As a Western State Colorado University student and painter ask yourself, "What am I going to learn here? Will the work be disciplined, serious, hard?" With Western State Colorado University painting and drawing emphasis, we think you may find what you are looking for. Backed by years of tradition, this emphasis is the largest in western Colorado. Its rigorous, professional courses investigate the relationship between painting and drawing, combining the materials and techniques of each. Casey Krawczyk, one of the professors of drawing and painting, believes, "Artistic talent is esstentially the outcome of discipline and passion for the craft. The core of my teaching philosophy is to cultivate students' individual talents, challenge them to take risks with their art, and provide them with a solid base of traditional drawing and painting skills on which they can further their growth as an artist."
Beginning painting courses introduce the concepts and materials of painting, furthering students' understanding of space, image, and color. In beginning drawing courses, students gain awareness of drawing as a way to organize thoughts, feelings, and image-making. Painting and drawing at Western cover a range of materials, forms, and traditions, both representational and nonrepresentational. The recognized working artists who make up the faculty are experts in color, landscape, still life, watercolor, and the figure, and teaches courses in specific subjects. Intermediate and advanced courses in Painting Materials and Techniques cover the properties and possibilities of modern media: grounds, supports, methods, adhesives, and pigments. In advanced painting and drawing classes, students build upon their technical facility and conceptual base to develop personal directions.
All classes emphasize individual aesthetic choices and expression, and the exploration of contemporary critical issues. Like all emphases here, the painting and drawing department encourages inquiry and experimentation in other media and disciplines. Besides studio instruction and practice, regular mid-semester and end-of-semester critiques help students articulate their intentions, analyze their success, and evaluate their progress. One student's response to these critiques: "I hate them and I love them. People hold me responsible for my work, so I've had to learn how to defend it. Sometimes it's frustrating when I have to admit that a painting just doesn't capture what I'm trying to do. But the critical comments help me figure out what to try next." In addition to individual contact with faculty members, painting and drawing students benefit from personal interaction with visiting artists, gallery exhibits, and field trips to Denver, Taos, and Santa Fe. Giving lectures, shows, and workshops, and sometimes even participating in critiques, these artists increase students' awareness of various concerns, styles, and approaches.
Western State Colorado University painting and drawing students not only develop skills and sensitivity; they emerge with a strong, comprehensive education and a positive-but realistic-enthusiasm for art as a way of life.
Western State Colorado University printmaking covers a wide span of time from 15th-century technology to contemporary methods. Without forsaking traditional techniques, we broaden the definition of printmaking. Definitely not typical or conservative, Western State Colorado University printmaking area offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in etching, lithography, relief, and monoprinting processes. Other courses in the emphasis include papermaking, hand bookbinding, and computer-related processes. The instructor is versed in all printmaking techniques as well as at least one important discipline outside the printing realm-including painting, design and photography.
By utilizing a workshop environment, we emphasize each student's individual effort, under the guidance of the instructor. Equal attention is given to ideas and technique. The printmaking department encourages cross-disciplinary work. For successful involvement with printmaking, a student should have experience in drawing, two-dimensional problem-solving, and color theory. Department equipment includes three etching presses, two stone lithography presses, three relief presses, a process camera, a professional photomechanical darkroom, 25 G4 Macintosh computers, computer scanners, a laser and large format color printers. Summing up the printmaking area in a sentence, as stated by the printmaking instructor, "The printmaking department doesn't always reflect trends; it also sets them."
At Western State Colorado University, the phrase "fine art photography" continually undergoes creative, expansive redefinition. The emphasis relates to all other disciplines in the art department in an atmosphere of cross-fertilization and evolution. Having significantly influenced every fine art medium in the 20th century, photography has irrevocably altered the perception and participation of artists. Today, that lively interaction continues in Western State Colorado University's photography courses. Although faculty members support experimentation and aesthetic freedom, they also expect students to meet the demanding, critical challenges of artistic growth and technical expertise.
In beginning photography classes, students sample a wide range of basic, practical information and conceptual issues. Intermediate classes offer in-depth studies of specific ideas and technical areas. In advanced classes, students have opportunities for more self-directed projects, developed through group seminars and frequent private consultations with the instructor.
Because the complex relationships between media, emotional expression, and visual exploration form such an integral part of the department's approach, students need to gain a general knowledge of other media, a basic understanding of art history, and a thorough comprehension of the history of photography.
The department furnishes a strong technical support system including a printing lab, basic chemistry, finishing area, view cameras, tripods and lighting equipment, color and black-and-white darkroom, Macintosh computers. Students must furnish 35mm cameras, light meters, film, paper, and other personal tools and materials. Transfer students or students with previous photographic experience who wish to take a photography class beyond Introduction to Photography must bring a portfolio of their work to the photography instructor or the chairperson before registration or on the first day of class.