Studio Art Mediums


The primary medium of painting at UMN Morris incorporates contemporary and traditional approaches. You’ll be able to master basic skills and techniques while participating in classroom or individual discussions about assignments. Classes center around the exploration and practice of various methods of painting. This includes applying drawing skills, color, composition, personal expression, and alternative painting techniques. You're encouraged to study one or more additional media in studio art and enroll in independent study to experiment with mixed media or research other contemporary methods of painting.

Beginning Painting Courses

  • Strengthen awareness of history and techniques
  • Expose you to contemporary styles and ideas
  • Aid your development of technical and observational skills

These courses will cover the essential elements of painting:  materials, methods, and craft. Course structure is based on a series of exercises that will prepare you for higher levels of problem solving, increased self-discipline, and a better understanding of painting. Focus will be on brushwork, composition and color integration of drawing and design skills, and basic painting studio practices.

Advanced Painting Courses 

  • Facilitate self-discovery
  • Develop personal direction
  • Encourage rigorous and sustained experimentation

Advanced coursework in painting will move you toward the creation of a coherent and cultivated series of paintings.

Studio and Equipment

The painting studio in the Humanities Fine Arts Building consists of a large classroom/studio with an abundance of natural and artificial light. Available equipment includes an easel and taboret, locker space, and ample storage, including vertical slots for finished paintings and works in progress. Our studio art facilities are equipped for oil painting with a fire safety cabinet and other receptacles to dispose of hazardous materials. All water-based paints and acrylics can also be disposed of in the studio. Hand tools and a Makita chop saw are available for building painting stretchers, along with nails, screws, staples, and staple guns.

More details are available in the course catalog. 


At UMN Morris, the primary medium of drawing consists of introductory courses and upper-level coursework focused on drawing. Introductory courses cover various drawing techniques and provide a foundation for further exploration within the medium. Upper level coursework provides an expanded definition of drawing with emphasis on developing concepts and personal direction.

You’ll work with a variety of media, studying basic color theory, materials, and techniques, with access to a wide range of sources and materials. Attention is given to traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing, as well as current issues in drawing. Advanced courses will help you develop your own creative direction.

Drawing Courses

  • An introductory course for non-majors or beginning drawers is available.
  • Basic studio courses emphasize line, form, and spatial representation.
  • The Drawing From Life course focuses on basic and individualized approaches to the human form.
  • Advanced courses offer increased opportunities for experimentation, self-direction, and skills development.

More details are available in the course catalog.


The primary medium of ceramics at UMN Morris offers rigorous instruction in both low-fire and high-fire ceramic techniques. You may choose ceramics to fulfill either the major or minor media requirements in studio art. To do so, you will have to request permission before your junior year from the studio art discipline coordinator.

Ceramics Courses

  • Courses focus on functional pottery that simultaneously respects tradition and asserts its relevance in the 21st century.
  • Safe techniques are taught.
  • Reused, recycled, or locally gathered materials, including clay, fuel, glaze, and kiln-building material, are used.
  • Familiarity with ceramics and general art history is ideal.

Beginning coursework in ceramics emphasizes proficiency in all basic hand-building and throwing techniques, along with a working knowledge of clay types and clay bodies, basic glaze chemistry, and kiln design and firing theory.

Advanced coursework focuses on higher standards of technique and personal aesthetic expression. Topics vary each semester and may include dinnerware, cylinder-based pots, non-glaze decorative techniques, and tile-making. Work is typically done with high-fire stoneware or porcelain, although earthenware clay and glazes are available if it fits the focus of the class.

Studio and Equipment

The ceramics studio offers ample workspace with canvas-covered tables and dampbox, a glazing table, a glaze spray booth, and shelving for greenware, bisqueware, and glazeware. There are numerous cone 10 slips and glazes, including ash glazes and local slip glazes. A variety of press and hump molds made from plaster or bisqueware are available. Tools include a Brent slabroller and a wall-mounted extruder. The studio has seven potter’s wheels, including both kick and electric wheels by Lockerbie, Brent, and Creative Industries. Kiln options include a 10-cubic-foot Skutt electric kiln and a 24-cubic foot updraft Alpine gas-fired kiln. The outdoor firing area features a 75-cubic-foot single-chamber wood kiln. There are also facilities for alternative firing methods, such as sawdust firing.

More details are available in the course catalog.


The primary medium of sculpture offered at UMN Morris teaches different methods, ranging from traditional to conceptual, of working with wood, metal, plaster, clay, and mixed media. Cross-disciplinary work with other media, such as ceramics, bookmaking, and painting, is encouraged.

Studio and Equipment

UMN Morris has the tools and equipment for working in sculpture. Classes are small, allowing for individual, designated work space in the studio. Separate work spaces accommodate tabletop and large-scale work. The studio includes a tool room, metal fabricating and welding area, woodworking area, and overhead crane. The sculpture studio also houses a large Delta style 3D printer, a CNC router, and two laser cutters. When taking sculpture courses, you will learn and have access to these machines. Briggs Library also houses a professional grade Stratasys UPRINT SE 3D printer. You will learn how to model and 3D print your own models in Sculpture 1 and subsequent sculpture courses. Spacious campus grounds allow for outdoor work and display area. 

More details are available in the course catalog.

Digital Imaging

Digital imaging coursework explores the technical, conceptual, aesthetic, and ethical aspects of using computers and digital technology to make art. Digital imaging/photography can be selected to fulfill either your studio art major or minor media requirement. However, before starting your junior year, you will need to request permission for this option from the studio art discipline coordinator. You will learn how to use the latest software programs and tools; manipulate images; document artwork; create gallery-ready imagery; integrate digital work with other media; and explore issues raised by digitally-assisted work.

Studio and Equipment

As a studio art student studying digital imagining, you’ll have access to studio art resources, computer labs, and camera and photo equipment. 

More details are available in the course catalog.


The primary medium of photography combines traditional and alternative methods of producing images. By studying photography, you’ll learn how to use the medium as a means to expand your own personal vision. You’ll gain a better understanding of composition and learn about presentation styles and techniques, including sequential book form, collage, montage, and traditional matting and framing. You’ll discover the medium’s potential for expressing views and ideas. Photography classes allow for one-on-one and group critiques of student work as well as discussion of the work of established artists.

Studio and Equipment

As a photography student, you’ll have access to several Besseler enlargers and multiple workstations.

Photography Opportunities

  • Service learning initiatives provide unique off-campus learning experiences and are available to photography students.
  • Photography students can be part of developing a body of photography and writing in support of the local foods program.
  • Photography students can work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students from across campus to assist with projects ranging from production of the campus website to providing documentation for regional initiatives developed by the Center for Small Towns.
  • Student photography has been exhibited at regional venues including the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance, government buildings, Pomme de Terre Foods, Common Cup Coffeehouse, and Java River.

More details are available in the course catalog.


The primary medium of printmaking at UMN Morris offers instruction on a variety of techniques for creating reproducible imagery. You can choose printmaking to fulfill the studio art major or minor media requirement. 

Printmaking Courses

Beginning coursework in printmaking explores:

  • Intaglio processes
  • Relief
  • Drypoint, etching, linocut, woodcut
  • Plate lithography
  • Waterless lithography
  • Onotype

Advanced coursework in printmaking explores: 

  • Improved basic processes
  • Complicated color work in intaglio and lithography
  • Large format relief
  • Multiple process work
  • Digital applications
  • Unique monoprints

Note that the course, Media Studies: Printmaking, can be used in place of advanced printmaking coursework.

Studio and Equipment

You’ll have access to all of the necessary printing equipment, which includes three etching presses, a lithography press, more than a dozen screen printing units, printing inks, and drying racks. In addition, the studio maintains lithography stones and woodcut and etching tools for students to check out as needed. You’ll also receive ample storage space to house your paper and matrices during the course. 

More details are available in the course catalog.