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Linfield College Catalog

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Art and Visual Culture

Art and Visual Culture Department's Website


Ron Mills M.F.A. (Chair)

Liz Obert M.F.A.

Brian Winkenweder Ph.D. (Chair)

Curriculum and programming in the Department of Art and Visual Culture emphasizes and fosters the integration of (a) creative and expressive instincts (b) intellectual, communicative and critical skills and (c) competent studio practices and techniques. In the tradition of developing one’s education through Liberal Arts, courses offered in the art and visual culture department are designed to orchestrate a fundamental understanding of visual thinking. In this endeavor, the art and visual culture department is committed to exploring and teaching inextricable links between images, texts, and critical thinking. The earliest recorded examples of human expression consisted of abstract, graphic representations of the visible world. Humans are, at their essence, visual beings who develop and harness skills of mark-making which enables both written and visual expression. Historically, as pictographs morphed into alphabetic systems, the inherent connection between text and image tended to be subordinated; however, in today’s mediasaturated climate, the ability to negotiate between text and image has once again emerged as a vital skill. In the modern world, more than ever we are consumers of visual information. As a result, those skilled in managing images fluently are sought after in all career pathways. Visual literacy is like a language with its own unique syntax and grammatical structures that can be learned. Our curriculum seeks to teach that special language. Studying art prepares one for a world fully dependent on visual fluency. In today’s informationbased societies, there are no occupations that do not benefit from visual management skills.

The Linfield art and visual culture department has a history of successfully preparing students for immediate entry into the world of commerce or for acceptance in prestigious graduate programs. Recent graduates have successfully completed studies at renowned art schools and have gone on to viable careers in the visual arts.

Goals for the Major

Students who successfully complete a major in studio art will:

  • demonstrate technical skills in at least one studio medium;
  • produce a coherent, cohesive body of work accompanied by an artist statement;
  • create and present works of art through visual, verbal and oral means;
  • develop research, analytical and critical skills; and
  • demonstrate understanding of major trends in the history of art and visual culture.

Requirements for Major or Minor

The Studio Art major is available as a bachelor of arts degree only, as defined in the section on degree requirements for all majors in this course catalog.

For a major in Studio Art: 46 credits, 100, 101, 110, 120, 242, 310, 319, 390, 391, 395 and three studios, two of which are in the same medium. Students seeking to declare a major in Studio Art shall have completed at least 100 or 101 and be currently enrolled in a third foundation course (110 or 120). Portfolio reviews for those declaring the major will be scheduled each semester. Major standing requires students to maintain an overall 2.500 GPA and a cumulative 3.000 average in AAVC courses.

For a major in Studio Art (Thesis-track) (Advised for all majors who intend to attend graduate school or pursue a career in the visual arts): all requirements for the studio major plus 490, 491 and one additional visual culture class. Such students will have automatically completed a minor in visual culture, and may qualify for departmental honors.

For a minor in Studio: 20 credits, including 100, 101, 110, 120 and one additional studio elective. Minors must achieve a grade of C or better in all required courses.

For a minor in Visual Culture: 20 credits, including 110, 310, 319 and one additional visual culture course, plus one of the following: 100, 101 or 120. All courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.

For Oregon Initial Teaching Licensure in Art: a student must complete the Linfield Teacher Education Program requirements. In order to complete these requirements, a student must begin taking education courses no later than his/her sophomore year. The student must be advised by an Education Department faculty member each semester prior to registration.

Student Organizations

The Department of Art and Visual Culture encourages interested students to join the Art Students Society and/or Ceramic Club, Linfield organizations which promote and support student involvement in the creative arts.

Any Questions? If you are interested in learning more about the curriculum at Linfield, please contact the Office of Admission at (800) 640-2287 or email An admissions counselor will be happy to answer your questions or put you in touch with a faculty member.

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