What is Studio art

What is Studio art

- in Art History
Rev. Martin Nguyen, C.S.C. teaches painting in Riley Hall of Art & Design. For Notre Dame Magazine 'Coffee Conversations.'


Studio art in one sense refers to the artwork that is created in the workplace of the artist; in contrast to art work created while attending a university, or other place of learning, in an art gallery, or within artists cooperative are some examples.

Amongst academic disciplines, studio art is the making of visual art (such as painting, drawing or sculpture), contrasted to the study of art history.

Studio art also can refer to an actual piece of artwork (paintings, sculpture, multi-media, drawings, prints, etc.) that have been purchased, borrowed, viewed or loaned from the artist out of his physical studio. This holds true only if the “studio” is a space used solely for the creation of artwork by the artist.


“Studio art” can mean either art that is created by an amateur (an idea derived from the beginning of the High Renaissance period when an artist and his “studio” were considered disreputable), thus derogatory, or art that is created by a professional (a distinction that has been propagated by artists throughout the 20th century such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter), thus complimentary.


Studio art as a class, at first, focuses on the very basics and then become very elaborate as the artist gains and practices new skills. It focuses a great deal of time on realism. This includes sighting, using a variety of values, and understanding shapes, contours, gestures. “Sighting” is the use of one (or more) of many techniques for drawing accurately. It is often used when there are several objects and figures in a scene. In other words, sighting is generally using a method that relates one object to all of the other objects. Values, or an array of different shades, add to the realism of works and provide shadowing and lighting. There are low-key and high-key values. Continuing on with lessons, students will learn about the history of realistic art: The Renaissance. Perspective and human anatomy are key. The Italian Renaissance was a time when religious art declined as a muse. Just as the Renaissance was, studio art pushes artists to be individualistic.


Studio Art majors concentrate on the creative, technical, and practical aspects of the discipline, acquiring a broad-based background in drawing, design, painting, and sculpture, plus specialized tracks in ceramics, printmaking, photography, illustration, electronic media, and computer imaging. In addition, majors are expected to acquire a sound foundation in art history and criticism with the emphasis on modernism but can also be classical historic art.

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