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Academics . Foundation . Overview

Foundation

At the Cleveland Institute of Art, all first-year students begin with our Foundation program, a yearlong introduction to forms, methods, media, and concepts crucial to your future academic and professional success. You will emerge from the program on technically equal footing with your peers—ready to concentrate on the study and practice of art and design.

Our Foundation curriculum offers an intensive exploration of color, form, design, and creative problem solving. You will begin with core courses in drawing, design, color, and digital studies that acquaint you with composition, drawing principles, and 2D and 3D materials and processes. As you work on studio projects, you will investigate visual dynamics, creative processes, and issues that inform contemporary art, design, and culture. To help you transition from Foundation studies into the major of your choice, you also will take an elective class. The elective offers an opportunity to explore various disciplines in the arts, crafts, and design areas while helping you make an informed choice about your major and future career path.

Be prepared for lively debates and the camaraderie that develops as you and your peers work together in studio. The Foundation experience fosters a learning environment that is responsive to your aspirations, as well as to innovations in the world of art and design. We balance fundamental approaches with experimentation to develop your aesthetic sensibilities. Take advantage of our amazing location in the center of Cleveland’s cultural district. Our classes regularly travel across the street to the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibits of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, or through the rain forest of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. With Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic located a quick walk across Euclid Avenue, we tap into unmatched science and health care resources that boost our curriculum.

Printmaking project links students with seniors and their stories
CIA

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Printmaking project links students with seniors and their stories

Instructor Barbara Chira facilitates engagement across generations more

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Meet Your Professors view all

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Christi Birchfield

Lecturer

Christi Birchfield is an internationally exhibited artist whose work is in permanent print and drawing collect...more

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Sharpen your artistic skills at CIA's Pre-College Program this summer.

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