Art History & Visual Studies

Art History offers students a wide range of exploration from the ancient art of the Mediterranean and Middle East, to Renaissance, medieval and indigenous art, and to the study of modern and avant-garde art history of the past century and the very latest in contemporary art practices from both local and far-reaching global contexts. In addition, visual studies courses offered in film, photography, architecture, and new media history and art theory, together with Special Topics seminars focused on key art and visual culture movements, work to compliment Fine Arts studio courses centering on similar themes, while offering dynamic breadth courses to all KPU students. Students will explore the social, economic, political, geographic and cultural influences on art and visual culture in both lecture and seminar formats. Discussion and student participation are promoted in the study of art history through small class size and group work.


Digital Media

Digital Media introduces students to digital imaging in the field of visual art. Students learn to use basic software in both a lab setting and an open studio. They practice technical fundamentals in digital software while expanding their artistic expression and interests. The artwork created reflects the historical and conceptual elements of digital technologies in contemporary art.



Painting and Drawing

Painting and Drawing is a dynamic part of the Fine Arts program. Technical aspects of these areas are addressed in the first year courses through various projects involving subject matter such as still life, landscape, the figure and self-portraiture. Students expand their understanding of the creative process through class critiques, discussions about historical and contemporary art, slide presentations and gallery visits. Advanced courses focus on developing students' abilities to explore personal, conceptual and experimental approaches to painting and drawing, including the use of digital and mixed media. Students are required to investigate and research alternative forms of expression as they continue to develop and re-evaluate their own strategies. To assist in this investigation the courses address contemporary and historic art practices.



Print Media

Print Media examines the historical and contemporary role of print in visual arts. In addition to acquiring professional skills, students will develop their conceptual interests and visual languages through a wide variety of media including intaglio, relief, screen-printing, and monotype. In advance print media course students will explore the ideas and practices of printmaking as an interdisciplinary media and investigate the possibilities of extending it into other art forms such as print installation, artists’ books, and multiples.




Photography courses expose students to techniques and concepts in digital photography, and a wide range of black-and-white photographic techniques. Projects cover basic to advanced level technical skills involved with photography including lighting, camera, darkroom and digital photo practices. Through lectures, workshops, field trips, critiques and group discussions, students explore issues relevant to historical and contemporary practices in Photography. Students have the opportunity to work with digital media encompassing still and time-based visual art, as well as installation. They will apply this knowledge to interdisciplinary projects throughout the entire Fine Arts program.


Sculpture and 3D Studies

Sculpture and Three Dimensional Studies provides an excellent foundation in the basic concepts, materials, methods and history of three-dimensional inquiry within contemporary Fine Arts and Design. There is an emphasis on the blending of theory and practice whereby students are directed to explore the nature of materials and processes while critically assessing the results. The advanced classes provide ample opportunity to pursue personal interests, and in many cases take the form of public art and functional design projects. The classes are small and taught in well- equipped studios with technical assistance.




Ceramics emphasizes the integration of ceramic forms, surfaces and materials in the development of a personal style, and focuses on originality and expressiveness. Students receive a strong foundation in technical processes related to a wide range of forming and firing methods.



Issues in Contemporary Art

This course focuses on theoretical issues relevant to the production and reception of visual art and popular culture in the last 25 years, including debates around semiotics, modernism/postmodernism, feminism(s), postcolonialism, and the attendant politics of identities produced through structures of race, class, gender and sexual preferences/practices. We also consider the emergence of new technologies and their use in art practices. As well, exhibition venues (including commercial galleries, public galleries, artist run centers and public art) will be addressed. The course is structured around a series of required readings. There are regular presentations by the instructor, facilitation of readings and discussion of issues by class participants, viewing of relevant slides, videos, films and field trips to look at public art and exhibitions in commercial and publicly funded galleries.