Course Catalog: Undergraduate Department of Arts

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Department of Arts

Marjorie Hall, Chair and Associate Professor

Marianne Adams, Instructor

Leland Clarke, Associate Professor

Gregory Gomez, Associate Professor

Erica Licea-Kane, Associate Professor

Emily Tilson Ranii, Assistant Professor

Available Programs of Study:

B.A. in Performing Arts
B.A. in Visual Arts
B.A. in Art History (jointly offered with Emmanuel College)
Minors: Community Arts, Music, Theatre, Studio Art, Art History, Performing Arts (through Colleges of the Fenway)

Arts Major / B.A. Degree/36-48 credits

The Arts department offers majors in the Performing Arts (Music, Theatre, and Dance),Visual Arts and Art History. Students participate in the creative process, acquire theoretical tools for evaluating their own and others’ work, and study the history and literature of their chosen discipline. The Towne Art Gallery and the Wheelock Family Theater offer a variety of on-campus Arts programming, and provide opportunities for student involvement at many levels. The Performing Arts program of the Colleges of the Fenway also provides many opportunities for co-curricular activity in the Performing Arts. Attendance at music and theater venues and art museums in the Boston area is integrated into many courses in the Arts majors.

In addition to supporting the interests of individual students, the majors complement professional preparation in teaching, juvenile justice and youth advocacy, social work, and child life. The arts have always provided people with a means of communicating ideas and reflecting on human experience. Students who have explored and developed their own creative processes are in an excellent position to nurture creative potential in the children and adults with whom they work. Skills in performance and studio art can be vital tools for practitioners in learning and therapeutic environments. Knowledge gained in studying the history and literature of the arts can have a direct impact on the richness of curriculum offered in the early childhood and elementary grades.

Learning outcomes for the arts majors:

Performing Arts students will:

  • Develop skills in performance and/or writing, directing, or theatre crafts, and apply them to theatrical, dance, and/or musical performances
  • Demonstrate an ability to critique their own processes and outcomes
  • Demonstrate an ability to participate constructively in critiquing the works of their peers, and to apply insights from those critiques to their own work
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze plays, dance performances, and/or musical compositions from a variety of cultures and historical periods
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in the dialogues appropriate to the disciplines of the history of music, dance, and/or dramatic literature and aesthetics through readings, discussions, oral reports, and written essays

Visual Arts students will:

  • Develop observational skills (drawing) and skills in the conceptual elements of art-making (design), and apply them in the creation of artworks in at least two media
  • Demonstrate an ability to critique their own processes and outcomes
  • Demonstrate an ability to participate constructively in critiquing the works of their peers, and to apply insights from those critiques to their own work
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze works of visual art from a variety of cultures and historical periods
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in the dialogues appropriate to in the history of art and aesthetics through readings, discussions, oral reports, and written essays

Art History students will:

  • Successfully perform on quizzes and examinations, demonstrating knowledge of artists, periods, styles, media and methods, and contexts for works of art and architecture.
  • Comprehend and use, in discussion and writing, readings that progress from basic survey texts at the introductory level, to more challenging specialized texts at the intermediate level, to professional monographs and journal articles at the advanced level.
  • Successfully complete increasingly demanding writing assignments, from short visual analyses in introductory courses, to extended research papers at the advanced level, demonstrating control of art historical concepts, vocabulary, and methods of analysis.
  • Make presentations that include organized and informative spoken content supported by competent use of appropriate visual components (use of PowerPoint, ARTstor, video, or other presentation tools).

Important: Students considering a major in the arts should meet with a faculty member or make an appointment with the Chair of the department as early in their college careers as possible. AMT 499 Arts Portfolio requires students to have saved work from all of their arts courses at Wheelock. Students should obtain a copy of the portfolio requirements as soon as they begin taking arts courses, and begin accumulating work for the portfolio.

Course Requirements: Arts Major with a Second Major   36 credits
Performing Arts
One introductory level course (100 level) in music, theatre, or dance/4 cr
Two history or literature courses, one from each of two different art forms/ 8 cr
2 electives in music, theatre, or dance/8 cr
THE 277 Movement and Drama for Children/4 cr
MUS 279 Music for Children/4cr
AMT 254 Aesthetics /4 cr
Two advanced courses in music, theatre, or dance/8 cr*
AMT 449 Arts Major Portfolio/0 cr
Visual Arts
VIS 125 Introduction to Design/4 cr
VIS 130 Drawing/4 cr
One Art History course/4 cr
AMT 254 Aesthetics/4 cr
Three studio art electives/12 cr
Two advanced studio art courses/8 cr *
AMT 449 Arts Major Portfolio/0 Cr

* Only one independent study can be applied to the advanced course requirement.

AMT 412 Internship in the Arts (4 credits), a 150-hour placement in an arts organization, may be substituted for one of the advanced courses, or may be taken in addition to the 36 credit major.

Performing Arts or Visual Arts Major without a Second Major /48 credits

Students opting to major in the Arts without a second major should follow the requirements for the 36-credit major as listed above and add the following, for a total of 48 credits:

One free elective in the Arts

One additional course in the major

One additional advanced course in the major*

*48-credit majors must include AMT 412: Internship in the Arts as one of the advanced focus courses.

Art History

The major in Art History is offered in partnership with the Art Department at Emmanuel College, under the auspices of the Colleges of the Fenway. Students in the Art History major will take courses at both Emmanuel and Wheelock. Students who wish to continue with the study of Art History beyond the undergraduate level should complete the 48-credit version of the major, Wheelock College students with professional majors may pursue art history as well, and will complete 36 credits (omitting three of the four art history electives). For all courses other than advanced, options at Simmons College or Massachusetts College of Art and Design can be substituted with advisor approval.

Requirements (20 credits):

Survey I (Emmanuel ART 1201)

Survey II (Emmanuel ART 1202 or Wheelock VIS 112)

Modern Art (Emmanuel ART 2215)

Advanced Art History Courses (Select two)

Emmanuel ART 3391 or 3392: Special Topics in Art History I & II

Emmanuel Art 4178: Directed Study

Wheelock VIS 400: Independent Study

Wheelock VIS 400: Independent Study

AMT 499 Portfolio (Wheelock students)

Selective areas (12 credits):

One course in a non-western art tradition (Select one)

Wheelock VIS 219 Art and Architecture of the Islamic World (under development)

Emmanuel ART XXXX Art Outside the West (under development)

One course in a pre-modern (pre-1700) period (Select one)

Wheelock VIS 217 Art and Architecture of Ancient Cultures

Wheelock VIS 218 Cathedral and Castle

One course in early modern to present (post-1700) (Select one)

Emmanuel ART 2217: American Art

Emmanuel ART 2213: History of Photography

Electives (16 credits): (Select four; one for Wheelock College 36-credit majors)  
ART 2201 Visual Constructions of Gender
ART 2202 Art of Resistance: Social Justice and the Visual Arts
ART 2204 From Globalization to Transnationalism: Art in the Contact Zone
ART 2213 History of Photography
ART 2217 American Art to 1940
ART 2221 Contemporary Art and Artistic Practice
ART 2223 From Patronage to Practice: The Catholic Art Tradition
ART XXXX History of Craft (under development)
VIS 215 History of Architecture
VIS 265 Women, Art, and Society
The following courses may be substituted for one art history elective
One studio art course
One internship (Wheelock AMT 412 or Emmanuel ART 4194)
Aesthetics (Wheelock AMT 254)
Recommended additional electives for students who wish to apply to graduate school:
French or German language through 2nd year
Courses in history, philosophy, literature, anthropology, psychology, or sociology

Minors offered by the Arts Department

Four single-discipline minors are offered: Music, Theatre, Studio Art, and Art History. 16 credits in the discipline are required for these minors. Students should take one introductory course (100-level), two intermediate courses, and one advanced course in the appropriate discipline. While minors are encouraged to take one of the advanced courses offered by the department, this requirement may be satisfied with an independent study with permission from the department chair

Two multi-disciplinary minors are offered: Community Arts and Performing Arts, the latter through Colleges of the Fenway.

Community Arts Minor  
One course in performance or studio arts/4 cr
MUS 277 Music for Children/4 cr
THE 279 Movement and Drama for Children/4 cr
VIS 278 Art for Children/4 cr
Performing Arts minor  
Introduction to the Performing Arts
One course each in Dance, Theatre, and Music
One approved advanced course in one of the disciplines
Three semesters participation in an approved performance ensemble

Please consult the Colleges of the Fenway website for more details.

All students wishing to declare a minor in the arts must have the program plan approved by the department chair.

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