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Fine Arts (FA) – Visual Art ANd ART History

Location: 232 Joan and Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, 416-736-5187
Chair: J. Schwarz
Professors: S.A. Brown, S. Hornstein, M. Thurlby, C. Zemel
Professors Emeriti: T. Bieler, C. Breeze, K. Carpenter, V. Frenkel, H. LeRoy, G.P.R. Métraux, T. Whiten
Associate Professors: D. Adler, D. Armstrong, B. McGill Balfour, J. Baturin, M. Couroux, M. Daigneault, M. Davey, J. Fischer, B. Grosskurth, R. Hill, A. Hudson, J. Jones, H. Kal, K. Knight, L. Korrick, Y. Lau, N. Nicol, S. Parsons, J. Schwarz, Y. Singer, K. Stanworth, N. Tenhaaf, B. Vickerd
Associate Professors Emeriti: K. Carpenter, J. Cohnstaedt, B. Dodge, B. Parsons
Graduate Program Director MFA: N. Tenhaaf
Graduate Program Director MA: S. Parsons

The Department of Visual Art and Art History is one of the leading university art departments in Canada, offering comprehensive and innovative programs in studio art and art history to undergraduate and graduate students.

Programs of Study

The programs of study in the Department of Visual Art and Art History are based on a creative interaction among the historical, practical and critical/theoretical approaches to the visual arts supported within the context of a modern university. The programs, whether studio or art history, provide a strong foundation for those who wish to pursue further study and professional involvement in art and culture. The department offers programs leading to a BA, Honours BA or Honours BFA degree. In addition to courses in visual art and art history, students take courses within the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to complement and reinforce their studies. At the undergraduate level, students may complete a minor or double major in either studio or art history as part of their degree program. The department also offers programs leading to an MA, PhD in Art History and Visual Culture and MFA, PhD in contemporary studio practice.

Studio Visual Arts

The BFA Honours degree in studio art is a focused program of study that is enhanced by the intellectual environment and curricular opportunities of the university setting. The studio curriculum offers specialized instruction and practice in the understanding and creative production of traditional and innovative visual language of contemporary art. Areas of research and teaching expertise encompass sculpture, including traditional bronze casting and digital 3D output; digital and archival moving and still image production in the areas of photography and time based art, as well as traditional and contemporary approaches to painting, drawing and print media. Studio courses are designed to balance technical skills with concept development and independent, self-motivated creativity. The BFA program of study also requires students take a variety of art history courses over a period of four years. Studio curriculum is enhanced by exhibition opportunities for students at all levels in the Gales Gallery and the Special Project Gallery at York.

Studies Art History

The BA Honours degree is designed for students whose major interest is the history and theories of art.

The fields of specialization within the Art History program include: (1) Canadian & Indigenous Art, (2) Curatorial and Museological Studies, (3) Architectural Studies, and (4) Modern and Contemporary Art. Students incorporate research on non-Western topics, minority cultural practices and interdisciplinary issues and approaches within these fields. These four fields of study represent the significant areas of teaching and research strength within York’s Art History faculty members, and provide a frame within which students can pursue diverse theoretical and practical engagements within the study of art and visual culture.
Students intending to continue their studies beyond the undergraduate level in art history are advised that most graduate schools require reading facility in modern languages. Students concentrating in this area are urged to include at least one foreign language, as early as possible, in their program of study.

Note: not all courses listed are necessarily offered every year.