Division: Arts, Humanities and Learning Resources
Academic Dept: Arts
Curriculum Chair: Prof. Melissa Hall
The Visual Arts Program at Westchester Community College offers a uniquely rich and diversified course of study, with classes ranging from traditional life drawing to the latest in digital technology. Located at three sites in Valhalla, Peekskill, and White Plains, the program is designed for students preparing for art school transfer or arts-related careers while also catering to visual arts professionals interested in refining or expanding their skills. Most entry level courses are also open to students and members of the community interested in exploring art as a life-enriching experience or as a Humanities elective for general education students.
Areas of Concentration
The Visual Arts Program offers an A.A.S. degree with concentrations in Studio Art, Graphic Design, Photography, and Digital Arts. In addition to the A.A.S. degree, the Applied Art Certificate and the Digital Arts Certificate allow students to pursue specialized fields of study in a chosen area of interest (See Applied Art Certificate and Digital Arts Certificate for program details). A range of extra-curricular programs offer opportunities for enrichment, including an active Art Club, field trips to New York City museums and galleries, and workshops and lectures by professional artists, designers, critics, and art historians. Portfolio Review Days and Digital Arts Career Fairs help students plan their future under the guidance of experienced faculty and career and counseling staff.
The A.A.S. Degree is designed to prepare students for transfer to a four-year BFA or Liberal Arts program or to obtain entry-level positions in an arts-related career. Modeled on the “foundation” year taught at most four-year art schools, the curriculum provides a strong foundation in history, theory, and studio practice, establishing a basis for more concentrated study in selected areas of interest. The program encourages both breadth and depth, with a focus on preparing students for the rigorous demands of BFA degree programs and continued growth as professional artists and designers.
Recent graduates have successfully transferred to highly competitive programs at F.I.T., Hartford Art School, Pratt, Rhode Island School of Design, SUNY Purchase, SUNY New Paltz, and the School of Visual Arts. Transfer scholarships and/or articulation agreements are available with Lehman College, Mercy College, College of New Rochelle, and Purchase College.
The Valhalla Campus offers fully-equipped studios for painting, drawing, sculpture, design, printmaking, graphic design, and art history. The design studio is equipped with high-end PC workstations and advanced peripherals, as well as an Apple Macintosh lab for student use. The printmaking studio includes Charles Brand and American French Tool etching presses, and a large format electric book press. The main campus also houses the college’s Fine Arts Gallery, one of the finest exhibition spaces in the county. The gallery hosts regular exhibitions of regional and nationally recognized artists and an end-of-term Student Show each semester.
The Westchester Community College Center for the Arts, located in the County Center in White Plains, offers the most fully equipped darkroom in the region. Twelve specialized studios for painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry design/metal support an extensive number of 1, 2 and 3 credit courses offered throughout the year. The center also houses two computer arts/graphics labs equipped with Apple Macintosh computers and advanced peripherals. A gallery specializing in fine arts and crafts, and a regular program of speakers and events, add further enrichment for students enrolled in classes at the site.
The Center for the Digital Arts at the Peekskill Extension Center houses the college’s flagship post-production facility dedicated to new media arts. Six instructional studios equipped with high-end multimedia design stations, including digital video and audio recording, support a diverse curriculum in graphic design, 2D and 3D animation, interactive design, video, and DVD authoring. The center also specializes in digital music and provides a unique opportunity for students interested in cross-curricular studies. An on-site gallery specializing in the digital arts, and a regular program of speakers and events, add further enrichment for students enrolled in classes at the site. The center also hosts a traditional media art studio, a PC writing and business lab, and a smart lecture hall.
See also Applied Art Certificate and Digital Arts Certificate for other program options.