A list of all Undergraduate courses in Art Practice.

Lower Division

ART 1 Studio Foundations 1: Drawing, Painting, Photography
This course introduces beginning students to basic two-dimensional art forms such as drawing, painting, collage, and digital photography.  In order to explore essential characteristics of visual expression, the class examines basic two-dimensional (2d) design elements and techniques as well as the psychological implications of creative composition in relation to various media. The class functions as a laboratory for experimentation with multi-media work, collaboration, and documentation and includes drawing from live figures and local landscapes. Fee $60. Satisfies the practice component of the SMC Core Curriculum Artistic Understanding Learning Goal.

ART 2 Studio Foundations 2: Sculpture, Installation, Performance
This course is an introduction to three-dimensional art forms including sculpture, installation, and performance. Assignments include the use of classical materials such as clay and plaster, as well as found objects, public interventions, and 2d/4d methods. Presentations of various artists’ work and assigned readings provide a springboard for discussion of theory, practical application, and critical thinking, in both historical and contemporary terms. Students are encouraged to apply this material to their own work, with a focus on process rather than results. Fee $60. Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 3 Basic Design
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of design underlying a wide variety of visual art forms. Topics will include composition, design principles, layout, color and light theory, and typography as applied to two-dimensional formats. Techniques will be contextualized by relevant discussions of psychology and politics, rooted in the study of representative examples and project work. Fee $60. Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 4 Basic Photography
This course provides an introduction to the art of digital photography, production techniques and theory. Students will study the expressive power of light, composition, contrast, depth, angles, patterns, texture, and subject matter. Technical skills will include digital input from scanning (flatbed & slide/negative), digital cameras, video and internet sources; and output to digital printing systems. Computer assisted manipulation of imagery will be explored for correction and abstraction. Fee $60. Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 55 Digital Foundations 1: Photo, Video, and Sound
This introductory course investigates the digital editing tools, processes, and concepts through which digital technology extends traditional 2d and time-based art practices. Students will develop digital imaging, video, and sound projects using Adobe Photoshop and Apple Final Cut Suite. The course will combine extensive software demonstrations, hands-on exercises, theoretical and technical readings, discussion of a broad range of examples of media art, and group critiques. Fee $100. Satisfies both the theory and practice components of the SMC Core Curriculum Artistic Understanding Learning Goal.

ART 65 Digital Foundations 2: Web Design and Interactive Art
This course introduces the digital editing tools, processes, and concepts of web design and interactive art. Students will study web layout and interface design principles, color theory, typography, information architecture, and other topics that will prepare them to produce compelling website design. The theory of interactive design and new media will help contextualize student work and broaden the creative possibilities for the use of interactive structures for the purposes of artistic expression. Students will develop projects using Adobe Creative Suite software. Fee $60. Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ATC 80 Art Theory
This course introduces students to the conceptual terrain of 20th & 21st century critical theory and its relationship to artistic practice. The class will proceed via seminar format based on close readings of seminal texts and will traverse a broad array of interdisciplinary topics and critical approaches ranging from psychoanalysis and philosophy to anthropology and political economy. Assignments will include research and creative projects. Students majoring in art as well as other fields are equally encouraged to enroll. Fee $60. Satisfies both the theory and practice components of the SMC Core Curriculum Artistic Understanding Learning Goal.

ART 90 Special Topics in Art Practice
An introduction to art practice. The medium and materials vary from semester to semester and may include photography, photojournalism, video, installation art, site-specific and public projects, digital media, textiles, soft sculpture. Student assessment and evaluation is accomplished through group critiques, class discussions, peer and self-evaluations, short writings on art, and sketchbook and portfolio reviews. This class is open to all interested students without prerequisite, though prior completion of at least one lower-division studio class is recommended. May be repeated for credit as content varies.

Upper Division

ART 101 Advanced Drawing
Since the Renaissance, artists have looked for ways to depict the world around them in a more realistic way. In this century, some artists have sought another kind of artistic clarity, reaching into the subconscious to explore an uncharted, inner world. If drawing is visual thought, this course aims to expand thinking through the study and application of many graphic methods such as frottage, transfer, automatism, blind drawing, and collaboration and chance procedures. Fee $60. Prerequisite: Art 1: Studio Foundations 1Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 102 Advanced Painting
Continuing study of painting methods in a variety of traditional and nontraditional
materials and techniques. This course challenges students’ comfort with their craft and emphasizes the development of personal issues in their work. To gain a better understanding of the state of the contemporary art scene, students are encouraged to keep current through readings, attending art lectures and exhibitions. During class, there will be slide presentations, museum and gallery visits, and critiques as necessary. Fee $60. Prerequisite: Art 1: Studio Foundations 1Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 103 Advanced Sculpture
Since the use of collage in paintings by Pablo Picasso, and the revelation of “readymade” art objects by Marcel Duchamp, artists have been free to select and use almost anything as an art material. This course is for advanced students who want to expand their knowledge and application of nontraditional materials toward more complex and poetic expression. We explore a variety of permanent and ephemeral materials and methods. The emphasis will be on determining the appropriate material needed to reinforce the concept of the work and on problem-solving the use of that material. Fee $60. Prerequisite: Art 2: Studio Foundations 2Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 104 Advanced Photography
Continuing study of digital photography production and post-production. This course supports the advanced photography student in conceptualizing and developing their own artistic voice through series production and experimentation. Student will explore studio and field practices, digital printing, and exhibition formatting. Fee $60. Prerequisite: Art 1: Studio Foundations 1 or Art 4: Basic PhotographyDoes not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 155 Experimental Film/Video
This course investigates experimental film and video production using digital and traditional tools. Student projects will explore a variety of nonlinear modes of film/video production, such as oscillating, looping, recombinant, and remediated structures, as well as a variety of input and sourcing methods ranging from current and antiquated video camera technologies to internet archives and found footage resources. Students will use digital editing software to expressively assemble and manipulate their materials into finished results. Readings and representative examples from the rich history of experimental film and video will help students contextualize their own work. Fee $100. Prerequisite: Art 55: Digital Foundations 1Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 165 Experimental Interactive Media
As traditional web design utilizes interactivity in its merely pragmatic navigational function, students in this course will design and produce experimental web-based interfaces and architectures in which the interactive components become the focus of artistic and poetic expression. Theories of new media and net art will provide critical context for project work. Students will work individually and collaboratively while producing projects designed for internet as well as installation formats. Fee $60. Prerequisite: Art 65: Digital Foundations 2Does not satisfy an Area requirement.

ART 175 Interdisciplinary Arts 
This course enables students to explore interdisciplinary art production. Students will work on projects that combine visual art with other disciplines such as theater, music, literature and dance. The course's interdisciplinary focus will vary from term to term; as such, the course may be repeated for credit as topics vary. Fee $60.

ATC 180 Seminar in Art Theory & Practice
Advanced study in critical theory and its relation to art practice. Variable topics may include psychoanalysis, semiotics, post-structuralism, cultural studies, Frankfurt School, to name a few. Assignments will integrate critical and creative process as a form of artistic “praxis.” The course may be repeated for credit as topics vary. Fee $60. Prerequisite: ATC 80: Art Theory.

ART 193 Special Study: Internship
Work-practice program conducted in an appropriate art-related internship position. Normally open to junior and senior art practice majors. Permission of instructor and departmental chair required. Course may be repeated for credit. 

ART 194 Special Topics in Art
The topic of this course varies from semester to semester. Each course focuses on a different area of study within art history. Special emphasis is placed on the history of non-European art. May be repeated for credit as content varies. Fee $60.

ART 195 Gallery Exhibitions (.25 CR)
This course provides direct experience in gallery curation and installation. Under faculty supervision, students in this course manage the exhibitions in the student art gallery, Gallery 160 and the online Liquid Gallery.

ART 196 Capstone Project
Art Practice majors are required to complete a thesis project as a capstone to their studies. This project typically entails the production and exhibition of a coherent body of original artwork. This course provides the time and credit for students to pursue their capstone project under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. The course is limited to upper division students in the major, minor, and split majors.  

ART 197 Independent Study
An independent study for students whose needs are not met by the regular course offerings of the department. Permission of the faculty member and department chair required.

ART 198 Senior Art Practice Portfolio (.25 CR)
The capstone assessment course allows students to track the development of their major or minor. Art practice requires as part of this assessment measure that all majors and minors submit a portfolio of artwork and writings at the end of their SMC career. This portfolio includes a listing of their completed coursework in the discipline, representative samples of their artwork, assessment of field experiences (exhibits, internships, curation), an artist statement, samples of other relevant art-related writings and a self-evaluative essay. Fee $60.

ART 199 Special Study - Honors
Directed project under the supervision of a department faculty member, culminating in the production of an honors-level art project. Permission of the faculty member and department chair required.

Maps & Directories

Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
Google Map | Campus Map | PO Boxes