Sculpture —

'Because we are spatial beings having the characteristics of other air-displacing forms, we feel a special empathy or kinship to objects in space, and the sensuous pleasure we derive from tactile sensations reinforces our relationship to nature. We move in gardens, parks, and experience the sense of space in architecture, industrial products, and works of art. Knowledge of three-dimensionality is important to us because it can intensify our powers of perception, help us to determine quality and teach us to create in a rich, visual dimension.’ – Unknown 

Sculpture, as a discipline, is constantly changing to include the use of new materials and media, and to reflect the complexity of the moment in which we live. The sculpture program links essential technical skill development with individual creative growth, and an appreciation for historical and contemporary art activity.

The studio and equipment facilitate work in wood, metal, plaster and multi-media assemblage. Upon demonstration of safe equipment practice, you will be able to use hand and stationary tools on a regular basis.

The following information outlines the courses, facilities, cost and materials required for sculpture.


The Sculpture area consists of a general purpose studio, a woodshop, welding area, and a plaster/casting workroom. A Tool Crib which houses hand tools and small power equipment is also contained within this area. As well there is a large outdoor space for both work on larger pieces as well as storage of materials.

Sculpture students must follow a strict body of safety procedures as part of working in the studio. A Visual Arts studio technician oversees the area and maintains both equipment and safety standards on an ongoing basis. Safety demonstrations and training on the proper use of equipment begins early in the first year of Sculpture studies.


At the first year level students will find the following studio toolkit very useful in order to proceed with projects:

  • Tool box (even a cardboard shoebox will do the job under pressure
  • Work gloves
  • Matt or xacto utility knife w/ replaceable or snap-off blades
  • Drawing pencils, writing pen
  • Sketchbook
  • Tracing paper
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie style felt pen
  • Glue stick, wood glue and/or rubber cement
  • Masking tape, duct tape 
  • Metal ruler
  • Thin metal ruler or metal strip for scoring cardboard
  • White paint
  • Several inexpensive brushes for paint
  • Needle nose pliers w/ wire cutter
  • Multi-bit screwdriver

Optional but valuable items for the toolkit:

  • Glue gun
  • Hammer
  • Compass or geometry set
  • Small tape measure
  • Container of screws, nails, handy misc. fasteners
  • Small spring clamp or ‘C’ clamp

Some of the common items on this list may be brought from home. Otherwise, and together with special construction materials for studio projects, students might expect $150 - $200 in course costs.


  • VA 231: Sculpture I
  • VA 232: Sculpture II
  • VA 331: Sculpture III
  • VA 332: Sculpture IV
  • VA 431: Independent Study – Sculpture
  • VA 432: Independent Study – Sculpture


VA 231: Sculpture I

This course is an introduction to the concerns and techniques of sculpture through experimentation and exploration with contemporary and traditional materials and methods. Short projects and critiques are a standard format. The course defines basic sculptural terminology and assists students in analyzing and understanding production in the context of both individual interests and contemporary theory and practice.

VA 232: Sculpture II

This course is a continuation of investigation, begun in VA 131, into the concerns and techniques of sculpture through development of both technical and conceptual skills for production and critical engagement. Current priorities include the development of ideas and experimentation in materials while being exposed to contemporary art issues and concerns.

VA 331: Sculpture III

This course permits focused progress from an understanding of sculptural concepts, media, and methods to more complex sculptural problems. The emphasis will be on developing concepts and applications that address individual interests, ranging from technical exploration and the situation of studio practice to theoretical concerns in contemporary sculptural production.

VA 332: Sculpture IV

This course is a continuation of VA 331 with an emphasis on independent development and the establishment of independent ideas. Studio projects are complemented by field trips and seminars.

VA 431 & VA 432: Independent Study - Sculpture

This credit course enables students with previous experience in Sculpture to work under the supervision of the instructor and develop personal initiatives using the studio equipment facilities. The student/instructor relationship is more informal than traditional, the instructor serving as a tutorial resource (both technical and conceptual). The students exercise their independence from the ongoing structured class, but are welcome to participate in demonstrations, discussions, and projects as is their need.

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