Courses of Study

See course descriptions for this department or program 

Chair, Associate Professor Bevin Engman
Professors Sharon Corwin, Michael Marlais, Harriett Matthews, Véronique Plesch, and David Simon; Associate Professors Bevin Engman, Scott Reed, Laura Saltz, and Ankeney Weitz; Assistant Professors Gary Green and Garry Mitchell; Visiting Assistant Professor Joseph Feely; Adjunct Instructors Bonnie Bishop, Margaret Libby, Abbott Meader, Nancy Meader, Nina Roth-Wells, and Barbara Sullivan; Faculty Fellow Julie Caro

The Art Department includes practicing artists and art historians. With special studios for drawing, foundations, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture, the department offers a curriculum that allows students not only to explore the intrinsic nature of materials and techniques but also to develop their own expressive abilities. Art history offerings are designed with the recognition that artistic products of any period are related to the social, political, and cultural concerns of that period. Students at Colby are able to approach art from both a practical and historical perspective and thus are better able to understand the total experience of art.
Requirements for the Major in Art
Any two of the following three courses: Art 111, 112, 173. Art 131 and one course in any three of the following four groups: 
  1. Art 311, 313, 314
  2. Art 331, 332, 333
  3. Art 351, 352, 353
  4. Art 273, 274

And three additional graded art courses (of three or more credits), which may be art history or studio courses in any proportion, making a total of nine courses.

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.

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.

Attention is called to the interdisciplinary major in American studies.
Requirements for the Concentration in Studio Art
For students who are fulfilling the major in art, the studio concentration is offered to provide a broadly founded studio sequence that will assist in the development of skills and strengthen portfolios for any anticipated graduate studio work. Additional requirements are Art 221 and 222, or equivalent. The studio concentration must include at least a four-course sequence in either painting, printmaking, or sculpture among the requirements for the major, for a total of 12 courses. Students are strongly encouraged to complete Art 131 during their first year. In addition, every effort should be made to complete the drawing requirement as early as possible, allowing advanced studio work to build upon that experience.
Requirements for the Concentration in Art History
For students who are fulfilling the major in art, the art history concentration is offered to prepare the student for graduate work in the field. In addition to the standard requirements for the major, art history concentrators must take each of the survey courses (Art 111, 112, 173) and two additional art history courses, making sure to have at least one in each of the four distribution areas listed under requirements for the major. Art history concentrators are required to take an art history seminar at the 300 level or above, for a total of 12 courses.
Requirements for the Minor in Art
An art minor is available and should be constructed according to the student’s interests and on the advice of an Art Department faculty member. The art minor requires at least seven art courses, including Art 131 (or 161 and 162), two of the following: 111, 112, 173; and four additional courses at the 200 level or above.