Catalog: Fall 2007 - Spring 2008

Expressive Arts

In the Expressive Arts area, students gain skills and experience in the arts with a special focus on connecting theory and practice. Students often work collaboratively and in more than one art form simultaneously, exploring cross-disciplinary approaches to a theme. Program themes are drawn from the scholarly and creative work of the faculty, keeping the curriculum vital and relevant. Most programs take a hands-on approach, offering students ample opportunities for skill development, but a theme-based curriculum cannot provide sequential skill training in every art form. The area offers yearly work in the performing arts (theater, music and dance), media arts and visual arts. In all these contexts, the faculty strive to support a strong multicultural perspective. Moreover, we see creative work as a central element in a broad, liberal arts education. Thus, we encourage our students to seek academic studies outside the area for admission to some arts programs. Students in the arts are advised to periodically study other disciplines or to select cross-divisional programs offering the arts, such as science/arts or literature/arts.

Programs in the Expressive Arts area include annual entry-level programs in media arts (Mediaworks), performing arts (Foundations of Performing Arts) and visual arts (Foundations of Visual Art). These programs provide an introduction and theoretical foundation for work in one or more arts disciplines. Because of high student demand, enrollment in some of these programs requires the completion of a written application or a portfolio review. Students are admitted to entry-level programs in visual arts, media or theater, or advanced programs in Expressive Arts only when they have completed at least one year of interdisciplinary work outside the arts.

For intermediate and advanced arts students, individual contracts and senior thesis projects are two options for upper-division work. For both of these modes of study, students must have a minimum of three quarters' prior experience in Expressive Arts. Faculty are also available to support Student Originated Studies offerings for advanced students. Students may also enroll in part-time skill-development courses offered through Evening and Weekend Studies to supplement their program work. Finally, internship possibilities are available for pre-professional work experience.

Portfolio for Visual Arts: When entry into a program requires that a student present a portfolio of visual artworks, the following guidelines may be used: (1) Include at least six examples from a body of work focused on a particular theme or topic. The work may be in a single medium or in various 2-D and 3-D media. Slides, photographs and actual pieces may be included. (2) Students who have worked in a variety of media should include examples from each, demonstrating the range of skills they have developed. (3) Include several examples of written work, such as assigned papers, creative writing and/or self-evaluations. These materials should be contained in an easily portable portfolio and arranged coherently either chronologically, by medium or by theme.

Advanced Work in Media: Independent contracts are available on a limited basis to juniors or seniors who are ready for advanced work in film/video production, history and theory. Projects might involve producing a film, video or mixed-media piece; writing a script or screenplay; or researching media history or theory. Students must demonstrate a solid theoretical and technical background in film and video production, history and theory that they have developed through work in programs and courses. Students must have at least three quarters prior experience in Expressive Arts or have successfully completed an entry-level film and video program such as Mediaworks. Transfer students who have spent a year in interdisciplinary studies may also plan independent contracts if they have at least one year of intensive coursework in media production and theory from their former institution.

Senior Thesis: The senior thesis project in Expressive Arts is a competitive program involving the production of senior-level work in one or more media. Participating students work with a thesis committee of faculty or staff. Applications for Senior Thesis are available from the Performing and Media Arts Manager in the Communications Building. During spring quarter, juniors may submit proposals for projects to pursue during the following year. Applications are reviewed by the faculty, and successful projects are supported by a small stipend.