Senior Studies, Art 343


  • Attendance and participation is mandatory. This includes all class related events – guest lectures, openings, advisor meetings, tech meetings, critiques, clean-ups, etc.
  • Guest artist lectures begin at 7:00 pm SHARP! Being late is the same as missing class – it is impolite to interrupt the guest during their presentation.
  • You are allowed ONE absence before your grade is affected.
  • Each student is required to meet with his/her faculty advisor on a weekly basis.   Monday/Wednesday 1:00-3:00 is the scheduled time for such meetings.



Midterm Critique:

  • Critiques will occur the week before spring break.
  • Students will be critiqued by an Art-343 faculty member other than their advisor.
  • Critiques will count for 20% of final grade.
  • A grade of D+ or below will require student to meet with the senior studies faculty to discuss the possibility of not being included in the senior exhibit and not graduating.

Final Faculty Critique:

  • Each student will be scheduled to meet individually with all Art-343 faculty members to critique/discuss/review their work in the exhibit. Critiques will take place during the regular scheduled M/W class times; the schedule will be sent in an email. Final Questions Form is due at Final Fac. Crit.
  • A final grade of C- or better in the course is required to graduate with a major in Art. All studio faculty are invited to give input regarding grades although the final decision is up to Art-343 faculty.

Final Peer Critique:

  • Each student will be reviewed by his/her peers. These all-student group critiques will occur in the galleries and are scheduled for one evening during the run of each show.

Studio Etiquette:
Adherence to studio policies, safety guidelines, and studio etiquette is a requirement of this course.

Artist Statement:
Each student is required to write an artist statement, which will accompany their work in the exhibition.

Studio Walk-Through:
A studio walk-through and inspection will take place during the scheduled final exam period. Studios must be cleaned and well organized in advance of this event. Grades will not be finalized until after the walk-through is complete.

Art Documentation Requirement:
You are required to professionally document your work for inclusion in the departmental visual archive. See the online submission form. In addition, you will be photographed next to your work during your final critique and required to leave a copy of your resume on file with the art department. You will also need to create an online portfolio/artist website with your work, bio, and resume. See Art Documentation section for more information.

Departmental Distinction:
After the final exhibition, all studio faculty will determine which student(s) will receive Departmental Distinction to be noted in the program notes at commencement. All students are considered for distinction; there is no formal application process.

The 5th Year Emerging Artist Program:
The objective of the 5th Year Emerging Artist program is to offer studio art graduates of St. Olaf College a fifth year intensive studio experience in their area of expertise to better prepare them for graduate school or a professional career in the arts. Liberal arts college graduates with art degrees need to develop strong, cohesive portfolios of independently conceived artwork to compete for places in graduate school, the work place, and professional galleries. The Emerging Artist program is designed for self-motivated art students who wish to make visual arts the core of their professional future.

Senior art majors wishing to apply for the 5th Year Emerging Artist Program should meet with their Art-343 advisor to discuss their application. Advisors will recommend candidly whether or not the student should apply and may provide feedback on a draft of the letter of application. See appendix for application information.

RECOMMENDED TEXTS –  Available at the Library

  • Margaret Lazzari, The Practical Handbook For The Emerging Artist (2010, Enhanced Second Edition, Wadsworth Press)
  • Linda Weinitraub, In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art (2003, New York: Distributed Art Publishers)
  • Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit (2003, New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks)
  • Other readings as provided by faculty.