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The Art History curriculum at ISU serves studio art majors. An Art History minor is available, and many students elect to take Art History to fulfill general education requirements. Survey courses offer a broad global overview of visual art and architecture from prehistory to the present. Upper level courses focus on modern and contemporary art and theory.

Art History is a very interdisciplinary field. Students will become familiar with social, political, and religious contexts as they learn to question the Eurocentric canon of Art History iteslf. Critical thinking is emphasized over rote memorization of dates. Advanced students develop unique research projects, engage with critical theory, learn about art criticism, the art market, and expand their knowledge of professional practice. Some students have gone on to present their research at national and international conferences.


The ceramics studio is located on upper campus apart from the art department. It is housed in a spacious 7,000 sq. ft. historical rock building constructed in 1939 by the WPA.

Attached to the studio is a fully weatherized 1,500 sq. ft. gas kiln room with a salt kiln, soda kiln, raku kiln and six additional gas fired kilns ranging in size from 20 to 80 cu. ft. The main studio is an open space divided into two separate areas for beginning clay students and intermediate/advanced students. Graduate students have their own studio space located along side of the main studio with 24-hour access.

Studio equipment includes two large spray booths, 15 kick wheels, 20 electric wheels, two slab rollers, a sand blaster, and two extruders. The remaining studio space is divided into a clay mixing room with a Soldner Mixer, Peter Pugger, Walker Pug Mill, Shimpo De-airing Pug Mill, a Bluebird mixer and a large dough mixer. Another room houses seven digital electric kilns and three digital electric test kilns. An adjoining area houses a glaze room with a generous supply of chemicals. The studio environment allows for an atmosphere of experimentation with either handbuilt or wheel thrown forms.


The mission of the Fiber Media area is to promote excellence through comprehensive educational programming, providing a strong fundamental base that includes cross cultural, historical and contemporary issues in Fiber arts. The Fiber Media area fosters critical thinking by offering a diverse curriculum that includes surface design, weaving, papermaking and alternative processes curriculum that provide students the opportunity to work in 2-D, 3-D and installation formats. The endless possibilities have resulted in innovative, conceptually-based artwork.

Fiber Media students have access to large, well-equipped studios and instruction in traditional and contemporary Fiber techniques. Fiber Media at ISU encompasses Surface Design/Weaving and Papermaking. Current equipment includes: jack looms, counter balance looms, countermarche looms, AVL computerized loom, sewing machines, warping boards, drum carders, spinning wheel, knitting machine, felting machine, screen printing exposure unit, Hollander beaters, Reina drying box, hydraulic paper press, vertical bullet steamer, horizontal steamer, and a vacuum table.

Idaho State Art faculty members consistently participate in international and national exhibitions and encourage students to explore the Fibers field through participation in exhibitions, workshops, and conferences.


The metals department subscribes to the principle that significant artwork is the result of internal motivations guided by experimental processes. Working physically and intellectually is a means of materializing one’s thoughts and is integral to the dialogue between maker and material.

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.


The Drawing and Painting program offers a comprehensive curriculum which stresses knowledge and contexts of contemporary art. An introduction to mediums (pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolor, acrylic, oil, and encaustic) lays a foundation for intermediate and advanced students to foster individual exploration, strengthen their conceptual base, and expand the field through new media approaches. A new digital lab in the Fine Arts Building, coming in summer 2016, will broaden students’ palettes to create mixed media works.

The drawing and painting studios are spacious and well-equipped, with both natural and artificial lighting. Storage and locker space is provided for each student enrolled in the studio classes.


Printmaking at ISU provides an experience rich in personal support, challenge, and interaction. The printmaking studio provides an environment for stimulation, experimentation, expression, and creative growth. Our spacious communal studio offers a variety of printmaking techniques including etching, lithography, relief, collagraph, solar plate, serigraphy, and monotype.

We have a Charles Brand etching press and a Whelan etching press, a Griffin etching press and a Griffin lithography press. We have a dark room which houses a large vacuum table exposure unit and a separate solar plate exposure unit. We hold a modest collection of lithographic stones, several sets of viscosity rollers and brayers, a large capacity drying rack, a plate chopper, and an aquatint spray booth. We also have a spray booth, a four arm carousel, and flash drying unit for screen printing. 


In Sculptural the and Intermedia Studies Program classes, we often introduce and focus on insight into the creative process and contemporary issues in artmaking as well as specific sculptural techniques and processes. These discussions often deal with intellectual issues and concerns relative to western and world art history and culture from a point of view accessible to art student’s own studio practice. In some classes, we examine and engage in discussions and debates that look at historical, social, and intellectual conditions of artistic production, particularly the theoretical and critical study of the practices, institutions, and discourses that constitute the field of 20th and 21st century visual art and culture. This intensive and vigorous dialogue and research helps students develop an intellectual framework to understand their ongoing studio practice.

The Undergraduate and Graduate Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Programs at ISU offer studio facilities, instruction, coursework, and mentoring in contemporary figurative, abstracted/non-objective, acquired object, Intermedia, installation/earthwork/conceptual and public sculpture creative research. This work functions within studio (private ideas, private spaces), commission (concerns relative to collector’s and/or client’s space and needs), and public (concerns relative to community-based historical and social) sculptural idioms. In classes, we often introduce and focus on insight into the creative process and historical and contemporary issues in artmaking approaches as well as specific techniques and processes.

Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Program studio equipment currently includes MIG & TIG welding; oxy-acetylene gas; Air Arc; plasma cutting and bending; horizontal band saw; wood, stone & foam carving facilities; carpentry, fiberglass molding & lay up, and non-traditional and experimental sculptural processes. We also feature a complete metalcasting foundry with recycled bronze, aluminum, copper, and iron casting facilities and expertise, in standard investment, ceramic shell, bonded sand, and green sand foam vaporization pouring-mold processes. We do it all, with your vigorous engagement and help.

The Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Studio is located apart from the Fine Art building on the industrial side of campus. We have 1800 square feet of shared studio workspace and storage area and 1600 square feet of outdoor work area -- making 3400 square feet of combined work and storage area for serious students intent on expanding their creative innovation in the study and making of art – and any type of contemporary sculpture -- from the inside out.

Individual graduate studios are available in the Department of Art Graduate Center in the Fine Arts building. MFA sculpture students are assigned storage lockers in the Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Studio in addition to these individual graduate studios in the Fine Arts building.

Graduate Students accepted into the MFA Program are often offered Graduate Teaching Assistantships in the Department of Art for teaching Art Appreciation and occasionally studio art courses, based on qualifications and application. Graduate Teaching Assistantships come with a stipend that more than covers the cost of in-state tuition. Qualified, accepted out-of-state applicants often qualify for tuition waivers that reduce tuition to in-state amounts. Many MFA Graduate students receive a second form of tuition lowering financial aid by becoming Career Path Interns in which they work closely with faculty in learning career information and methodologies and assisting in the functions of the department.

Many ISU Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Program MFA Graduates have become engaged and successful professional artists, college teachers, and arts professionals in both the Southeast Idaho & California areas and across the country. A recent graduate from the MFA Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Program has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for study and exhibition of his work in Oslo, Norway. Many undergraduates have gone on to MFA graduate programs across the country to further their artistic and career endeavors.

If interested in more information, or in applying to the Sculptural and Intermedia Studies Program, please contact Professor Douglas Warnock at