Glass is a dynamic medium with limitless possibilities and a high importance in the worlds of art and design. As a major in the Glass BFA program, you'll work with faculty and visiting artists to develop skills in glass blowing, mold making, casting and cold working. This hands-on training leads to a mastery of skills, addresses how material and concept inform one another and lays the foundation for a well-rounded studio practice.
In the first year of the program, sophomores develop conceptual problem solving skills by making work in response to specific assignments and gaining a technical foundation in glass blowing, cold working, mold making and casting. Juniors continue to develop a conceptual and critical vocabulary through rigorous studio work. An intermediate glassblowing studio and a glass history course help refine and strengthen students' understanding of the medium and its origins.
Graduates are prepared to:
- demonstrate technical acuity in glass processes, including casting, moldmaking, hot glass work and coldworking.
- identify, locate and refer to appropriate precedents in developing a body of work and position it within historical and contemporary fine arts contexts.
- exhibit team working skills in the creative process, handling of materials and the use and maintenance of glass facilities and equipment.
- consistently utilize comprehensive safety practices in all aspects of studio work.
- recover gracefully from failure, understanding it as a natural part of the creative process and an opportunity for learning and improving.
- demonstrate conceptual problem-solving skills while employing a rigorous methodology that guides the development of original works of art.
The nature of glass necessitates collaboration among a close-knit community of artists exploring the same medium from a wide range of perspectives. Glass fosters close interactions among undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and visiting artists. Studio work, critiques, seminars and both group and individual projects support full engagement in the exciting dialogues surrounding contemporary art, sculpture, craft and design.
Approximately 30 undergraduates and grad students work in the department's hot shop, a custom facility offering a half-ton continuous-melt glass furnace, a 700-lb. casting furnace, an extensive cold shop, 15 computer programmed kilns and a well-rounded casting facility. One of the favorite features of the department is the Degree Program Workshop—a vibrant series of presentations by visiting artists, critics and curators. Direct interaction with this amazing range of professionals offers students an ideal way to learn about contemporary art, glass and professional practice.
Throughout the year seniors work on self-directed projects as they define and refine their thesis. Through individual and group critiques with faculty, peers, visiting artists and critics, students develop a significant body of work. Thesis work is presented in public exhibitions both on and off campus. The culmination of the thesis year provides students with the resources needed to prepare for professional practice in the field.