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Art Program: Concentration in Sculpture

Professor Jody Joyner during a Sculpture I class demonstration

Assistant Professor Jody Joyner during a Sculpture I class demonstration.

Explore the course offerings for Sculpture below:

ARTT 005A. Sculpture I: Form, Material, Process

This course serves as an introduction to the foundational materials, techniques, and concepts associated with sculpture. Sculpture I emphasizes the development of skills in wood, steel, and introductory mold-making/casting techniques through a series of hands-on demos and exercises that culminate in creative studio projects. This class also foregrounds creative process, introducing students to the expression of sculptural ideas through iterative studio practice. Each major course project will involve brainstorming, drafting, mocking-up, working, and re-working sculptural objects. We will approach form-making as a language in and of itself, one which demands 3D thinking and making and the development of hands-on, embodied knowledge. Sculpture I prepares students to move onto a variety of Sculpture II courses, where individual concepts and technical skills can be further honed and applied to specific topics in contemporary sculpture. While emphasis falls on introductory techniques in wood, metal, and casting, we will engage a spectrum of finding and making. Students will often be invited to incorporate everyday materials and found objects in relationship to foundational sculptural concepts.  Studio projects will be complemented by field trips, visiting artists, readings, films, and slide presentations, all aimed at developing diverse, nuanced contexts for contemporary sculpture.

ARTT 054B. Sculpture II: Sculpture and the Body
ARTT 054C. Sculpture II: Sculpture and the Environment

This class is an introduction to site-specific sculpture, it’s context, history and problems.

ARTT 054D. Sculpture II: Installation Art

Installation Art is a studio-based inquiry into the fundamental concepts, visual elements, critical language, and fabrication processes relevant to the creation of contemporary installations. Installation Art is a porous term used to describe mixed-media artworks designed for a specific space or for a temporary amount of time. Installation has been a prevalent mode of expression within contemporary art since the 1960s, and today is more often a strategy for articulating a particular set of ideas than an all-encompassing genre. Throughout the course, students will explore how they might respond to aspects of their physical surroundings and the built environment through installation. This course will begin with a series of studies, in which students practice their capacity to think both spatially and temporally– beyond the making of discrete objects. These initial studies will each trace a specific line of thinking and making within installation practices, such as spatial drawing, light and space, and video projection, and will build towards an expanded installation made by students on campus. The culminating course project will be a mock open call in which the class works in small groups to propose a sculptural installation for a specific local context (i.e., a nearby museum, a public space, etc.).

ARTT 054E. Sculpture II: Meaning and Materiality

From pandemic toilet paper hysteria to Tesla’s cars of the future, we shape material culture and it, in turn, shapes us. As such, this course explores materiality as being central to the human experience, and a primary concern in contemporary sculpture. We will ask: how might materiality drive form and content in works of art? We will consider family histories, vernacular traditions, mass manufacturing, and consumer culture as ways in which materiality intersects with and shapes lived experience. We will ask what things are made of, and what impact they have on the environment. Critical to our exploration will be a consideration of what to make sculpture out of now, in an era defined by ecological precarity and climate change. Studio projects will emphasize material experimentation, process, and iteration.  Advanced mold-making and casting techniques will be covered.  The class will likely work with Recycled Artist in Residence (RAIR) in Philadelphia or an alternative community-based art organization for the culminating course project.


The Senior Capstone is the culminating credit of your concentration in the Art major. The permanent faculty share the responsibility of mentoring you for this credit and will divide up the majors equally among themselves. It is not necessary and may not be possible to work with a faculty member from your chosen concentration. The Senior Capstone is designed to strengthen critical, theoretical and practical skills related to your studio practice. The success of your experience in a large part will be due to how you handle the level of independence. You will be responsible for structuring your studio time, maintaining a supply budget and coordinating meetings with your faculty mentor. The faculty mentor will guide and assess the development of work. You may reach out to other faculty to seek feedback during their scheduled office hours but your primary mentor will be appointed from the faculty. The Senior Capstone culminates in a curated group exhibition in the List Gallery. As was the case in the fall semester, you will have your own studio space in Whittier Hall.