Studio Art

Academic Program Introduction

In studio art courses, students strengthen visual awareness, independent thought, and creative flexibility while using a range of fine art media. The program offers painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, video, sculpture, and digital media. Students develop a unique set of skills that allow them to question and shape the visual and physical environments around them. They learn how to relate their studio research to other areas of study, and they draw unexpected connections among different images, ideas, materials, and historical contexts.

The studio art faculty is composed of active professional artists whose teaching is highly interactive and personally directed. This involves a combination of studio demonstrations, guided experimentation, and critical feedback.

Learning goals

  • Develop strong analytical observational skills to examine our visual, material, and cultural environments.

  • Relate ideas, processes, materials, and histories in order to create new and unexpected connections.

  • Understand the logic of materials and processes.

  • Develop an exploratory studio methodology, identify problems through practice, and develop methodologies to research and produce new work.

  • Locate creative practice within larger historical and cultural discussions.

Programs of Study

Studio art major and minor

Students will investigate a range of artistic media to acquire technical proficiency and develop a personal material language.

Course highlights

  • A foundational course that explores observational strategies and theories of perception using a range of drawing tools. Project work is focused on observational drawing methods with attention to the articulation of line, shape, time, form, gesture, perspective, and value. In-class drawing exercises, weekly homework assignments, and group critiques address a variety of approaches to image making and visual expression, with some attention put towards the human figure. Aimed at first years and sophomores and those considering majors in Studio Art or Architecture. Also recommended for those considering majors in Media Arts and Sciences, or Art History.
  • A studio exploration of intaglio and relief printing methods, including copperplate etching, collograph, and woodcut. Students develop visual and graphic flexibility through hands-on projects considering image sequences, pattern, text, and multiples. Several projects address color and typography and/or incorporate digital methods. Students participate in a collaborative print exchange in addition to completing individual projects. ARTS 219, ARTS 220, and ARTS 221 are complementary graphic arts courses and may be elected in any order.

Places and spaces

  • Our facilities

    Students and faculty enjoy several formal exhibition and installation spaces and specialized studios for photography, video, painting, sculpture, media arts, and book arts.

Research highlights

  • A child riding a tricycle on a street looks down at her feet on the pedals.

    Professor Kathya Maria Landeros’ Dulce was exhibited at Abakus Projects in Boston in 2022. Dulce reinterprets Landeros’ childhood at the farmland edge of Sacramento, Calif., rendering suburban culture through a first-generation Latinx family, sweet and full of aspiration as U.S. Americans

  • Protesters in Bolivia stand on the streets while some fires burn around them.

    Professor Claudia Joskowicz’s videos, some of which are in the Guggenheim Museum, blend fiction and documentary as they reenact explosive and untapped violence from Bolivia’s past

  • Phyllis McGibbon works in a studio.

    Professor Phyllis McGibbon contributed a zine piece to the Quarantine Public Library in 2020. Printmakers, illustrators, and other invited artists made eight-page single-sheet zines that visitors could print out and refold at home, allowing them to build their own zine library at a time when direct in-person artwork exchanges were not possible.

  • A wall with abstract mural art and its reflection on the floor.

    Professor David Teng Olsen’s bold, energetic murals can be found throughout the Boston area, on old buildings, new buildings, and even the street. His largest project to date is the 170-foot-long Evo

    Photo credit: Isenberg Project


  • Art Club

    Open to all students, Art Club is a space to unwind and connect with others while exploring artistic materials and creating art outside of classes and departments.

  • Summer fellowships

    The Slade Summer Fellowships provide financial aid for current students to pursue educational opportunities in the summer months. Studio students apply this funding to an unpaid studio-based internship that gives them hands-on experience, such as working with an arts community organization, an artists’ residency program, an artist-run gallery, or a professional artist’s studio.

  • Graduate fellowship

    The Mary Clothier Slade Graduate Fellowship provides financial aid for graduating seniors and alums to pursue graduate studies in studio art.

  • Funding

    The Alice T. Friedman Endowed Fund supports research, travel, internships, or special projects to help art department majors and minors prepare for careers in the arts.

Beyond Wellesley

Beyond Wellesley

Most of our graduates go on to work in fine arts, design, cultural institutions, or higher education.

Alum highlights

  • Zsofia Schweger ’12

    Zsofia Schweger ’12 is a painter exploring human relationships to public and domestic spaces. Honors include Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2017, the Jealous Prize, the Griffin Art Prize, the Alice C. Cole ’42 Award, and the One to Watch Award. She has had solo shows in London, New York, Budapest, Amsterdam, and elsewhere.

  • Jiwon Woo ’09

    Jiwon Woo ’09 is a designer and engineer who has worked with consumer products, health care, sportswear, and food. Her works have been exhibited in international venues, including the Istanbul Design Biennial (2016), Milan Design Week, London Design Week, Ars Electronica, Medical Museion, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  • Laura Kimmel ’10

    Laura Kimmel ’10 is a filmmaker, photographer, and multimedia artist. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and event spaces including Art Basel Miami/HG Contemporary, Mana Contemporary, KARST Gallery, Untitled Space, Franklin Street Works, and Project One in San Francisco. Kimmel is director of visual identity at The Box NYC and The Box Soho.

Studio Art Program

Jewett Arts Center
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
David Olsen
Program Director
Meghan Murray, Samara Pearlstein
Academic Administrators