The sculpture and intermedia program at the University of Iowa prioritizes conversation that invites multiple perspectives into the process of self-discovery and supports each student’s pathway through the field of contemporary ideas and art practice.
Sculpture and intermedia (S&I) is comprised of two distinct disciplines that have a rich history and symbiosis in the School of Art and Art History (SAAH). This purposeful union enhances creative opportunities for students and fosters new avenues for research.
The program at the University of Iowa presents an interdisciplinary studio practice where students explore ideas, concepts, techniques, materials, and processes while engaging the diverse world around us through multiple perspectives and historical context that is inclusive. We emphasize technical proficiency by realizing that each artist must take a unique approach to marry concept with aesthetic form. The S&I program and the SAAH prepare graduates to comprehensively challenge prevailing practices in artistic expression, develop innovative ideas, and become creators and leaders in the arts.
As a fluid and malleable practice, students are exposed to a broad spectrum of possibilities stimulating research to develop an upward learning path that relies on conceptual thinking and making. In S&I, we explore the essential relationships between concept, form, space, and the body to encourage students to work on installations, site-specific, objects, kinetics, video, performance, sound, and robotics. At the same time, we offer bronze and aluminum casting, metal fabrication, or wood assemblage, all embodying interdisciplinary exploration in search of original content. Students work with faculty who are both exhibiting artists with active studio practice. The program has a dedicated Instructional Services Specialist who is an expert technician in the studio.
Graduate assistantships and competitive fellowships provide MA/MFA students with full tuition waivers and an opportunity to teach during part of their graduate study.
With three years of teaching experience our MFA students have a strong record of successful placement at some of the country's best academic institutions including: Carnegie Mellon, Alfred University, the University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, the College of Creative Studies at Wayne State University, Texas State University, and the University of Maine, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech University, Grinnell College, Middle Tennessee State University, North Park University, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
In the Sculpture & Intermedia program, we offer top-tier facilities and equipment that are second to none in our Visual Arts Building that opened in 2017. Our MA/MFA students have 24-hour access to their studio spaces and all S&I facilities. Additionally, there are six galleries through the School Art and Art History, where students can book exhibition space. S&I has two dedicated installation labs for student research and experimentation with installation, projection and performance.
In our shop facilities, students can investigate both traditional and experimental approaches to materials and processes. We have a fully outfitted woodshop, where students will find equipment and hand tools to address all of our student's needs. The metal Foundry/Fabrication area has a wide array of hot metal fabrication processes available, including MIG welding, TIG, spot welding, manual plasma cutting, and a gas forge. In the Prototyping Area, our students can utilize an electronics lab and the latest computer-aided fabrication tools, including CNC plasma cutter, 4x4 laser cutter, CNC router, CNC mill, CNC lathe and 3D printing.
The flexibility of the area allows students to produce handmade paper and work with a 6'x4' vacuum table. Students work with fiber, and we investigate responsibly sourced natural dyes. Also, we have a digital embroidery machine and sewing machines for students who work with fabrics. Wax and plaster rooms allow students to learn about these materials and all their possibilities for casting and forming.
The S&I Program has exceptional media production facilities, including state-of-the-art Mac-based labs support high-definition video production and 5.1 channel surround sound engineering. Short throw, high lumen, laser, and standard video projectors, hydrophone, smart TVs, HD and 4K Canon cameras (both video and DSLR), Rode microphones, Lowel light kits, Tascam audio recorders, speakers, high-capacity external hard drives, tripods, and other accessories are available for checkout by our students. We share digital printing facilities with other programs.