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Visual Arts (B.A.)

Website: School of Contemporary Arts

Visual Arts Concentrations: Art History, Drawing and Painting,
Electronic Art and Animation, Photography, Sculpture

Joint Program with Caldwell University:  Drawing and Painting with Art Therapy; Sculpture with Art Therapy

About the Major

At Ramapo College the Visual Arts are taught within a liberal arts context. The study of art is relevant to all majors. It improves creative problem-solving ability and self-confidence in expression in all fields, and it helps develop skills for critical thinking about society and culture.
Ramapo attracts art students who want to challenge themselves within a close and supportive community of dedicated professionals. Our Visual Arts faculty are professional artists and scholars who share their expertise and experience with their students. Our students enjoy an intensely creative atmosphere and close mentoring from faculty.

The Visual Arts program is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts and in the Sculpture Studio. The Berrie Center houses spacious, well-equipped art studios where students can study both traditional and contemporary approaches to painting, drawing, and photography, as well as 3D printing, circuit design, video, and animation. The sculpture studios, in their own buildings across the road, have facilities for metal casting,
welding, woodworking, ceramics, and digital fabrication. The Ramapo College Art Galleries host exhibitions of contemporary art in all media and provide opportunities for student learning in gallery and museum practice. The galleries host nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and curators to engage with students and are an important teaching component of the college.

Visual Arts Majors earn a multidisciplinary B.A. degree with advanced study in an area of concentration chosen by the student: either Electronic Art and Animation, Sculpture, Photography, Drawing and Painting, or Art History. Studies begin with introductory courses in these areas, followed by more advanced courses in the chosen concentration. Visual Arts courses incorporate experiential learning, from hands-on work with materials to museum and gallery visits and fieldwork. A co-op or internship is done for college credit and this creates a valuable opportunity for professional experience before graduation. Visual Arts students develop portfolios that enable them to advance their studies in graduate school, enter the
professional art world, and work in art-related fields. Senior year culminates in a thesis project and an exhibition in the Ramapo College Galleries.

Students with interests outside the designated concentrations may choose to design a Contemporary Arts Contract Major to help fulfill their individual goals. Ramapo also offers a Teacher Education certification program for employment in elementary and secondary schools. A specialized Art Therapy track prepares students for more advanced degrees in the field, including a BA in Visual Arts joint program with Caldwell University’s Master of Counseling (Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy).

The Visual Arts Teaching Certification program certifies students to teach art in grades K through 12. It involves a combined course of study in Teacher Certification together with the Visual Arts Major. Students should refer to the guidelines for the Teacher Certification Program description in this Catalog and seek faculty advisement. Students can also elect to obtain certification in Elementary Education through the Visual Arts major.

Ramapo College’s joint degree program with Caldwell University enables students with a concentration in either Drawing and Painting with Art Therapy, or Sculpture with Art Therapy to be provisionally admitted to Caldwell’s Masters of Counseling degree program with a Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy Specialization. Students receive special advisement to help meet the criteria of Caldwell’s graduate program and students meeting all the requirements are admitted to the graduate program.

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1: Students will understand the role of art and artists in contemporary global society.

Goal 2: Students will understand how to harness the intersection of hand, eye, idea, emotion, and technique in a uniquely creative way.

Goal 3: Students will gain fluency in higher-order skills of analysis, critical thinking and synthesis, and understand how these skills may be applied in diverse contexts.

Goal 4: Students will prepare for the life of a practicing artist, graduate school or professional program.

Learning Outcomes:

Students completing the Visual Arts major will:

  1. Produce work that demonstrates foundation level skills in the core disciplines: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and electronic arts and animation.
  2. Produce a series of advanced works in chosen concentration that demonstrates formal and conceptual cohesion and a distinctive aesthetic.
  3. Write an artist’s statement that describes one’s creative process and positions oneself in relationship to contemporary artists and practice.
  4. Deliver an effective oral presentation on their artwork or a topic in art history.
  5. Understand how to describe, analyze and interpret visual objects from other times and places. They will know how to locate and evaluate diverse writings about art including primary and secondary sources such as biographical, descriptive and analytical texts.
  6. Participate in special arts programming (museum trips, visiting artist’s lectures and workshops, gallery openings and exhibitions) and articulate how the experience relates to your understanding of art and art practice.
Minors in Visual Arts