Foundations

Overview

The Foundations Program—the freshman year for all Art, Design, Film+Media, and Interior Architecture students—is about working together with faculty and peers so that you have what you need to develop your creative voice.

We believe that opportunities open up when students who paint are exposed to design; when designers understand film; when filmmakers draw. It may not show up in your work immediately, but diversity in all its manifestations changes the realm of what’s possible.

In Foundations, you’ll study with a small cohort in shared studios. Our faculty, professional artists themselves, are adept at knowing when to give you structure and when to let your ideas roam. Your projects will be iterative and collaborative, a mix of making, research, reading, and writing. We’ll bring humanities and science into the picture as well.

Your work will include both digital and analog processes. You’ll learn from the past and shape your own future.

Critically, you’ll experience all this in Seattle, an urban center surrounded by stunning natural resources, where pop culture and high culture join forces, where the theoretical and material together spark concepts unimagined. It’s no wonder our city is one of the most potent creative communities in the country.

Foundations is a program for taking things in: skills, content, concepts. At year’s end, you’ll choose to focus on Art, Design, Film+Media, or Interior Architecture.

And the edges will always be as porous as you want them to be.

How It Works

The Foundations program at Cornish College of the Arts is a cohort-based model, meaning that students work together in groups within a shared studio environment. The program broadly introduces first year visual arts students to relevant research practices within the disciplines of Art, Design, Film and Media and Interior Architecture. All of which informed by relevant cultural, historical and social perspectives that frame contemporary creative practice. Student learning is situated within three fully integrated units of inquiry: Studio, the Humanities and Sciences, and Critical and Contextual Studies.

First year writing is completed as part of this model Over the course of the Foundations year, students will develop integrative learning skills across and beyond the curriculum in conjunction with an increased capacity to transfer knowledge and learning between subjects, while being exposed to a broad spectrum of practices from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Reading, writing, research and making are emphasized as equally important components within an informed and adaptive practice. As students progress through the program, they work closely with faculty to develop an individual perspective and a personal artistic direction, developing skills in both analogue and digital media. Full time studio space and ongoing access to equipment and facilities provide the student with opportunity to work within various communities of practice, and to develop cumulative learning while simultaneously developing an ongoing awareness of their work. The Foundations Program culminates with students selecting one of three pathways: Art, Design, or Film + Media.

Studios

The Foundations studios are configured to a flexible and adaptive shared workspace that models the culture of the program. They are spacious, with high ceilings and lots of natural light. Students have access to their studios late into the evenings and on weekends.

Curriculum

The Foundations curriculum is intentionally designed to facilitate making connections and build content across subject areas with research-directed learning outcomes. Students register for the following three units per semester for a total of 15 credits. These units are fully integrated to deliver an intentionally connected framework that models and builds integrative skills and learning.

An example of a typical weekly schedule

M T W TH F
9am STUDIO FN123 STUDIO FN123 OPEN STUDIOS
FLEXIBLE LAB ACCESS
STUDIO FN123 H+S HS113
10am        
11am         STUDIO FN123
1pm STUDIO FN123 STUDIO FN123 OPEN STUDIOS
FLEXIBLE LAB ACCESS
STUDIO FN123 STUDIO FN123
2pm C+C FN133 H+S HS113
3pm C+C FN133 H+S HS113 C+C FN133
4pm
5pm

Laptop Policy

All incoming students will need to purchase a laptop and software before the start of classes. Provided below is a list of minimum system requirements to run the software that will be taught at Cornish College of the Arts:.

If you have already invested in a different system or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Design Department IT Support Coordinator.

Faculty & Staff

News

First Slide

May 15, 2017

Ruffner Draws On Cornish Expertise For Augmented Reality

This year’s Consilience Event at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) features artist Ginny Ruffner. In 2015, Ruffner was invited into the Design classroom at Cornish Cornish College of the Arts to learn alongside our students, new tools and techniques she is using in the creation of her exciting augmented reality projects The result was a fruitful creative and technical learning as well as mentoring exchange.

Artist Ginny Ruffner’s interactive augmented reality installation Poetic Hybrids had some assistan...

First Slide

May 10, 2017

Creating Fables With A Baby Grand

Cornish Playhouse resident artists Ruth Marie Tomlinson (faculty), Fritz Rodriguez (alumni), John David Tomlinson, and Tania Kupczak have been deconstructing, cataloguing, rebuilding, and constructing fables of a Sohmer & Co. Baby Grand piano. The deconstruction began in November of 2016 and will culminate over Memorial Day weekend with a closing reception on May 25.

What do you do with a decommissioned piano? At Cornish College of the Arts, you turn it into art. In...

First Slide

April 27, 2017

Henry Art Show Reunites Alumni

“Fun. No Fun. Kraft Duntz featuring Dawn Cerny” at the Henry is three-quarters Cornish College of the Arts alumni. The Seattle-based artist/architect team of David Lipe, Matt Sellars ‘93, and Dan Webb '91, in collaboration with Dawn Cerny ’02, have created an installation for the Henry’s lower level gallery that will be on display through September 10, 2017.

David Lipe, Matt Sellars, and Dan Webb make up the artistic team known as Kraft Duntz. It’s a mix...

First Slide

April 13, 2017

Leslie Phinney Celebrates 35 Years Of “People First Design”

Leslie Phinney ‘79 is the Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Phinney Bischoff, an integrated brand strategy and design firm with offices in Seattle, WA, and Sun Valley, ID. Throughout its 35-year history, Phinney Bischoff has had the privilege to work with many beloved Seattle brands, including BECU, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle Symphony, The 5th Avenue Theatre, and Woodland Park Zoo.

Her name is familiar for a reason: Leslie Phinney is the great-great-grandniece of real estate pione...

First Slide

March 24, 2017

First-Year Students Share a Novel and an Experience

A new part of matriculating in at Cornish, entering freshmen shared a moving novel as part of the First Year Reads program, then completed the experience on the streets of Seattle's International District.

Cornish is a college where collaboration and working across boundaries is at a premium, so a new pro...

March 1, 2017

Alumni In The News - March

She studied art at Cornish but Colleen Atwood has gone on to become one of Hollywood's best known costume designers, receiving her fourth Oscar in 2017. Several other Cornish artists and designers were in the news in late February and March.

Ria Brodell '02 has a show opening March 3 at Gallery Kayafas in Boston, Ria Bro...

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...

First Slide

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...

First Slide

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...

First Slide

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...