2020-21 Catalogs

Art Overview

Chair of the Department: Hrenko, 109 Robie-Andrews, Gorham

Professors: Cassidy, Grant, Piribeck, Shaughnessy; Associate Professor: Hrenko; Assistant Professors: Barnes, Lee-Zimerle; Lecturers: Porobic

Director of Exhibitions and USM Art Galleries: Eyler; Environmental Safety and Technology Technician: Walsh; Administrative Specialist: Hagberg

Adjunct Faculty: Babulski, Burke Colburn-Motta, Cooper, Flahaven, Goodale, Hart, Hunter, Kagan, Ledue-Bell, McDermott, Sulzer, Stringfellow, Zimerle

The Department of Art prides itself on giving students a vigorous studio experience, historical understanding of the complexity of art practices, and the critical skills needed to become informed visual artists, art educators, and art historians. It offers degree programs directed toward concentrated study in the visual arts, and general education courses that introduce students to the practices and historical study of the visual arts. Art students actively engage in doing art projects, research and internships within communities served by the University.

The Department offers four-year degree programs in studio art, art history, and art education. Students may select a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with concentrations in ceramics, photography and digital art & design, painting and drawing, and sculpture. A concentration in Art Education is available to BFA candidates who wish to teach art. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Art combines a liberal arts education with emphasis on the visual arts. A BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Art and Entrepreneurial Studies, combining study in studio art with courses in business development, and a BA in Art with a concentration in Art History are also offered. 

Majors will:

  • Demonstrate entry-level competence in their chosen art media by exhibiting technical facility and making a coherent set of artistic and intellectual goals evident in their work;
  • Produce and exhibit original artwork in their areas of concentration;
  • Be able to analyze and evaluate cultural representations in historical contexts in both written work and oral presentations;
  • Possess the knowledge and skills that will help them to lead rich and fulfilling lives both personally and professionally;
  • Develop an awareness of and appreciation for multiple forms of art;
  • Gain knowledge and skills in creative thinking and problem solving that are transferable to a wide range of disciplines and professions.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Department of Art should observe the following procedure. Formal application should be made to the Director of Undergraduate Admission, Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Current degree candidates enrolled at the University who transfer into the Department of Art from another discipline must obtain a change of major form and submit this form with a current transcript to the Chair of the Department of Art.

All art majors must submit a portfolio of original works to the Department of Art for evaluation after completing the foundation requirements (ART 141, ART 142, ART 151, ARH 111, and ARH 112) and before enrolling in 300-level studio courses. Portfolios are not required for the art history concentration. Transfer students who have completed the art foundation at another institution must submit a portfolio at the next scheduled opportunity and no later than the second semester at USM. Transfer students who have completed a bachelor's degree in Art at another institution are eligible to request a waiver for the foundation portfolio requirement. The portfolio should consist of no more than twelve works within specific categories. Each student will choose two works to mat with white, off-white or ivory mat board and firm backing. The materials do not have to be archival. The unmatted works on paper will be presented in individual clear sleeves with a firm backing inserted behind the work. Two works will be selected by the Department to exhibit for a two or three-week exhibition. The categories and numbers of work for each category are as follows:

  • Two-dimensional works (three pieces) should be taken from and/or exhibit skills in the visual design of the flat page;
  • Three-dimensional works (two pieces) should exhibit (in photographs) capabilities in the physical development and articulation of form and space;
  • Drawing category (three pieces) should contain works of any medium exhibiting skills and concepts of drawing;
  • Self-portrait (one piece) should be executed from life and may be in any medium but should be a representational depiction rendered by hand; and
  • Open submissions (three pieces) may be work in any medium as long as it conforms to the overall guidelines of this review.

Portfolios that do not adhere to the established procedures will not be accepted for review.

Art candidates whose portfolios are not accepted are required to meet with their advisor and one additional full-time faculty member to review and discuss their plans for re-submission. Portfolios that are not accepted may be re-submitted two additional times. Failure at the conclusion of these three times will result in denial of acceptance as an art major.

Students are required to submit a portfolio for acceptance to the Department prior to enrolling in any 300-level or above studio courses. Studio Art minors may enroll in required studio courses with permission of the instructor.

Portfolio deadlines and application forms may be obtained from the Department of Art. Portfolios are reviewed once each semester. Final notification of a decision will come from the Department of Art approximately two weeks after the portfolios have been evaluated.

Students already enrolled in the University who wish to change their major to art must follow the Departmental admission procedures concerning submission of portfolio, as described above. Art presentation workshops are offered annually.

Only students who have completed the art foundation and who have earned 60 credits or more may enroll for Independent Study courses. Grades of C– or better must be earned to satisfy a major or minor requirement.

Academic credit for summer workshops is available with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. Contact the Department of Art or Summer Session for more information.

Course Fees

A course fee is assessed in all lecture courses, as well as ceramics, digital art & design, drawing, foundations, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture courses.

Transfer Students

To receive a BFA degree in art from USM, a student transferring to USM must complete at least two 3-credit studio courses in their area of concentration and one 3-credit art history course at USM. To receive a BA degree in studio art from USM, a transfer student must complete at USM at least two 3-credit studio courses within one discipline and one 3-credit art history course.