You have come to the right place if you are interested in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, metalsmithing, printmaking, papermaking, weaving, drafting, and more. The department of art at ISU offers a wide range of programs and provides students with the education and studio area needed to accomplish any sort of artistic activity.
We pride ourselves on giving students the freedom to express themselves and expand their artistic knowledge. In the art department we provide hands-on training and our teachers are extremely experienced and skilled. Here is a detailed list of the classes and specialties that are offered in the art department.
The ceramic studio is located on upper campus apart from the art department. It is housed in a spacious 7,000 sq. ft. historical rock building erected in 1839 by the WPA (Works Progress Administration). Attached to the studio is a fully weatherized 1,500 sq. ft. kiln room with a salt kiln, soda kiln, raku kiln and seven additional gas fired kilns ranging in size from 20 cu. ft. to 80 cu. ft.
The main studio is an open space divided into two separate areas for beginning clay students and advanced students. The graduate students have their own private studios in a large area along side the main studio with 24 hour access.
Studio equipment includes:
- 15 kick wheels, 20 electric wheels, 2 slab rollers, an extruder and sand blaster.
- The remaining studio space is divided into a clay mixing room with a solder mixer, peter pugger, walker pug mill, and three dough mixers.
- A room with ten electric kilns, four new digital kilns, and six older electric kilns.
- A glaze room with a generous amount of chemicals for experimentation and use. The studio environment allows for an atmosphere of experimentation with either hand-built or wheel thrown forms.
The painting and drawing area at ISU provides an environment where students learn to think. Emphasis is placed on providing an exceptionally strong technical foundation while equally developing concept and critical thinking skills, with the expectation that the process and idea will work together by the time a student enters upper-level courses.
We encourage the investigation of mark-making, observation, figurative, abstraction, narrative, and conceptual approaches to creativity. Interaction with graduate students and visiting artists will also help students learn to articulate their intent.
Skylights allow natural light to filter into studios located on the fourth floor. Large storage areas house in-progress works of students, and lockers are provided for enrolled students. A well-equipped wood shop is available for use on campus. All drawing and painting studios offer 24-hour access. In each class, students can expect to explore multiple techniques, to be introduced to historical and contemporary artists and concepts, and to be challenged to question what art is and why they make it.
The drawing and painting studios are located on the fourth floor of the Fine Arts Building. They are well-equipped spacious studios with both natural and artificial lighting. There is enough equipment and space to effectively instruct up to twenty under-graduate students for each class. Storage and locker space is provided for each student enrolled in the studio classes.
- The Metals/Jewelry studios are located on the fourth floor of the Fine Arts Building.
- The metals facility consists of one large and four interconnected smaller workshops providing specialized areas for smithing, enameling, polishing, and an advanced level studio.
- The main studio includes bench and storage space for each student, as well as a separate graduate studio.
- The ventilated studio is equipped with a fine selection of polishing equipment, two sandblasters, a small precision drill press, casting machines, plate chopper, oxygen/acetylene torches, natural gas torches, and a micro torch.
- Additional equipment includes a complete set up for refractory anodizing, electroplating, and tools for anticlastic raising.
- A photography studio is located one floor down for small-scale photography of work.
Program in Metals
The metals department subscribes to the principle that significant art work is the result of internal motivation guided by the experimental process. Working physically and intellectually is a means of materializing ones thoughts and is integral to the dialogue between maker and material. There is an opportunity to be expansive as the department organizes field trips to gallery exhibitions, museums collections, and symposia relative to the field.
Printmaking at Idaho State University provides an experience rich in personal support, challenge, and interaction. We use a communal print studio that is spacious and home to a variety of printmaking techniques that include etching, lithography, relief, collagraph, solarplate, and monotype.
Equipment is straightforward and effective. We have a Charles Brand etching press, a Griffin etching press, a Fuchs & Lang lithography press, and two Griffin lithography presses. We hold a modest collection of lithographic stones, several sets of viscosity rollers and brayers, a large capacity drying rack, a plate chopper, a solarplate exposure unit, and a large aquatint spray booth.
The print room also holds a broad range of experience levels ranging from beginner to graduate student work. You will find that the printshop at ISU extends an environment of stimulation, experimentation, expression, and continued growth.
The weaving/fiber studio at Idaho State University is an open studio environment of Art majors and non-majors to explore a wide range of fiber materials and techniques. As students discover the visual language of fibers, they will develop their own personal expression where the material, process, and content are viewed as an integrated unit in the process of art making.
The courses will include traditional fiber techniques along with textile history and contemporary issues. The weaving/fiber studio is equipped with a Shannock tapestry loom and twenty-two floor looms. Five of the looms are eight harnesses and the other seventeen looms are four harnesses. A wide variety of loom companies make up the twenty looms including Harrisville Design, Cranbrook, Gilmore LeClerc, MaComber and Hearld, and Schacht. A dye area is available for use along with carding machines for felting.
The Graduate and Undergraduate Sculpture Program at ISU offer studio facilities, instruction, coursework, and mentoring in contemporary figurative, abstracted/non-objective, acquired object, installation/earthwork/conceptual and public sculpture creative research. The work functions within studio (private ideas, private spaces), commission (concerns relative to a collector and client), and public (concerns relative to community-based social and historic issues) sculptural idioms.
- The sculpture program equipment includes gas, MIG, and TIG welding, oxy-acetylene and Air Arc cutting, wood, stone and foam carving facilities, carpentry, fiberglass molding, lay up, and non-traditional experimental sculptural processes.
- We also feature a complete metalcasting foundry with bronze, aluminum, recycled copper, and recycled iron casting facilities and expertise. THe processes include standard investment, ceramic shell, bonded and green sand, and foam vaporization mold processes. We do it all, with your help.
- The Sculpture Shop, which is in a separate location from the Fine Art building, has 1800 square feet of shared studio workspace and storage area. We also have 1600 square feet of outdoor work area, making the building an ideal area for large scale projects and work.
- Individual graduate studios are available in the graduate center in the Fine Arts building. Sculpture MFA students are often given storage areas in the Sculpture Shop in addition to individual graduate studios in the Fine Arts building.
- Graduate Students accepted into the MFA Program are often offered Teaching Assistantships for teaching art appreciation courses, based on qualifications and application. Many ISU Sculpture Program MFA Graduates have become engaged and successful professional artists, college teachers, and arts professionals in both the Southeast Idaho area and across the country. Many undergraduates have gone on to grad programs to further their artistic endeavors.
The papermaking studio is an open environment for art majors and non-majors to explore a wide range of plant/fiber materials and techniques. Papermaking is an upper division studio elective that begins with the history and fundamental techniques of Western and Eastern papermaking based on traditional methods.
Traditional sheet forming, paper chemistry, pulp preparation and types of two and three-dimensional experiments are produced. The papermaking studio encourages experimentation and artistic development through self-exploration. The studio is also equipped with the following selected equipment:
- One and a half pound Valley Beater
- One and a half pound Howard Clark Hollander Beater
- Howard Clark 20 ton press built by Lee McDonald
- Reina Paper Drying Box
- Four foot by six foot Reina vacuum table
- Whiz mixer
Last Modified: 06/25/12 at 02:20:38 PM