Dec 08, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Fine Arts

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Chair: Professor Nathaniel Lew
Professors: John Devlin, Peter Harrigan
Associate Professors: Brian Collier, William Ellis, Will Mentor
Distinguished Visiting Professor: Terryl Kinder

The Fine Arts Department houses the disciplines of art, dance, theatre, and music. With a faculty of academics who are professional, producing artists in each of these areas, the department provides a broad-based understanding of the practice, the history, the literature, and the theory of each discipline. Scholarship opportunities are available to incoming and returning students through the Fairbanks-Paulin and McCarthy Scholarship programs.

Art Learning Outcomes

In First Sequence courses, students develop perception, creativity and discipline through a combination of guided exercises that introduce visual concepts including line, value, color theory, form, perspective and other varieties of spatial composition.

Students in introductory survey courses in art history develop proficiency in recognition and interpretation of visual styles, and also a broad theoretical understanding of the functions of art in a wide range of human cultures.    

In Second Sequence courses, students develop the skills to formulate and resolve self-designed artistic problems or programs through directed study, often of a thematic topic. 

In Elective courses, students develop visual perception and skill in a variety of mediums, and are trained to identify and discuss sophisticated visual concepts. 

Students in upper-level seminars in art and/or architectural history develop more advanced critical, analytic, and communications skills through writing- and research-intensive assignments and presentations.

Students gain methodological and historical understanding through in-depth focus on specialized topics.

In Third Sequence courses, most notably in the art “tutorial,” students produce, with guidance, a thematically coherent and complete body of work that is then exhibited in the McCarthy art gallery.

Music Learning Outcomes:

Students demonstrate…

Critical listening skills, i.e., the ability able to identify and analyze by ear and at a high level of detail a variety of different musical styles, both Western and non-Western, from classical, popular, and folk music.  

Proficiency in musical notation and the ability to analyze deeply musical structures and styles of the West from their notation.            

Discipline-specific critical reading skills, i.e., the ability to understand, analyze and critique complex and specialized written texts about music.             

Articulate and accurate use of specialized music vocabulary in both writing and speech with the ability to express tastes and opinions about a wide range of musical repertory with reference to specific musical detail.   

Regular public performance in the large ensembles and in solo or small ensemble settings, with substantial improvement in performance skills on one or more instruments, with an emphasis on improved performance proficiency in music notation.

Theatre Learning Outcomes:

GENERAL: Think critically, analytically, and creatively about theatre and communicate ideas effectively in writing and through oral presentations.

HISTORY, LITERATURE, CRITICISM:  Demonstrate  general knowledge of dramatic literature , history, and theory

PERFORMANCE: Identify dramatic action in plays and determine ways to physicalize it on stage

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY:  Demonstrate  the skills necessary to conceptualize, create and/or organize elements of a production

The McCarthy Arts Fund, established by college benefactors Michael and Margaret McCarthy, provides annual support for the Fine Arts Department.

The Marc and Dana vanderHeyden Endowment in the Fine Arts (2006) honors the legacy of Dana and Marc vanderHeyden while enhancing the understanding and enjoyment of the fine arts at Saint Michael’s College and in the surrounding community.  The fine arts include the graphic arts, generally including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, literature, music, dramatic art, and dancing and photography. Marc vanderHeyden served as College President from 1996 to 2007.

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