500 Days of Summer?

UC Boulder art building & art museum

Well, not exactly, so how about 300 days of sunshine?  Every year.

I had the chance to visit the beautiful town of Boulder, Colorado last month and that’s what I found. Not a bad place to attend college! OK, full disclosure: I considered attending the University of Colorado Boulder back in the day. But that’s a story for another time.

If you’re looking for an art school in Colorado you have a number of options to choose from. UC Boulder is a large, public, research university on a beautiful campus at the base of the Flatiron mountain range. The aptly named Art and Art History department offers degrees in Art History and Studio Arts in the new state-of-the-art Visual Arts Complex. BA’s are common; getting into the BFA program is more difficult. For a BFA you’ll need to be a UC student with a minimum of 30 hours of Art & Art History courses under your belt and then go through a rigorous selection process. Few are accepted. Studio Arts disciplines include: Ceramics, IMAP (photography, digital media, video, integrated arts), Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, and Sculpture and Post-Studio Practice.

Laura Shill, the IMAP lab coordinator gave me a tour of some of the labs and shared with me how influenced they are by changing technology. “Taking risks with new technology is what students want,” she said. With each new year of students come fresh ideas, and the program adapts to those requests. A New Directions of Photography class is blending 21st century technology with antiquated processes. It’s a “collapsing of the centuries” she added. Students produce contemporary work, yet because they incorporate old world techniques they become aware of the traditions that paved the way for today’s medium.

Around 1000 students are in the undergraduate program, plus an additional 50 grad students.