Visual Arts and New Media

Office: 217 Rockefeller Arts Center

(716) 673-3537

Robert Booth, Chairperson



The Department of Visual Arts and New Media provides a balanced, comprehensive undergraduate program in the practice, theory, and history of the visual arts and new media. The department offers both majors and elective students an opportunity to experience the arts as an important and enriching facet of a liberal arts education. Whether the goal is a career or advanced study in the arts and new media, or simply a greater understanding of art and technology's cultural impact, the curriculum offers a dynamic mix of studios, lectures, and seminars. The program provides a comprehensive foundation of design skills, historical and conceptual approaches to visual expression. Visual Arts and New Media majors study an interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizing the concepts, theories, design, aesthetics and skills that inform all visual arts, including those involving electronic mediated expression. Content consists of traditional methods and materials, emerging technologies, and current approaches to artistic production and theory.

The department's graduates possess a unique set of hybrid skills that provide a critical edge for leadership positions in the competitive and evolving marketplace. Graduates have successful careers in corporate and public settings as art directors, working artists and designers, teachers, creative freelancers, and owners of pottery studios, photo studios and design firms. Others work as photographer's assistants, web designers, gallery directors, exhibition curators, and in the special effects industry for film and entertainment. Many Visual Arts and New Media graduates have also been accepted into some of the country's best graduate schools for advanced study.

Degree Programs

The department offers Visual Arts and New Media majors multiple opportunities for professional education in studio specialties and art history through various degree options. Students may receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History or in Visual Arts and New Media or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is available with majors in Animation and Illustration, Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Graphic Design, Media Arts, Photography or Sculpture. Students in the department may also consider dual majoring between the studio and art history degree programs. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Art History offers a wide variety of courses ranging from ancient times to the 21st century. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Visual Arts and New Media degree is a balanced, comprehensive overview of the range of creative and career possibilities in different media, with the added benefit of incorporating an interdisciplinary pedagogy within a traditional liberal arts curriculum. Both of these degree options, more general than the Bachelor of Fine Art (B.F.A.), provide an excellent grounding for students interested in dual majors or graduate studies in areas such as secondary education, art therapy, imaging technologies in the visual arts, advertising and marketing, public relations or arts administration.

The Bachelor of Fine Art (B.F.A.) in specific majors emphasizes the range of skills, theories and media necessary for the development of the designer or creative artist. The creative process, from inception to presentation, is emphasized. This degree option fosters intellectual and creative curiosity, critical aesthetic thinking, encourages fusion between different artistic disciplines, and extensive use and evaluation of current technologies. Visual design is of great importance, but equal consideration is given to the concept and context. The historical relationship between an extensive range of media, and the impact of interaction on those media, are thoroughly explored. Critical awareness, and the ability for self-evaluation, is encouraged and developed. Visual Arts and New Media students may apply after completing a minimum of 27 credit hours in the Visual Arts and New Media courses for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in a specialized major.

Students from other departments may also receive a Visual Arts and New Media minor or an Art History minor to complement their major field of study. Minors consult with a department advisor in choosing either a variety of arts and media arts courses or specific area of study. Art History majors may also consider a minor in Visual Arts and New Media as well Visual Arts and New Media studio majors may consider a minor in Art History. Students selecting minors should consult with a department advisor in choosing courses or specific area of study.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the department requires the submission of an acceptable portfolio for both freshman and transfer students. All prospective students are required to submit slides or a CD-ROM of their work for admission consideration; all accepted students must have examples of their work as slides, CD or DVD-ROMs or other approved media in their departmental file. In-person interviews are made for transfer students only after their initial mail-in portfolios have been reviewed. Transfer student interviews are scheduled on specific days throughout the year, students should contact the department to make an appointment. Transfer students are advised that it may take more than two years at Fredonia to complete degree requirements, depending on their chosen major.

The admissions process is a two-part application. The Office of Admissions will review your academic background. Admission to the college is based upon a review of your academic work, but admission to the department is dependent upon an acceptable portfolio. Incoming freshmen portfolios should be submitted by November 15 for early acceptance decisions and February 15 for regular acceptance decisions. Transfer student portfolios should be submitted by November 15 for spring acceptance decisions and April 15 for fall acceptance decisions. It is recommended that all prospective students contact the Department of Visual Arts and New Media or department website for additional information concerning portfolios and admission requirements.

Visiting Artist Program (VAP)

All Visual Arts and New Media majors participate in the Visiting Artist Program each semester, which provides an opportunity for exposure to a variety of art and design professionals from around the country. The program features a range of thought-provoking speakers each year, plus opportunities to attend several gallery openings during the semester. The speakers provide information about the many directions, options and possibilities inherent in art and design from professionals who are working regionally, nationally and internationally.

24 Credit-Hour Review

The 24 Credit-Hour Review takes place after students have completed, or are in the process of completing, 24 credit hours in visual arts and new media courses (reviews take place in the spring semester). The purpose of the 24 Credit-Hour Review is to evaluate student performance, offer constructive criticism and advice, and to help the student assess their career goals. The review is a mandatory departmental requirement. Any student failing to participate in the 24 Credit-Hour Review process will be suspended from taking further courses in the Department of Visual Arts and New Media.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Program

Students wanting to apply for the B.F.A. degree may do so after completing a minimum of 27 credit hours in Visual Arts and New Media courses. In order to apply for B.F.A. degree status, applicants must have attained at least a 3.0 average in all Visual Art and New Media courses, including Art History, with a 2.0 required for courses taken outside the department to qualify for review. Students native to Fredonia must apply for B.F.A. status before completing six semesters of Fredonia course work; transfer students must apply before completing four semesters of Fredonia course work. Students considering a dual major in two studio disciplines must apply for both programs at the same time, selecting area representation from both majors. It is the student's responsibility to contact the chosen faculty members individually to discuss their intention to apply for the B.F.A. well in advance of their review. In areas heavily impacted by enrollment, only a limited number of students may be admitted to the B.F.A. program.

Students with a 3.25 or higher GPA in all Visual Art and New Media courses and 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA and a score of 3.5 or greater during the 24 Credit-Hour Review may be granted acceptance to B.F.A. without committee review, however this is contingent on faculty recommendation and approval from the major area. Students should contact faculty area coordinators for more information. Students waived out of the review requirement must still receive major area approval and complete a Change of Major form for admittance to the B.F.A. program. All B.F.A. students are required to participate in Senior Seminar.

Graduation Requirements and Senior Seminar

All Visual Arts and New Media students must maintain a 2.0 average in the Visual Arts and New Media Foundation Program. B.A. students must maintain a 2.0 in all Visual Arts and New Media courses to remain in the program, B.F.A. students must maintain a 2.0 in all Visual Arts and New Media courses and a 3.0 in all major courses to remain in their B.F.A. major. Students may repeat courses to improve their class standing. All Visual Arts and New Media students (B.A. and B.F.A.) must submit an exit portfolio documenting their senior work and complete a senior assessment report to remain on file in the department. B.F.A. students will submit the required material during ARTS 400: Senior Seminar. B.A. students are required to submit this material to their advisors prior to graduation approval. The material must be in their file to receive final approval to apply for their degree. In their final semester at Fredonia, all B.F.A. students are required to enroll in ARTS 400: Senior Seminar to present an exhibition of their work. B.A. students are also encouraged to enroll in the course, but participating is not a graduation requirement.

Awards and Enrichments

The Alford Bjurlin Scholarship, the George W. Booth Scholarship, the Marano-Gnirke Scholarship, the Robert W. Marvel Scholarship, the Chautauqua Craft Alliance Scholarship, Fredonia Potters Co-op Awards,the Rodney W. Welling Memorial Scholarship, the Thomas E. Malinowski Scholarship, the Daniel D. Reiff Art History Scholarship, and the Colonel David Correll Photography Scholarship are given to exceptional Visual Arts and New Media majors. Additional scholarships are often available through portfolio competitions on a regional or national level.

The studio and classroom experience is enriched by participation in the student clubs Art Forum, Media Arts Club, and AIGA. Student members of these clubs have visited major art museums and studios in New York, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Cleveland and have attended photography, sculpture, ceramic and design conferences and workshops around the country. Internships are available and encouraged for students who want practical experience in addition to course work in their chosen major. The department assists students in arranging internships either in the U.S. or abroad. The Office of International Education will assist students with the study abroad application process.