SAIC's Sculpture department offers one of the largest, most comprehensive, and diverse programs of its kind in the country. The department is situated at the defining edge of contemporary practice and discourse, focusing its broad offerings through four curricular themes: Permanence and Ephemerality, Public Practice, Space and Place, and Systems.
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We practice sculpture at its broadest level of meaning. Twentieth-century art practice opened up the spaces and materials of sculpture to those of the "real world," and this breadth of vision and experience is reflected in the development of the curriculum and resources, which encompass every material imaginable, leading to the expression of ideas in space. We are committed on levels both international and deeply local to the development of an economically and culturally diverse context for the study of sculpture.
The Student Experience
The department offers a rigorous mix of conceptual, spatial, material, and process-based challenges through which students learn to understand, negotiate, and contribute to the changing cultural landscape. Educating thinkers as well as makers, our studio classes and seminars mix technical and material concerns with thematic and critical ones.
Students explore new media, emerging technologies, and installation in conjunction with traditional skills and media such as carving, welding, mold-making, and foundry work.
Our distinguished faculty members are nationally and internationally renowned artists, fully involved in the exploration and re-examination of the field. They are well versed in contemporary theoretical debates and committed to building a diverse, exciting environment for the exchange of ideas and the production of culture and are engaged in the ongoing process of redefining the fluid field of sculpture through active practice.
We offer an extensive array of resources to support the development of experimental work in all media and encourage an active rethinking of sculpture by our students. The Knowledge Lab (KLab), for example, is a living laboratory with an innovative, green, and sustainable focus. We also sponsor visiting artist presentations and critiques and a weekly noon lecture and discussion series by both practicing artists and current graduate students.
As contemporary practice moves fluidly across materials and methods, many courses at SAIC address the intersection between sculptural, performative, body, and material disciplines and explore their shared methods, materials, and critical/theoretical discourse. Students are encouraged to confer with faculty and graduate advisors to map a course of interdisciplinary study that reflects the latest developments in contemporary practices in these fields.