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School of Creative Arts

Visual Arts and Art History studio disciplines

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 and 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 for these diplomas and degrees please see the UFV Academic Calendar.



Develop your filmmaking skills through creative processes, and innovative techniques in video production. From an introduction to the technical knowledge of cameras, lighting, sound equipment, and video editing software, to creating original stories in screen-based media, there are various opportunities to advance your professional skills, gain experience as a crew member, learn about the production process, and develop and direct short films and compelling documentaries about culture and society.

Video Production is a stream, and courses can be found under course codes for FILM (not VA). 


Students registered in a Film course will have access to equipment rentals and the Apple Mac lab, with workstations that include premiere video, audio and photo editing software. A green screen studio is also available, equipped with OptiTrack motion capture cameras, and LED lighting with DMX control.


Introductory Studio

The introductory studio courses at UFV delve into a bevy of creative languages by playing with traditional, experimental, and emergent forms of artmaking. Develop your imagination through projects that explore, rethink, and challenge ways of knowing and doing. Collaborative possibilities between disciplines encourage theoretical, technical, and conceptual connections and form intersections with visual literacy, research skills, and critical thinking. In your first term, studio coursework covers breadth, while your second semester allows you to choose between the more specific fields of painting & drawing, sculpture, new media, print media, and photography, bringing the necessary depth to your learning.


Image, Sound, and Performance

Image, Sound, and Performance offers an introduction to 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 range of artistic methods, including animation, video, sound, performance, installation, gaming, computational art, and more. Looking to contemporary practices, we take up artists, processes, technological shifts, and ideas that expand traditional notions of what art can be while bringing to light the capacity of art to question and influence culture today. 


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 IT Services. Regularly scheduled exhibitions and screenings in the gallery or wider campus offer you the opportunity to exhibit your work professionally. 


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 dialogue within this continuum, pushing for avid experimentation and skill acquisition. You are introduced to techniques and ideas, exposed to historical and contemporary practices, and challenged to develop a studio process with formal and conceptual impact. Painting/Drawing classes are interdisciplinary. They allow and emphasize the use of multiple materials and techniques in the production of a successful art piece or body of work. As a result, students come away with strong studio skills, an engaged conceptual framework, and the ability to participate in the exciting discourse of contemporary Painting/Drawing.‌


The UFV Painting/Drawing studio is a well-ventilated open space that encourages experimentation within a safe environment. The department supplies easels, painting boards, drawing horses, drawing boards, and work tables, as well as several options for storing works, lockers for supplies, and ample space for still life and live model figurative study. For upper-level Painting/Drawing courses, students can access designated group studios, where private workspaces help deepen studio investigations.

Cost and materials

Materials for Painting/Drawing courses vary by class and instructor. The approximate cost for supplies can be anywhere in the range of $150 to $200, often with a sliding scale for relative quality and price to make courses more accessible.



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 the 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 the 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.

Digital photography courses are taught in C1120 Mac Lab and C1106 Digital Printing Lab with student drop in access to C1122 Production Lab. Digital Photography is also taught in online only format.

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)

Printing supplies

  • 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


Print media

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.



“Everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture.” - Isamu Noguchi

The boundaries of Sculpture are constantly expanding through the use of new materials and concepts, reflecting the complexity of the moment in which we live. Traditional materials and techniques such as wood, metal, clay, textiles, mold-making and assemblage intersect with Extended Media practices including sound, video, electronics, installation, performance, interactivity and collaboration. In this program, creative and conceptual growth is explored through the development of essential technical skills and an appreciation for historical and contemporary art theory and practices.


The Sculpture area includes a general-purpose studio, woodshop, welding area, plaster/casting workroom, plastics lab and soft lab. Students can access a wide variety of specialized hand and power tools. Sculpture students are required to follow strict safety procedures as part of working in the studio. A Visual Arts studio technician oversees and maintains workshops, equipment and safety standards on an ongoing basis. The Mac Lab and A/V Crib also provide essential software and equipment for Extended Media practices. There are several spaces dedicated for the presentation of 3D work throughout the C Building including a small dedicated installation space and a larger Crit Space.

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