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Bevin L. Engman
Major in Art
Colby College offers courses in both art history and studio art. Art history courses are organized as chronological surveys, (i.e. from Renaissance to Contemporary art), or specific region (American Art), or topic (Film and Society). Courses are designed to help students understand the art of a period or region within a cultural context. Advanced seminars and independent studies are available. The curriculum in studio art encourages students to explore materials and techniques at the same time as they develop their own perceptual and expressive abilities. Honors-level independent work is available through Colby’s Senior Scholar Program. The Colby faculty includes professional painters, sculptors, printmakers, and photographers as well as historians who are actively involved in scholarly research. The art major can be completed in three forms: the “straight” major; a combination of history and studio; or, “with a concentration” in either art history or studio. A minor is also available.
Colby art students have a variety of facilities available to them, including spacious, well-equipped studios for drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. All of the studios have been completely remodeled and afford exceptionally fine spaces designed to accommodate each type of work. In addition, there are club studio spaces on campus available to students for extracurricular work in ceramics and photography.
Art majors and other interested students undertake many different January programs in art. The department offers, among others, courses in art restoration, traditional fresco, figure painting, book arts, and pottery. Students may also, with the proper preparation, elect to intern in a museum, gallery, or other art-related organization/business, or even apprentice with a professional artist during January.
The Colby College Museum of Art is well known for its fine permanent collection, which specializes in American art. Visiting exhibitions alternate with works from the permanent collection. Senior art students have the opportunity to exhibit their work during their final spring semester in the museum’s juried Senior Art Exhibition. A program of visiting artists and art historians allows students to hear public presentations and to meet in small groups with these visitors. In both art history and studio, the museum’s collection plays a vital role in the department’s philosophy of primary source, object-based learning.
Students graduating from Colby with a major in art enter various careers, some of which require graduate work. These careers include teaching, museum curatorships, museum administration, government or private programs in the arts and the humanities, and careers in the practice of architecture, design, sculpture, printmaking, photography and painting. The undergraduate art major at Colby provides a sound background for these careers, as well as for a life enriched by experiences with art.