This program is officially approved by MCU under the title Visual & Creative Arts - Fine Arts.
Start your career as a practicing artist with this 2-year intensive studio-based fine arts program. Develop your skills in a variety of traditional arts practices such as figure drawing, oil painting, and ceramics while also exploring the exciting world of experimental 2D and 3D design, book arts, and digital media. Build your artist CV while completing your diploma by exhibiting in one of our 4 on-campus exhibition spaces and participating in experiential learning opportunities through external design contracts and projects.
Studio 1 and 2 courses provide you with an opportunity to specialize your skill and explore personal areas of interest with the support and expertise of professors practicing in their field. You will have unique opportunities to design and implement exhibitions, public/community art projects, participate in a second-year student exchange in Barbados, and complete your Bachelor’s degree with one of our partner universities in Ireland. With innovative pillar courses focusing on Concept Development and Planning, Project Planning and Preparing for Exhibition, Business Development and Marketing, and Arts Leadership, Exhibition, and Portfolio, you will graduate with the skills you need to navigate your chosen creative industry.
Some Program Features Include:
- Intensive studio-based courses apply theory concepts through hands-on experience
- Learning partnerships with institutions in Barbados and Ireland
- On-campus exhibition spaces; Foyer Exhibition Space, Library Exhibition Space, Student Commons, Marianne van Silfhout Gallery (community art gallery)
- Student and Professional portfolio development
- Innovative, industry-based learning opportunities
- Internationally recognized guest speakers
- Faculty comprised of practicing industry professionals
In this course, students learn the basics of safely maintaining a creative space as well as foundational art knowledge, colour theory, and terminology. With a focus on concept development and planning, students learn how to effectively use a sketchbook and time management to develop ideas from concept to completed work. Incorporating beginner photography skills, students capture still life and staged vignette reference photographs, for use in other courses, as well as visually document completed 2D works for their artistic portfolio. Creative Practice 1 also introduces students to contemporary issues in creating art, basic exhibition standards, and art evaluation and criticism. The course culminates in the development and video presentation of a first semester student portfolio.
This course introduces students to the study of drawing and composition in a variety of mediums. Basic visual language, techniques, and materials are used to introduce elements and principles of artistic design. Highlighted are the practices of observation and representational drawing with a focus on still life and vignettes. Works of Canadian artists are examined for inspiration and personal development.
This studio course introduces basic colour theory principles using watercolour and acrylic mediums. Examination of colour history, its psychological effect, and symbolism are explored using a wide variety of traditional tools and techniques. Students experiment in creating finished work that inter-mix water-based media. Design elements such as composition are reinforced through the examination of traditional and contemporary still life, vignettes, and other subject matter within a personal cultural context. A combination of practice and portfolio assignments will emphasize management of paint, brush techniques, tools and supports.
This course introduces students to drawing and painting processes during the early periods of art (prehistoric to the 19th Century), with emphasis on the European tradition. Facilitated discussions reinforce the development of artistic vocabulary specific to art evaluation and criticism. Historical works within the 2-dimensional realm are examined within social, cultural, and political context. Techniques and design qualities are also examined. The studio component of this course allows students to research, explore, and mimic art movements and styles within this timeframe for the purpose of personal artistic growth.
This course is designed to help students develop and practice the communication skills needed to succeed in college and workforce environments. Emphasis is placed on improving foundational communication strategies-reading, writing, listening, and speaking—and on developing research and critical thinking skills.
In this course, students learn the basics of safely maintaining their digital space through the examination of workflow and digital planning tools. With a focus on project management and critique, students learn how to effectively block their time, plan projects, and incorporate feedback into their completed work for the purpose of artistic growth. Building on previously developed photography skills, students capture strong reference photographs (landscapes and portraits) for use in other courses, as well as visually document completed 3D works for their artistic portfolio. Creative Practice 2 introduces students to contemporary issues in curating art, community/public art projects, and the process of applying to participate in art exhibitions. Students will have the opportunity to exhibit select works in a 1st year exhibition on campus. The course culminates with the development and presentation of a first-year student portfolio to faculty and peers.
This course focuses on the development of additional skills using a variety of drawing techniques, processes, and media that impact the expression of ideas across disciplines. Students create and explore visual concepts through a combination of observational sketches, imagination, and reference images to produce a repertoire of original portfolio quality works. Further study in composition, design and the development of individual style are emphasized through lecture, demonstration, and practice assignments. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion as well as self-reflection and skill development. Drawing in the contemporary art context is explored including the examination of Canadian Indigenous artists.
Building on previous knowledge in painting and drawing, this course focuses on developing advanced skills and techniques in watercolour. Further study in composition, design, and the development of individual style are emphasized through a series of studio exercises and portfolio assignments. Students will refine brush work and explore use of additional watercolour mediums, resists, and alternative supports in the creation of portfolio quality works reflecting their areas of artistic interest. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion as well as self-reflection and skill development.
Building on previous knowledge, this course focuses on developing advanced skills and techniques in acrylics. Further study in composition, design, and the development of individual style are emphasized through a series of studio exercises and portfolio assignments. Students will refine brush work and explore use of additional acrylic mediums and surface effects including the application of glazes and textural compounds, as well as the use of alternative supports. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
In this studio course, students progressively build skills working with a variety of traditional and untraditional art mediums. Concept development and planning skills are reinforced as students learn to move their work from the 2-dimensional realm to 3-dimensional design. Exploration of textural surface effects and creative building techniques will be examined and applied to expand student’s creative voice and create portfolio quality finished works. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. The course culminates with the creation of a group installation.
This course introduces students to visual art forms from the 19th Century to present day from a Western perspective including the examination of the portrayal of indigenous peoples in Canadian art. The ongoing relationship and effects of such issues as culture, urbanism, industrialization, technology, and political conflict on the production of contemporary art is explored. A combination of research and studio exercises in the 2-dimensional realm provide students with the opportunity to apply techniques discussed in class for the purpose of personal artistic growth. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
In this course, students create personalized artist documents including an artist biography, personal artist statement, series statement, and artist curriculum vitae. Professional best practice is examined in relation to image/model releases, commission structures, fees and pricing, and copyright regulations. Small business documentation such as budgeting, cashflow, and tax considerations are examined as students begin to develop their career map and consider income streams suited to their area of focus. Beginner marketing principles will be introduced through the exploration of online platforms, social media marketing strategies, and the development of a personal brand. Students research and plan a public/community art project as well as identify and discuss the impact of technology on the field of fine art. The course culminates with the development and presentation of a third semester portfolio to a panel of select faculty and alumni.
This intermediate studio-based drawing course builds on previous knowledge with a focus on the human form. Through the study of live human models, students explore principles of artistic design, perspective, and spatial organization with focused experimentation in line, mass, contour, and cross-contour drawing approaches. With the support of lecture, demonstration, and in-class professor guidance, students capture short and sustained gestural poses using a variety of dry drawing mediums. Students refine observational drawing skills through the combination of practice and portfolio assignments. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
In this studio-based course, students are introduced to oil painting through lecture, demonstration, and in-class professor support. A combination of practice and portfolio assignments allow students to explore common colour mixing and mark making techniques with an emphasis on safe handling of tools and materials. Principles of artistic design such as colour, shape, value, and composition are examined using traditional approaches to oil painting. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
This studio-based course introduces students to traditional hand-building and wheel throwing techniques for the purpose of creating functional works of art. Lecture, demonstration, and professor led discussion supports the concrete expression of artistic elements through a combination of practice and portfolio assignments. The principles of health and safety in working with different clay bodies, glazes, and equipment including the electric kiln will be examined and applied as students create finished portfolio quality pieces using basic tools and methods. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
In this studio-based course, students develop their unique visual language through the creation of a personal body of artistic works. In collaboration with the professor, students develop, plan, and execute their artistic designs to create a series of work that considers political, social, and environmental factors. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. Assessment for this course is comprised of a variety of factors including, but not limited to, development of a working artist statement, demonstrated planning, professional work ethic, personal reflections, and ability to successfully complete the creative process from beginning to end, including exhibition considerations. The course culminates with the presentation of the completed body of work.
In this studio-based course, students explore basic tools, equipment, and methods of printmaking including relief (linocut, woodcut, and wood engraving), intaglio (drypoint etching), and mono printing. A combination of lecture, demonstration, and professor guided discussion, allow students to apply theoretical concepts through a combination of practice and portfolio assignments. Students explore and experiment with methods of printmaking and exhibition while strengthening the core values of composition and design, colour theory, and drawing to further their creative voice. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. This course culminates in a student developed print exhibition and sale.
In this course, students design and execute a minimum of two formal exhibitions on campus as well as personalized virtual exhibitions. Students conduct market research to develop their formal business plan and refine their personal brand and marketing strategies. Acting as mentors, students execute a public/community art project with first-year students as assistants. Gallery and non-gallery exhibition and income opportunities will be explored including arts cooperatives, online sales platforms, grant, and residency opportunities. The course culminates with a graduate exhibition in the Marianne van Silfhout Gallery and the presentation of a professional portfolio to select faculty and industry professionals.
This advanced studio-based drawing course furthers the study of the human figure through activities focused on capturing live model using a variety of dry, wet, and mixed media approaches. Building on skills developed in previous courses, students continue to apply principles of artistic design as they explore the move from traditional to contemporary figure drawing and portraiture in a Canadian context. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. This course culminates in the study and production of portfolio quality portraiture.
In this studio-based course, students explore advanced oil painting techniques such as chiaroscuro, alla prima, impasto, advanced colour mixing, and layering of colour. With a continued emphasis on safe handling of materials and tools, students move from traditional to more contemporary and expressive methods of capturing a variety of subject matter in oils. A combination of practice and portfolio assignments allow students to explore personal areas of interest with a particular focus on Canadian artists. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
In this course, students explore a variety of digital media to create original works of art. The use of film and photography in contemporary fine art will be examined. Students compare these works in a cross-cultural context. Evaluation of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and their impact on arts culture, as well as the accessibility and re-definition of the term ‘fine art’, will be explored. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. This course culminates with the completion of portfolio quality works.
This studio-based course builds on the skills and techniques developed in Ceramics 1 as students safely explore contemporary ceramic arts. With a focus on advanced surface techniques and glazes, students create complex 3-dimensional designs that consider firing, glazing, and display factors. Through research and examination of contemporary ceramic artists, students design and create a unified body of finished portfolio quality work that expresses personal voice, culture, and identity. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development.
In this second level Studio course, students further develop their unique visual language through the creation of a personal body of artistic works. In collaboration with the professor students develop, plan, and execute their artistic designs to create a series of work that considers political, social, and environmental factors using advanced tools, materials, and creative techniques. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. Assessment for this course is comprised of a number of factors including, but not limited to, developing a working artist statement, demonstrated planning, professional work ethic, personal reflections, and ability to build on previous experience to successfully complete the creative process from beginning to end (including exhibition considerations). The course culminates with the presentation of the completed body of work suitable for a professional portfolio.
In this course, students extend their conceptual knowledge of printmaking and design, focusing on thematic book projects that incorporate skills and disciplines developed in previous courses. Through lecture, demonstration, and professor led discussion, students apply basic elements of calligraphy, bookbinding, letterpress, and typography to enhance their projects and grow their visual voice. Examination of the historical context of the ‘book’ explores the visionary dimensions of this genre in the hands of the book artist by interpreting how we, as human beings, interact with the delivery of visual information. Art evaluation and criticism processes are used for peer discussion, self-reflection, and skill development. This course culminates with the completion of portfolio quality works.
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:
- Grade 12 English at the C or U level
- Grade 11 Math
For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.
If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older.
Portfolio Requirement (New)
Details of submitting portfolio are still being developed.
The VCA-FA Portfolio requirement is intended to help us learn who applicants are as creatives. It allows us to assess current technical abilities as well as skills related to planning and problem-solving. This is the applicant’s opportunity to demonstrate their passion, skill, and ability to think creatively using a diverse range of traditional and experimental mediums. *While we respect all art forms, for the purpose of this portfolio, photography and digital art will not be accepted.
In addition to images, applicants are asked to complete a written ‘Statement of Intent’ and image descriptions as outlined below.
- Statement of Intent: The statement of intent is the applicant’s opportunity to introduce themselves in 300 words or less. Their statement should identify any specific areas of interest, influences, or artistic goals, as well as what they hope to accomplish during their time with us.
- Image Submissions: We are interested in the entire creative process. As such, we are requesting examples of both processes and finished, original, work. These may include (but are not limited to) portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, and figurative works in drawing mediums, acrylic, oil, watercolour, printmaking, ceramics, or mixed media. Work submitted may be 2D or 3D pieces.
- Process Work: Include 5-10 images of sketchbooks and works in progress (WIP) that show your process and concept development skills. These images should demonstrate their creative process and experimentation and should link to at least some of the finished pieces included in the portfolio. We would like to see how they progress from concept/sketch to finished work.
- Finished Work: Include 5 examples of original finalized work that demonstrates a variety of your skills and approaches to art. For the 5 finalized works submitted, we ask they include a brief (50 words or less) description of the process/concept/purpose of each piece.
Our Brockville campus received a major facelift in 2018 and has a brand new library, complete with individual and group study space, a newly renovated cafeteria, student common lounges, and more.
Graduates of the Visual & Creative Arts - Fine Arts program may find full-time and part-time employment as self-employed fine artists or may find work in galleries, commercial art studios, retail outlets and educational institutions.
613.345.0660, ext. 3344
Contact a member of our recruitment team
1.800.463.0752 and ask for Recruiting
International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514