The Visual Arts program encourages a holistic exploration of the arts in combination with a practical understanding of many of the languages and traditions of visual expression.
USD's Visual Arts program encourages a holistic exploration of the arts, while simultaneously requiring that Art majors develop advanced skills in at least one of the following sub-disciplines: Drawing; Film/Video; Painting; Photography; Sculpture/3D Studio Art; Visual Communications; and Art + Intermedia.
Visual Arts majors who are considering graduate study are encouraged to complete a minor in Art History.
A primary objective of the Visual Arts program is to guide the student, major and non-major alike, to a practical understanding of many of the languages and traditions of visual expression. The program encourages a holistic exploration of the arts, while simultaneously requiring Art majors to develop advanced skills in at least one of the following sub-disciplines: Drawing; Film/Video; Painting; Photography; Sculpture/3D Studio Art; Visual Communications; and Art + Intermedia. Visual Arts majors who are considering graduate study are encouraged to complete a minor in Art History.
The Film/Video courses focus on the representation of time in contemporary video art and experimental film. They examine how the moving image aligns and differentiates itself from the other artistic disciplines and from cinema--and how artworks activate curatorial spaces for spectatorship. Instruction centers on producing and editing videos with unique consideration of time and narrative. Upper-level courses further expand definitions of time-based art--including sound art, media installation, performance, participatory forms and social practice.
Painting and Drawing
The primary objective of the painting and drawing programs at USD is to enable each student to discover and articulate their creative voice in the expressive languages of painting and drawing. Rigorous technical and conceptual training enables the students to develop images that are visually, emotionally and intellectually compelling while emphasizing honest and meaningful exploration of each artist's concerns.
The Photography program is built around balancing the needs of the students providing a broad base of photographic education, and nourishing the individual voice of a creative art student. The curriculum regularly includes courses in Basic, Advanced, Portrait and Color Photography. A variety of Special Topics including Photo Strategies, Documentary Photography and Large format Photography are available on a cyclical basis, while internships and independent projects round out the curriculum. Students have access to both darkroom facilities and computer labs within class time and during outside lab hours.
The Sculpture Program is designed for students wishing to explore sculpture through a multidisciplinary approach to methods and materials. After completing the introductory Foundations in Form Space and Time and Introduction to Sculpture classes, students are able to choose from intermediate and advanced studio courses that are offered in a variety of mediums including metal, wood, concrete, and clay.
Students will develop not only technical proficiency in working with these various mediums, but moreover the conceptual foundation from which their unique creative practice will be built. Experimentation with object making, installation, and intervention are actively encouraged and explored as a means of facilitating a critical engagement with the concerns of the student. Facilities include a fully equipped metalshop, woodshop, sculpture facility, and semi-private studio spaces, which students are able to apply for in their senior year.
The Visual Communications program at the University of San Diego focuses on developing an in-depth understanding of the visual design language, and how to use this language to solve design problems. Visual communications students work on projects to acquire conceptual, theoretical and practical knowledge in design, while exploring and examining the role of design history in shaping contemporary design practice.
Art + Intermedia
Art + Intermedia focuses on the interdisciplinary study of art, technology and culture, supporting a wide range of projects and practices. It is structured to encourage students to apply multiple media and integrate disciplines into new forms of expression. Students prepare to be independent artists and cultural producers in a world of new media representations and strategies.
Integrating the production of art and critical studies, the lower- and upper-division requirements are drawn from equal amounts of studio art and art history courses. It is designed specifically for creative uses of media beyond singular discipline areas of study in photography, film/video, sound, music, sculpture, performance or theater. Students choosing a concentration in Art + Intermedia must complete a different set of degree requirements.
*Please note that some courses may be taken more than once for course credit and that under certain circumstances substitution of classes will be allowed with advisor approval.