Study in the creative arts yields not only innovative thinking but also cultural and economic benefits to society. Thoughtful visual expression enriches our shared experience—revealing beauty, encouraging inclusion and diversity, and sharpening critical insight. In the Visual Arts area at the UFV School of Creative Arts, we encourage each student to develop their own expressive and analytical abilities, as they prepare for future careers as professional artists, designers, curators, educators, and more.
Our highly-qualified faculty of academics, artists, and designers work collaboratively to offer students a dynamic learning environment in which to study traditional studio arts, new media art, Film Studies, and Art History & Visual Studies. We are proud to be part of a regional university that serves the educational needs of domestic and international students, connecting local communities to global creative cultures.
Art History and Visual Studies
Art always reflects the moment in which it is made, whether that moment is recent or thousands of years ago. These historical contexts inform the production of art just as art contributes to the formation of social values and events. Art also has its own history and traditions that form a language that we need to know when making and looking at art. UFV Art History courses are designed to facilitate a better understanding of how art speaks of and to the world.
The Visual Arts department offers a range of Art History courses designed to introduce you to diverse forms of cultural production from prehistorical to contemporary. Introductory courses give an overview of the ways that art has expressed the beliefs and practices of various societies from around the globe. Upper-level courses situate art in a cultural and political context and provide a more-detailed study of select historical periods and regions. You can also take courses in Popular Culture Studies and Museum Studies.
Gallery visits and course projects constantly connect classroom activity to the larger art world. Regional and international field trips offer you a unique opportunity to view some of the greatest historical collections and contemporary art venues.
Art History courses may be taken as electives by:
- General Arts students
- Students in the Bachelor of Arts program as part of a BA (Extended Minor in Visual Arts) or BA (Minor in Visual Arts)
- Bachelor of Science students as part of a Minor in Visual Arts
- Students in the Associate of Arts degree, Liberal Arts Diploma or Visual Arts Diploma
- Students in CIS programs
- Students in the Bachelor of Social Work program.
For full credit requirements of these diplomas and degrees please see the UFV Academic Calendar.
Art speaks in unique and peculiar ways. The introductory studio courses at UFV delve into this creative language, by exploring a range of traditional, experimental, and emergent forms of art. Develop your imagination through projects that explore, rethink, and challenge ways of art making.
Introductory studio courses help you to become a creative, informed, and engaged citizen of the world. Collaborative possibilities between disciplines encourage theoretical, technical, and conceptual connections, as well as form intersections with visual literacy, research skills, and critical thinking. In your first term of study, studio coursework covers a range of materials, techniques, and concepts, and in your second semester, you are free to choose between nine to twelve credits of study in the more specific fields of painting & drawing, sculpture, new media, print media, and photography.
Image, Sound, and Performance
Image, Sound, and Performance offers an introduction to many exciting, experimental, and sometimes controversial art practices at the intersection of technology, art, and electronic media.
Through screenings, discussions, and projects, you will encounter a wide range of artistic methods, including animation, video, sound, performance, installation, gaming, computational art, and more.
To keep you current with Image, Sound, and Performance, we look at artists, practices, and ideas that expand traditional notions of what art can be, while bringing to light the capacity of art to question and influence today's emerging culture. New Media enriches your educational experience, as you probe the pulse of current art practices and the technological shifts in contemporary society.
Studios and workshops
Image, Sound, and Performance provides high-quality audio-visual equipment that will support your exploration of the creative process. In addition, you have access to a state-of-the-art computer lab, which houses digital video, sound, and image editing suites, as well as a variety of production and programming software.
Students can also access audio and visual resources and equipment from the Educational Technology Services department.
In addition to regularly scheduled Image, Sound, and Performance exhibitions and screenings—in the gallery and on campus—a flat-screen display and headphone set offers you the opportunity to exhibit your work in the Visual Arts hallway.
Painting & Drawing
As a studio practice, Painting /Drawing is as rich in history as it is charged with contemporary innovation. At UFV, Painting/Drawing studio courses encourage a dialogue within this continuum, pushing for both avid experimentation and the acquisition of technical skills.
You are introduced to a variety of techniques and ideas, exposed to historical and contemporary Painting/Drawing practices, and challenged to develop a studio process that involves both formal and conceptual impact. Painting/Drawing classes are interdisciplinary in that they allow and emphasize the use of multiple materials and/or techniques in the production of a successful art piece or body of work. Students come away with strong studio skills, an engaged conceptual framework, and an ability to take part in the exciting discourse of contemporary Painting/Drawing.
The UFV Painting/Drawing studio is a large well-ventilated open space that encourages experimentation within a safe environment. The Visual Arts Department supplies easels, painting boards, drawing horses, drawing boards, work-tables, as well as several options for the storage of works, lockers for studio supplies, and ample space for still life study and/or live model figurative study.
For upper-level Painting/Drawing courses, students have access to designated group studios, where private workspaces (studio cubicles) help to deepen studio investigations.
Cost and materials
Materials for Painting/Drawing courses vary by class and faculty instructor. The approximate cost for supplies can be anywhere in the range of $150 to $200.
Photography is vital to today’s commercial and creative cultures. As a medium, it inspires creative innovation: in pushing the limits of both traditional gear and technique—but also the use of emerging equipment and software. This program fosters an integration of technical knowledge, method, personal insight, and social sensitivity to enable you to develop a critical awareness of the medium and to make images with understanding and intent.
The Photography area consists of a main studio, an adjoining darkroom, mural room, and a separate film processing room. The darkroom is equipped with twelve Saunders LPL670 enlargers for black and white printing, while the senior lab is outfitted with an additional three enlargers capable of printing up to 4x5 negatives.
Safety procedures are discussed at the beginning of each term, including information about hazardous materials and the location of eye-wash units in the darkroom and film developing room.
The digital photography instructional lab is located in D building, with support for up to 17 students on PC workstations. A shared Mac lab open to second year and independent students is located just outside the photo studios in C building.
Cost and materials
You can expect to spend approximately $150 to $200 on photographic supplies . This does not include the cost of a camera. As a photography student, you are expected to have your own 35mm manual (not fully automatic) single lens reflex camera or your own digital camera if enrolling in a digital photography course.
While processing chemistry is supplied, you must provide your own black and white film and paper. The following are some of the basic materials required by photography students:
Film developing supplies
- archival negative sheets, pkg. of 25. e.g. Print File, and a 3-ring binder.
- hand towel and rubber gloves (do not buy surgical gloves)
- RC photographic paper, multi-grade, pearl surface
- Fiber-based photographic paper, multi-grade, glossy surface, e.g. Agfa Multi-grade Classic
- Anti-static cloth
- Work-print storage box
- Compressed air or negative blower brush
- Grain focuser (optional)
- Magnifying loupe (optional)
Print finishing & mounting/matting supplies
- Spotone spotting inks (at least #3 or the basic set of 3 b/w tones)
- .000 watercolour brush, good quality
- Matt board and dry mounting tissue
- Exacto or similar sharp knife
- Notebook, scissors, masking tape, straight edge
The Print Media program promotes the study and critique of contemporary print culture. Through interdisciplinary, print-based research, you will develop innovative and experimental approaches to print production. Student printmaking work tends to evolve through various stages and layers, offering the opportunity to integrate new materials, techniques, and concepts.
Within this field, you explore ideas through sculpture, painting, photography, drawing and other media before a matrix is prepared for printing. The final result may reference or incorporate these other media.
This program focuses on ideas built on a foundation of good technique and a diversity of approaches and presentation. The Print Media program not only helps you to foster a critical approach to the production of art, but also it teaches how the medium of print resonates with its own rich, diverse visual and historical vocabulary.
The Printmaking Studio is roomy, well-lit, and well-ventilated with a large adjoining acid room, where chemicals are used for etching zinc and copper plates. There is a separate rosin room with compressed air and a large hotplate just outside the room, for etching and relief.
The studio contains large and small table-top hand-driven presses, as well as rollers of various sizes to accommodate a wide range of print activity. The Print Media darkroom features an exposure unit for the production of photo-etching. As the boundaries of print, photographic and digital practices are increasingly blurring, senior photography and print media students share a Mac Lab, which consists of 12 computers, an HP 24” wide colour printer, and flat bed scanning for film up to 4x5 format.
There is a large format bed scanner in the main print studio. Adjacent to the main print studio is a small silkscreen room with a separate facility for coating and storing screens. The exposure unit for screens resides in the main studio.
You are required to follow safety procedures at all times, including wearing solvent/acid-resistant gloves and respirators when appropriate. You are expected to maintain a clean working environment. A portion of the grade for all Print Media courses is based on studio practice, which includes the care and maintenance of equipment as well as general studio cleanliness.
For all Print Media Courses there will be an emphasis on the following:
- Investigating the unique characteristics of print media, developing an understanding of print processes and their effect on image development.
- Developing an awareness of contemporary art practices and cultural issues as well as investigating the contexts within which print media is placed.
- Exploring conceptual possibilities that are inherent to print media
- Building a solid technical foundation
- Fostering a responsible attitude towards health, safety, cleanliness, and consideration of others in a cooperative studio environment.
'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 threedimensionality
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
The field of sculpture constantly changes, its boundaries expanding through the use of new
materials and concepts, reflecting the complexity of the moment in which we live. Extended
Media covers a variety of techniques and approaches including sound, video, electronics,
installation, performance, interactivity and collaboration. The Sculpture and Extended Media
program links the development of essential technical skills and an appreciation for historical and
contemporary art activity to the student’s creative and conceptual growth.,.
In the Sculpture and Extended Media program, you will work in wood, metal, clay, fabric,
plaster and multi-media assemblage, as well as sound and video recording and editing, lighting
and projection. Upon demonstration of safe equipment practice, you will become skilled in the
use of both hand and power tools. The following information outlines the required courses,
facilities, and fees.
The Sculpture area consists of a general-purpose studio, woodshop, welding area, plaster/casting
workroom, and Soft Lab. In addition, the nearby tool crib provides you access to many sorts of
hand tools and small power equipment. As well, you may use a large outdoor space for work on
larger pieces, as well as for 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. The Mac Lab and A/V Crib also provide essential software and equipment for
Extended and New Media production. There are several presentation spaces for 3D work
throughout C Building including a small dedicated installation space and a larger Crit Space.