BFA Thesis I & 2D Practicum Syllabus

  • AR 4110 BFA THESIS I & 2D Studio Practicum
  • Fall 2021
  •  Prof. Nick Sevigney
  • office phone: 603-535-2547
  • Cell phone: 401-524-0651 
  • email: 


Course Descriptions 

BFA Thesis 1:

This course is the first half of a year-long capstone experience.  Thesis I fosters professional studio practice and research as the student begins the process of developing a coherent body of work based upon formal and conceptual criteria.  Students will immerse themselves in the studio practice and largely work independently alongside a faculty advisor. The objectives and progress of Thesis I are examined and evaluated by the BFA coordinator in conjunction with the studio art faculty.  

2D Studio Practicum

This course is a combined experience across the art disciplines of Painting, Printmaking, Drawing, and Photography. Students will immerse themselves in professional studio practice, critiques, and research while working towards developing a coherent boy of work.


Learning Outcomes: 

Students will be able to:  

  1. Develop, evolve and sustain a consistent, coherent body of artwork.
  2. Continue exceptional work habits and studio practice with a professional plan for maintaining a work space. Understand and practice health and safety procedures in the studio.
  3. Articulate, both verbally and in writing, the intentions and concepts in theirs and others’ work.
  4. Engage in research to learn from other artists, to expand their field of knowledge in relation to their topics and issues, and to be able to contextualize their work in art historical and contemporary terms.
  5. Have an awareness of their art making practice, including the abilities to take risks, assess and problem solve in order to evolve independently.
  6. Practice high standards of appropriate craft and professional presentation.
  7. Engage as members of a community of artists that support, critique and network with each other.


  • Art Department Policy on Unclaimed Artwork 

Any student participating in a studio course in the Art Department at PSU is responsible for removing from the premises the artwork he/she creates in that class at the end of the course. Any artwork left behind by a student from a course at the end of the semester will be saved or disposed of at the discretion of the instructor or Program Coordinator. The Art Department cannot ensure safety, conservation, or appropriate storage of work. If the artwork is saved, it will be used as a teaching resource for future classes.  

Any artwork that is in a departmentally endorsed or sponsored exhibit and which is unclaimed by the artist at the end of that exhibit will be retained by the department for a period of 6 months. However, during this time, the Art Department cannot ensure safety, conservation, or appropriate storage of work. At the end of 30 days, the work will be reviewed by a departmental vetting committee to determine if the artwork will be retained or discarded. If the artwork is retained, it will be used as a teaching resource and Images of that artwork will be used for any public relations purposes as the Department and University see fit. 

University Policies 

ADA Policy:

  • ADA Policy:Plymouth State University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you should contact Campus Accessibility Services (CAS), located in Speare (535-3300) to determine whether you are eligible for such accommodations. Academic accommodations will only be considered for students who have registered with CAS. If you have authorized CAS to electronically deliver a Letter of Accommodations for this course, please communicate with your instructor to review your accommodations.
  • If you need such accommodations you will benefit by having links to the following support services.


Grading Breakdown 

  • Artwork – 60%  
  • Presentation – 10% 
  • Studio Practice/Work Ethic/critique – 20% 
  • Research – 10% 

                        SYNOPSIS of GRADE BREAKDOWN

Artwork – 60%

Conceptual development  10% 

(developing, clarifying and strengthening ideas; at the beginning of a piece and as the work develops) 


  • Has sketchbook or digital documentation of research 
  • Possesses needed materials  
  • Is able to communicate and articulate findings 

Understanding/use of formal issues  10% 

(composition, general structural ideas, etc.) 


  • Considers appropriate formal concepts when creating work 

Risk-taking  10%    

(with ideas, materials, approaches to working etc.).  


  • Has a cohesive body of work in development 
  • Recognizes failure as a part of the development process   
  • Thinks ahead to potential ideas upon evaluation of experimentation, failures and successes 
  • Demonstrates idea development and ability to adapt works considering new concepts and ideas  

Presentation of work and practice of appropriate craft.   10%   


  • Work is professionally presented 
  • Presentation space is appropriate for work 


 Engagement – 10%  

Participation 10%   

Participation in class discussions, contribution in critiques, engagement as a member of the class and larger artistic community.  


  • Uses objective, subjective and constructive observations regarding works of peers 
  • Considers the personal voice/point of view of the artist during critiques  
  • Engages with classmates 
  • Participates in all class activities 
  • Maintains a presence in the Art Department (attends lectures, department functions, gallery openings, etc.) 


Presentation – 10%  

Clearly Articulating Ideas, both verbal and written.  10%   


  • Written artist statements, research paper, critiques 
  • Uses correct terminology and articulate vocabulary when discussing personal work 
  • Can place work into an historical context 
  • Performs well at end of semester BFA Review  


Studio Practice/Work Ethic/crit – 20% 

Initiative/preparation for class.  10%   


  • Workspace is safe, well-planned and maintained, and materials are handled properly 
  • Is prepared to participate in class activities 
  • Possesses needed physical materials and conceptual reference materials 
  • Uses correct terminology and articulate vocabulary when discussing personal work and that of their peers 

Effort/Consistent work ethic, both in and out of class. 10%   


  • Uses time effectively 
  • Documents work habits (maintains a studio log) 
  • Exhibits new and evolving work in critiques 


Research – 10% 

Research (researching topics and themes, artists and concepts).  10% 


  • Maintains sketchbook or digital documentation of research 
  • Able to communicate and articulate findings 
  • Maintains an ongoing collection of reference source material