Noah Simblist, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair

arts.vcu.edu/paintingprintmaking

The Department of Painting and Printmaking offers an undergraduate program that earns a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking, as well as a graduate program of study that leads to the Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts. Students admitted to the programs are expected to have a high level of competence in either painting or printmaking. The graduate program is designed to encourage the development of professional attitudes and skills, with an emphasis on individual investigation.

The department is housed in the Fine Arts Building with 15 individual graduate studios plus a large graduate printmaking area in addition four state-of-the-art undergraduate printmaking studios: etching, lithography, screenprinting and digital. These facilities provide an excellent physical environment for the programs with easy access to the other fine art areas of sculpture and crafts. Established in 1928, the Department of Painting and Printmaking was the first department in what has become the School of the Arts. For nearly 70 years, the department has made significant contributions to the development of the School of the Arts’ reputation as one of the premier art schools in the country.

The department supports an active and ambitious program of visiting artists and lecturers. Leading figures in the world of contemporary art visit to discuss their work, critique, visit studios, conduct workshops and meet with students throughout the year.

The Master of Fine Arts degree is the terminal degree in the studio areas of fine arts and is a requirement for most college and university teaching positions. Many graduate students have gained teaching experience in the department as part of their assistantship responsibilities, teaching classes in painting, drawing and printmaking. The department assists graduate students financially through a variety of teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships and scholarships.

PAPR 525. Issues in Contemporary Visual Arts. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Painting and printmaking majors only. The investigation of content and meaning of major directions in contemporary art as they relate to the studio. Students will relate their own work to major movements in contemporary visual art.

PAPR 527. Art and Critical Theory. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisite: General art history or equivalent. Major themes in art criticism and theory from 1940 to the present. This course provides an introduction to the literature of art criticism as well as artists' writings in relation to studio production.

PAPR 528. Art and Critical Theory. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisite: General art history or equivalent. Major themes in art criticism and theory from 1940 to the present. This course provides an introduction to the literature of art criticism as well as artists' writings in relation to studio production.

PAPR 591. Topics in Painting and Printmaking. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; 1-4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits with different content. This course will explore selected topics of current interests or needs relative to painting and printmaking. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

PAPR 605. Graduate Studio. 3,6 Hours.

Semester course; 4.5 or 9 studio hours. 3 or 6 credits. May be repeated for a total of 24 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students in the painting and printmaking concentration of the M.F.A. in Fine Arts. A studio course in which primary emphasis is placed on individual creative projects with regular exposure to the critical attention of the teaching faculty in the department. Special attention is given to the development of personal expression through individual research and criticism.

PAPR 615. Graduate Printmaking. 3,6 Hours.

Semester courses; 6 or 12 studio hours. 3 or 6 credits. May be repeated. Specialization in one printmaking medium with emphasis upon technical research and the aesthetic suitability of design to medium.

PAPR 621. Graduate Drawing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 6 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. A studio class with individual criticism. Special attention is given to contemporary concepts. Permission of instructor required for non-painting and printmaking majors.

PAPR 650. Candidacy Exhibition. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 4.5 studio hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students in the painting and printmaking concentration of the M.F.A. in Fine Arts; students in other M.F.A. concentrations may enroll with permission of the instructor. This course comprises the process of producing work for and planning a group exhibition by first-year M.F.A. students, a crucial qualifying step for students in the program.

PAPR 660. Professional Practices. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Seminar for the purpose of examining the range of professional practices in the field of contemporary art. Students will learn skills that apply to various parts of the field. The course will also address major debates within the field.

PAPR 670. Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1.5-4.5 studio hours. 1-3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students in the painting and printmaking concentration of the M.F.A. in Fine Arts. This course comprises the process of producing work for and exhibiting it in the thesis exhibition, a written thesis, and an oral presentation by second-year M.F.A. students, a crucial qualifying step for students in the program.

PAPR 680. Graduate Group Critique. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 4.5 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students in the painting and printmaking concentration of the M.F.A. in Fine Arts; those in other M.F.A. concentrations may enroll with permission of the instructor. A seminar class in which primary emphasis is placed on the discussion of individual creative projects with regular exposure to the critical attention of the other graduate students in the department, under the direction of the teaching faculty. Special emphasis is given to the development of personal expression through individual research and criticism.

PAPR 690. Graduate Seminar. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students in the painting and printmaking concentration of the M.F.A. in Fine Arts; students in other M.F.A. concentrations may enroll with permission of the instructor. Weekly seminar for the purpose of examining the contemporary issues within the field of fine art. Students will also have a chance to discuss the ideas that manifest in their work and in the work of others.