Art Department

The Department of Art offers an integrated curriculum of studio and art history courses that teach students how to engage in creative artistic practices and think critically about images in the world. All art courses assume that images are embedded in artistic, social, political, and cultural contexts.

In studio courses students express ideas and experiences through the creation of original artworks. They acquire thorough knowledge of the processes and vocabulary associated with the mediums of painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Students also develop problem-solving skills and the capacity for aesthetic judgment in order to express themselves in a creative visual language.

In art history students translate visual experience into written and oral expression. Students gain familiarity with historical traditions, research and curatorial skills, and art historical literature while engaging with images and ideas in the classroom and interacting with objects in the Colby College Museum of Art.

In addition, the Department of Art supports students across the College interested in pursuing courses of study and future careers in the fields of design and architecture. The department offers instruction in 2D and 3D design, architectural history, and a variety of topics related to art and the environment.


Chair, Associate Professor Tanya Sheehan
Professors Sharon Corwin, Bevin Engman, Véronique Plesch, and Ankeney Weitz; Associate Professors Gary Green, Garry Mitchell, and Tanya Sheehan; Assistant Professors Marta Ameri and Bradley Borthwick; Visiting Associate Professor Daniel Harkett; Visiting Assistant Professor Saskia Beranek; Faculty Fellow Amanda Lilleston

Requirements +

Requirements for the Major in Studio Art

I. Studio Concentration: Four courses in a single medium (painting, photography, print/digital media, or sculpture)

II. Studio Electives: Two additional courses in any medium

III. Art History: one 100-level course, one 200-level course in modern/contemporary art history (photography concentrators must take one history of photography course), and one additional course at any level

IV. Senior Capstone: 401 and 402 in the fall and spring of a student’s senior year. Each must be taken in conjunction with a studio course in the area of concentration.

Requirements for the Major in Art History

I. Historical Breadth (to be taken early in a student’s course of study): three 100-level courses, two 200-level courses


II. Historical/Research Depth: three courses at the 300 and 400 levels, with at least one course at each level

III. Studio Foundations: one 100-level studio art course

IV. Theories and Methods: 411

V. Capstone (in the fall of the senior year): 494

Majors must work with their advisors to develop a course of study that covers diverse historical, geographical, and cultural content.

A maximum of three courses may be taken off campus or outside the department for credit in the major.

Students planning to continue the study of art or art history in graduate school should confer with their advisors to be sure that they have planned a substantial and adequate course of study. Art history graduate programs generally require reading proficiency in two foreign languages.

For both the art history and studio art majors, the point scale for retention of the major applies to courses taken in the department. No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Distinction in the major will be awarded to graduates with a grade point average of 3.5 or above in the major.

Requirements for the Minor in Art

An art minor should be constructed according to the student’s interests and with the advice of an Art Department faculty member. The minor requires at least seven courses: one 100-level studio art course, one 100-level art history course, one 200- or 300-level art history course, and four additional graded courses in studio and/or art history at the 200 level or above. A maximum of two courses may be taken off campus or outside the department for credit in the minor.