First Year Experience (FYE)

First Year Electives


ANIMATION: Principles of Animation
This course is an introduction to the art of 2-D hand drawn animation. In this class, students will become familiar with the principles of animation and learn how to create believable characters and gestures while developing a sense of observation, timing and motion.

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN: Intro to Architectural Design
In this introductory studio, students are immersed in the philosophies and strategies of solving three-dimensional design problems in general and spatial design problems in particular. Students integrate multidisciplinary competencies they may already have with new design skills. Projects explore idea generation, concept realization in 2-D and 3-D media including basic orthographic drawings.
ART HISTORY: Modernism and After
An Art Historical survey of Avant-Garde European and American art from the mid-19th century to the present. Some of the many artistic movements covered include Realism, Impressionism, post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, de Stijl, early American Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and post-Modernism.
CERAMICS: Intro to Hand-Built Forms
Students will learn the technical processes involved in forming and firing. Tools will be introduced to the students including the slab roller and extruder. Basic glaze and clay chemistry and physics will also be covered. These techniques will be explored in the context of ceramic art historically and in its contemporary concerns.
CERAMICS: Intro to Wheel-Thrown Forms
Students will focus on the wheel as a tool that can be used to approach a wide variety of forms. Basic glaze and clay chemistry and physics will also be covered. These techniques will be explored in the context of ceramic art historically and in its contemporary concerns.
COMMUNITY ARTS: Finding Baltimore
In this community-arts-based course, Baltimore is not a place but a process of self-discovery - a "finding" of sorts that provides students with the opportunity to think critically about their place in the world. As a group, students will travel throughout the city; interact with a host of people from different walks of life; visit new, wonderful, and unusual places; and investigate the important issues and themes of the day. Students will keep a visual diary of their ideas, opinions and feelings about these interactions and make artwork in a wide variety of media. Students also have the opportunity to work with local elementary school children or senior citizens - and produce small murals or other site-specific works.
FIBER: Intro to Fiber
This course presents students with technical, historical and conceptual grounding in the medium of fiber. Students learn the basics of fiber processes, including spinning, weaving, felting, loop-construction, screen printing, sewing, surface manipulation and embellishment. Technical explorations, supported by the study of historic precedent and contemporary practice supports individuals in exploring fiber as an expressive medium.
FILM & VIDEO: Moving Image I
Through workshops, screenings and readings, students explore the diverse ways moving images (film/video) are used in fine arts and the cinema. Students develop basic skills in high definition video field production and editing. Assignments explore the diverse ways moving images are used for individual expression, entertainment and social & intellectual inquiry.
This is an introductory course about the culture, theory, design and development of games. Students will play, make and analyze games in order to build a common and more extensive vocabulary to discuss and understand the form. Principles from traditional board games, sports games, and party games will be analyzed and this analysis will then be applied to designing two paper-based games over the course of the semester.
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Intro to Graphic Design
Students are introduced to the basic concepts of visual communication through projects that balance the learning of conceptual development, technique, and design tools. Assignments range from individual to collaborative, and are built to introduce design thinking, critical discussion and personal decision-making in relation to graphic design.
HUMANITIES: The Human Condition
Why are we here? What should we do? How should we treat others? What is the best community? How do we find purpose in our work? We will explore these questions through a review of concepts developed by thinkers and writers throughout history and in a contemporary global context on the problem of human nature. Readings will include texts in literature, philosophy, history, the sciences, as well as art and architecture.
ILLUSTRATION: Intro to Illustration
This course is an introduction to the ever-changing and exciting world of illustration in all its capacities. Through lectures and assignments, students become exposed to and experience the multiple facets of illustration today, such as book illustration, editorial, sequential art, concept art, character development and others. The relationship of illustration with other fields such as animation, graphic design, and painting are examined.
ILLUSTRATION: Drawing as Illustration
This course centers around drawing and composition in illustration through storytelling. By using models, students will explore effects of the body and facial expressions created by dramatic lighting. This course also includes location drawing and explores the use of the camera as a tool in the creation of drawing and composition in illustration.
INTERACTIVE ART: Robotic Arts Introduction
This class will introduce the Arduino ( micro-controller, sensors, programming and various output devices (light/sound/motion) as a media for art making. Each student will create their own robotic work for presentation at the end of the semester.
This course is designed to provide a basic framework for recording, editing, and composing with sound in a variety of media. No prior production knowledge is assumed. Classes will focus on creative projects, while establishing a common technical and aesthetic vocabulary through in-class demonstrations and discussions. Sound processing, editing, and performance software such as Reason, Ableton Live, audiomulch, and turntables will be covered.
This course is an introduction to 3-D format and exposes students to an overview of processes, tools, and materials used in sculpture. Students will explore the relationship of ideas to materials and construction techniques.

This course presents students with an opportunity to manipulate wood as a sculptural material; slides, photographs, and books of contemporary wood sculpture are presented and discussed. Exercises in scale drawings and models will help students to understand and realize their projects. Quick fastening and building construction techniques are covered, as well as experiments with shaping, laminating, and finishing wood.

PAINTING: Painting 1 OR Painting 2 
Painting 1 is a required course for all Painting, Drawing, Illustration, and General Fine Arts majors and is strongly recommended as a First Year 
Elective. (Level is dependent on Faculty review.)  Through a wide range of problems, students will earn about the preparation of various supports, appropriate usage of painting tools, color mixing, and analyzing surface qualities. Integration of drawing and design concepts are emphasized as students investigate color-value connections, articulation of form, composition, and spatial relationships. Working primarily from observation, students explore subjects ranging from interiors, landscapes, and cityscapes, to self-portraits and the figure.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Black and White Film Photography I
This studio course introduces the fundamentals of photographic practice. Emphasis is placed on the exposure, development of black and white film, and the silver print, as well as the aesthetics of photographic vision. The format includes class demonstrations, lab work, field assignments and critiques.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Digital Photography I
Discussion topics will focus on camera operation, file formats, the impact of digital technology on contemporary photographic practice, as well as the aesthetic and ethical issues surrounding it. Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and other software applications will be used to explore creative and experimental possibilities for processing and manipulating photographs. Studio work emphasizes printed, still imagery, but students are encouraged to devise new uses for their digital materials. Introduction to input and output peripherals will include digital cameras, scanners, and printers.
PRINTMAKING: Intro to Traditional Media
These processes include intaglio, relief, letterpress and mono-type. Students will be exposed to an overview of the tools, methods and materials for making printed artwork with a particular focus on how manual printing and traditional techniques relate to contemporary concepts and individual art practice. This study includes the creation and utilization of various print matrices, edition processes, curatorial activity and how to work in a professional print shop environment.

PRINTMAKING: Intro to Photo/Digital
This course introduces the methodologies and concepts of printmaking techniques that utilize photo-based processes and digital applications. These processes include screen-print, photo-etching, photo-lithography and digital printing. It exposes students to an overview of the tools, methods and materials for making prints with particular focus on how photo-processes and digital applications expand technical and conceptual possibilities.

PRODUCT DESIGN: Intro to Product Design
Can re-designing a water bottle help save the planet? What will the next iPhone look like? Why can't my shoes recharge my cell phone as I walk? Design is about looking into the future. Design is about people. Design is about thinking, inventing, solving problems, collaborating, being curious, asking questions, and challenging everything. Design is about new forms, new structures, and new materials. In this course, students imagine the issues our future holds and design products to meet these challenges. At the same time, they become familiar with current design issues, new materials, smart technologies, and presentation techniques.