model building, site planning, and logistics. Students can create public works to be installed in the MCAD sculpture garden.
Prerequisites: One 3000-level course in sculpture, furniture, fine arts studio, or another major as deemed appropriate by course faculty
SC 3065 Kinetics: Time and Motion 3
This class focuses on time-based objects and spaces. Techniques include motion systems, electric art incorporating motors and light, and simple control systems. Students may engage with the object in interactive performance or reactive environmental works. Students work both collaboratively on a Rube Goldberg-inspired chained event and individually on projects while participating in a Theatre of Time exhibition. Presentations cover the history and design of the mechanical device and the automata as well as historic and contemporary kinetic artists.
Prerequisites: Fabricated Sculpture or Furniture Design: Materials and Techniques SC 3090 Digital Fabrication 3
This course explores the expanding creative possibilities of digital fabrication with computer-generated, found (appropriated), and scanned digital objects. Students learn advanced three-dimensional modeling techniques in formZ to create ideation, form development, presentation, and fabrication models in addition to techniques for capturing existing objects with MCAD’s Laser Scanners. Objects are digitally fabricated from various materials and incorporated into finished works using MCAD’s 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC router systems while outsourcing is explored as an effective practice in digital making. 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 or sculpture course
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
Foundation: 2D is an introduction to creative thinking that develops students’ skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. An emphasis is placed on exploring new ways to read and see the world, as well as new ways 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
Foundation: Drawing 1 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 space, 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.
Prerequisites: None FDN 1312 Foundation: Media 2 3
Building on the skills acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this class 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, cultural, and historical transformations in Western and non-Western art history from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century. This course helps students develop critical tools for the interpretation and understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students 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 modern art, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics might include the expanding audience for art, the transformation of the art market, the impact of new technologies, the changing status of the artist, and the role of art in society. This course is taught as a seminar with some lecture. Students take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Art and Design: History 1
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 allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Students explore a variety of texts and objects through class assignments. By the end of the course students 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 I. 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 become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project is 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.
Prerequisites: Reading and Writing 1
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as an 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. Contemporary Practice introduces students to the foundations, variety, and tools of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create professional presentations of their work. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines.
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
Sculpture majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:
Art History (6 credits)
Scientific and Economic Systems (3 credits)
Histories, Places, and Philosophies (6 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
Humanities and Sciences Elective (3 credits)
Liberal Arts Capstone Course (3 credits)