Cornish student painting with classmate watching

First Year Experience

Visual Arts
Foundations Program

First-year visual art students (Art, Design, and Interior Architecture majors) spend the first year in the Foundations program. This program offers incoming students a shared experience exploring and collaborating with interdisciplinary and collaborative art-making.

Student Work & Exhibitions


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


Bonnie Biggs


Erin Elyse Burns

Associate Professor
design faculty

Jacob Fleisher

Associate Professor of Design, UX Lead

Cable Griffith

Department Co-Chair
Design Faculty

Lorena Howard-Sheridan

Department Chair, Design and First Years Visual Arts
Interior Architecture

Javier Gómez Alvarez-Tostado


More Information