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Students at the School of Art may select from a wide array of studio and art history courses, assembling for themselves compelling and expressive programs of study. Students have options to focus on specific media developing more advanced technical facility, knowledge, and expressiveness, or to develop knowledge across a wider range of studios and art histories.


The School of Art offers B.F.A. and B.F.A. Honours degrees in Art History, with courses open to art history majors and to students in the studio areas. All first year students are required to take Intro to Art 1 and 2. These courses examine, in a chronological order, the development of art worldwide from the prehistoric period to the present. Students will learn about artists, art movements, directions, styles, and social contexts. Cultural comparisons, aesthetics, theory, criticism, and research methodologies are also fundamental concerns. Students also have the option to take an introductory course specifically devoted to Asian art which focuses on the manner in which religion and political ideologies impact art in India, China and Japan.

Second year courses offer concentration in specific areas such as the Medieval to Renaissance era, the Renaissance to the Baroque, the Modern to the Contemporary as well as courses that have a single focal area such as Women and Art or an Introduction to Aboriginal Art.

During the third year, students will take courses that offer a more defined curriculum related to one artistic movement or era. Students will explore further concepts of art and theory in Contemporary Art, History of Ceramics, Islamic Art, or Special Topics courses that focus on aspects of medieval art, such as Stained Glass, Surrealism, the Symbolists, the Art of Edo, Manitoba Modernism, or Contemporary Aboriginal Art. The Special Topics courses allow flexibility in core subject areas, while allowing a rotation of new courses addressing faculty and student interests in current issues and new approaches to the discipline of art history. We are currently exploring new opportunities for field studies in art history.


Studio foundation courses prepare students to flourish in their future studio choices. Instruction integrates perceptions, observations, and symbols in unique personal imagery. Students develop art vocabulary, dialogue, and analytical/critical aesthetic awareness as they explore creative historical and contemporary issues. Realistic, expressive, and abstract approaches are used with life subjects, theories, and imaginary ideas. Planning and spontaneity evolve in studies and in highly developed two- and three-dimensional art works.

First year courses in drawing, design and art history prepare students for studio courses and academic studies. Students must complete and pass their first year courses to enter studio or art history classes. Other first year courses include health hazards, a field trip, Art Now, and a math in art course that meets the university math requirement.

Introduction to Art A and B are required art history courses that survey the developments in art from prehistory to the present. Students study Western and contemporary art history along with non-Western art forms. Religious, scientific and personal ideas are examined in cultural context, while general course objectives include methods, theory and visual literacy.

Drawing and design form the basis of first year studios and integrate perception, observation, design skills and personal imagery. Students develop visual vocabulary, the ability to maintain a creative dialogue with others, and critical analytical skills. Various strategies of realism, abstraction and conceptual approaches focus on life subjects as you develop planning skills and spontaneity in two and three-dimensional projects.

Many first year courses are offered during Summer Session through Extended Education. Students may take these courses towards completing first year credits or in preparation to applying for entry into the School of Art.


Students at the School of Art receive instruction in functional pottery, ceramic sculpture, and installation, with attention paid to ceramic history, contemporary issues, and current discourse.

Students learn wheel throwing, hand building, mold making and slip casting, clay and glaze chemistry, and kiln building, along with firing in electric, gas, soda, and wood kilns.

Events / The University of Manitoba Ceramics Club (or UMCeramics)
The UMCeramics student group has a long-standing and active record of hosting internationally-known artists through its Ceramics Lecture Series and the 1000 Miles Apart conference, which it hosts once every four years.

One of the Ceramics Club's key objectives is to encourage increased student participation in the ceramic arts community through artist talks, workshops, sales, and group exhibitions.

For more information, please visit the University of Manitoba Ceramics Club Facebook page.


Drawing enhances the ability to see the visual world with heightened insight and awareness. In basic to advanced drawing courses, students integrate observation and perception with concepts and imagination. Students develop an ability to focus, increase visual sensitivity, and use drawing skills to the best expression of their imagination.

Students explore fantasy, metaphor and impressions, especially involving the body. Processes and techniques vary with intuitive and spontaneous expression, psychological responses, and carefully planned or interdisciplinary approaches.

Aesthetics, theory, and the formal language of art address historical and contemporary cultural issues. Individual and group critiques foster creative development, while constructing and deconstructing forms and meanings are basic in creative practice and current art discourse.


In a context of information growth and technology, Graphic Design functions at the crossroads of creativity, communication and business. Its traditions of typography and visual metaphor date back hundreds of years, while digital technology and the exponential growth of the internet open new possibilities in communication networks and interface design. Innovative creative syntheses and perceptive interpretations are encouraged in use of traditional and new media.

Topics incorporated into the study of graphic design may include semiotics, Gestalt psychology, digital technology, Web design, visual hierarchy, corporate design, marketing, typography, illustration, and structural explorations. Design that is effective, ethical, and appropriate to the context is a general objective.

The School of Art provides multi-station computer labs and industry standard software. Learning situations enhance awareness of professionalism in design studios, pre-press houses, and printing facilities. On campus there are links with other faculties for related disciplines such as fashion design or interior and environmental design.


In spacious studios, students are introduced to and encouraged to explore both traditional methods and contemporary approaches to painting. Teaching methods involve classroom and tutorial approaches with considerable one-on-one interaction.

Media such as oil, acrylic, wax or water-based paint as well as digital and other electronic media may be incorporated into assignments and projects. As well, assemblage and installation projects may incorporate wood, metal, resins, and other materials.

Aesthetic theory and criticism form a basis for creative thinking and problem-solving, as personal, expressive, and conceptual concerns are related to historical and contemporary perspectives. Formal language, degrees of abstraction, colour theory, and professional practice are among the special knowledge and skills taught.


Photography has been offered at the School of Art since 1974, supporting the medium's emergence as a major mode of artist expression in the 21st century.

Our studios and darkrooms are well equipped for both traditional and contemporary approaches, including work with new digital technologies. Basic technical instruction involves exploring the components of a camera, film developing, and darkroom experience with black and white and colour printing.

Personal imagery and directions are explored through critiques and one-on-one study. Advanced courses specifically encourage individual projects, complemented by the study of significant historical and contemporary photographers.


In Print Media students explore both traditional and experimental processes involving intaglio, lithography, relief, and silkscreen. Contemporary print media has become an eclectic medium involving a wide variety of sources and approaches.

Intaglio includes traditional drawing-based methods such as line etching, aquatint, softgrounds, and collographs, along with newer techniques such as photo-etching, multiple plate prints and mixed-media combinations. Lithography involves work on stone and aluminum plates with crayon and tusche drawing techniques, as well as photocopy transfers and computer-generated images. Relief prints are made from woodblock and linoleum cuts, while screen printing involves hand-made, drawn, photographic, and digital media stencils. Western, Oriental, and hand-made papers and other materials extend the expressive possibilities. Development of personal imagery, themes, and individualized methods is encouraged.


Sculpture students research historical and contemporary issues, merging aesthetic principles with technical expertise as they establish awareness of their art in specific societal contexts. Traditions and innovations are interpreted with a new vocabulary for both the physical and conceptual aspects of three-dimensional expression.

Figurative and non-figurative projects involve various approaches with wood, plaster, clay, metal, resins and fibreglass. Additive, reductive and other methods include modelling, carving, casting, welding, joining and assemblage, as well as process and time-based media. Individual explorations and collaborative experimentations include environmental scale works with site implications, interactive or performance pieces with props and structures, and outdoor events involving dramatic processes.


Video is a platform for the convergence of technology and culture, drawing on principles of visual art media such as sculpture, drawing, and painting, as well as those of the literary and performing arts. The nature of aesthetic issues is examined, with space and composition changing over time. When art is merged with technologies, students hold the raw materials for participation in a contemporary art environment.

Students in School of Art video courses may focus on individual and collaborative video or audio works that stand alone or become integrated in multi-media explorations, installations, interactive CD-ROMs, or internet and Web based productions. Topics range from scripting and story boarding to directing and producing, evolving with attention to talent, crew, and location. Conventional and non-conventional methods and materials may be used.

With access to the production studio and digital video cameras, students learn lighting, audio recording (field and studio), and editing techniques. There are possibilities for tape-to-tape and non-linear editing, as well as DVD authoring. Computer workstations provide for video editing, compositing, digital painting, and 3-D modelling and animation, as well as traditional cell and stop-motion approaches to animation.

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