Media Areas and Facilities
Inside co-joined buildings built in 1997, we have state-of-the art facilities that allow our students the ability to concentrate their studies in two major areas – Contemporary Studio Practices & Research which focuses on the practice of producing high-quality art or Museum Studies/Art History which focuses on developing hands-on experience of gallery/museum management and the exploration of art history and its contemporary function. The following describes each of the areas explored.
Track 1: Contemporary Studio Practices & Research
Drawing and Fundamentals of Design are core foundation level courses in which students develop the necessary tools to understand the development of sound drawings and visually captivating artwork. In addition, the students learn the importance of adhering to deadlines and project specifications which is paramount to foundation level study.
In foundation level drawing, students explore gesture drawing, hatching and other techniques, as well as using Conte crayons, watercolor crayons and other assorted drawing media. Used as a basis for understanding plastic space and the importance of compositional design, foundation level drawing teaches the students to “see” clearly and “observe” without hesitation. Traditional methods in still life arrangements and human form lead to more complex and variegated studies over a period of two semesters.
The Fundamentals of Design coursework investigates the disciplines of drawing, painting, collage, and 3D concepts in a year long process. Experimental assignments and hands-on experience guide the students to investigate their creativity and develop their knowledge of design elements and principles. It is a precursor to all of the other disciplines and prepares students for critiques, professional writing and studio independence. In addition, students are encouraged to visit museums and conduct research to enhance their knowledge of art making.
Currently there are two spaces dedicated to Foundations. Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center, Room 206 West features ten workspaces, large cutting board, art storage and state of the art Smartboard technology with a touchscreen computer. Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center, Room 207 West has 12 easels in a sun drenched studio amicable to drawing still life and the human figure.
Printmaking, an area of interest for over the past 35 years, has been a forerunner in producing some of FAMU’s finest art professionals. The school of thought associated with printmaking relies heavily on technique and quality workmanship along with researched thinking in its creation. The program in printmaking includes coursework in screen printing and relief with developing courses in intaglio, lithography and monotype. Mixed media and digital processes are integral to the advancement of this discipline at FAMU. As innovative as it is traditional, printmaking allows for the practitioner to explore contemporary ideas while exercising conventional methods like drawing and painting.
Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center, Room 200 East is equipped with a large wash-out area, ten silkscreen tables, Elephant etching press, Cincinnati one-arm silkscreen table and AWT four-color t-shirt printing press, flash cure unit, and drying machine. The printmaking studio is ready and able to accommodate the needs and creativity of both the student and professional artist. The advance of technology expands this medium into areas of selling prints nationwide.
The development of technique and mastery over the medium is paramount in the exploration of painting. Both water-based and oil-based coursework are available for students who wish to hone their skills in this traditional but evolving medium. These classes are centered on one-on-one instruction in a studio setting in which students are encouraged to develop their own visions and practices. Introduction to still life painting, landscapes, murals and the human figure are explored. This concentration is expanding to complement foundation (drawing and design) into fields of commercial illustration, storyboards and affiliated areas.
Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center, Room 208 West features ten painting easels, two large worktables for demonstrations and ample storage space for materials and works in progress.
Sculpture / Ceramics
Every student examines the sculptural form and the dimension of mixed media in a basic, comprehensive format. In sculpture-related courses, students become familiar with basic material and technique, identify and discuss historical and contemporary sculptors and demonstrate knowledge and productions skills in three-dimensional design. The ceramics area will promote mixed-media development and encourage students to explore how contemporary three-dimensional work can be executed. Students are encouraged to research ancient and contemporary methods and artists, as well as stretch their imagination. These two areas share common spaces and are currently being renovated.
Digital Art & Animation
Digital Art & Animation is an essential for fine art students to explore the technological advances and opportunities afforded in these two disciplines. The Visual Arts Area is expanding this area to equip students for graduate work, design internships and professional careers. The computer studio is equipped with six expandable HP Compaq 7700c Convertible Minitowers, six 20” TFT Flat Panel Displays, 4 Wacom Displays, nine HP z220 Workstations which are all equipped with Adobe Acrobat. A hidden gem of Visual Arts, the computer studio serves as a conduit to interdisciplinary teaching methods with an emphasis on fundamentally sound electronic art.
Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center, East Room 108 also features state of the art Smartboard technology with a touchscreen computer.
Core courses are the basis of general understanding but advanced workshops allow the student to grow and build upon technique to advance that process of art-making. Students explore collage, life drawing, animation, 3D design and other areas to develop their own artistic message for student and graduating senior exhibitions. It should be understood that students should be open for exploration and artistically challenged. In advanced workshops students are expected to develop and build upon technique and thought process to advance their art-making. The transference of strong foundations into a creative and intellectual approach to art-making is encouraged.
Track 2: Art History/Arts Administration/Museum Studies
Museum Studies / Art History
Art History is much more than a lifeless list of names, titles and dates. Rich and varied, art history is a dynamic product of creative individuals responding to and reflecting the views and beliefs of society, its pressures, tensions, its tragedies and its triumphs. At FAMU a broad foundation of coursework in art history guides students to understand the production of artwork and its aesthetic choices. Courses in art history include Art History I, Art History II, Modern Art, American Art, African Art and African-American Art and serve a basis for our students who wish to pursue a career in this discipline. Furthermore, art history serves as a way of intellectually connecting Fine Arts and Art Education majors to trends in artistic creativity. Arts Administration is a growing discipline with courses such as: Practicum in Art Management I & II, Practicum in Art Merchandising I & II. This concentration informs students about careers in galleries and museums in the roles of director, curator and art education as well as managing public art programs. Students have the ability to gain direct experience in the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery and around Tallahassee. They are also encouraged to interact with artwork in the Fine Arts Collection.
The Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center boasts two lecture spaces: East Room 205 has state-of-the-art Smartboard technology with two additional screens, a touchscreen computer and a wireless microphone. West Room 107 has Smartboard technology, a large projection screen and a touchscreen computer.