The Art program at Redeemer aims to provide students in years one and two with strong technical and conceptual skills in drawing, painting and design. In third and fourth year, the approach broadens to allow a multi-disciplinary focus on contemporary art making including computer-based design. The curriculum of the Art Major is designed with primary emphases on art-making, art theory, and art history in order for students to learn conceptual bases for the practice of art in historical and contemporary contexts. The Art Major offers a balance of instructional disciplines that provide a well-rounded education for our graduates. The goal is to provide specialized studio and academic training for a broad variety of careers or further graduate study.

Within studio courses, we try to establish as early as possible a strong conceptual basis for visual design and problem solving, building into visual problems the illustrative use of researched themes, reference photography and the refined development of handling metaphor. This is based on the belief that conceptually driven work produces better motivation for technique in the end, a far stronger connection to abstract and religious thought, and in the context of Redeemer’s worldview, a shorter distance to being able to communicate a Christian view of reality beyond contemporary artistic concerns with materials and technique only. In this, we are gradually helping students to acquire an understanding of their individual gifting in God-given visual thinking and visual language, seeing the connection between ideas, language, style and the role that an artist plays within both spiritual and cultural communities.

Our curricula provide opportunities for study in studio art, graphic design and art education with allied course offerings in art history and criticism. In addition, we offer minors in Art Studio and Art History for students in other disciplines who wish to supplement their majors. Students can complete any of our degree programs in four years provided they work closely with an advisor beginning their first year and take courses in the recommended sequence. By the end of the program, students can:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of art and the history of art.
  • Solve visual and technical problems in several media and promote the development of good craftsmanship through evaluations within each class/studio based on the student’s own work.
  • Use the critique process for presenting and developing fine art portfolios and exhibitions in a professional manner.
  • Demonstrate the use of basic artistic vocabulary and visual literacy.

First Year

The first-year curriculum is designed to accommodate a variety of study paths. Students interested in focusing on a traditional discipline, examining creative and academic fields in combination, or exploring approaches to art and design can tailor their studies to meet their needs. These foundational studio and critical art appreciation courses enable students to explore many forms and philosophies of art making. The Art Foundation curriculum is composed of four core classes that represent the basic tenets of Art practice. During the first year, students receive an introduction to aesthetics, art history and analysis, Introduction to Art (ART 103) Design principles (ART 110), Drawing (ART 112) and Painting (ART 115). Through these foundational studio courses students begin developing technical and analytical skills. Lecture and studio practice emphasize a variety of media, tools and techniques in studying the elements and principles through:

  • Drawing: including line, shape, value, texture, perspective and composition
  • Painting: including application of color theory, development of composition, and various practices of applying paint.
  • Design: including theories and applications of two-dimensional design using a variety of media, tools and techniques

Second Year

The second-year curriculum expands the knowledge and technologies gained in fundamentals courses as students build expertise within foundational disciplines such as Figure Drawing (Art 212) and Intermediate Painting (ART 215). Students will also be introduced to the theories and applications of design in three-dimensional form in space, 3D Design (Art 210) and illustration in for use in print and electronic media, Illustration (ART 218). Concurrently, survey courses in Art History (ART 225 & ART 226) provide a historical and theoretical basis of understanding that enhances and informs studio experience.

  • Drawing: emphasis is on building skills to render what is observed in a naturalistic and illusionistic manner including drawing shape, volume, mass, proportion, sub-structure, foreshortening and the basics of human and animal anatomy. Techniques include contour, gesture, surface modeling, hatching, cross-hatching and tonal shading using a variety of drawing media.
  • Painting: emphasis is on development of personal aesthetics and composition. Conceptual issues will be introduced. Students will experiment with media, content and technique to further explore and develop their personal style.
  • Design: emphasis on the development of illustration techniques and visual concepts in distinct areas such as advertising, editorial, animation and technical illustration as well as 3D design.

Third Year

The third-year curriculum emphasizes communication through elements of metaphor and story based visualization as students build on the technical skills learned in previous art classes through Advanced Drawing (ART 312) and Advanced Painting (ART 315). In the third year, students are also introduced to the process of graphic design using the computer as a tool. By balancing conceptual and technical aspects of design students develop new skills needed to solve design problems, Media Design (ART 321) and to develop their individual style and aesthetic direction using technology as a medium, Computer Art (ART 324). In Artist in the Marketplace (ART 368) students are exposed to marketing strategies and business skills that are relevant to art production. The goal at the third-year level is to help students advance to the next level of artistic practice and to develop skills and strategies directed toward entering the marketplace.

  • Drawing: Emphasis on the integration of color, theme development, and refinement of personal style. Traditional and non-traditional approaches will be explored.
  • Painting: Emphasis on the development of personal style and composition. Conceptual issues are introduced. Students will experiment with media, content and technique to further explore and develop their unique aesthetic.
  • Design: Emphasis on graphic design fundamentals utilizing computers offer better understanding of how design, illustration and fine art are marketed and managed in the modern art world

In addition to studio courses, students at this level will develop a better understanding of the role of art in modern society by exploring contemporary art issues and theory. In Artist in the Twenty-First century (ART 341) students will examine the development of abstraction and expression in art from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, particularly the relation of artistic movements to the political, historical and religious context. The roles of war, sexuality, spirituality and the cult of personality in the production and reception of art will be addressed within a framework of critical analysis. In Canadian Art (ART 334) students will develop an appreciation for the rich and multifarious artworks produced in Canada from the Colonial period to the present. In this course we consider the major movements in Canadian Art as well as significant contributors and social factors which have influenced these developments.

Fourth Year

The fourth year of study focuses on work in an independent studio environment, Senior Exhibition (ART 380) and advanced seminar discussion on Christian worldview as it relates to art practice and criticism, Faith and Art (ART 352: Capstone).

Each student is encouraged, in the senior year, to exhibit a body of work . This gives real-world experience in presentation, promotion, logistics, and documentation. The student finishes with comprehensive and coherent body of work that is expected to show signs of technical proficiency and conceptual complexity. This exhibition and body of artwork should have a specific, well-conceived theme, direction and intent. Students are responsible for working with a Studio Art faculty member or a mentor from the outside community as they create exhibition quality artwork.