As a Drawing major at the Cleveland Institute of Art you will explore traditional and unconventional materials, tools, and techniques to define your aesthetic identity as well as challenge your artistic vision and resourcefulness. As part of the Visual Arts and Technologies (VAT) Environment, our BFA program in drawing provides students with a broad education in the visual arts while strengthening their in-depth conceptual knowledge of the drawing discipline. Through our integrated curriculum, you will be introduced to historical and cultural frameworks of drawing, the individual studio practice of drawing, style and aesthetics, and the idea of communication through drawing. You will master a visual vocabulary and learn to draw from observation, ideation, and experimental processes. Your CIA experience culminates with a BFA thesis and exhibition that entails presenting a body of self-initiated work, an oral defense and a written artist statement.
Our Drawing faculty uses a multidisciplinary approach to teaching, pulling from other visual art fields, such as printmaking, painting, fiber and material studies, and sculpture. Students will attend lectures by and work individually with visiting artists, including our VAT Environment artist-in-residence. In addition, you will be tutored in creating a professional portfolio, developing grant-writing skills, and proper etiquette for successfully approaching dealers, curators, and collectors. You also will gain an understanding of how to set up your own professional studio in our professional practices program. Each spring, you will have an opportunity to visit professional galleries and exhibitions, such as the Whitney Biennial and The Armory Show, in New York City.
Real-world experience for real-world careers
What may best set CIA apart from other colleges of art and design is its commitment to engaged practice. CIA’s Engaged Practice provides you opportunities to learn through experience by working on real-world projects with external partners or clients, or in the public sphere—all before graduation.
These opportunities allow you to put your classroom and studio knowledge to work in a professional setting while still being guided by faculty. You’ll learn what it takes to meet clients’ expectations, and you will emerge with confidence that will serve you as you launch your career.
Art and design education is structured to prepare students for the challenges of competition that define a career in the art and design fields. Consistent with that value, CIA students begin their major focus with an application process that is competitive. Students apply to majors in the spring semester of their Foundation year.
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While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.