MICA is committed to achieving the highest level of drawing proficiency among its students. In this respect, the Drawing Department serves as both a foundation for all other departments and a resource for upper-level electives. It also offers a vigorous, in-depth program of study for those choosing a major in drawing. Learning to draw means learning to discern the qualities of visual forms and the spaces they occupy. To articulate these judgments, good eye/hand coordination must be carefully developed. The department believes that these skills and the creative possibilities explored through drawing are as important for those pursuing a career in the applied arts as they are for the fine artist.
The underlying strength of the drawing program is in the mid-level studio courses. All students, except for those majoring in photography, environmental design, and graphic design, are required to take a life drawing and a studio drawing course. It is strongly recommended that these courses be taken in the sophomore year, because the intellectual capacities in judgments about formal relationships that these courses develop are, in every sense of the word, a prerequisite to higher level work in one's own major. In keeping with the department's philosophy, these courses are woven around subjects that have played central roles in the traditions of western art: the nude, still life, interiors, landscapes, nature study, the portrait, composition, and others. In the upper-level studios, drawing courses are more varied and esoteric, encouraging personal expression and inviting visual experimentation and imaginative solutions.
The course of study for drawing majors is intentionally broad and open. In all, students have 14 electives, some of which are open to any studio department and others that are restricted to painting, printmaking, or drawing. Students are encouraged to develop and pursue their own vision. Drawing majors participate in the senior independent program shared by the painting, drawing, printmaking, and general fine arts departments.