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.
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. Since its launch in 2012, Fisher Center LAB has supported residencies, workshops, and performances for hundreds of artists, incubating new projects and engaging audiences, students, faculty, and staff in the process of creating contemporary performances.
Photographers on Photographers: Bard Alumna Alice Fall ’22 in Conversation with Artist in Residence Laura Steele in Lenscratch
“I met Laura Steele while studying photography at Bard College,” writes Alice Fall ’22. “Her steadiness, intelligence, wit, and engagement with the world is grounding and immediately magnetic. Laura’s constant reminder to me, both inside and out of school, has been to trust my vision and intuition. I’m thankful for her for bringing me back to myself, again and again.” In this conversation for Lenscratch
, the Bard alumna and Bard faculty member talk about the contours of collaboration, the tension between creative work and the imperative to market that work, and how a given tool or artistic process can limit or liberate the art. More >