Course Offerings

This master list of Visual Art Department course offerings can be used as a planning tool for currently enrolled students as they plan their academic path in the Visual Arts. All Visual Art (VISA) courses are Mandatory S/NC. Current semester courses are listed under VA Courses. 

 Foundation Courses (0100 Series)

Studio Foundation
Required for all VA and RISD courses covering select principles of drawing, 2D and 3D design while cultivating the capacity for visual thinking. The Registrar’s Office manages an online lottery for registration for this popular course.
Advanced Studio Foundation
For students who have extensive experience in art making. Admission to the class is by permission of instructor and based upon a portfolio review. VISA0110 Application.
Foundation Media: Screen/Image/Sound
Foundation media focuses on the production and theory of screen-based digital media and introduces the computer as a medium and a tool for art.
3D Foundation
This is an extensive investigation into the fundamentals of 3D design and construction. Students explore the structural, compositional and conceptual implications of basic materials – wood, metal, plaster and found objects.

Drawing Courses (1000 series)


These studio courses focus on drawing from nature, the still life, the model and the imagination in a variety of media with emphasis on creative work and classroom participation.

Drawing I
These studios focus on drawing from nature, the still-life, the model and the imagination in a variety of media with an emphasis on creative work and classroom participation.
Drawing II
These studios focus on drawing from nature, the still-life, the model and the imagination in a variety of media with an emphasis on creative work and classroom participation.

Printmaking Coures (1200 series)

These studio courses focus on rigorous instruction in traditional printmaking as well as experimental techniques including monotype, collography, multimedia explorations and digital printing.
Big Woodcut
The emphasis of this course will be on printing on a large scale, using various types of paper. A community print using a steamroller as a printing press is the culminating event of this course.
This course will provide students with a thorough knowledge of both water-based screen printing techniques and digital imaging. The intersection of digital printing processes and screen printing within the context of contemporary works on paper will be explored through a series of experimental mixed-media projects. Work will be in both black and white and color. Silkscreen techniques are also covered in a topics based printmaking course titled Political Constructions VISA120L.
Working on limestone and aluminum plates, students will learn to produce, process and print their work in black and white. Class participation is vital, as students will be aiding each other in this complicated process.
Pixel, Paint & Print
This studio art course investigates possibilities for using the computer along with traditional painting and printmaking processes to produce image-based work. Students will explore how computers and computer networks have changed the creation, content, form, distribution, and exhibition of artwork through a series of assignments, readings, discussions, and slide lectures, and how computers and digital media can intersect with a traditional studio practice. Students will produce a portfolio of mixed-media work. Photoshop, Illustrator, the Internet and digital printers, along with traditional painting, drawing, and printing mediums will be used as tools for art-making.
VISA1240 & VISA1250, Book Arts
Examines the book, structurally and conceptually, as artist’s medium. Students will learn the materials, tools and techniques of making books, as they explore the expressive and narrative possibilities of the book form. Topics and projects may include digital imaging, combining text and image, traditional binding or digital publishing.

Painting Coures (1300 series)

Painting I
Explores painting principles related to both traditional and contemporary issues.
Painting II
A second semester of painting affords in-depth investigations of painting principals with a strong emphasis on individual critiques.
Sculpture Coures (1400 series)
Sculpture I:
Material Investigations
Basic sculptural methods and materials, i.e., wood, metal, plaster and found objects are covered in this studio course with an emphasis on problem solving.
Sculpture II:
Conceptual Propositions
By covering a number of contemporary sculptural theories and practices and emphasizing critiques and readings, students develop sculptural solutions to a given set of problems using materials of their own choosing.

Photography Coures (1500 series)

Photography I
Introduction to black and white photographic production and theory.
Photography II
Students in this studio course emphasizing the history of photography and critical theory are introduced to digital photography and printing. 

Electronic Media (1700 series)

New Genre: Site and Sound
This studio course provides a broad overview of contemporary sonic art practice, facilitates the development of site-based sonic artwork, and encourages a critical approach to sound and audio practice.
Physical Computing
This is an intensive introduction to electronic devices for use in art making and includes hands-on experience working with sensors, motors, switches, gears, lights, simple circuits, microprocessors and hardware-store devices to create kinetic and interactive works of art.

Topics Courses (1800 series)

Accessorizing Painting/The Exalted Surface
This studio course will examine the crossover between decorative arts and painting.
Honors Seminar
A yearlong course that focuses on art making. Semester one is a seminar with readings and discussions and is followed by a second semester of intensive studio work, individual and group critiques. Visiting artists are often invited for critiques. A weeklong exhibit and final presentation are required.
Exploration in Video Art
An overview of contemporary video art and video installation practices facilitates the development of video work in expanded space and encourages a critical approach to interactive moving image practice. Students will develop a set of video installation pieces by working individually and in groups.
Hybrid Art
This studio course will foster experimentation, collaboration and multidisciplinary studio practice by building upon a visual arts foundation and drawing upon the interests of a diverse range of students. We will work to establish a studio environment that encourages intermodal artistic practices with emphasis placed upon innovation, risk and the cultivation of new ideas.
VISA1800P, ArtWork/Professional Practices for Studio Artists
This is a studio course with projects and discussions designed to ease the transition from student to working artist. Topics covered are: documenting artwork, writing an artist statement, creating a CV, how to apply for residencies, graduate school and grants. Guest lecturers and artists from many fields are brought in throughout the semester.

Independent Study - ISP (1900 series)

Independent Study, Sem I
Independent Study, Sem II
VISA1930, Advanced Visual Art Studios from approved courses at the Rhode Island School of Design
STUDY AT THE RHODE ISLANDS SCHOOL OF DESIGN (RISD). Students may obtain cross registration forms at the Brown Registrar’s Office. (In person or on-line.) Permission of the RISD instructor and VISA0100 or VISA0110 is required for cross-registration. Students must file a petition with the Dean of Students to take more than four courses at RISD.