Bobbitt Visual Arts Center
The Bobbitt Visual Arts Center houses the Department of Art and Art History, as well as two galleries, a public auditorium, and exhibition spaces for the College art collection and student work. Its spacious and well-equipped facilities include painting and drawing studios; a complete photography lab with darkrooms that support black and white, color, and digital photography; and a printmaking studio where students explore intaglio, relief, and letterpress printing. The sculpture studios comprise a complete woodshop, a welding lab, and areas for stone carving and other types of three-dimensional production. Students studying ceramics work in spacious studios for throwing, handbuilding, and slip casting, and fire their work in electric, raku, and gas reduction-fired or wood kilns. Art students have 24-hour access to the general studios.
The department houses a computer arts lab, dedicated solely to the visual arts. The lab is fully equipped with computers, scanners, digital cameras, color printers, and a digital video editing suite. Computer technology is integrated into studio courses as an art-making tool, and into art history courses as a way to access distant museums and sites and as a tool of analysis.
The Bobbitt Visual Arts Center galleries are home to 10 exhibitions each year, offering students a chance to view artwork by contemporary artists and to exhibit their own work. The Martha Dickinson Print Gallery highlights selections from the College's permanent collection of more than 2,300 prints dating from the 15th century through the 21st century. The Elsie Munro Gallery hosts changing contemporary art exhibitions.
The photographic studio features a black and white darkroom with nine Beseler 23CIII-XL enlarger stations and a second smaller darkroom with three enlarger stations with color and 4x5 capacity. Students have 24-hour access to this studio.
Our computer lab also supports photographic activities with stations that feature Adobe Photoshop for digital photography. We have two negative scanners and a flatbed scanner allowing students to create digital/traditional hybrids. Students have access to both digital still and video cameras. Advanced students have access to a 4x5 rail and medium format cameras. Classes foster an exploration role of photography as a traditional modern art form as well as a focal point for contemporary art theory and practices. Students are encouraged to consider formal, material, social, and political aspects of the medium.
The Printmaking Studio facilitates the teaching of the traditional and contemporary mediums of lithography, intaglio, and relief printing. Printing equipment includes a Brand litho press, American French Tool and Brand etching presses, and three Vandercook Proof Presses.
A diverse range of nontraditional approaches to printed images is supported. Development of personalized imagery is emphasized at all levels. Students have 24-hour access to this studio.
Ceramics is housed in a well-equipped 6,250-square-foot building, next door to the Bobbitt Visual Arts Center. The main studio has 13 electric wheels, ample storage space for students to store their works in progress, and several work tables for hand building and sculptural projects. In the glaze room, students find a full complement of materials necessary to create any type of glaze.
The adjacent kiln room has three large gas-fired kilns, a wood kiln, two portable raku kilns, and four electric kilns of varying sizes. By the second semester, students fire gas and wood kilns with supervision until they completely understand the process. Students have 24-hour access to this studio.
Sculpture occupies three lab areas; the main studio, the wood shop, and a welding area. The main studio is a spacious room with huge windows that give students plenty of natural light, storage lockers, and large work surfaces. The main studio features a mini-woodshop with band saw, miter saw, and drill press.
Off the main studio is an outdoor terrace workspace where students can carve stone using chisels, rasps, or pneumatic and electric power tools. A separate room houses a full wood shop with a radial arm saw, compound miter saw, 8" joiner, 10" table saw, stationary belt sander, scroll saw, and router table. In addition, students have access to a large tool cabinet with dozens of small power tools and hand tools. This includes, grinders, drills, a biscuit joiner, jig-saws, planers, and power as well as hand carving tools. The metal area is located on street level in an enclosed studio space. Available to all sculpture students is a gas welder, arc welder, two wire-feed Mig Welder and a plasma cutter. Students can fabricate from new or salvaged metal. Students have 24-hour access to the main sculpture studio.
Digital Media Studio
Digital media includes all digitally assisted art forms using computers, digital cameras and video equipment. The digital arts lab features 13 stations, two of which are also video ready. In addition to the Epson 9800 ink jet printer capable of large format on a wide range of surfaces and media, we have an Epson 4880 for smaller work and proofing. There is also a wide bed scanner and access to negative scanners in the lab.
The video lab features two work stations for editing and sound work. Students are able to borrow both still and video digital camera equipment. This studio has monitored daytime, evening, and weekend hours.
A large drawing studio accommodates Drawing I and Advanced Drawing: Figure courses. Drawing is one of three required foundation courses. In our upper-level classes, many instructors require that students maintain a sketchbook or journal in which they continue to draw. Drawing is often taught as a perceptual practice in the initial phases and moves toward the incorporation of more conceptual aspects as the semester progresses. Students have 24-hour access to this studio.
A large painting studio with excellent ventilation houses all levels of painting courses. Painting encompasses a broad range of media, techniques, theoretical and aesthetic considerations. Technical considerations, principals of composition, color theory, and expressive means are taught through the media of oil, watercolor, encaustic, gouache and acrylic paint. Individual faculty and group critiques provide a focus on the individual's work and a forum to exercise critical judgments about one's own and others' work. Students begin with traditional methods and move on to assignments designed to challenge and support their individual strengths and concerns. Students have 24-hour access to this studio.