Within the painting area there are three separate yet integrated units. The undergraduate earning a Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Arts degree, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree which requires a fifth year, and the Master of Fine Arts degree which requires a minimum of two years beyond the B.F.A. degree.
Painting offers a range of undergraduate courses in painting and drawing. Drawing introduces students to the relationships between seeing and thinking and making, which are central to artistic practice. Through an exploration of many drawing modes and materials, students investigate ways of seeing, visual problem solving, the construction of space and how meaning is experienced through visual language. Beginning Painting introduces students to the basic techniques and practices of oil painting, as well as ways of seeing and translating visual experience and constructing meaning through painting. All courses are taught by a range of Painting faculty, exposing students to many different ways of thinking, approaches and intentions. Upper division courses in painting and drawing explore more complex problems of meaning, form, materials and language, and emphasize the development of an independent practice. Courses incorporate intensive studio work, individual, group discussions and critiques, as well as slide lectures and presentations. Our objective is for students to develop critical thinking skills and an understanding of the history and context of painting and contemporary concerns, as they cultivate their own work. By experiencing a broad range of approaches and ideas, individuals are encouraged to develop a painting practice that is relevant to their ideas and sensibility.
Drawing has always been a large part of the curriculum at the University of Oregon and students from all areas of the Fine Arts Department are required to take at least two basic drawing classes. After basic drawing classes, students may elect to take upper-division drawing which has a wide range of classes and instructors to choose from.
In the Painting MFA program, our objective is to help the individual develop the critical thinking skills, studio processes and conceptual approaches necessary to sustain a serious art practice. Emphasizing the cultivation of independent work, students are engaged in rigorous studio practice, with regular individual visits by faculty. Independent work is informed by participation each term in Advanced Painting, where students learn to articulate ideas and critical responses to work and to discuss historical context and theoretical questions.
Students have contact with faculty from other disciplines through graduate reviews, independent studies and interdisciplinary courses. In theory seminars, history classes and interdisciplinary classes and colloquiums, students consider the relationship of their work and ideas to the larger artistic community and culture. Visiting artists further expose students to wide-ranging conceptual approaches and professional practices.