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Information for Rising Seniors

Some notes on being a major or minor in Art or Art History…

Community Participation

  • SIP presentations—plan to attend the SIP presentations that take place Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:00 PM every spring quarter.  Attendance at these presentations is a learning and engagement opportunity you should not miss.  In addition to getting a peak at the SIP process, your attendance supports your peers and helps you connect with other faculty and students in art.
  • All visiting artists and events sponsored by the art department are essentially required.
  • Art Hop—get to know the Kalamazoo Art community by attending and/or participating in the Art Hop, the first Friday of every month. 
  • Have a warm-up show of your own! Our gallery has many openings during the fall and winter quarters. If you have an idea for a possible show, speak with one of your art instructors and/or speak to the chair of the department.

Curriculum

  • Have you completed your core requirements?  If you do not have an adviser in the Art Department, make sure you consult with an Art/Art History professor to make sure you are on track with your requirements.
  • Intermediate course(s) & Advanced Studio must be completed by the end of the fall of the senior year for students doing a Studio SIP.
  • Advanced Studio is required for the Studio Art major, but a SIP in the Art Department is not required.
  • Ways of Seeing is required for Art History majors (strongly encouraged for all majors). 
  • While most Studio Art majors do studio SIPs, the SIP unit does not count towards the ten required units for the Studio Art major.  You are not required to do a SIP in your major.

Additional information on SIPs

  • Art SIPs fall into three categories– Studio, Research (AH), and Internships.  Many Internship SIPs are done over the summer, but nearly all studio SIPs take place in the winter. Occasionally an exception is made for students planning to apply for graduate school in art during the senior year.
  • SIPs are not automatic; you must propose a project to the appropriate faculty member who will evaluate your proposal based on your readiness and preparation for the stated process and product, maturity of your project concept, and intended learning goals. The faculty member has the right to turn down your proposal.  Typical reasons may include inadequate preparation for the proposed project, unfocused concept, unrealistic goals and/or the adviser’s lack of expertise in the area of your proposal.
  • Since an Art SIP includes faculty mentoring, you are expected to meet regularly with your SIP adviser.  Any additional outcomes, guidelines or deadlines established by your faculty adviser will be considered part of the SIP contract. 
  • If you are planning to do an Internship SIP in the summer before your senior year, you should have applied for your internship already.  If your application was unsuccessful or if you have not yet applied, please consult with Christine Hahn and CCPD immediately.
  • Research/documentaries involving human subjects must receive approval from the College Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Please refer to the College IRB Policy Manual and application form for more information on IRB policies.
  • Timeline for students doing a winter term studio SIP: Advanced Studio in Fall, Creative work and paper in Winter, exhibition/presentation in Spring.  All creative work and papers must be completed by finals week of winter term; exhibitions and presentations are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Professional Development and Recommendations

  • It is never too early to think about what paths your career might take.  Take advantage of programming offered by CCPD throughout the senior year.  In addition, ask a faculty member to meet with you about your long-term goals and what you need to be doing now and in the future to meet them.
  • If you have not already been in a position to ask for a letter of recommendation, you soon will be.  CCPD has a nice synopsis of some of the considerations to keep in mind.
  • Check out their suggestions on letters of recommendations.

We want to underscore the following.

  • Prior to giving out information for those you hope will be a reference for you, ask them if they feel they can recommend you.  Leave them space to decline; there may be someone else who can provide a stronger recommendation for you.
  • Give reasonable notice. Common courtesy is a month and no less than two weeks.  If you don’t have that much time, be especially apologetic in your “ask” and understanding if they say “no”.