Visual Art Resources
Students have access to a wealth of software resources, in addition to laser cutters, water-jet cutters, 3D printers, large format ink-jet printing, CNC fabrication and virtual/augmented reality platforms. The Digital Art Studio has been designed to let your imagination run wild.
Referred to by some as “the crown jewel” of the building because of its sweeping views of Jackson’s Garden, cathedral ceiling, abundant natural light, and 1600 square feet of work space, the new Drawing Studio rivals some of the most prestigious academies in the country and abroad. The Studio is equipped with a state of the art Creston projection and speaker system, a Sentry Air System hood for sealing drawings with spray fixative, motorized shades over 2 large skylights, fully dimming overhead lights, and central track lighting for full light control. The 2 walls of windows offers the kind of steady, soft, northern exposure natural light prized by artists for centuries and is perfect for studying value and form. Our collection of real skeletons, human and animal skulls, and plaster casts and busts are housed in this room for student use.
The newly renovated 3-room Painting wing on the third floor features 2 connected painting studios and an art supply room. The main classroom has a state of the art Creston projection and speaker system, track lighting, fully dimming overhead lights, and abundant natural light. Advanced Painting, Special Projects in Painting, and Senior Thesis students work in independent studios in the adjoining room with movable walls for extra privacy and versatility. Connected to the Painting Studio on the other side is an art supply room that houses all materials needed for painting, provided by the Union Art Department, including paints, brushes, stretcher bars, canvas rolls, and heavy papers. There is also a 4 x 8 foot table under the canvas and paper roll rack for building and stretching canvases. There is a state of the art ventilation system in both Painting studios and a Sentry Air System spray hood in the larger room. Both Painting studios look out to the Nott Memorial in the center of campus.
Photo 1 and part of Photo 2 are black and white film photography coupled with making hand-made silver prints processed in chemicals and finished with proper washing and drying. Most colleges have abandoned film photography and silver printing in favor of easier digital photography and inkjet prints. Students at Union find the more formal endeavor of film photography and darkroom printing exciting and challenging, and it certainly leads to a better education about the pursuit of photography. At the same time our color photography class which utilizes digital methods and has been supported with a new digital photography studio with individual workstations of Mac computers. Also vastly improved and expanded is our Photography Shooting Studio, with sophisticated lighting including high end studio strobes for students to utilize.
Our newly renovated printmaking studios are housed in a sunny and well-lit space, overlooking Jackson Garden. The studio offers several printmaking media including: Relief Printmaking (Japanese woodcut, linocut, western woodcut, linocut, monotype, printing from xerox transfers, collagraph, chiaroscuro, multiple plate color; Etching (traditional techniques as well as polymer photogravure which essentially is a photo/etching technique and also drypoint as well as acid based techniques for making etchings: line etch, aquatint, soft ground, sugar lift, polymer photogravure printmaking; Lithography (both stone and plate). The studio includes three etching presses, a lithography press, an aquatint box and hot plate. A separate acid room which contains a vertical tank and ferric chloride offers a safe space for etching techniques. A printmaking darkroom allows students to create work using photopolymer plates.
Sculpture and 3D Design Studio
The newly renovated 1500 square foot 3D Design Studio is used primarily by Sculpture 1 for work in clay, plaster, and stone. The 2000 square foot Sculpture Studio is used by Sculpture 2, 3 and Independent Study students for more advanced techniques and projects. It’s fully equipped for metal work, with 4 separate welding stations. Visual Arts students for any classes, assignments or projects requiring wood fabrication use this newly renovated Wood shop. Each of the new studio spaces are equipped with powerful built-in fume and dust extraction systems and numerous safety features including easily accessible kill switches for all power.
Additional Student Resources
All visual arts class materials are supplied by the Department of Visual Arts.
SENIOR STUDIOS & STUDENT LOUNGE
The Student Lounge on the third floor is reserved for Visual Arts majors and minors, housing several floor to ceiling art-book-stocked bookshelves, refrigerator, microwave, and table. Attached is a studio area that seniors adjust to their personal preferences each year. Each senior gets their own area with ample wall space, easel, drafting table, and any other necessary equipment. Both rooms have skylights providing natural light.
The CoLab is a technology friendly space for Studio Art and Art History majors and minors to collaborate with each other and with any student currently enrolled in any art class. It features large work / meeting tables, soft seating, general art working materials, and open computers, as well as whiteboards and brainstorming space.
ARTstor is a digital library of approximately 550,000 images in the areas of art, architecture, humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. It is available to Union College students and staff as a free service.
The Crowell and West, in the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts, is a 1,400 square foot art gallery with 12 foot high ceilings, combined into one space. The longest stretch of wall is 34 feet long, making it possible to show large scale works. In a typical year we showcase two professional artist exhibitions, and two exhibitions of student work. Some of our featured artists have been Nancy Borowick, ’07, Takuji Hamanaka, Partick Healy, Jack Howard-Potter, ’97, Mike Lyon, Claire Sherman, Yasu Shibata, Stephen Pentak, ’73, and Didier William. We host receptions and artist talks regularly throughout the academic year.
The Mandeville Gallery holds exhibitions of national and international artists with a focus on interdisciplinary teaching and is located on the second floor of the Nott Memorial in the center of the Union College Campus.