The Foundations Experience

navigating a new landscape.

Professor James Barany discusses the Foundations program and the 2014 RPM exhibition

Foundations is the year to learn about yourself, assuming nothing, trying everything. Like an aerial landscape, parts of the studio-based Foundations program may be recognizable ground for you, while others parts are unfamiliar. Courses and topics such as observational drawing and color create a universal foundation, while digital means, four-dimensional media and contemporary practices and research shift your perspective. Challenging the view of the landscape, you will learn to trust yourself during the first-year program. You'll acquire knowledge that is relevant to your artistic goals, while taking risks and making honest, and personally meaningful, work.

View hundreds more examples in the Foundations Image Gallery

The Foundations year challenges you to ask deep questions about the nature of contemporary art and design, media, materials, influences and process. We want you to craft answers that you feel are important to your visual identity. The first-year is an exploration of an array of courses that focus on new ways of seeing, thinking, creating, and communicating along your path to becoming a professional artist or designer. Inquiry and research-based modes of teaching help you connect and contextualize the work you create throughout the first two semesters. Visit the Foundations Image Gallery to see more examples of the types of work you'll make during the first-year, and facilities available to you during this exploration.

Foundations offers courses that focus on upper-level disciplines and ideas during the first-year, providing you with early immersion into our academic programs. Digital learning has become a focal point of the studio courses in the Foundations year, preparing you to be technologically fluent and successful in the 21st century art and design world. We’ve also created courses that bring contemporary art and design to the forefront of the college’s educational philosophy, fostering critical thinking and encouraging you to understand your role as a modern-day visual creator.

Regardless which of the academic programs or combination of specialized areas you choose, the Foundations program uses integrated learning and exposure to faculty across the college to prepare you for an outstanding educational experience at MIAD. Foundations is holistic preparation for becoming a visual creator. You'll experiment, overcome hurdles and challenge your own preconceived notions about art and design while building your future as a creative visionary.

Foundations is about possibility.

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