Introduction to Painting

The Painting Program provides students with an intensive opportunity for developing their skills and interests within Painting's traditions and possibilities. The program is a balance of studio investigations and self-discovery that encourages both artistic and cognitive growth. Students can concentrate on the discipline of Painting, or pursue a curriculum integrating other disciplines and media.

Blocks of time devoted to studio practice will be rewarded as students see their aesthetic and philosophical ideas come to fruition in creative work. Students will learn to pose questions to themselves and to seek out the answers by picking up their paint brush. As a Senior in Painting, the reward will be the culmination of a dynamic, solid body of work that is ready for exhibition.

The Painting curricula address both traditional and nontraditional painting practice. Beginning Painting (a foundation painting course) introduces students to traditional painting technique in both oil and water-based acrylic. Painting issues, such as building the illusion of space on a two-dimensional surface, is explored through value, color design, art history/contemporary painting examples and working from life in the studio. As the semester progresses, beginning painters take the first step into building more personal iconography and content. A variety of materials, techniques, surfaces and philosophies of working are discussed in lecture, demonstration, and in both individual and group critique. The initial investment of artist brushes and materials made at this level are tempered with use in Intermediate/ Advanced classes.

Intermediate Painting builds on Beginning Painting’s exploration by introducing varied approaches to working. Here, students are encouraged to explore uses of non-traditional materials as well as encaustic, fresco, rabbit skin glue, gold-leaf, and other historic traditional painting media outside the usual realm of oil or acrylic painting. Intermediate Painters continue to define their voice as “visual poets” by exploring content-related issues in their work. This course does not define what to paint but how to communicate with paint and how different approaches/ways of working, materials, etc. play a part in building a vocabulary in which to construct one’s ideas.

Advanced and Senior Painting concentrates around proposed semester work and builds on past knowledge and experience in painting. Advanced work may explore traditional painting or address multidisciplinary/ interdisciplinary concerns, installation, etc. Work ranges from realistic to abstract to conceptual, depending on the student’s interest and research. Advanced students are encouraged to exhibit outside the safety of the university environment at this point, as part of the class structure. Issues of professional development are encouraged and discussed. Work is fine tuned for exhibition.

Degrees granted in Painting include both a BA and BFA. Students can also choose a Minor in Painting as their secondary emphasis.

UAA’s Painting Program graduates artists who demonstrate professional skill, self-discipline and knowledge of their place within the larger community. Painting graduates continue to work as studio artists; others find commercial applications for their visual skills; still others pursue graduate school and teaching.

Many UAA Painting students have gone on to further success in the field of art. Their work is selected for both regional/ national museum and gallery exhibition. Many students have gone on to enter MFA programs throughout the United States, such as Rutgers, Pratt, University of New Mexico, UCLA and others. UAA Painting Alumni artwork has been purchased for museum collections, as well.

Painting Studio

Studio facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art easels, painting carts, and tools of the craft. The large studio itself has high ceilings, good ventilation, and huge windows that look out over the beauty of Alaska’s wilderness (and provide easy access for moose to view the painters nose-to-nose, as well).

Students are supplied with lockers to store their painting materials, and bins to store their artwork. Advanced students can be assigned additional storage space, as it becomes available. Larger lockers are available for rent through the Art Office.

In the studio, a large dry rack is a temporary destination for wet paintings. A Mac computer serves students in their painting research. Several contemporary art publications are openly available for passive learning and ideas for new work. These are updated monthly as new magazines/periodicals arrive. The painting studio also has a small reference section for books on technique and artists. Handouts on technique, history, color, etc. line the walls alongside key articles of interest to the painter and photographs of students past and present.

Facilities are equipped with ample lighting for night work as well as tables for passive learning and table work. Hand tools, etc. are readily available for the student at any hour of the day in the painting studio. Use of power equipment is available at assigned lab hours in the sculpture studio. Multi-disciplinary work in Painting that requires the use of other studios can be arranged.

Studio Location

The Painting Studio is located on the University of Alaska Anchorage Campus on the first floor of the Arts Building, Room 102.

Studio Phone

The Painting Studio is equipped with a cost-free telephone for local calls or student-related emergencies. The Painting Studio telephone number is 907-786-1352.

Lab Hours

The Painting Studio lab hours may vary over the academic year but generally, the studio is open daily during non-class hours until 2 a.m. each semester. The studio is closed Sunday afternoons (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.) during the semester.