University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Freshman Foundations Program

Art making exists within culture, within society – it is never an isolated act. The advantage of the UB Department of Art Foundations Program is that it provides a rich starting point for idea development, material experimentation, technical skills, critical thinking, media savvy and reading/verbal skills not only in the assessment of artwork but also of its place in society. The solid base that is built enables the student to understand and participate in contemporary art practices, gaining the vital knowledge necessary for taking on future leadership roles in the making of culture. The intellectual and production rigor of the program not only reflects that of the department but is in keeping with the goals of a demanding research institution.


The UB Department of Art Foundations Program is a series of five interrelated studio courses that are required during the freshman year for all intended art majors. ART 105: Art and the Everyday and ART 110: Constructed Body are taken in the spring semester. ART 120: Public Space, ART 135: Self and Ritual and ART 140: Time-based Strategies are taken during the fall semester.

These courses establish a theoretical and technical base for the student’s subsequent educational experience in the Department of Art. In this program every major medium offered within the department is explored: drawing, sculpture, painting, design, performance, installation, video, sound, electronic media and print media. Each course covers a range of media that are integrated into a series of related projects. Each course is based on a thematic concept that opens up a broad exploration of related historic and contemporary ideas. For example, the central theme of ART 110: Constructed Body deals with key aspects of the human body, its physicality and symbolism through both depiction and metaphor. In this course, projects involving wearable art, figure drawing, performance and sculpture commingle to investigate this topic.

The studio courses are supported by two lecture-based classes. ART 150: Visual Theory investigates cultural theories related to art. ART 200: Department of Art Speaker Series is a program of lectures by visiting artists, designers, media artists and theorists from across the country and abroad, engaged in the field of contemporary art and visual studies.


202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Vimeo
  • Follow us on Instagram