Welcome New B.F.A. Students

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Welcome to the Department of Art

From left, Associate Professor Gregory Page, Visiting Assistant Professor Renate Ferro, and Associate Professor Barry Perlus.

Welcome to the Cornell Department of Art. As your first-year advisory team, we have been working hard with the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services to prepare for your arrival at Cornell.

Upon entering the Cornell art department, one of us will be assigned to be your faculty advisor. We will meet throughout your first three semesters at Cornell to talk about your interests in art as well as what other classes you may want to take during your sophomore, junior, and senior year to complete a well-rounded curriculum. We will discuss whether the five-year concurrent degree may be right for you, and will also share details about studying at our New York City or Rome studio.

During your first year you will immerse yourself in the production of art, and at the same time, you will learn to contextualize your art practice through reading, writing, and discussion with your peers. As you move forward in our program, you will begin to assimilate other disciplines into your individualized curriculum that will reflect your own interests and future plans.

To prepare for our first meeting make sure you carefully review the first-year informational links on this page that are specifically designed to acquaint you with our program and college. It is in this information that you will find specifics about first-year studios and classes, computer and software recommendations, and other important information.

We look forward to meeting you and wish you a warm and restful summer.


Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor

Greg Page
Associate Professor

Barry Perlus
Associate Professor

Fall 2017 Student Schedule

All first-year B.F.A. students will enroll in the following classes, totaling a minimum of 15 academic credits, plus 1 non-academic physical education (PE) credit, in the fall semester:

  • ART 2103 First-Year Studio Research WorkshopThis course considers the social, cultural, economic, political, and art historical influences that define and re-define contemporary art and artists in the twenty-first century. First-year B.F.A. students will be introduced to art as a dynamic aesthetic, analytical, subjective and social form of expression, communication, thought and material production. A wide range of works and ideas and approaches will be explored taking a non- hierarchal approach.   (4 credits)
  • ART 2501 Drawing: Contemporary Art Practice through DrawingThis course provides students entering the B.F.A. program a gateway to contemporary art practice through drawing.  Drawing here is conceived both as a self-sufficient medium and as a tool useful for the conceptual and practical development of ideas in other media.  A wide range of technically and conceptually conceived assignments will introduce students to the breadth of contemporary practice and drawing itself. (4 credits)
  • One of the following art studio classes (4 credits total):
    • ART 2201 Introduction to PaintingStudies the language of painting through color, form, materials, and techniques. Aspects of traditional and modern pictorial composition are studied including proportion, space, and color theory through the representation of a variety of subjects. (4 credits)
    • ART 2301 Introduction to Print MediaThis is an inclusive course that offers an expanded study of traditional printmaking processes through experimental print media. Print media is a critical practice grounded in the history of all printed matter and the printed form as a social medium. Students will participate in a comprehensive range of technical and aesthetic approaches centered in a range of strategies including the art work as multiple, digital and cultural production. These issues of critical discourse will challenge traditional definitions of intaglio, lithography, relief, screen-printing, digital printmaking, and laser cutting technology. (4 credits)
    • ART 2401 Introduction to SculptureThis course introduces students to artistic practice in three dimensions using a variety of materials and approaches. Problems require the student to address materials in terms of cultural and historical context. Assumes no prior knowledge of sculpture. (4 credits)
    • ART 2601 Introduction to PhotographyThis course explores camera and lens as devices that frame and translate three-dimensional space to a two-dimensional surface. Through assignments and individual investigation, students acquire a deeper understanding of visual perception and photography as medium for personal expression. This course introduces students to film-based photographic processes and assumes no prior knowledge of photography. (4 credits)
    • ART 2701 Introduction to Digital MediaThis course explores the use of digital technology in contemporary art making. Students approach software programs by researching historical and contemporary art issues, with emphasis on how to differentiate between analog and digital forms. Through the investigation of the history of digital technology students will gain an understanding of digital culture and its correlation to social, aesthetic and theoretical issues. Topics explored include time-based art, network culture, image resolution, computational techniques, virtuality, and interactivity. (4 credits)
  • One to two additional classes of your choice (3 to 8 credits)
  • Physical Education (1 non-academic credit)

Class Enrollment Procedures

ART 2103 and ART 2501: The AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services will enroll all B.F.A. students in ART 2103 and ART 2501 by June 30. After that date, students can confirm their enrollment in Student Center.

Additional Art Studio: B.F.A. students are required to enroll in one additional studio in the fall semester. To secure a space in your preferred studio practice area, please submit your studio ballot request by June 1. Further instructions are available on the B.F.A. Studio Ballot Form. Students can confirm their art studio enrollment after June 30 in Student Center.

Electives: B.F.A. students have the opportunity to enroll in one or two additional electives classes. These classes are a chance for you to take advantage of the academic breadth of the university, to take a class you know you’ll love or find something new to try. You can also choose to take a third studio instead of one of your electives. Students will enroll in electives using Student Center from Monday, July 10, through Tuesday, July 18. A complete listing of classes is available in the fall 2017 course and time roster. Be sure to enroll in an elective that does not conflict with required classes.

Physical Education (PE): All Cornell students are required to complete two PE classes in the first year of study. Students will enroll in PE using Student Center from Monday, July 10, through Tuesday, July 18. A complete listing of PE classes is available in the fall 2017 course and time roster. Be sure to enroll in a PE class that does not conflict with required classes.

How to Enroll in Classes:

Step-by-step enrollment instructions, including tutorials, are available online. Please review this information before the enrollment period begins.