The BA in Visual Studies program is ideal for students who want to utilize the resources of a larger university and the excellence of Tyler’s studio traditions. Students develop skills as makers and thinkers by taking an equal ratio of studio and academic classes that foster critical awareness of how society is reflected and produced through visual means in the twenty-first century.
Students in this major analyze visual communication from a variety of aesthetic, theoretical, scientific, economic, sociological, and historical viewpoints. Students learn to consider medium, its impact on the image and message of a piece, and the work’s socio-political and cultural context. The stimulating blend of studio and academic courses provide graduates with a sound basis for pursuing graduate study in art history, art theory and criticism, cultural studies, curatorial practice, visual anthropology, or visual culture.
Visual Studies has a flexible curriculum that emphasizes interdisciplinary practice. This allows students to explore the theoretical and technical aspects of art making outside the traditional restrictions of the single studio areas.
Graduates of the Visual Studies Program are well prepared for careers in traditional areas of cultural production and creative entrepreneurship: as exhibiting and publishing artists and writers, museum and gallery work, in arts journalism, for and in government agencies, as curators of cultural events, as small business owners and entrepreneurs, in non-profit art and community organizations, and in commercial fields like design, retail, marketing, and advertising.
The 122 credits required for the BA in Visual Studies includes foundation studio courses, studio art seminars, interdisciplinary art seminars, and Gen Ed and academic electives. Students in the Visual Studies program will approach studio practice through a variety of media and theoretical concepts. The flexible curricular structure and course offerings are linked by a conceptual framework that serves as an overview for skills that are essential for artists working within interdisciplinary practice. The program addresses four major themes that serve as lenses through which students create and examine visual culture in each year of study. In students' foundation year (1st year) classes focus on the theme of Identity; in the sophomore year (2nd year) classes focus on the theme of Stories/Narrative; in the junior year (3rd year) classes focus on the theme of Site/Place , and in the senior year (4th year) classes focus on the theme of Translation. These themes correspond to the basic questions asked in the production and analysis of visual culture—who (identity), what (stories), where (site/place) and how (translation).