The department views the study of studio arts, art history, and theory and criticism as essential to the development of artistic sensibility. The liberal studies curriculum enriches the art student’s vocabulary by stressing the importance of linking one discipline to another. This adds texture and depth to the content of each student’s work. Additionally, the department encourages students to be fully involved in the university’s undergraduate research program.
For both art history and studio art, the process of self-discovery is initiated in the freshman year in the Foundation Core (ART 122, ART 133, ART 144, ARTH 201, and ARTH 202) where the basic principles of art are introduced. Students are encouraged to discover their own way of integrating these concepts into quality works of art. For studio art majors, both concept and technique are honed in discipline-based courses such as painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and printmaking during the sophomore year. A student’s approach to work becomes individualized in concept, style, and technique in the upper-level courses as a preparation for the BFA solo Senior Exhibition and the BA Group Exhibition.
Majors in Art
Overall, the Department of Art and Art History curriculum prepares students for advanced studies or admission into graduate programs and provides the basis for a variety of career opportunities. Art majors have four degree programs and two minors from which to choose:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art: a pre-professional degree program for students who wish to pursue their studies at the graduate level–with a concentration in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture, or Photography
- Bachelor of Arts in Art: a liberal arts degree with studio art major
- Bachelor of Arts in Art History
- Bachelor of Arts in Art with K–12 Licensure
- Minor in studio art or art history
The required foundation courses, ART 122, 133, 144, and 122 and/or 133, are the basis upon which the studio concentrations are built, providing each student with an essential variety of studio processes as well as historical background and critical theory. Students completing the Art History degree complete ART 122 or 133 since these courses on two-dimensional and three-dimensional technique are the basis of art; and studio students take ARTH 201 and 202 on the history and the theory behind visual aesthetics.
For students who wish to pursue art history studies, the department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students study visual culture from prehistory through current times in introductory survey courses followed by upper-level courses that focus on particular eras, such as Renaissance, Baroque, Contemporary, or on topics such as museum studies or Latin American art. Senior capstone courses emphasize the research process and require students to write an in-depth thesis paper. Additionally, a number of students who are seeking a BA in Art History pursue internships related to art history and gallery and museum work.
Major in Art History
The Art History program has been growing rapidly since 2002 and in Fall 2013, a BA degree was offered in Art History (replacing the BA in Art with a concentration in Art History that had been offered). Course offerings have been expanded to include: Arts of the African Diaspora, Art of Latin America, Egyptian Art, History of Architecture, Islamic Art, Modern Art of Brazil and Mexico, and Museum Studies. Numerous Art History courses address issues of diversity (including questions of identity, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability).
A high percentage of non-art majors take Art History courses (around 50% in the survey courses). Art History complements not only studio art majors but also many majors across the campus. A minor in Art History for the Studio Art major is now an option. Present internship opportunities allow students to explore career options and acquire professional experience. Internships have been recently implemented at Highsmith Union Gallery, UNC Asheville; Asheville Art Museum; Flood Gallery and Fine Art Center, Asheville; Biltmore House, Asheville; Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem; Special Collections, Ramsey Library; and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.
Our emphasis on Senior Undergraduate Research allows students to prepare for graduate school or museum/gallery positions and parallels the Undergraduate Research Program goals. Students are encouraged to apply for research grants and to publish their work.
Minors in Art
Minors in Art and Art History
The UNC Asheville Department of Art offers minors in both Studio Art and Art History.
University-wide minimum requirements for a minor: 1) one-half of the hours required for a minor must be completed in residence at UNC Asheville, to include at least 6 hours at the 300-400 level; 2) students must have a cumulative grade-pointaverage of at least 2.0 on minor courses taken at UNC Asheville.
Minor in Studio Art
I. Minor in two-dimensional media—24 hours, including: ART 122, 133; ARTH 201 or 202; 12 elective studio hours. Eight of the 12 studio hours must be sequential and must be at the 300-400 level. Students majoring in Art History may use only 8 hours of courses used for the major toward a minor in Studio Art.
II. Minor in three-dimensional media—24 hours, including: ART 122, 133; ARTH 201 or 202; 12 elective studio hours. Eight of the 12 studio hours must be sequential and must be at the 300-400 level. Students majoring in Art History may use only 8 hours of courses used for the major toward a minor in Studio Art.
Minor in Art History
I. 24 hours in Art History, including: ARTH 201 and 202; and 16 additional hours in Art History. Students majoring in Studio Art, both B.A. and B.F.A., may use only 8 hours of courses that are used for the major toward a minor in Art
II. The Art History minor requires students to complete a departmentally approved research project in Art History.
The senior capstone courses in art history and studio art are demanding in scope and require that a close relationship be maintained between faculty and students. Because the creative process often challenges preconceived ideas, students learn to be articulate in the search for meaning and validity in their work. The department believes that differences of opinion regarding individual image-making can be resolved in a positive way that involves mutual respect. The result is a mature body of work that prepares students to be independent thinkers and entrepreneurs.
Declaration of Major or Minor
Students can declare their major or minor online.