The Art Department offers courses at three sites: Morris R. Williams Center for the Arts, Printmaking Studio/ Experimental Printmaking Institute, and Williams Visual Arts Building.
The Williams Center provides 5,000 square feet of instructional space, including a lecture hall with projection, video, and computer facilities, and an electronic seminar room. The Visual Resources Room contains the department’s digital archive, a collection of more than 100,000 slides, CD-ROMs, videos, and architectural models. The Williams Center Gallery exhibits artists of national and international repute, presenting diverse media, historical periods and cultures. Artists give public lectures, visit classes, and meet with independent study and honors students.
Technology is integrated into all aspects of the art curriculum. In the Williams Visual Arts Building, there are Macintosh workstations, medium and large format inkjet printers, flatbed and slide scanners, and up-to-date software. This is supplemented by Macintosh workstations with large-format scanners and printers in the Experimental Printmaking Institute. There are 36 complete workstations, numerous printers, and scanners, three large-format printers, and two slide scanners. Workstations in the Williams Visual Arts Building are linked via Ethernet to the Williams Center and EPI, allowing students speedy access to the web and the ability to generate, manipulate, and output images from any of the department’s sites.
The Printmaking Studio has two etching presses (one large-format) as well as lithographic and silk-screening presses.
The Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) provides students and visiting professional artists with the opportunity to develop advanced skills in the areas of printmaking and digital imaging. Since its inception, the EPI visiting artist and artist-in-residence programs have introduced students to over 60 professional artists from diverse cultural and social backgrounds. These artists have provided our students with talented, well-educated, and ambitious role models and have resulted in the creation of new print editions, experimental works, and a number of artists’ books.
The $3.5 million, 23,500-square-foot Williams Visual Arts Building opened in 2001 and is one of the leading high-tech facilities for art education and exhibitions in the nation. It includes a sculpture studio, a painting studio, a digital photography lab, the community-based teaching studio, Grossman Gallery, a flexible studio area with movable walls for honors and independent study students, a conference room, five faculty studios and offices, and a spacious lobby.
The classrooms are adjacent to professors’ personal studios, thereby encouraging the free exchange of ideas between students and faculty. Faculty, honors students, and visiting professional artists work together with area high school and adult art students through the Community-Based Teaching Program located in the building.
Students and faculty in all studios and classrooms have access to wireless technology for instant access to the College’s expanding computer database of digital images and Internet-based images from museum collections throughout the world.
Technology plays a central role in art education at Lafayette. Digital media and traditional arts are interconnected.
In the Williams Visual Arts Building, students can manipulate images digitally and “print” them on a variety of materials such as film negatives, archival paper, and canvases using output devices in a variety of locations.
In the Digital Media classroom, students can work on photography and video projects with the latest editing software. They have access to state of the art printing technology to make continuous-tone, large-format inkjet prints in both black and white and color.