Visual Arts studies include an intensive series of studio, art history, and general education courses that prepare students for transfer, professional work, or life-long learning.

The Visual Arts curriculum is designed around the basic skills and knowledge needed by artists preparing for work in the fields of fine or commercial art and also for those considering careers in education.

Visual Art Disciplines


Ceramics

Ceramics is an ancient art form, perhaps the most ancient. In some cases it is the only record available from ancient civilizations.

Yes, it is utilitarian--coffee cups and such. It also can be highly sculptural, a flowing art form reflecting both the precision of the potter's wheel and the nuances of hand building--sometimes combining both in the same work.

For more information about ceramics, contact Susanne French (209) 384-6064.

Ceramics 
Ceramics student 
Ceramics 

Printmaking

Printmaking involves the ancient ritual of transferring ink to paper. The beginning course, Art 20A, involves the fundamental processes, including relief and intaglio methods. Advanced courses include color printmaking techniques and lithography.

Students strive for consistency in producing their press runs, but subtle hand-made variations ensure the finished prints possess an artistic quality.

For more information about printmaking at Merced College, contact Louisa Benhissen at (209) 384-6063 or louisa.benhissen@mccd.edu

Printmaking 
Printmaking 

Painting

Sitting in a first-semester painting class, it is sometimes difficult to figure out which is more intimidating: the blank canvas, or the talented student at the next easel.

MC offers classes for all levels of talent and in a variety of media, including watercolor, oil, and acrylic. Students soon discover the instructors are patient and fellow students are encouraging. Gradually the blank canvas takes on a life of its own and changes the life of the painter also.

For more information about painting at MC, contact Louisa Benhissen at (209) 384-6063 or louisa.benhissen@mccd.edu

painting 
Painting 
Painting 

Drawing

Art 24A - Drawing is a breadth requirement course introducing students to the principles, theories, and techniques of drawing and composition. Majors and non-majors explore foundation-level concepts in a series of assignments designed to give students a hands-on understanding.

Art 26 - Figure Drawing is a requirement for art majors and involves drawing the human form with models used in both rapid and extended studies.

For more information about drawing courses, contact Louisa Benhissen at (209) 384-6063 or louisa.benhissen@mccd.edu

Drawing
Students in Ralph Nena's Art 24 class, use watercolors to portray three dimensions.
drawing 
Students in Art 24, Drawing and Composition, encourage large-scale portraits to take life.
drawing
Instructor Deborah Dague-Barr explains foreshortening to students in Figure Drawing

Sculpture

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of the sculpting process. A variety of materials explore methods and techniques related to clay, wire, model building, mixed media, wax into cast bronze, or wood and stone carving.

Many individual styles of work from realism to abstraction are encouraged as students become familiar with some of the leading sculptors of the 20th Century.

For more information on sculpture, art history, or design, contact Louisa Benhissen at (209) 384-6063 or louisa.benhissen@mccd.edu

Sculpture
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Sculpture
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Sculpture
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Digital Art

The future is now.  Students in Art 40A, Digital Art, use computers to blend photographs, hand-built images and imaginations. The results can fool the eye. Sometimes the results merely enhance reality. Often it is difficult to differentiate between reality and fantasy. Although experience in drawing, photography and design helps, an open mind and spirit of adventure are more important to success.

For more information on digital art classes, contact Alana Perlin at (209) 384-6592 or alana.perlin@mccd.edu.

Digital Art by Shelby Boyd
Art-d 42a, Shelby Boyd
Digial Art by Wamkou Moua
Art-d 42a, Wamkou Moua
Digital Art by Serenity Dickenson
Art-d 42a, Serenity Dickenson

Design

Art 15 - Fundamentals of Design in Art is an important foundation class for all other studies in the visual arts. Course work analyzes and applies the theories of the visual elements; line, shape, mass, space, time, motion, light, color, and texture.

The organizing principles of design arrange the elements of design into meaningful order. These principles are the general guidelines for effective visual communication. Through a variety of studio design projects, students learn the importance of each element and principle. The principles of design include; unity, variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, compositional substructure, rhythm, scale and proportion.

Design professions and media studied include; drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, digital arts, film, computer graphics, illustration, sculpture, crafts, architecture, interior design, fashion, and environmental design.

For more information about Art 15, contact Louisa Benhissen at (209) 384-6063 or louisa.benhissen@mccd.edu

design
Ken Willardson
design
David Shirey
Placeholder image
Jennifer Alexander works on color multiples.