Your First Year of Art School

Our program introduces you to the fundamentals of art-making and design, while allowing you to explore specific areas of interest and develop at a professional level from your very first day on campus.

How it Works

Foundation studio classes sizes are intentionally small. In our first-year foundation program, you will learn to analyze your work, and to show sensitivity and perception in your response to other students’ efforts and issues in making work.

By the time you’re getting ready for your sophomore year, you will understand the art of classroom critique and discussion, and have a clearer picture of what it means to be a part of the creative world today.

Featured Courses

4D Studio I
3D Studio I
2D Studio I
Foundation Drawing I
Foundation Issues in Art Making I
Academic Writing I

Each intensive lasts for seven weeks. All are required.
4D Studio II
3D Studio II
2D Studio II
Foundation Drawing II

Foundation Issues in Art Making II
Academic Writing II
Academic Elective (Math, UIS, or Art History)

Choose two from the list below.
  • Integrated Media Arts: Art and Community
  • Painting, Drawing, Illustration: Landscape Space
  • Design: Multiples with Type and Image
  • Illustration: Narrative Composition for Illustration
  • Sculpture: Object vs. Experience - What is Installation Art?
  • Ceramics: Plastic Materials
  • Printmaking: The Original w.w.w
  • Photography: The Analogue Darkroom
  • Painting/Drawing: Observation to Abstraction

Student Work

Foundation Faculty


Terry Feder
Adjunct Professor of Foundation
Your First Year of Art School

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Jeremiah Patterson
Professor of Foundation
Your First Year of Art School

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Mark Snyder
Associate Dean for Student Academic Services; Associate Professor; Foundation Coordinator
Dean's Office for Art

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Evelyn Mtika

BFA, 2022

Evelyn looks forward to exploring new media and refining her creative style through her foundation year assignments. In addition, she’s excited to take advantage of courses offered at the other colleges on campus—especially in anthropology and sociology.

“I want my art to start conversations about the misconceptions we have about people on the other side of our borders.”

Join our vibrant community.