The Division of the Arts offers programs in architecture, art history and visual culture, dance, film and electronic arts, music, photography, studio arts, and theater and performance. Theoretical understanding and practical skills alike are developed through production and performance in all disciplines. In the course of their program studies, students in the arts also develop aesthetic criteria that can be applied to other areas of learning. Students may undertake the arts for different reasons—as a path to a vocation or an avocation, or simply as a means of cultural enrichment. Working with a faculty adviser, the student plans a curriculum with his or her needs and goals in mind.
Coursework and Requirements
As a student progresses to the Upper College, the coursework increasingly consists of smaller studio discussion groups and seminars in which active participation is expected. Advisory conferences, tutorials, and independent work prepare the student for the Senior Project. This yearlong independent project may be a critical or theoretical monograph, a collection of essays, or, for a large proportion of students, an artistic work, such as an exhibition of original paintings, sculpture, or photography; performances in dance, theater, or music; dance choreography or musical composition; or the making of a short film with sound. In designing their Senior Project topics, students may have reason to join their arts studies together with a complementary field or discipline, including programs or concentrations in other divisions. Plans for such integrated or interdivisional projects are normally created on an individual basis with the adviser.
(L-R) Rebecca Capper '17 and Joanna Warren '17 in the LAB commission of Sarah Michelson's "September17." Photo by Paula Court
Live Arts Bard
“When I was a student at Bard, I was drawn to the Fisher Center because of Live Arts Bard. LAB is pushing the frontiers of these art forms, all of which are becoming more open and fluid.” —Sam Miller ’15
Live Arts Bard (LAB) is the interdisciplinary residency and commissioning program of Bard’s Fisher Center. LAB creates a community of groundbreaking professional artists who work alongside students to create unconventional projects. Year 6 of LAB supported 37 artists across nine projects. Since 2012, LAB has supported 50-plus projects. Projects developed during LAB’s first six years have been performed in more than 70 communities worldwide.
Photographer, Bard Professor An-My Lê on How Pictures Can Help Us Keep Up with a Rapidly Changing World
Professor An-My Lê’s photo series Silent General speaks to the current cultural moment: packed protests, fallen monuments, and anti-Trump graffiti echo the images filling our screens. “It’s eerie to see how some of the issues that unfolded when I started Silent General [in 2016] are now back at the forefront in an even more urgent way,” says Lê. “History doesn’t move through time in a straight line.” More >