Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 : School of Visual and Performing Arts


Catherine Vanaria, Chair
VPA 150D, Westside campus
(203) 837-3919
(203) 837-8031 (fax)

Abigail Bueti, Department Secretary
VPA 239, Westside campus
(203) 837-8250
(203) 837-8912 (fax)

Lori Robeau, Visual Art Assistant
VPA 143E, Westside campus
(203) 837-8403
(203) 837-8031 (fax)

Melissa Ralston-Jones, Gallery Curator
VPA 243, Westside campus
(203) 837-3982
(203) 837-8889 (gallery)
(203) 837-8031 (fax)


C. Vanaria, Chair, Photography
D. Cardonsky, MFA Coordinator
S. Marques, Studio Art, MFA
M. Ralston-Jones, Gallery Studies
K. Scaglia, Foundation
D. Skora, Graphic Design
J. Tom, Illustration, MFA
T. Wells, Graphic Design

Adjunct Faculty

K. Albinsky, MFA
D. Boyajian, Foundation
R. Brewster, MFA
P. Carabell, Art History
L. Cober-Gentry,MFA
B. Dunbar, Photography
S. Kolbig, Foundation
J. Lanzrein, Ceramics
T. Laslo, Graphic Design
E. Little, Foundation
C. McGuire, Painting
J. Mueller, Art History
G. Mursko, Photography
F. Patnaude, Sculpture
L. Robeau, Art Appreciation
E. Shapiro, Photography
C. Steed, MFA
C. Wallace, Illustration
E. Walrath, Foundation


The Art major at WCSU provides challenging visual arts training within the context of a liberal arts education. This approach infuses in our students a broad, diverse range of knowledge and experience along with the ability to think critically and analytically. Our highly accomplished and diverse faculty create engaging and challenging learning environments for our students.

Department of Art faculty are professional art practitioners with close ties to the New York City art world. Their unique backgrounds and experiences create engaging and challenging learning environments for our students.

Our curriculum incorporates comprehensive instruction integrated with the development, stimulation and increased awareness of the creative process. This ensures that our Visual Art majors become proficient creative problem solvers capable of freely expressing themselves.

The Gallery at The School of Visual & Performing Arts serves as a venue for a broad range of professional and student exhibitions, while the Visiting Artist Lecture Series features an impressive array of practitioners. Bus trips provide our students the opportunity to visit galleries and museums each semester in the surrounding area, including Manhattan.


Western Connecticut State University’s visual arts curriculum incorporates a structure consistent with C.A.A. guidelines, based on classic design principles inspired by the Bauhaus and the exploration of traditional and emerging media. The areas of concentration are Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Studio Arts: Painting. All areas of emphasis share a common two-year foundation program leading into the technical specializations of the final two years. This foundation program is of critical significance as it instills in each student a comprehensive background in aesthetic form, structure and dynamics. Additionally, our students have the opportunity to participate in professional internships and the annual Senior Portfolio Exhibition.

The liberal arts component is vital; it promotes and develops a set of skills that are of fundamental importance to any citizen and critical for the successful artist or designer. These include the ability to think critically, the development and refinement of verbal and written skills, and the acquisition of a diverse and extensive visual vocabulary and knowledge base.

This combination of professional artistic training and acquired liberal arts skills enables visual artists to successfully develop, create and articulate their creative visual dialogues.

Core Portfolio Assessment Process

The Portfolio Assessment Process is implemented at the start of each spring semester to assure that art majors have attained an appropriate level of proficiency for their area of concentration and to ensure that the level of standards established by the Department of Art is maintained. The assessment process is faculty-monitored for all 2nd-semester sophomores prior to the fall course registration period. Faculty may confer regarding the student’s ability to proceed to the junior level courses for each concentration. An assessment matrix is used to monitor students’ progress in these categories: quality of concept, compositional skills, problem-solving ability, quality of craft, and quality of presentation. An individual assessment option by faculty will be implemented if warranted by the failure of the student to meet the criteria of the matrix. Students identified by faculty who fail to meet the assessment criteria must meet with the coordinator of their chosen area of concentration to develop a remedial solution.

Transfer Course Credits

All students wishing to transfer into the Art program at Western must meet the criteria listed for the program, including those currently attending institutions holding articulation agreements with Western. All transfer applicants will be assessed through a portfolio review via email or in person by appointment. For portfolio submission requirements go to http://wcsu.edu/art/apply or in person by appointment.

Transfer Review Process and Transfer Articulation Policy (TAP)

Western Connecticut State University, as part of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU), accepts credits for non-art courses as per the Transfer Articulation Policy for students with an earned Associates Degree. Information regarding this specific classification of transfer credits can be found at the CSCU website.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

AP credits for Art courses are accepted by the Department of Art.

Awarding of Credit

Credit Hour: A semester hour of credit is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks;
  2. or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time;
  3. or at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph 1 of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.


Bachelor of Arts
Graphic Design
Studio Art: Painting

Minor Programs


Students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below, and additional free electives to total 120 semester hours, including foreign language. Students must earn a minimum “C” grade in each Art department course that counts toward the major. Art courses with grades below “C” must be retaken to satisfy this requirement.

Course Restrictions
For a complete list of prerequisites, co-requisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Art Core Required Courses (33 SH)
ART 100 History and Appreciation of Art: Beginnings to the Renaissance
ART 101 History and Appreciation of Art: Renaissance to the Present
ART 121 Fundamentals of Two Dimensional Design
ART 130 Color Theory
ART 141 Drawing I
ART 150 Drawing II
ART 207 Photography I
ART 208 Painting I
ART 216 Photography II
ART 266 Fundamentals of Three-Dimensional Design
ART PORTFOLIO (appropriate to chosen option)
* One of these courses is required to complete Studio Art, Graphic Design, Illustration or Photography option.

Options (select one) — Required in addition to general education and Art core.

Graphic Design Option (27 SH)
Art 270   Figure Drawing
Art 302   Graphic Process
Art 310   Typography
Art 315   Communication Design I
Art 332   Digital Production: InDesign
Art 352   Digital Production: Web Development
Art 432   Communication Design II
Art 442   Communication Design III
Art Elective (3 SH)

Illustration Option (27 SH)
Art 270 Figure Drawing
Art 304 Illustration I
Art 310 Typography
Art 317 Illustration II
Art 318 Painting II
Art 324 Digital Illustration
Art 434 Advanced Digital Illustration
Art 444 Illustration III
Art Elective (3 SH)

Photography Option (27 SH)
Art 145 History of Photography
Art 270 Figure Drawing
Art 326 Alternative Photography Process
Art 336 Photography III
Art 346 Color Photography
Art 356 Advanced Photographic Methods
Art 448 Gallery Interactions
Two Art Elective (6 SH)

Studio Art: Painting (27 SH)
Art 270 Figure Drawing
Art 304 Illustration I
Art 309 Sculpture I
Art 318 Painting II
Art 329 Painting III
Art 438 Painting IV
Art 448 Gallery Interactions
Two Art Electives (6 SH)

Learning Outcomes

All students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Art degree at WCSU will demonstrate the following upon graduation:

In General Education:

  1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively, and to communicate with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
  2. An informed acquaintance with the mathematical and experimental methods of the physical and biological sciences, and with the main forms of analysis the historical and quantitative techniques needed for investigating the workings and developments of modern society.
  3. An ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.
  4. Understanding of, and experience in thinking about, moral and ethical problems.
  5.  The ability to respect, understand, and evaluate work in a variety of disciplines.
  6. The capacity to explain and defend views effectively and rationally.
  7. Understanding of and experience in one or more art forms other than the visual arts and design.

General Education for new students starting Fall 2016

All degrees require the completion of the university’s general education curriculum.  For a complete description follow this link here.

Studies in the Visual Arts

  1. Acquisition of a comprehensive set of technical, creative, and conceptual skills, along with an ability to make connections between them. Students will have an understanding of scale, perspective, tone, color, line, form, light, texture, pattern, balance, and tension.
  2. Development and creation of a significant body of work along with the ability to understand and evaluate works of art.
  3. Capacity to be conversant with the historical record of art history and the works and philosophies of major artists/designers, and the ability to summarize contemporary thinking on art and design.

Graduating majors participate in the annual Portfolio Exhibition, which serves as the capstone event, showcasing their acquired skill sets.


Eighteen semester hours are required:
ART 100 History & Appreciation of Art I
ART 101 History & Appreciation of Art II
ART 121 Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Design
ART 141 Drawing I
Plus any two 3-credit courses offered by the Department of Art, for which the student has proper prerequisites.


Eighteen semester hours are required:
ART 121 Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Design
ART 207 Photography I
ART 216 Photography II
ART 270 Advanced Photographic Methods
ART 346 Color Photography I
ART 336 Photography III