2014-15 University Calendar
Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar  2014-15  Faculty of Arts  Fine Arts: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts

Fine Arts: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts


The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts degree program provides students with comprehensive knowledge and practice in the field of visual arts. The core of the Visual Arts degree is a strong studio curriculum focusing on the ideas and technical processes of producing contemporary art. The fine arts curriculum is complemented through access to a broad liberal education emphasizing the development of effective academic writing and verbal communication and presentation skills.

Grounded in theory and practice, students develop aesthetic judgment, professional knowledge, disciplinary expertise, and the collaborative skills required to prepare them for employment. The degree will prepare students for further study, to be practicing artists, and for global citizenship.

The diverse needs of visual art students are met in a vibrant environment with outstanding facilities, studios, exhibition spaces, visiting artists, student exchange programs, and opportunities for working with the community. Personal and professional development is encouraged in the department’s relevant, engaging and inclusive Visual Arts degree.

Students can apply for a credential of Certificate or Diploma in Fine Arts as they complete those requirements in the course of their BFA degree.

Key features of the B.F.A., Visual Arts degree include the following:

The B.F.A., Visual Arts offers 1000- and 2000-level studio courses in the areas of ceramics, drawing, foundation in 2D and 3D studio, mixed media, digital media, painting, photography, print media and sculpture. These lower level courses are designed to develop expertise in a number of disciplines and cross-disciplinary work. Studio courses offer a combination of technical knowledge, creative thinking and critical content. There is flexibility within the structure of the program that allows students in third and fourth year to continue to take lower level, studio electives. This allows upper level students to continue to broaden their artistic understanding and skills, which, in turn, informs their third and fourth year art practice. Courses in Art History, Issues in Contemporary Art and Professional Practice complement the 1000- and 2000-level studio offerings.

The solid foundation in the visual arts that students gain after completing the lower level course requirements allows for more freedom in the upper level studios of the degree. The core of the 3000- and 4000-level advanced studio practice courses is an open format where students are able to work in a variety of studio disciplines within the same course. The student will work with a single or cross-disciplinary approach depending on their critical and creative concerns in relation to their art practice. In the final two semesters of the upper year, FINA 4300/4400 Advanced Studio Practice Thesis I and II are each worth 6 credits. This credit value will allow students to focus a greater amount of research and labour into their personal art practice while also giving them access to two instructors in each semester. This strong upper level studio core of the degree will be complemented by courses in a variety of areas. Art History will continue to offer curriculum in the upper levels concentrating on specific movements and periods. Students will also have access to such courses as Art in the Public Realm, and Artistic Practice in the Community. Special Topics in Studio Arts may be taken more than once for credit. Students may also draw from newly developed Cultural Studies and Interdisciplinary Expressive Arts courses.

Career Opportunities

Employers are looking for creative, innovative individuals with a well-rounded, advanced education that enables them to adapt to various environments. Recent studies by Statistics Canada have confirmed that cultural industries rely on high-quality, university-based education to ensure the excellence of its practitioners and facilitators.

Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to work as self-employed, professional artists. Students will also have the skills to excel in numerous Visual Arts related fields and industries such as museum and gallery work, art curation, advertising, electronic arts, web design, architecture, art therapy, theatre, TV, film, education, journalism, publishing, and graphics. In some of these areas, a B.F.A. is the stepping-stone to further studies such as specialization certificates or post-graduate studies in Visual Arts.

Visual Arts graduates will acquire skills to develop a career creating and exhibiting their own work. Specific course offerings in art professionalism will enable students to be self-employed in art-related fields (some of which are mentioned above) such as product design work, crafts, public art and murals. They will be able to capitalize on market opportunities and derive income from a variety of sources such as sales, royalties, consultation fees, copyright, and exhibition and lecture fees. Their success will come from an awareness of the need to manage their careers as self-employed individuals with a commitment to continuous personal development.

The visual arts field has always been eager to adopt and utilize new technologies such as imaging and audio software, digital video and web-based art. Visual artists are becoming more involved not only in the application of new technologies to art but also in their design. The degree program reflects this dynamic interaction between the arts and current and emerging technologies and prepares graduates for employment opportunities in the growing industry of the electronic arts.

Program Admission Requirements

In addition to KPU’s General university admission requirements, including the undergraduate-level English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

Portfolio Review

The portfolio submission will include:

Portfolios should be in one of the following digital formats. 

Portfolios should also include:

Portfolios should be sent or dropped off to:
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Fine Arts Department
Attention: Portfolio Review Committee, Spruce 218
12666-72 Ave.
Surrey, BC, V3W 2M8

For general inquiries about the program or the portfolio review process, contact the Chair of Fine Arts for assistance: FineArtsChair@kpu.ca.  

Students will be notified of the results of the portfolio review by the Office of Admissions.

Program Requirements

Students will achieve a B.F.A., Visual Arts by completing a minimum of 120 credit hours with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, plus a minimum grade of ‘C’ in all required courses. Successful entry into third year “Advanced Studio and Seminar I” will require a CGPA of 2.0 or higher plus a minimum grade of ‘B-’ in one second year studio course. In addition to satisfying all the essential requirements listed, students must complete at least 96 of the 120 credits in FINA/ARTH subjects, and at least 42 credits of FINA/ARTH at the 3rd and 4th year levels.

The following are program requirements of the B.F.A., Visual Arts:

All FINA/ARTH courses are 3 credits except FINA 4300 and 4400, which are both 6 credits.

1000 and 2000 Level

In the first 60 credits of the BFA program, all students must complete:

All of:
  ARTH 1120 History of Western Art: Prehistoric to Early Renaissance 3 credits
  ARTH 1121 History of Western Art: Renaissance to the 20th Century 3 credits
  One ENGL course numbered 1100 or higher 3 credits
  FINA 1100 Introduction to Drawing 3 credits
  FINA 1167 Introduction to Visual Culture: Look Now! 3 credits
  FINA 1175 Form, Structure and Materials 3 credits
  FINA 1200 Drawing II 3 credits
  FINA 2147 Issues in Contemporary Art I 3 credits
And at least 27 of 1000 and 2000 level studio electives:
  FINA 1110 Introduction to Painting 3 credits
  FINA 1130 Ceramics I 3 credits
  FINA 1131 Sculpture I 3 credits
  FINA 1135 Introduction to Digital Media 3 credits
  FINA 1142 Introduction to Print Media 3 credits
  FINA 1145 Monotype – The Painted Print 3 credits
  FINA 1170 Introduction to Film Photography 3 credits
  FINA 1210 Painting II 3 credits
  FINA 1230 Ceramics II 3 credits
  FINA 1231 Sculpture II 3 credits
  FINA 1242 Print Media II 3 credits
  FINA1270 Photography II 3 credits
  FINA 2135 Digital Media: Design in Contemporary Art 3 credits
  FINA 2235 Digital Media: Interactive Art on the Web 3 credits
  FINA 2270 Digital Photography 3 credits
  FINA 2300 Advanced Drawing I 3 credits
  FINA 2310 Advanced Painting I 3 credits
  FINA 2330 Ceramics III 3 credits
  FINA 2331 Sculpture III 3 credits
  FINA 2335 Digital Media: Video and Installation 3 credits
  FINA 2342 Advanced Print Media 3 credits
  FINA 2370 Photography III 3 credits
  FINA 2400 Advanced Drawing II 3 credits
  FINA 2410 Advanced Painting II 3 credits
  FINA 2430 Ceramics IV 3 credits
  FINA 2431 Sculpture IV 3 credits
  FINA 2442 Print Media IV 3 credits
  Including at least 3 credits of ARTH:
  ARTH 1130 Introduction to Film Studies 3 credits
  ARTH 2122 Art in Flux: The Modern period 3 credits
  ARTH 2124 Indigenous Art 3 credits
  ARTH 2126 Canadian Art 3 credits
  ARTH 2222 Art:1945 to the Present 3 credits

3000 and 4000 Level

In order to satisfy the requirements of the BFA, Visual Arts program, students must complete at least 42 upper-level ARTH/FINA credits of study including the following required courses:

All of:
  FINA 3100 Advanced Studio Practice and Seminar I 3 credits
  FINA 3111 Professional Practices 3 credits
  FINA 3200 Advanced Studio Practice and Seminar II 3 credits
  FINA 4300 Advanced Studio Practice and Thesis I 6 credits
  FINA 4400 Advanced Studio Practice and Thesis II 6 credits
And at least 6 credits of 3000/4000 ARTH:
  ARTH 3100 Special Topics in Art History (rotating topics, may be taken multiple times) 3 credits
  ARTH 3121 Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art 3 credits
  ARTH 3122 Art and the Age of Revolution 3 credits
  ARTH 3130 Film and the City 3 credits
  ARTH 3140 History of Photography 3 credits
  ARTH 3150 New Media in Art 3 credits
And at least 12 credits of 3000 level studio electives selected from the following:
  FINA 3110 Introduction to Curatorial Studies 3 credits
  FINA 3112 Public Art: Theory and Practice 3 credits
  FINA 3113 Subversive Art 3 credits
  FINA 3131 Wall Works 3 credits
  FINA 3133 Forming Stories 3 credits
  FINA 3135 Advanced Digital Media: Open Studio I 3 credits
  FINA 3147 Issues in Contemporary Art II 3 credits
  FINA 3150 Telling Lies Again - Making Narrative Art 3 credits
  FINA 3170 Advanced Film Photography 3 credits
  FINA 3201 Artistic practice in the Community 3 credits
  FINA 3202 Special Topics in Studio Arts (rotating topics, may be taken multiple times) 3 credits
  FINA 3235 Advanced Digital Media: Open Studio 2 3 credits
  FINA 3270 Advanced Digital Photography 3 credits
  FINA 3280 Performance Art I 3 credits
  FINA 3380 Performance Art II 3 credits


Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts.

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2014

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