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Office of Undergraduate Research

Research Opportunities by Department

Undergraduate Research in the Department of Art & Art History

Studio Art


The Department of Art and Art History offers many opportunities for undergraduate research in studio art. This research typically involves a combination of production, exhibition, and/or critique of contemporary art in a wide range of visual media. Research opportunities for undergraduate students include coursework, local and national exhibitions, internships, independent studies, teaching assistantships, conferences, entrepreneurial pursuits, gallery membership, the Honors Program, and involvement in campus organizations.

Coursework and Exhibition:
Studio Art research often starts with independent projects that students create in advanced level courses and culminates in solo thesis exhibitions that studio art majors install as a requirement of the B.A. in Studio Arts degree. See recent student work here.

As part of the Senior Studio and Seminar course, students have the opportunity to prepare professional portfolios to be submitted for exhibitions, grants, competitions and graduate school admission. A team of five University of Rochester students were named winners of the 2009 Stanford Global Innovations Tournament for their interactive video and web site called “Pass the Pig”. Other undergraduates have had work selected for exhibitions including:

  • “Alternative Processes”, Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery, Jenn Bratovich, 2009
  • “UpSide(Down)”, Gallery at High Falls, Rochester, NY, Colleen Kaster, 2009
  • “Trading Spaces”, SUNY Binghamton Art Gallery, NY, Todd Rotkis, 2008

All students have the opportunity to exhibit art work on campus in two juried exhibitions sponsored by the Harnett Gallery and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies each academic year. Students also participate in rotating exhibitions in the AsIs Gallery at the Sage Art Center.

Internships and University Programs:
Art New York is a spring semester internship program for students who want to gain access to the New York City art world. As part of this program, students work in an internship that aligns with their specific career goals. Previous internships have included:

  • Museum of Modern Art, Meg Colbert
  • International Center of Photography, Jackie Lanoix
  • PS1, Kim Stromgren
  • Percent for Art, Emi Rubin
  • Artist’s Space, Cori Wolf
  • Loading Dock Architects, Alissa Tully
  • Columbia Tristar Pictures, Michael Caputo
  • Animation Collective, Nicholas Sedney
  • Richard Corman Photography Studio, Natalie Mroczka
  • Children’s Museum of the Arts, Amy Thompson
  • Village Voice, Daniel Nuner
  • The Brooklyn Rail, Heather Bischoff
  • The Brooklyn Museum, Charles Goodall
  • LOGO MTV Networks, Eva (Dan) Xie
  • Art News, Ryan Berry
  • NBC, Lauren Goodwin
  • 4th Row Films, Luke Oleska
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company, Kali Crandall

Students participating in the KEY (Kaufmann Entrepreneurial Year) Program have utilized a fifth year at the University of Rochester to pursue entrepreneurial ideas. Examples of previous art-related KEY projects include:

  • Art Awake—A group of students initiated “ArtAwake” in 2007. The one-night event included 225 works of art by over 75 artists in addition to musicians, bands, performance artists, and DJs. In its first year, Art Awake drew over 1500 students and has since become an annual event.
  • Two Halves Art Gallery—Undergraduate students Olivia Davis and Emma Vann launched this pre- professional cooperative gallery in 2009 to bring community and student artists together to gain experience in showing and selling their work.

Undergraduate non-majors have used the University’s Take Five Program to continue their studio art education in a University-funded fifth year. Independent coursework has included:

  • “Addressing Social Issues through Art in Post-Revolutionary Iran”, an independent study in contemporary Persian miniature painting, Rosemary Shojaie
  • “Abandoned Spaces: Rochester, Ephemera, and Photography”, Luke Shaw

Many students have also earned academic credit for a variety of internships at local institutions including Rochester Contemporary, Visual Studies Workshop, the Memorial Art Gallery, and the George Eastman House.

Study abroad during a fall or spring semester in the University’s European Arts Internship Program is also encouraged for majors and non-majors alike. In Europe, there are opportunities to work in institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of London, and internships can be arranged in cities including Paris, Brussels, Bonn, and Madrid.

Independent Studies and Assistantships
Undergraduate students have the opportunity to earn academic credit for independent studies with faculty members in highly focused studio art topics. These have included:

  • “Political Art and Social Performance”, Maddie Cutrona
  • “Painting History: Concepts of Privacy in an Evolving Russia”, Rebecca Murphy

Students can also gain professional experience as teaching assistants for Introductory level courses. In addition, students occasionally work with faculty members as studio assistants and, in doing this, gain insight into the profession.

Honors in Studio Arts
A student may apply for Honors in Studio Art by submitting to the department an honors project proposal and meeting the prerequisites.

The Department of Art and Art History has assisted with funding for students to attend conferences including the American Craft Council Conference and the Society for Photographic Education conference. Other conferences that are available include the Society for Photographic Education, the Southern Graphics Council, and the College Art Association.

Campus Organizations
The Hartnett Gallery Committee is open to all undergraduate students who wish to gain experience in running a professional art gallery. Student members have the rare opportunity to participate in all aspects of the gallery including calls for work, portfolio reviews, artist selections, financial decisions, installation of exhibitions, and publicity.

The Art & Art History Undergraduate Council provides opportunities for students who are interested in organizing art events such as bringing speakers to campus and planning trips to galleries.

How to get started:

Students who are interested in pursuing research in studio art can get started by taking an introductory level course and discussing their interests with a faculty member. There are many opportunities to become involved as early as freshman year. Students are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor to design a coherent program of study early in their degree process.

Research Opportunities by Department—Main List