Studio Art

Studio Art Minor


Canisius University offers a minor in studio art, and classes are open to all students. Studio art courses, and the Studio Arts minor, is designed to provide students with a program of study that will complement major studies in other academic departments. Classes will allow students hands-on experience with creative problem solving and opportunities to integrate artmaking with their careers and lives.

Studio arts courses will introduce students to artmaking, or will build on students continued interest in the visual arts. Courses will allow students to explore a variety of disciplines, and a range of materials and techniques will provide a wide scope of art experiences. Students also have the opportunity to learn from lectures by contemporary artists on and off campus and to visit art exhibits at local galleries and museums. Viewing, critiquing, and writing about art give students a solid grounding for confidently and articulately speaking and writing about their own work and that of their peers.

Students are encouraged to exhibit their work both on and off campus in special events, such as Ignatian Scholarship Day, and in gallery spaces on campus.

This program is intended to prepare students interested in art as a profession for further undergraduate study at an art school or in a major degree program. Additionally, a studio arts minor is an advantage to any student seeking employment in a variety of fields by enhancing critical thinking and visual communication skills applicable to any walk of life.


All students should have an advisor in the minor and should contact the Program Director of the Fine Arts Programs directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one. All minors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their minor electives, developing their entire academic program, and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Minors are an important part of the undergraduate curriculum.  If students declare a minor by sophomore year, they can usually complete it in a timely manner.  Students should work with their advisor to determine if it is possible that the minor can be completed by graduation.  

To receive a minor, a student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their major(s) and from other minors, and students must complete more than 50% of the coursework required for the minor at Canisius. Please note that “ancillary/supporting” courses required for a major may still count as distinct courses as long as the remaining coursework still meets the 30 credit-hours required for a major. For more information about minor policies, please see the Declaring Majors and Minors page in the catalog.


Studio art courses place emphasis on both technical and conceptual skills through lectures, demonstrations, practice, and critique. The minor requires six courses (18 credit hours):

Required Courses
FAS 110Two-Dimensional Design3
FAS 120Drawing I3
FAS 130Three-Dimensional Design3
Additional FAS Courses
Select three of the following:9
FAS 131
Sculpture I
FAS 141
Digital Photography
FAS 142
Travel Photography
FAS 150
FAS 160
Printmaking I
FAS 170
Studio Painting I
FAS 220
Comics Workshop
Total Credits18

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Studio Art students will use visual design terminology in speaking and writing.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Define the elements and principles of design in visual art through group discussion and critique.
  • Objective B: Write an artist’s statement, reflective paper or critique using technical terms to communicate ideas using technical terms.

Learning Goal 2

Studio Art students will develop technical skills.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Utilize hand/eye coordination to render from life realistically
  • Objective B: Utilize skills specific to different studio disciplines such as woodworking, printmaking, carving, sculpting or photography to create work in those fields.

Learning Goal 3

Studio Art students will use written and verbal skills to articulate concepts and techniques critically.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Explicate the rationale behind their work materially, conceptually and formally in an artist statement
  • Objective B: Engage in critical discourse on their work and the work of their peers during group critiques.

Learning Goal 4

Studio Art students will describe developments and trends in art history and contemporary art via artist statement and group critique.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Position their work within a contemporary artistic framework and compare their work within larger art historical themes both written and orally.
  • Objective B: Evaluate any given piece of art within a contemporary framework and find its fundamental historical significance during group critiques and in written statements or reflection papers.

Learning Goal 5

Studio Art students will experience placing work on public display.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Locate galleries or venues appropriate for the display of their work.
  • Objective B: Curate and hang their work for exhibition.


FAS 110 Two-Dimensional Design 3 Credits

Investigation of the formal elements and principles of design in two dimensions. Hands-on studio environment with computer-based assignments will involve students in practical and creative solutions to design problems.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: fall, spring & summer.

FAS 120 Drawing I 3 Credits

Investigation of the formal, material, and historical fundamentals of drawing. Exercises with dry and wet media progress through perceptual rendering, collage, narrative, and imaginative drawing.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: fall, spring & summer.

FAS 130 Three-Dimensional Design 3 Credits

Investigation of the formal elements and principles of design in three dimensions and their relationship with the space they occupy. Particular emphasis is placed on material and presentation.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: fall & summer.

FAS 131 Sculpture I 3 Credits

Emphasis on traditional techniques. Assignments cover specific materials (plaster, wood, styrofoam, metal, paper) and particular techniques (armature construction, wood working, riveting, and mold making).

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: occasionally.

FAS 141 Digital Photography 3 Credits

Review basic photo skills as they relate to the operation of digital cameras. Students are introduced to the digital workflow using Photoshop to develop a personal style that is reflected in a printed and digital portfolio. No prior photo experience necessary.

Restriction: must have a D-SLR camera (digital single lens reflex camera).

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: fall, spring & summer; online.

FAS 142 Travel Photography 3 Credits

Learn how to navigate location shoots and capture the spirit of the specific culture in front of you. Find the right location shots, maximize the light situations regardless of climate or time of day and learn proper ethical behavior for photojournalists. Review basic camera operations for both film and digital picture taking. Additional travel fee required, please contact the instructor for more information. Fee covers travel, lodging, and meals.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: every spring.

FAS 150 Color 3 Credits

Combines in-depth color theory with design and composition making learned through traditional studio set- ups and contemporary computer applications.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: occasionally.

FAS 160 Printmaking I 3 Credits

Introduction to the history and processes of basic printmaking, including relief printing, monoprints, pronto plate lithography, "image-on" intaglio, and other photo- sensitive and non-toxic processes.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: occasionally.

FAS 170 Studio Painting I 3 Credits

Investigation of the formal, material, and historical fundamentals of painting. Exercises in watercolor and acrylic paint progress through grisaille, monochromatic, limited palette, and full palette treatments of subject matters.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

Offered: occasionally.

FAS 220 Comics Workshop 3 Credits

This course is intended to give students hands-on experience writing and drawing comics with an emphasis on storytelling techniques unique to the medium. We will explore a wide variety of examples from the comics canon in order to illustrate abstract techniques discussed in Scott McCloud's Making Comics. Students will be given drawing assignments in order to develop an understanding of the workflow and creative tools needed to make comics as well as the sense of storytelling flow and of symbolic shorthand necessary in order to become an efficient comic artist.

Offered: occasionally.

FAS 241 Intermediate Photography 3 Credits

For students with some experience with photography. Students should have a basic level understanding of camera function and an introductory level functionality in Photoshop.

Offered: occasionally.

FAS 496 Internship 3 Credits

Internships require an application and approval by the chair and the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the chair & associate dean.

Offered: occasionally.