Areas of Study

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General Studio (ASAG)

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. This listing is not considered authoritative. Please visit Access.SMU for authoritative course offerings including meeting times, professor, and more.

ASAG 1300: Observation
Seeing is not as simple as it looks. What people see, how they see, and how and why they chose to represent their experience of the world in a particular form and through a particular medium are fundamental questions for the artist. Students experiment with various media while exploring the history, theory, and application of these resources of representation in visual art; they learn the differences among looking, scanning, and seeing; and they encounter a range of resources, from theories of perspective in drawing and painting through 3-D modeling and digital simulations of reality. Corequisite: ASAG 1304.

ASAG 1304: Spaces
Our experience and understanding of space is tied to the fact that we ourselves occupy space and invest various kinds of spaces with meaning. Our expression of spaces through art may include a range of media and situations, from sculpted forms, constructions, architecture, and installations to two-dimensional renderings and virtual representations of space. In this course, the student will explore this multivalent conception of space and understand how our embodied conception of the world is made manifest through visual art. Corequisite: ASAG 1300.

ASAG 1308: Narrative
Narrative is the simple act of recounting a story. The ability to depict and connect events in an aesthetic and persuasive manner is at the heart of some of the most compelling visual art. This course introduces the student to a wide variety of media and issues that relate to art that includes — explicitly or implicitly — the dimension of time. This can be the literal time of a moving image (film, video, animation), the duration of a performance, the time required for the reading of a text, the depiction of an event through a single image, or a sequence of still images as found in the illustrated novel or comic strip. Prerequisite: ASAG 1300 and ASAG 1304. Corequisite: ASAG 1312.

ASAG 1310/ADV 2310: Word and Image, Art and Design: 1900-Present
Contemporary designers and artists create meaningful, persuasive, and expressive works through a combination of images and text. These works of graphic design and art shape the visual culture of every aspect of life, from the look of media and information networks to people’s experience of the cities in which they live. This course surveys the modern and contemporary history of works of art and design that demand to be read as much as seen, from the industrial age to the knowledge economy.

ASAG 1312: Systems 
In the course of modern and contemporary art, many artists have chosen to take a systematic approach toward making their art. Systems in art are a set of rules or constraints that function as a machine for making art. In this course, students encounter a wide range of systematic art practices, from the elegant serial works of impressionism to art that incorporates models taken from communication theory and linguistics. Students also explore the concept of systems in art drawn from the realm of social and political theory, where the work of artist may be done in collaboration with others in order to understand and possibly change social relations that characterize everyday life. Corequisite: ASAG 1308.

ASAG 1375: Art and Urbanism
There is a long history of artists making work in or about the city. This class draws from historical and theoretical models, including social sculpture, relational aesthetics, and social practice, to create works that are situational and participatory. Students from all levels and disciplines are welcome in this highly interdisciplinary class.

ASAG 3305: Art, Word, and Image in Contemporary Art (spring only)
Contemporary artists create meaningful and expressive art through the combination of images and text: artwork that demands to be read as much as seen. Students learn about the recent history of language in art and create of works of art for a variety of sites of display — real and virtual — such as the gallery, social media, printed ephemera, the fabric of the campus, and the city at large. Prerequisite: One 1300-level studio art course.

ASAG 3310: Art in the World
Works are made in the world of art and in the world of history, not in the world of school. Students study the world of art by visiting museums, galleries, notable architecture, public lectures, installations, symposia, etc. All student work is written or made in relation to the experiences in these venues.

ASAG 3315: Art and Social Practice
Research in a variety of areas that support practices in art outside the studio, including contemporary developments in criticism and theory, approaches to media, social and community contexts, and specific geographic or cultural contexts. Focused seminar discussion, research, and group projects.

ASAG 3325: Studio Workshop
An intensive investigation in arts by students engaged in independent work, group collaboration, and analytical study. Prerequisite: 15 credit hours in art or permission of instructor.

ASAG 3350, 5350: Art Colloquium: New York
Involves intensive analysis, discussion, and writing concerning works of art in museum collections and exhibitions, and in alternative exhibition spaces. Students study the philosophical as well as the practical to define and understand the nature of the art society produces and values. The colloquium meets in New York City for 2 weeks in January.

ASAG 3360: Color and the Visual Image 
Color systems of Munsell, Itten, Photoshop palettes, etc. are studied in the light of contemporary neurobiology and the capabilities of media. Klee, Albers, Matisse, and other masters of color focus the course on color modes. Prerequisite: 24 credit hours in art or permission of instructor.

ASAG 3370: Special Topics in Studio Art
To be announced by the Division of Art. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

ASAG 3380: Critical Issues 
A seminar for art majors in their 3rd year of studies. This course investigates topics in current critical theory in the arts as well as the historical context of their development. Readings are taken from philosophy, literary criticism, art theory, and art criticism. Prerequisite: 24 credit hours in art.

ASAG 3390: Group Junior Tutorial
A forum for art majors in the 3rd year of studies that facilitates the student’s ability to articulate his or her work as an artist and to defend and present it in a peer-group setting. Prerequisite: ASAG 3380.

ASAG 5001: B.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition (for students who entered prior to fall 2010)
Participation in the qualifying exhibition is required for all candidates for the degree of B.F.A. in art.

ASAG 5100, 5200, 5300: Internship in Studio Art
Students work in internship positions that relate to their individual studio studies, including internships in teaching, in galleries, as assistants to established artists, or with businesses in the arts. Students should sign up for 1, 2, or 3 credit hours for internships of 3, 6, or 10 hours per week. Internships are supervised and evaluated by a member of the Division of Art faculty. Prerequisite: Approval of departmental chair or adviser.

ASAG 5310: Professional Practice in Art
For art majors in their final year of studies. A practical and informed approach to understanding the competencies required to sustain practice as an artist beyond the undergraduate experience. Students learn how to negotiate the professional aspects of art and to identify and take advantage of a host of opportunities. Topics include establishing a studio; applying for residencies and grants; exhibiting work; intellectual property law; the contemporary art market; and alternative models of production, distribution, and exchange of art. Prerequisite: ASAG 3390.

ASAG 5315: Art Capstone Project
A culmination of the study of art in support of the production of a body of work for exhibition. Required for the B.A. in art and the B.F.A. in art. Prerequisite: ASAG 3390.

ASAG 5325: Studio Workshop
An intensive investigation in arts by students engaged in independent work, group collaboration, and analytical study. Prerequisite: 15 credit hours in art or permission of instructor.

Areas of Study



Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies


General Studio (ASAG)

Ceramics (ASCE)

Drawing (ASDR)

Digital Hybrid Media (ASIM)

Photography (ASPH)

Printmaking (ASPR)

Painting (ASPT)

Sculpture (ASSC)


Faculty and Staff


Pollock Gallery

Art in Dallas

Travel Opportunities

Student Resources

Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Meadows Academy for Young Artists

Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Communication Studies

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts