Writing in the Discipline
1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?
The Art Department offers three separate majors: Studio Art, Art History and Art Education. Across these areas, students will learn to write clearly and analytically about works of art, whether they are made by the students themselves or by other artists.
Students pursuing the Studio Art major (BA or BFA) must be able to write clear and interesting artist statements, job applications, and grant and commission proposals.
Students pursuing the Art History major, especially if they are interested in graduate studies, must be able to write research papers. Jobs in museums and galleries require the ability to write clearly and concisely, including descriptions of artworks, business letters, and grant applications.
Students pursuing the Art Education major must be able to write lesson plans and other kinds of documents specific to the education field.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?
Two courses satisfy the WID requirement for all three majors in the art department: Art 231: Prehistoric to Renaissance Art and Art 232: Renaissance to Modern Art. For art studio majors, area-specific writing in upper-level studio classes complements the writing in art history. Art education majors write in numerous upper-level courses as well.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department's WID courses? Why these genres?
The genres of writing students in the Art Department learn to write vary by major. In Art 231 and 232 students write descriptions, analyses, and comparisons of individual artworks – these are the most basic components of writing in art and must be mastered to develop either as an artist, art educator, or art historian.
In advanced and upper level courses, art students write research papers and responses to art historical scholarship, learning to integrate the ideas of other writers into their work and to deepen their understanding of artworks and art movements.
Other genres of writing art students learn to write include project briefs, work proposals, visual analyses, CVs, and business letters. These are the sorts of writing that will be used by graduates of art programs in professional settings. Finally, art students in studio areas learn to write project proposals, grant applications, and artist statements. These are essential for practicing artists and help develop the student’s artistic vision.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department's WID courses?
Students taking art WID courses will encounter many different kinds of teaching practices including scaffolded writing projects, peer review,
in-class writing, writing-to-learn exercises, and discussions of and lectures on writing and writing assignments.
5. When they've satisfied your department's WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with the writing?
Depending on their major, students should be able to write interpretive descriptions and comparisons of artworks, thesis papers based on artworks, research papers, artist statements, cover letters, project proposals.