Jun 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art and Art History

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Michael Dixon, chair and professor.
B.F.A., 1999, Arizona State University; M.F.A., 2005, University of Colorado at Boulder. Appointed 2008.

Lynne Chytilo, professor.
B.F.A., 1978, University of Massachusetts Amherst; M.A., 1980, Purdue University; M.F.A., 1984, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Appointed 1984.

Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi, assistant professor.
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D. Princton University. Appointed 2018.

Ashley Feagin, assistant professor.
B.A., 2009, McNeese State University; M.F.A., 2012, Louisiana Tech University. Appointed 2013.

Anne Mills McCauley, W. W. Diehl Professor.
B.F.A., 1976, Eastern Michigan University; M.F.A., 1978, Michigan State University. Appointed 1994.

Emmeline Solomon, assistant professor.
B.F.A., Maine College of Art; M.F.A., Washington University. Appointed 2019.

Bille Wickre, professor.
B.S., 1977, Dakota State University; M.A., 1984, University of Iowa; Ph.D., 1993, University of Michigan. Appointed 1992.


The visual arts have always been an important part of human culture. Individual expression, the shaping of cultural values, and the creation of beauty have been among the traditional functions of art. Artists invest objects with meaning through processes that are themselves significant. When objects become part of the larger culture, artists and audiences interact with each other and with the world around them in ways that are aesthetically and intellectually enhanced. The arts ask us to see more clearly, think more deeply and respond with greater passion to the realities of human existence.

Integral to a liberal arts education, study of the arts encourages critical thinking, self-reflection, personal growth, and the mastery of a variety of creative, intellectual and technical skills. In both art and art history courses, students gain abilities and confidence to conceive, analyze and understand works of art in a variety of forms and to pursue lifelong learning in the arts. Art courses encourage individual creativity, provide a foundation of skills to enable artists to create objects or performances of lasting significance, and challenge students to new critical awareness. Skills of analysis, critical thinking and writing, and a grounding in historical and cultural contexts form the basis of the study of art history. Drawing upon archaeology, religious studies, social history, contemporary critical theory and other fields of knowledge, art history helps students realize relationships between art and life.

Majors choose either a bachelor of arts degree (B.A.) in art or art history or a bachelor of fine arts degree (B.F.A.) in art. The B.A. in art provides a broad grounding in major studio areas including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, computer art, book art, video and photography. Students who wish to do more intense and focused work in art may apply for the B.F.A. program. The B.F.A. is recommended for students who will pursue graduate work in art and/or a career in the arts. Students who pursue a B.A. in art history develop research, writing, verbal and critical skills preparatory for graduate studies or careers in a variety of arenas. Art and art history majors regularly add a second major preparatory to a wide array of careers. For example, students may combine majors in art and psychology as part of their preparation for careers in art therapy. Students may choose a minor in either art or art history.

Art and Art History Department Website

Career Opportunities

Albion graduates in both art and art history bring to professional careers or graduate studies outstanding abilities in critical and creative thought, technical knowledge and skills, and a broad-based approach to problem-solving fostered by the liberal arts tradition. Recent graduates have pursued advanced studies in many specific studio areas, art history, arts management, animation, graphic art and architecture. Many enjoy careers in design, communications, World Wide Web design, advertising, museum and gallery positions, art therapy and education.

Special Features

Bobbitt Visual Arts Center houses the Department of Art and Art History, a public auditorium and two galleries for exhibiting the College art collection, professional artists’ and student work. Its spacious and well-equipped facilities include painting and drawing studios; a complete photography lab with a lighting studio and darkrooms that support black and white, color, and digital photography; and a printmaking studio where students explore relief, lithographic, intaglio, and letterpress printing. The sculpture studios comprise a complete woodshop, a welding lab, 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 to the visual arts. The lab is equipped with computers, scanners, 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 nearly 2,500 prints dating from the fifteenth century through the twenty-first century. The Elsie Munro Gallery hosts changing contemporary art exhibitions.

The Philip C. Curtis Artist-in-Residence program enables the department to bring emerging artists to campus every year. Students are encouraged to interact informally and to occasionally collaborate with these talented artists as they produce their work in Bobbitt.

Art and art history students often participate in off-campus programs such as the New York Arts Program, in which they work as interns with art professionals, including architects, interior designers, graphic designers, painters, gallery owners, curators, sculptors, photographers, medical illustrators, video and performance artists, and art therapists. Numerous other internships, off-campus experiences and international study programs offer excellent opportunities for art and art history students.

A number of scholarships are awarded to prospective students who have demonstrated achievement in art or art history. These can be renewed each year and are not limited to art or art history majors. Additional scholarships are available to upper-level art and art history majors who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in their specialty.

Departmental Diversity Statement

The Department of Art and Art History is committed to providing an open and welcoming environment to individuals of diverse ethnic, religious or racial backgrounds, geographic and cultural origins, class status, sexual orientation and to those of all physical abilities. We believe that individual expression in the form of artistic creation, analysis and dialogue is essential to the maintenance of human life and the creation of a humane and just society. To this end we will:

  • Maintain facilities that are accessible to all;
  • Attempt to include within our curriculum broad perspectives;
  • Encourage artistic creation and analysis that reflects a diversity of viewpoints and individual experiences;
  • Provide in our galleries and collections of prints, objects and other visual materials, art work that reflects the broadest spectrum of the human experience;
  • Provide opportunities for advanced study that explore issues of diversity;
  • Cooperate with other areas of the College to further the diversity efforts of the institution.

Departmental Policy on Advanced Placement Credit

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in art will receive credit for one art elective.

Student Learning Outcomes



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