The mission of the Art Foundation Program is to provide an intellectually rigorous, studio-based experience in the fundamental issues of art and design. The program seeks to develop in its students an enthusiasm for their work, a means to reflect analytically and an ability to cultivate skills that will serve throughout their education. The Art Foundation Program seeks to establish connections between programs in art and design and to participate in a larger forum of ideas and concepts relevant to all of the disciplines.
Completion of the Art Foundation Program is a prerequisite for entry into all fine art and design departments: Art Education, Communication Arts, Craft and Material Studies, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Kinetic Imaging, Painting and Printmaking, Photography and Film, and Sculpture and Extended Media. Art Foundation provides the basic concepts, skills and experience necessary to pursue advanced studio work in each department. Students become affiliated with a major department after the departmental portfolio reviews in the spring semester of the Art Foundation year. At that time the student applies to the department of his or her choice. Department acceptance is competitive and is based on individual student performance and potential in their chosen area.
Transfer students in art and design are also required to complete the Art Foundation Program but may be awarded transfer credits based on a case-by-case basis.
“I had fears about a ‘boot camp,’ but in retrospect, AFO is the perfect format for that first year. I made connections with students who went to different departments, learned to appreciate others’ areas of strength, and vice versa. The AFO year gives you the confidence you need to choose your direction. My initial fears were unfounded.”
- Holly Lester, Sculpture + Extended Media