Robert Morrison Sculpture

The sculpture program offers a laboratory for the investigation and manipulation of the physical world. The exploration begins with materials and objects and extends through the conceptual realm of ideas and personal expression. The purpose of the program is to provide an atmosphere in which students and professional artist faculty work together, engage in critical dialogue, experiment, work with our hands, create and learn.

Sculpture - above all art disciplines - is comprehensive and open ended in materials and approach. This allows for all forms of creative expression. The tradition of sculpture has expanded to encompass every possible material and context for the expression of ideas in three-dimensional space. Our program encourages the thoughtful integration of concept and medium cross-disciplinary innovation and experimentation are highly encouraged.

The curriculum is based on the belief that students must have both the traditional tools and intellectual abilities to explore and develop their own artistic style and aesthetic sensibilities. Courses provide knowledge in the tools, techniques and formal principles underlying the production of sculpture in contemporary practice, as well as placing emphasis on conceptual development and visual communication.

ART 216: Sculpture I, an introduction to three-dimensional visual expression using studio projects to explore fundamental principles of sculpture. Assignments foster hands-on appreciation of materials and craftsmanship, as well as provide an introduction to how objects convey content and meaning. Projects include general wood construction techniques, welding and cold forming steel, and the use of ready-mades. Students are instructed in the safe operation of the stationary machines in the wood studio, including the panel saw, table saw, band saw, miter saw, sanders and drill press. In the welding studio, students are instructed in the fundamental practices of oxy-acetylene welding and cold forming. A variety of hand tools are instructed and used including but not limited to jig saw, pad and belt sander, drill and pneumatic brad gun. No prerequisites or previous experience necessary. All are welcome.

ART 217: Sculpture II continues an exploration of three-dimensional visual expression using studio projects, image presentations, reading assignments, group discussions and critique. Ideologies of sculpture are explored through various traditional and nontraditional materials and fabrication techniques. Students use the general shop, wood and welding studios introduced in Sculpture I to create sculpture and address the aesthetic of their work from both the material/craftsmanship and conceptual points of view. Emphasis is placed on understanding and articulating the formal and conceptual aspects of an art work. Prerequisite: ART 216.

ART 317R: Intermediate Sculpture students work to identify personal objectives, augment and fine-tune technical abilities and develop a strong work ethic. Concepts and materials of the sculptural object are inextricably connected. Reading, group discussion and image presentations supplement studio work and critique. Focus is on launching students to become self-directed. This course varies in materials instruction and utilization each semester. Materials and techniques can include but are not limited to the following: Lost wax casting including wax fabrication, two-piece plaster molds, alginate mold making, ceramic shell building, metal casting (bronze), divesting, metal finishing and patina. Metal fabrication including gas welding/forming/cutting, electric welding such as MIG and TIG, plasma cutting, grinding tools, horizontal band saw, benders and rollers. Wood construction including wood studio general stationary machines and hand tools. Mixed media including cloth and paper mache; various mold making and casting techniques including plaster, silicone, latex, alginate, wax, and resin; and found-objects and ready-mades. Course can be repeated up to six credits. Prerequisites: ART 216 and 217.

ART 416R: Advanced Sculpture students are encouraged to address any given assignment through a range of material realization with an emphasis on self-directed individual expression. Reading, group discussion and image presentations supplement studio work and critiques. Importance is placed on the intent, content and context of the object in contemporary art making practice. Course can be repeated up to six credits. Prerequisites: ART 216, 217 and 317R.

The sculpture facility is a 4,318-square-foot classroom and workshop located in Room 21 on the ground floor of the Church Fine Arts building. It includes a large general studio, a well-equipped woodshop, metal working/welding shop and an additional outdoor foundry designed for ceramic shell bronze casting. A large selection of hand tools and stationary equipment are offered.

  • Jet 14" woodworking band saw
  • Jet 6"x89" oscillating edge sander
  • Milwaukee 8" sliding panel saw
  • Powermatic 66 10" table saw
  • Bosch router and Jessem router table
  • Delta drill press
  • Craftsman 15" drill press
  • Delta BOSS oscillating spindle sander
  • Jet bench grinder
  • Grizzly 48" pan & box brake
  • Pexto hydraulic 16 gauge sheet metal shear
  • General machinery English Wheel
  • Pittsburg compact bender
  • Grizzly swivel-mast metal cutting band saw
  • Parks 18" wood/metal band saw
  • Horizontal/vertical metal cutting band saw
  • Husky 300 vertical mill
  • Craftsman metal lathe
  • 2-ton bridge crane