Feb 24, 2024  
College Catalog 2011-2012 
College Catalog 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art and Art History

Full Time Faculty: Ruthann Godollei, Joanna Inglot (Chair), Sonja Kelley, Stanton Sears, Christine Willcox

Part Time Faculty: Gary Erickson, Gudrun Lock, Megan Vossler

The faculty of the art department consists of professional, practicing artists and scholars, all experienced teachers of art committed to ensure a rich and balanced curriculum for:

  1. Students wishing to gain familiarity with the practice and history of art, and/or to increase their appreciation, utilization, and creative application of art principles in daily living;
  2. Students pursuing a career as a professional artist or in arts-related fields. These students should consider graduate work in a specialized media;
  3. Students interested in the historical and philosophical understanding of art and in pursuing a career in art history, museum or gallery work. These students should consider graduate work in art history;
  4. Students wishing to prepare themselves for professional work in architecture by participating in the dual degree architecture program in cooperation with Washington University.

The first group may be non-majors or may pursue an art major (either an art studio emphasis plan or an art history emphasis plan). The second group should follow the art studio emphasis plan. The third group should follow the art history emphasis plan. The fourth group should follow the dual degree architecture program.

The non-major student is welcome to enroll in both art history and studio courses. The art building and its facilities are especially designed to encourage the coordination and synthesis of the practice, theory, study and appreciation of art. Students not taking art courses are encouraged to visit the art building to see ongoing work being done in the studios, as well as formal exhibitions.

A major feature of the art department is its exhibition program, housed in the Macalester Gallery. The gallery is temporarily located at 1665 Princeton, immediately west of the theater Building. The gallery is host for 6–8 exhibitions each year bringing art students in contact with the arts of many cultures from both contemporary and historical periods. The exhibition program is an integral part of classroom instruction, and our faculty routinely tour the gallery with students to further illustrate what is taught in class. Art students exhibit their work each spring and art majors prepare and mount comprehensive exhibitions during the spring of their senior year. Art History students are encouraged to work in the gallery to learn curatorial practices.

Art Alliance

An organization for students authorized by Student Government, the Art Alliance plans special activities related to art beyond the art department’s formal program. It administers the Drawing Co-op, an informal opportunity to draw from the figure model.

General Distribution Requirement

All art department courses count towards the general distribution requirement in fine arts. Topics courses cross-listed from other departments will be considered on an individual basis by the art department.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and multiculturalism will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Additional Requirements

Sophomore Informational Meeting

The art department will conduct a group meeting in the spring of each year for all sophomore students who wish to consider a major or minor in art. This will be a general orientation meeting for all interested students after which they will select an advisor for their program. The meeting will be publicized and students should verify to the department their intention to attend. At the meeting the studio emphasis and art history emphasis programs will be discussed, faculty of the department will be introduced and there will be opportunity to answer any questions regarding the art department program. Students will prepare an oral statement explaining their reasons for wanting to major or minor in art. Majors must select an advisor from the full-time faculty and meet with them to discuss major plans before the art department chair signs their major or minor form.

Junior Critique

In the spring of their junior year, all art majors will participate in a faculty review of their work. Studio emphasis majors will bring 3–4 pieces of their best work to the review and prepare an oral statement regarding the concepts and goals of their work. Art history emphasis majors will make a brief oral presentation (10–15 minutes) on any art history topic of their choice. This presentation will be based on a written paper from a previous class, also due at the critique. The art department faculty will comment on the work presented in the context of the career objectives of the student and/or plans for further study.


In the spring of each year the faculty of the art department selects senior recipients of the Distinguished Merit Award for comprehensive achievement in art. The award is based on a review of the student’s work done over the full period of their study at Macalester.

Honors Program

The art department participates in the Honors Program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the art department are available from either the department office or the Director of Academic Programs.

Topics Courses

ART 194 , ART 294 , ART 394 , ART 494 

Topics courses are occasional, often experimental courses, offered by instructors at their own initiative or in response to student requests. Detailed information announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, and preceptorships. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.