Painting

Undergraduate

  • BFA | 4-year program

    Given a mix of freedom and discipline, Painting majors develop the purpose, confidence and critical and technical skills necessary to express their ideas as artists. Fellow students and faculty also offer critical and emotional support, which is especially important for the emergence of strong personal work. Overall, the department offers a stimulating atmosphere conducive to exploration and growth.

  • Inspiring Community

    Painting majors form a supportive community united by a strong work ethic and an eagerness to experiment. Students and faculty in the department share a respect for the tradition of painting along with a keen interest in its evolving contemporary manifestations. Visiting artists and critics bring new perspectives to the conversation and the recent addition of an endowed position known as the Kirloskar Visiting Scholar in Painting supports focused exploration of Indian art and culture.

  • Learning Environment

    Headquartered in a former 19th-century church originally designed by architect Thomas Tefft, the Painting department offers a dedicated gallery for student work along with well-lit and appropriately ventilated studios for electives and home spaces. Just next door, the RISD Museum offers ready access to its amazing collection of Painting and Sculpture from almost every period and genre, along with countless other works of art from around the world. Direct study of these works provides students with invaluable insights and inspiration, as does hands-on access to specimens in the Nature Lab and in the Fleet Library’s extraordinary collection of artists’ books.

  • Curriculum

    After RISD’s required year of Foundation Studies, sophomores entering the program are introduced to basic concepts and techniques that foster the development of a personal visual vocabulary. Juniors continue to expand and strengthen their visual and technical skills through studio work that allows for in-depth exploration of content and meaning.

    Foundation Studies

    • Fall
    • Drawing I
    • Design I
    • Spatial Dynamics I
    • Liberal Arts courses
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Drawing II
    • Design II
    • Spatial Dynamics II
    • Liberal Arts courses

    Sophomore

    • Fall
    • Painting I
    • Drawing I
    • Fundamentals: Painting Methods & Materials
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Painting II
    • Drawing II
    • Liberal Arts elective

    Junior

    • Fall
    • Painting III
    • Painterly Prints
    • Open elective
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Painting IV
    • Contemporary Art and Its Critics
    • Open elective
    • Liberal Arts elective

    Senior

    • Fall
    • Painting Workshop
    • Professional Practices or Experiments in Drawing or Digital Tools
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Degree Project
    • Elective
    • Liberal Arts courses

  • Degree Project

    After gaining increasing control over the direction of their work and thought processes, seniors devote much of the final year to producing an independently conceived Degree Project subject to evaluation by the Painting faculty, along with peers and outside critics.

     

  • Application Requirements

    1. application form + fee
    2. official academic transcripts
    3. test scores: SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS if English is not your first language
    4. portfolio of work 12–20 examples
    5. drawings 2 RISD-assigned samples
    6. writing samples 2 RISD-assigned pieces
    7. optional: letters of recommendation 1–3 suggested

    All freshman applicants apply to RISD as opposed to a specific department and begin with a required year of Foundation Studies. Students select a major midway through the first year but don’t begin those programs until sophomore year.

    For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.