Cornish student painting with classmate watching

First Year Experience


Art, Design, and Interior Architecture majors spend the first year in Foundations, a shared experience for all visual arts students.

Flourish: A Student Documentary

This film details the Foundations exhibition “Flourish.” It was made and driven entirely by first-year students, and was Directed + Produced by Daymien Bunao.

Becoming a thriving Artist-Citizen-Innovator requires more than knowing how to make something or deciding on a particular performance style.

We know artists are stronger in their own craft when they’re exposed to other art forms or diverse media. And we know artists can be extraordinarily adaptive, powerful problem-solvers when their work is grounded in creative thinking and intercultural knowledge.

Foundations is an immersive, project-based, interdisciplinary experience that will introduce you to a variety of approaches toward making and thinking. You will work with studio faculty from across the visual arts departments, sampling the distinct languages of each discipline while building a robust foundational set of tools and building a network of friends and faculty with particular expertise. Because all studio faculty are working artists and designers, they have on-the-ground experiences to share with you and a lived sense of passion and dedication to their crafts.

Program Administration + Faculty

Core staff

Chris Williams

Foundations Program Administrator

Bonnie Biggs


Susan Boye

Professor of Illustration

Erin Elyse Burns

Assistant Professor

Jake Fleisher

Associate Professor of Design, UX Lead

Cable Griffith

Assistant Professor

Lorena Howard-Sheridan

Associate Professor of Design, Type Lead

Junichi Tsuneoka

Director of Foundations, Assistant Professor of Design, Illustration Lead
Interior Architecture

Javier Gómez Alvarez-Tostado


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