The art history emphasis familiarizes students with a range of developments in the history of art while developing skills in critical thinking, writing, research and the study of artworks. After an introduction to the canonical traditions of art and architecture, students take advanced lecture courses on specific subjects. This curriculum concludes with capstone seminars on the methods of art historical scholarship as well as a thesis project.
Through an interdisciplinary approach, the Digital Design program produces designers who use technology in innovative ways and understand the cultural impact of digital technologies to produce solutions for branding, advertising, social causes and to solve human problems. Students become highly competent in visual design using a variety of digital media but they are also focused on why design is valuable, using design thinking and user-centered research to solve complex problems.
Students in the illustration emphasis receive instruction in conceptual illustration, digital illustration, rendering, perspective, painting, exhibition preparation, professional practices and the use of various artistic and illustration techniques. In preparation for a professional illustration career, the course work allows students to master numerous essential digital and traditional tools and work to successfully bring the two together in ambitious and innovative illustrative work.
Students begin their work at CU Denver by enrolling in visual arts foundations and lower division arts courses. This first year to year and a half of studio work prepares students for submitting a portfolio to their choice of emphasis for their bachelor fine arts degree. Students are encouraged to submit to more than one area at the time of their portfolio application.
Admission into the BFA Photography emphasis is by portfolio review. In November of the sophomore year, students are required to submit a digital portfolio, a written statement and unofficial transcripts from CU Denver and any previous post-secondary educational institutions.
While the Department of Visual Arts accepts applications for the spring or summer semester, Photography students are strongly encouraged to apply for a fall semester start. The majority of photography courses are offered in a “fall only” or “spring only” sequence and pre-requisites are strictly enforced. Students who begin in the spring and summer semesters may find that their required courses are not offered until the fall semester.
The transmedia-sculpture emphasis encompasses 21st-century digital practice with five-thousand-year-old metal casting process. Students learn how to use a full range of equipment and methods in art making – from working with metals, wood, casting and mold making to performance, live media and interactive digital work.