One of the defining characteristics of Salem's Art Department is closeness. Students and professors alike have an uncommon passion for the study and practice of art and design-in all forms-and therefore have established a tightly knit community of friends and learners. While it is one of Salem's larger departments, art classes rarely exceed 20 students, with most upper-level classes numbering five to 10 students
Studio Arts 4-Year Plan
You may choose from among three majors within the Art Department:
Studio Art and Art History are also available as minors.
It goes without saying that you are creative and have a passion for the arts! You are also likely to be motivated, creative, independent and bring a solid work-ethic to the classroom. You will be encouraged to share your ideas and opinions as well as to seek out inventive ways of learning. You will take part in internships and special projects as well as study abroad in order to broaden your artistic horizons. While at Salem you will complete a require research project. You may also want to join one of two student arts organizations on campus, the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) or Salem Art Society.
Your professors in the art department are professionally active scholars whose talents and scholarly achievements are matched only by their dedication to classroom and studio teaching. In addition to their activities at Salem, our professors also lecture regularly to audiences outside the Salem community, have active exhibition schedules and coordinate the activities of the Salem Fine Arts Center Galleries.
Thanks to the comprehensive, interdisciplinary nature of the department, you will graduate with a wide range of professional opportunities, such as graduate school or careers. Recent Salem graduates who majored in art went on to East Carolina University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Pratt Institute/ School of Art and Design; Rhode Island School of Design and Sothey's Institute of Art, London. Recent art majors are working as a design consultant at Ethan Allen Inc; an historical programs assistant at the Maymont Foundation; an interior designer with the Group 3 firm; curator of education at Columbia Museum of Art; and a member of the Peace Corps in Zambia.
Studio Art Major (B.A.)
The department of art offers a major in studio art with a concentration in painting, printmaking, graphic design or teaching licensure. Students are urged to begin the studio core foundation program as early as possible, preferably during their first semester at Salem. The program has been planned to give the student a solid background in academic training and expose her to a wide variety of media, techniques and contemporary issues, with the result being a graduate confident in her abilities and clear in her artistic goals.
Students who seek licensure to teach art (grades K-12) should pursue the B.A. in studio art with a concentration in licensure (below). Admission to teacher education is required. Students seeking licensure will need to complete the required teacher education professional studies core courses and specialty area program courses. Teacher licensure programs at Salem College are approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). These accreditations make it possible for graduates to be licensed in most states. See the entry under “Education” under “Courses of Instruction.”
Studio Art Minor
A minor in studio art requires the completion of six courses. Four of the six courses must be taken at Salem.
Visual Arts Entrepreneurship Minor
The minor in Visual Arts Entrepreneurship is intended for students pursuing a B.A. in art history or studio art. See the Arts Management for details. A student may not minor in both Arts Entrepreneurship and Arts Management nor may she major in Arts Management and minor in Visual Arts Entrepreneurship.
Art Courses (ARTS)
020. Introduction to Two-Dimensional Design One course
In-depth exploration of basic elements of two-dimensional design through multiple approaches to a wide variety of black and white media. Consideration of the influence of art and design within the context of the dominant culture as well as other cultures and periods. Six-hour studio plus outside assignments. No prerequisite. Fall and Spring.
025. Advanced Two-Dimensional Design One course
Building on experience in ARTS 020 and ARTS 111, students will explore conceptually sophisticated design problems. Introduction to and exploration of color theory. Six-hour studio plus outside assignments. Prerequisite: ARTS 020 and ARTS 111. Fall and Spring.
030. Three-Dimensional Design One course
Exploration of a variety of issues dealing with three-dimensional form: What is the third dimension? Why do structures stand up? What can be created with limited materials? Prerequisite: ARTS 020 or ARTS 111. Fall.
040. Graphic Design and Communication One course
An introductory course in the history, concepts and techniques of graphic design and communication. Lectures will address topics in typography, illustration, book and magazine layout, advertising, marketing and packaging. Students will address exercises relating to the working fields of graphic design. Exercises will be used to educate the students’ ability to analyze problems, offer creative solutions with craft and present projects in a professional manner. Prerequisite: ARTS 020. Fall, alternate years.
110. Photography I One course
A basic course in photography, including a history of photography, camera mechanics, camera techniques, composition, film processing, proofing techniques, enlarging procedures and methods of matting and mounting. No prerequisite. Offered as needed.
111. Drawing One course
Introduction to basic elements of drawing through a wide variety of drawing experiences utilizing black and white media. Emphasis on descriptive techniques, introduction to the figure and perspective. Six-hour studio plus outside assignments. Fall and Spring.
112. Figure Drawing One course
Beginning with an anatomical survey, students will build an understanding of the human form, based on research and regular sessions with the model. Six-hour studio plus outside assignments. Prerequisites: ARTS 020 and ARTS 111. Spring, alternate years.
113. Introduction to Oil Painting One course
Students will develop an understanding of the oil medium and its manipulation to achieve descriptive results through a directed series of problems. Emphasis is on the act of painting. Six-hour studio plus outside assignments. Prerequisite: ARTS 020 or ARTS 111. Fall.
114. Advanced Painting One course
Continued study of painting problems begun in ARTS 113. Students will work on a variety of directed and independent projects to encourage individual stylistic growth. Six-hour studio plus outside assignments. Prerequisite: ARTS 113 and ARTS 025.
135. Introduction to Printmaking One course
Various relief and intaglio processes for black and white and color printmaking. Will include experiences with linoleum and woodblock printing, collagraphs, drypoint and etchings. Prerequisite: ARTS 020 or ARTS 111. Spring, alternate years.
200. Independent Study in Studio Art One-quarter to one course
Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 3.0 cumulative average and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a total of two courses, the maximum in any one term being one course credit. Offered on demand.
211. Sculpture I One course
Introduction to relief sculpture, skeletal structure, carving, kinetic motion, modeling and casting. Six-hour lab. Spring, alternate years.
212. Sculpture II One course
Continued introduction to relief sculpture, skeletal structure, carving, kinetic motion, modeling and casting. Six-hour lab. Prerequisite: ARTS 211. Spring, alternate years.
214. Senior Tutorial One-half course
The class, comprised of all senior students in the studio program, participates in a seminar meeting once a week discussing readings of contemporary criticism and professional practices in their chosen area of concentration. Students begin to define issues and methods of working with an eye toward their Senior Thesis Exhibition. Spring.
220. Special Topics in Studio Art One course
This course provides the student with the opportunity to explore aesthetic and technical issues presented by faculty or visiting instructors.
230. Photography II One course
An intermediate course in photography beginning with a review of techniques in Photography I. Greater emphasis will be placed on the aesthetics of photography and more advanced techniques and processes will be explored. Prerequisite: ARTS 110 or permission of the instructor.
233. Ceramics One course
Introductory instruction in clay technology, clay body preparation, wheel throwing, coiling, slab building, loading and firing kilns. Discussions also include design instruction and exposure to historical and contemporary pottery and ceramics. Offered as needed.
235. Advanced Printmaking One course
Various advanced printmaking processes including soft ground, aquatint and monoprints will be presented. Prerequisite: ARTS 135.
261. Computer Graphics Application One course
An introduction to computer skills and terminology as related to the graphic design field. The use of word processing, drawing, painting, page layout and illustration software will be emphasized. Prerequisite: ARTS 040 or the permission of instructor. Fall, alternate years.
270. Internship in Studio Art One-half to one course
An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned.
290. Honors Independent Study in Studio Art One course
Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Normally open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in art. Subject to the approval of the department chair. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses.
310. Senior Studio One course
During the fall semester of the senior year, the class, comprised of all seniors in the studio art program, will work with a variety of media and technique based on their individual style. Students will begin to define issues important to them and establish a personal point of view. Students will learn to position their art in relation to current trends and methods of working with a theme to allow them to develop a consistent body of work to be exhibited in the spring of their graduating year. Six-hour studio/seminar plus outside work. Prerequisite: Two levels of courses in the student’s concentration and senior status. Fall.
390. Senior Seminar in Studio Art One-half course
This course is designed to prepare the senior student for professional practices in the student’s chosen area of concentration. The student will be informed of job possibilities, gallery representation and exhibition opportunities and will be required to prepare a professional packet consisting of resume, artistic statement, and portfolio to aid the student in preparation for graduate school and/or professional representation in the art world.
Professor Kimberly Varnadoe
Where are you from?I am originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast...a little town called Ocean Springs. It is a beautiful artsy town filled with galleries, boutiques and gorgeous old live oaks.
What kinds of global experiences have you had?I have had frequent experience in the Caribbean and Mexico for vacations, but have also had wonderful experiences in Italy and in Argentina with Salem students during January Term travel trips.
What are your areas of special interest within your discipline?I explore a wide variety of techniques and mediums in the visual arts field. Although my degrees are in Painting and Printmaking, I have also had a lot of Photography experience and have been working with experimental photo techniques for over ten years. I love film and working in the darkroom. I try to exhibit often and just recently had three shows in the local area.
What is your favorite course to teach?I love them all. I am probably most known among the students for teaching Color Theory (Advanced 2-D Design). I promise my students that I will “change the way they see,” and they always agree that the course does indeed “change the way they see”…literally.
What kind of advice would you give to a student thinking about entering your discipline?Come with an open mind and a love for learning. Experience is a plus, but not necessary. The love for learning the discipline is what is most important.
What are the benefits for the students if they choose a major in the art department at Salem?They will receive one-on-one attention from the faculty and benefit from a group of peers that are as interested in their success as their own.
What do you see as the strengths of a women's college?I see the confidence it builds in women every day. The open atmosphere that encourages women to speak their minds and open their hearts in an honest, caring environment creates women of confidence and courage. It is a fabulous experience to watch the transition in these women.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?A specific quote that I love is from the character Can-o-beans in Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins. “It would seem that the brain hangs so many curtains between itself and the true universe that eventually light can no longer reach it and it molds, rots, and festers in the dark.”
Tell us about a favorite book that you would recommend to students.I highly recommend the book The Art Spirit by Robert Henri. It has been a required read for my students over the past few years.
Tell us a little bit about your family or pets.A great combination. I have been married for over 25 years to another college professor. We have two great kids, a son in college now and a daughter in high school. We all love dogs and currently have three dogs and one cat that adopted us a few years ago. And a 100 gallon aquarium full of fish.
What do you do for fun when you aren't working?I often take short trips to the beach or the mountains for a day or two. North Carolina is perfect for those types of trips!
What is your favorite place at Salem?One of my favorite locations is along the stream in the May Dell. It is right outside the doors of the building in which I teach. When I need some quiet time I go and lie down in the lush grass next to the stream in the May Dell. It is a very peaceful place where I can think more clearly.
Students interested in majoring in Studio Art, Art History or Interior Design can apply for the Dr. John Preston Davis Scholarship. The Davis Art Scholarship is worth full tuition and is renewable annually with a 3.0 college GPA. Interested candidates must submit a 300 word essay on "Why I want to study Studio Art, Art History or Interior Design" and two letters of recommendation (if majoring in Studio Art or Interior Design, one of these letters should be from an art teacher). Finalists will be invited to interview at Scholarship Weekend. Studio Art and Interior Design candidates should bring a portfolio at the time of the interview.