Art

Overview

Art is a social experience at Cornish. You’ll join a cohort of about a dozen peers. Together, you’ll participate in modules that address contemporary issues and ideas using a variety of visual mediums—painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, digital media and more. Each module is taught by a faculty team assembled to bring expertise, context, and perspective to a particular subject. From your first year, your study takes place in resident studios. Each cohort receives its own space, open morning till night, and together, you figure out how to make the best use of it. Rather than students moving in and out of different classrooms throughout the day, faculty teams will often come to you and your cohort. By your third year, the faculty will be your mentors, facilitating your interests, helping you identify your path, and supporting you in your growth.


Meanwhile, being in Seattle means you’ll have access to an array of Cornish partners, from arts institutions like the Frye Art Museum and the Henry Art Gallery to unconventional collaborators like the Institute for Systems Biology or Microsoft.

You'll be in good company. Alums like Heather Hart, Sarah Bergmann, SuttonBerresCuller, Aleah Chapin, and scores of others are producing award-winning, groundbreaking work that sparks important questions about our communities and ourselves.

At Cornish, we know you’re an artist. We’re eager to help you become yourself.


Curriculum

“It has been a pleasure to watch my daughter develop as an artist during her time at Cornish. She chose to move from her native New York City to attend a school that offered a strong foundation year where she could explore all mediums and venues. As so much work in the contemporary art field today is interdisciplinary, Cornish provides its students the tools to excel in multiple arenas. In addition, studying with students in the performing arts offers opportunities for fine arts majors to expanding their focus into the wide breath of what contemporary artists address today.”  Barry Friedman (NYC Gallerist)

Four Years at a Glance

Year 1: Explore

As a freshman in the Foundations program, you engage in learning to read visual languages and explore art practices through the intersection of studio, critical & contextual studies and humanities & sciences. In this year you will rotate through and explore open access resource labs, learning to situate work “within process” and learning to value process itself as “the work”.

The focus is on building technical, practical, rhetorical, and conceptual skills so that you can broaden your experience, challenge yourself and work outside your comfort zone. Year 1 is a time in which you will expand your awareness, develop experiential knowledge, and start to identify where your interests lie.

Year 2: Know and Understand

In the sophomore year, you will build on your exploratory first year and continue to identify key areas of interest. This is the time when you start to develop agency and ownership of your own artistic choices: media, methodologies, processes, and materials to understand what is means to structure a practice. The acquisition of skills continues within the context of your experimentation. Many students prefer to specialize while others embrace cross-disciplinary approaches. The program enables and supports this diversity.

The contextual, historical, critical, and cultural studies component of your education continues throughout the four years, in the recognition that the line between making and thinking is always permeable.

Year 3: Analyze, Evaluate, Apply

The junior year defines and establishes your emergent practice. You will extend and develop your work through an informed relationship between content, context, and audience. The spectrum of technique, practical application and research is fluid, and you will identify your place within this exchange. This is a time of self-directed practice, inquiry-led research and writing, and the further development of your critical skills.

This is normally the year that students choose to study abroad, compete for participation in the New York Studio Residency Program, or take part in the AICAD Mobility Program.

Year 4: Synthesize and Disseminate

As a senior you will consolidate your learning and experience towards an authored practice concluding with a public outcome at the end of the year. This is the time when you will propose, develop, and realize a body of work, accompanied by critical writing.

You will participate in cross-disciplinary critiques and reviews. Professional practice will be embedded in your studies and you will apply these skills throughout the year, via networking, commissions, self-promotion and related writing. Your time at Cornish culminates in the BFA exhibition, a widely attended event for the Seattle community. This is both a point of departure and commencement.


Degree Requirements

ART MODEL PROGRAM

Model Programs are updated at the beginning of each academic year. This PDF contains the current year’s model programs for this program. Students should refer to the model program that was in effect for the year and term of their entrance to Cornish. View archived catalogs and model programs.

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Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are updated at the beginning of each academic year. This PDF contains the current year’s course descriptions for this program. For previous years, please refer to the online archive of catalogs.

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Laptop Policy

All incoming students (Fall 2015) will need to purchase a laptop and software before the start of classes. Provided below is a list for you to make sure you have everything you will need.

In order to redeem the education discount you can either take your Cornish Student ID with you to an Apple store, or you can purchase directly through the Apple online store.

If you have already invested in a different system or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Resource Lab Manager.

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Learning Outcomes

The BFA at Cornish is designed to give students the diverse and flexible skills necessary to open up potential directions for a future life in fine art, which could include: research at the postgraduate level (MFA); or becoming a professional artist, filmmaker, project manager, studio manager, fabricator, animator, curator, writer, printer, photographer, arts administrator, publisher, educator, technical instructor, preparator, producer, picture/archive researcher; working in public art contexts, museums, or working in the areas of digital imaging, production and post-production, web authoring, new media production ... just to name a few.

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Faculty & Staff

Facilities

3D Fabrication Lab

The 3D Fabrication Resource Area helps students progress from sketchbook to actual object. Makers from any department are able to access our well equipped lab to build their skills in woodworking, soft fabrication processes like sewing, metal welding and fabrication, and mold making for cold casting.

Students can use the 3D Fabrication area to build stretcher bars for paintings, or to make a larger than life sculpture. Our available tools range from handheld wood carving tools to a Makerbot 3D printer. The wood lab support ranges from structure building to exploration of demanding techniques, and our metals area supports MIG, TIG, arc, and gas welding, with a variety of tools to cut, bend and manipulate metal stock. A wide variety of mold making processes are available for experimentation and skill building in making multiples in plasters, hybrid materials, and plastics

Digital and Analog Equipment Library

The equipment library will provide you with a wide range of digital and analog equipment including still and video cameras, lights, microphones, projectors and digital displays.

Digital Labs

Our digital computer labs will give you access to a range of creative software including Adobe Creative Cloud. In these labs, you will be able to take advantage of increased memory and processing power in order to work on larger and more complex digital projects.

Materials Lab

This room can be used for working with stronger solvents and painting mediums than the student collective studio spaces in Centennial Lab and the Commons.  It is also an ideal place to prime several canvasses at once with ample room to spread out.  Students have access to a wide array of drawing and painting mediums to experiment with different ways of working.  

The Materials Lab has a stock of acrylic and oil mediums, topcoats and grounds. Drawing media include charcoal, pastels, oil bars, water-soluble crayons, charcoal and graphite powder, inks, as well as fixatives to finish pieces.  Hand tools and an array of fasteners are on hand to figure out how best to display finished artwork.

Photomedia Lab

In the Photomedia lab, you can explore black and white analogue photography as well as digital photography. You will be able to work with digital image manipulation and large format printing and can venture into Super 8mm film processing.

Print & Book Arts Lab

The Cornish Print Art Lab is comprised of several lab spaces prepared for both traditional and contemporary practices. The Lab houses its own darkroom equipped with a Mercury Vapor overhead exposure unit used for solar plate, photo polymer plate, and other experimental photo print processes. Adjacent to the darkroom is a computer station, which operates a large format vinyl plotter that converts vector graphics into intricate works of cut vinyl. The Silkscreen lab has over 40 high mesh aluminum screens, and a state of the art vacuum exposure unit.

There is a pair of twin Little John presses in the central lab used exclusively for intaglio printing, as well as a lithography press for aluminum plate lithography, and a large Takach press used for relief, monotype, and large intaglio printmaking. A special feature of the lab is a traditional Japanese papermaking vat called a Sukifuni used to make delicate handmade paper.
 
Book Arts contains five working antique letterpresses, and a large catalog of both wood and lead type. Students have the opportunity to hand set type, create bindings with multiple signatures, and create professional quality handmade books.

Resources

Visiting Artists at Cornish College

External and community engagement is a priority and embedded in the program. We support study abroad, residencies, collaborative projects, commissions, exhibitions, internships and competitions. One notable example is the Loan Exhibition Partnership established in 2005 between the Art Department and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The College has established exciting partnerships to enable you to expand your study experience and extend your practice.

Visiting Artists, Master Classes & Residencies

The Art Program at Cornish College of the Arts and the Henry Art Gallery (http://www.henryart.org/) have formed an exciting partnership to present INCITE•INSIGHT, a series of public lectures and performances that promote engagement with contemporary art practice. Invited artists, curators, and thinkers visit Seattle for short residencies to interact with students through group conversation and studio visits. The series emphasizes and advances the long-standing commitment that Cornish and the Henry share in support of meaningful dialogues around the social and cultural impact of art and the ideas of our time. 

The Art program works closely with the Pilchuck Glass School and we are fortunate to have the Pilchuck Emerging Artists in Residence visit each fall to lecture on their previous works, processes, and current explorations. 

Galleries

The Main Gallery has been a significant feature and resource at Cornish for many years, and has hosted the work of many renowned artists. Alongside the main space, students are invited to submit proposals to create work for The Collaboratory, a project space located in the gallery that is dedicated to interdisciplinary explorations across the College. This represents the very best of Cornish’s unique identity as one of only three colleges in North America that offers both the visual and performing arts.

 

Student agency is at the heart of Cornish. The Closet Gallery is a student run exhibition space. It is for the students, by the students. Our goal is to provide a professional environment for students to showcase their work while pursuing their degree.

The Visiting Artist Program is a key feature of your study and provides the context to meet artists working professionally. You will also have access to the annual lecture series linked with the Neddy Artist Awards.

Numerous resources are open to Cornish students such as the Mary Alice Cooley Print Collection, and the Henry Art Gallery Collections at the University of Washington.

News

First Slide

February 14, 2017

Historic Seattle Lecture Explores Cornish History

David Martin, the curator of Cascadia Art Museum exhibition on Cornish College of the Arts' history, will lecture on the history of the school on March 6, 7 p.m., at PONCHO. This event is part of the Historic Seattle 2017 educational program for lovers of buildings and heritage.

“Miss Aunt Nellie” as she was affectionately known, was arguably the most important figure in Wa...

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January 31, 2017

We All Thrive In An Interconnected World

The following was sent on Monday by interim President Chris Kevorkian to the Cornish College of the Arts community. In a typical academic year, the college has students from more than a dozen countries on campus. In the last few years, students have come from Bermuda, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, and Thailand, among others.

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Trustees, and other members of our community, I write to you today...

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January 13, 2017

January 18 Deadline Fast Approaching for Cornish-VCFA Masters Program

The Vermont College of Fine Arts offers both an innovative, accelerated, combined BFA/MAT program with Cornish, as well as their fine standard MAT. Both programs have an application deadline coming up.

One of the landmark events of recent years has been the first involvement in a graduate program by C...

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January 9, 2017

Alumni in the News - January

Cornish alumni have been busy: producing art, furthering their academic careers, making the world a better place, and winning awards. Find out where a Cornish education has taken them.

Design grad Grace Reyer '16  who also studied film at Cornish, wrote Film+Media Chair ...

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November 3, 2016

Platforms of Exchange — Junior-Senior Exhibition Nov 4

The annual Junior-Senior collaborative exhibition, Platforms of Exchange will be open to the public on November 4.

The Opening and Reception for Platforms of Exchange (POE) will be open to the public one day only, o...

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November 3, 2016

Origins of Biometric Data Viewable Through December

Part of 9e2 Seattle, Geraldine Ondrizek’s exhibition, Origins of Biometric Data, remains on view in the President's Gallery through December 17. For members of the public, viewing may be done by appointment. The gallery is open to students, faculty, and staff Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

As part of 9e2 Seattle, Creative Corridor Interim Chair Genevieve Tremblay arranged for an exhibitio...

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September 14, 2016

Cornish Presents 2016/17: Theater, Music, Dance, Performance, and Jazz

While best known for the terrific jazz at PONCHO co-produced with Earshot Jazz, Cornish Presents is a multidisciplinary series of visiting artists, beloved alumni, and distinguished faculty. The 2016/17 season is no exception.

Following last month’s special remount of Raisins  in a Glass of Milk at the Cornish Playhous...

Raisins in a Glass of Milk August 25-27, 8:00 p.m. Begun as a senior thesis project, Ra...

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September 6, 2016

President Kevorkian Speaks at First Convocation

At the beginning of each academic year, the community of Cornish College of the Arts comes together for Convocation. This year is special, as a new president, Chris Kevorkian, stepped up to the podium.

On Tuesday morning September 6, the students, faculty, and staff of Cornish College of the Arts met...

​I will maintain respect for the dignity and integrity of each person. i will safeguard...

The mission of Cornish College of the Arts is to provide students aspiring to become practicing arti...

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September 2, 2016

Nathan DiPietro and Clyde Petersen Receive 2016 Neddy Artist Awards

The winners and finalists of the 2016 Neddy Artist Awards will gather on September 15 at Pivot Art + Culture in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. In recognition of the Neddy Artist Awards' 20 years of supporting contemporary artists in the Puget Sound region, works from the 2016 winners and finalists will displayed with a representation of past Neddy Artist Award winners.

The 2016 Neddy Artist Awards go to Nathan DiPietro (painting) and Clyde Petersen (open medium). The...

“Neddy Artist Awards: 20 Years” will run September 15 through October 23 at Pivot Art + Culture...

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May 25, 2016

Cornish Challenged To Meet $35,000 Match For Visiting Artists

Cornish's supporters have been challenged and we need your help to spread the word! Three generous donors are matching up to $35,000 in contributions to the Cornish's new Visiting Artists Fund. Donate online to the program of your choice and help continue a storied tradition that brings amazing guest artists to our students for in-depth and up-close interactions through master classes, residencies, workshops, and presentations.

Alumni and Cornish supporters are spreading the word that a donation to the Visiting Artist Fund giv...