School of Art and Design
Undergraduate: Divisions: Foundations

Assistant Professor Katarina Riesing
Associate Professor Angie To, Division Head

Freshman Foundations is our first-year experience for the BFA program and is designed to prepare students for continued study in the upper levels of the curriculum. Foundation explores concepts and builds skills that can be applied to contemporary art practice in any field. The program assists students in realizing their capacity to collaborate, share ideas and develop a critical voice.

During the fall semester the first year class is divided into groups. The program is broken down into two components - Drawing and Studio - which the students participate in twice a week.

Drawing focuses on observational skill building with still life and landscape as the primary visual resources. Students are also introduced to a wide range of alternative and experimental drawing techniques.

The Studio component emphasizes creative problem solving, strategies for making art and manual skill building through the exploration of a variety of 2D/3D and time-based issues. Group discussion and critique are a focus of both components.

Students are required to participate in Freshman Seminar both semesters. The form and content of seminars change on a weekly basis in response to what ideas are being presented and discussed. Activities include: watching films and videos, visiting artist presentations, concerts and large group discussions about current art issues or readings.

The culmination of each semester’s work is a final review in which the student presents his or her work to a group of Foundation faculty. This final dialogue requires students to develop a critical perspective about their working process and finished projects. The year concludes with a show of faculty-selected work from the various projects and workshops the students have participated in throughout the program.

Foundations is taught collaboratively in two large open studio spaces within the School. One is located on the second floor of Harder Hall; the other is located in the Cohen Center for the Arts on Main Street, across the street from the Alfred University campus. The Foundations studios total 12,600 square feet and are open, flexible studios for multiple purposes. Students also meet weekly in either Holmes Auditorium in Harder Hall or Nevins Auditorium in the Powell Student Center for Freshman Seminar.

Foundations Course BLOG