California State University, Fullerton

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UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

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BFA CRAFTS

Introduction

The goal of the Crafts/Art program is to develop artists who use three-dimensional media their principle media of expression. The program's main objective is to develop creative and productive artists with a professional attitude who can objectively evaluate their work. Technical competence is important and integral to the process but is not secondary to the ability of defining and creating unique and inspired solutions. The art faculty melds the realms of ideas and expression with reality. They assist students in developing insights, problem solving strategies and technical skills and encourage pursuit of individual direction and purpose. Students create and produce one-of-a-kind signature pieces, which provide a basis for designing for limited production. The program prepares students to be professional artists, designers in industry, museum specialists or writers/critics.

Mission & Goals

The mission of the CSU-Fullerton Crafts concentration is to provide students with an intellectual landscaping of the media based traditions of the functional arts while introducing them to current technologies and processes interfaced with traditional approaches to the specific materials and practices of Crafts. Through instruction and correlating assignments, the goal is also to prepare the students to enter the contemporary professional world of practicing crafts artists.

The goals of the concentration are:

Provide students with the technical information for each media [paper, metal, fiber, wood] and expose them to traditional and non-traditional material based practices and processes of the functional arts.

Provide a broad understanding of visual language as it applies to the art of crafts.

Encourage conceptual and visual problem solving in each media.

Encourage creativity, innovation, and experimentation.

Explore historical and contemporary trends in the Crafts.

Inform the students of the studio dedication and professional practices of a media based functional artist.

Incite an enthusiasm for designing and making a fiber, metal, paper, or wood functional art object from inception to fruition.

Philosophy

In the digital computer dominated age, there is a growing desire to have a hands-on experience and an increasing interest in hand-made objects. The excitement of designing a wooden bowl, selecting the wood and going through all the technical and finishing process is a rewarding practice. We make very few things in the United States currently and most of us have little or no understanding of materials and the processes that an object goes through to become a consumer good. In the functional arts we can have a small scale view and experience of a complete process; maybe not creating the car we drive, but we can take raffia, a fiber made of Palm from Madagascar, coil a container and create a 3-Dimensinal object of our own design. Our professors, through sharing their own studio practices and successful artistic careers, bring their experiences into the academic environment. This gives the student a professional worldview that can inspire the student in his or her own endeavors. These aspiring artists, in the camaraderie of their peers, challenge each other through their individual solutions to each of the projects. Their creations incite a higher level of success in each other, which also helps in preparing them for the professional life of a crafts’ artist.

Curriculum

As a freshman and sophomore student in Crafts you take foundation courses in Two and Three-Dimensional Design, Drawing, Painting as well as Descriptive Drawing. There are two lower division Crafts classes that add to your foundation experience. Meanwhile, two courses in art history (from prehistoric to modern art) expand your visual knowledge. All the foundation courses prepare you for the designing and making of the assigned projects in beginning Crafts and Jewelry classes. Once a junior, your required courses in Crafts and/or Jewelry & Metalsmithing help you perfect your technique, and fine-tune your advanced problem-solving skills in the designing and making of Crafts, Jewelry and Metalsmithing objects. A variety of elective courses may cater to personal interests and career goals: a full range of Sculpture classes, Flat Glass, Glass Casting and Glass Blowing, Papermaking and Bookmaking, as well as sequential classes in Ceramics and Ceramic Sculpture. All these courses will help you focus on your individual interpretations of your art in your chosen Craft field. You then concentrate on portfolio building and networking. As a senior in taking three Special Studies in Crafts, Jewelry, and Metalsmithing courses, you create portfolio pieces, building from the first semester to the next a grouping of complex projects that demonstrate your advanced knowledge of the media, techniques and processes expected of a Senior level. Finally, to jump-start seniors’ careers, an internship in a real world business related to your field prepares you for job hunting and professional practices.

Student & Alumni Achievements

From the BFA in Crafts many of our students have been accepted into Graduate programs, they have received Scholarship opportunities at respected Crafts and Art Summer Programs, as well as had their work accepted in prestigious exhibitions in the Crafts discipline.

Faculty

In addition to teaching, our professors maintain their professional practice in the field of Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Their art has appeared in fine art galleries and private and museum collections throughout the nation such as the Racine Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, Museum of Contemporary Arts and Design, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Smithsonian American Art Museum – Luce Foundation, Victoria & Albert Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Our faculty also shares and teaches its expertise at presentations and workshops nationwide such as the University of Illinois, Champagne/Urbana and at San Diego State University. Their work has been recognized and supported by grants from the Peter S. Reed Foundation, California State Arts Board; and the Western States Art Federation / National Endowment for the Arts. They have been published in One of A Kind; American Art Jewelry Today, Jewish Museums of the World, Twentieth Century Jewelry, Design Visions, Metalsmith, Ornament, American Craft and Architectural Digest Magazine. Recently they have been included in the Craft In America project, which includes a comprehensive historical traveling exhibition, an accompanying book and a KCET sponsored PBS Series by the same name.

Christina Y. Smith, Professor of Art and Program Coordinator
Jennifer Monroe, Adjunct

Links

We encourage you to visit The University Academic Catalog to become more familiar with the Art Education curriculum as well as the News section for art department news.

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