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Arts Curriculum

Arts at Antioch College are inclusive, interdisciplinary, and engaged with the world.

You’re given agency and a sense of place with communities of practice and holistic connections to activism, nature, and other disciplines.

You’ll be guided by faculty while finding your voice as an artist and scholar.

You’ll collaborate with your peers as well as faculty.

You’ll connect to professional opportunities and arts mentors through Co-op. 

Our curriculum supports studies in:

  • Narrative films, documentaries, experimental films, visual effects
  • Audio, podcasting, vox pop, oral histories
  • Installation, site specific works
  • Printmaking, drawing, painting, design
  • Performance and devised theater, playwriting-creative writing storytelling
  • Multimedia performance and installation work
  • Photography

Practice-based classes provide you the opportunity to find your own way into an artistic discipline through hands-on, interactive, and small collaborative courses. You’ll get to do creative research and learn to use design software. Our small campus means you create connections to other students, your professors, and local arts practitioners. We provide access to opportunities and individualized mentoring.

Arts students have many spaces in which to learn their craft, make work, and exhibit/perform what they’ve created, including media and visual arts studios, WYSO Radio, Herndon Gallery, and the Foundry Theater, which houses blackbox, mainstage and other maker’s spaces.

Student artists work in and across disciplines, modes, and media to produce socially engaged work. Students have designed majors in narrative films, documentaries, experimental films, visual effects, audio, podcasting, vox pop, oral histories, installation, printmaking, drawing, painting, design, performance and devised theater, playwriting-creative writing storytelling, creative research, practice as research, multimedia performance and photography.

Beyond the major, students engage in the practice of artmaking through Antioch’s connections in the local arts community as Miller Fellows with paid positions at the John Bryan Community Pottery and Yellow Springs Arts Council, among other placements.  

A requirement for completion of the bachelor’s degree at Antioch is fulfillment of the Cooperative Education requirement, full-time periods of either paid work, research, or other experiential opportunities. Arts majors have held Co-op placements at:

  • Artex Fine Art Services in Washington, D.C.
  • Creative Time, a New York-based arts organization
  • International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City
  • The Kitchen, a multi-disciplinary arts and performance space in New York
  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston
  • Prometheus Radio in Philadelphia
  • San Francisco Mime Troupe
  • Sharp Productions in Los Angeles
  • Wooster Group, a New York City-based experimental theater company
  • Your Time to Shine in Bridgeport, CT
  • Zoetrope Aubry Productions in San Francisco

Students culminate their Antioch experience with the completion of a capstone project. The pathway pursued by students will organically lead to the formation of their capstone project, developed in the final year through a combination of capstone coursework and faculty mentorship. The capstone project embraces a broad array of opportunities, including field study co-ops and/or projects based in Antioch’s curricular assets or in the local community.

Ella Arnold
Visual Arts

Skill-Learn in Garment Making / This capstone project is an exploration of my fiber art practice as it relates to garment making. Over the course of the past several months, I have investigated various skills pertaining to sewing and tailoring, such as sewing from pre-made patterns, self-patterning, learning finishing techniques, and experimenting with alteration processes. I have gathered knowledge from textual resources, and have worked closely with and learned from my faculty mentor, Brooke Bryan. The presented work is the physical documentation of this gathering of knowledge, and it consists of patterns, swatches, and finished and unfinished garments that I’ve created. I designed this project as a way to facilitate the development of my fiber practice, and I hope to continue building upon this work in the future.

Jennifer Bish
Visual Arts

Fluid / My artwork explores line and space. In my work, I attempt to embody memory as well as my current experiences in life. My inspiration derives mostly from people in my life as they are often the center of my works. Previously, my goal for my artwork was to make people think. I used to believe a piece was successful when it sparked a reaction from the audience. Now, I just like making things that I find interesting to look at, in hopes that my audience will as well. I want my work to be relatable to the audience while still being meaningful to me and my life. This project is a fluid acrylic installation. Through exploration of the medium over the past year, I have worked to transform space and create a submersive “fluid” room. The room includes a covered floor, walls, furniture, and a process video.

David Blakeslee
Media Arts

Souvenir / Souvenir is an experimental documentary video installation. Through archive video of the Japanese surrender and my own footage of Japan, Souvenir explores the connections between myself as an American tourist in Japan and my grandfather as part of the occupying American forces. Centered around the journey of a centuries-old sword my grandfather took back with him to the states, this project begs questions of history and memory and documentation.

Conrad (Connie) Brunson
Media Arts 

Preventing Bird Window-strikes on Campus at Antioch College / I am providing a solution to the campus issue of bird window-strikes through the use of artistic vinyl decals implemented on high-strike area windows. The final project is accompanied by a personal animation essay-film. Birds can’t see glass because of its transparency, and an estimated billion birds die in collisions with glass yearly in the United States alone. From personal experience of collecting the remains of birds that have hit windows around campus, I can state with confidence that we greatly contribute to the deaths of local wildlife species. My solution is to implement student-designed vinyl decals to the windows of room 218 of the Arts and Science Building, which is where most window-strikes happen on campus. These cheap, removable, and customizable designs will be implemented and then monitored for effectiveness in reducing window-strikes prior to moving towards a campus-wide solution.

Ellie Burck
Media Arts

Sweetwater / This project is about the ties of people to fish, fish to water, and water to all, in the form of a short documentary film. Using oral history methodologies to learn about my interviewees’ fishing practices and lives, I made this film to put a magnifying glass to the beauty of fish guts, hooks, waiting, and the thinking that encapsulates fishing in the Great Lakes Region. As I learned more about this culture, I discovered it is always shifting with the fish. As the fish adapt to new waters impacted by climate change and pollution, the people who are fishing reflect the changes in the environment they themselves are altering as they search for their game. This is more than a film about the environment, it is a watery portraiture of what it was, how it was, when I saw it.

Renée Burkenmeier
Visual Arts

Painting with Light / Someone once told me that photography is “painting with light.” This opened up a whole new world in photography for me which is a medium I already love. I began taking photos with the intention of making richly layered images. Someone could look through my SD cards at any given point and find highly saturated, perhaps desaturated, zoomed in, textured and/or blurry images all over the place. Many of them are of nonsense. And from these potentially undesired images I make something beautiful. This process has trained me to see the world in new ways. Seeing shapes, textures, and colors—reflections of light—as possibility.

Odette Chavez-Mayo
Media Arts (Photography)

We are Enough: Portraits from Dayton Correctional Institution / My senior project is a collaborative portrait series of incarcerated women
serving life sentences at Dayton Correctional Institution. In windows of 2 hours, I have set up a 4×5 camera, two lights, and a black cloth in the prison’s visiting room to take the portraits. Allowing the women to have as much agency as possible in the process has been important, as well as fostering a space where freedom, curiosity, and play could occur despite the constraints of a being somewhere meant for punishment and dehumanization. My intent is to create images that combat oversimplified and harmful narratives of prisoners and to focus on their humanity, above all else.

Todd Ennis
Identity, Aesthetics, and Discursive Practice

dinnerparty / dinnerparty is a process-oriented sculpture that uses the mise-en-scène of an intimate supper as a framework to acknowledge our propulsion through time. Inspired by the object translation of Tracy Emin’s My Bed (1998) and the performative domesticity of The Real Housewives franchise, this work is located around the mutable site of the dinner table and its composition as the surrounding context shifts, as event becomes memory, as object becomes document.

Timothy Grant
Media Arts (Political Economy, Media, and Technology)

Barriers to Entry / Barriers to entry elucidates the various barriers to entry into 5 different sections of the US economy: banking, technology,
media, education, and food. I focus on the strategies that larger companies/corporations use to attain and maintain dominance in their
market. This senior project is an audio-visual experience where people can step into a barrier made of information about the different sectors of the U.S. economy and hear interviews from local small organizations about their experiences operating their businesses under these conditions. My passions for IT and finance in conjunction with my interest in business led me to pursue this project to uncover the information that has deliberately been hidden from the majority of the population.

Javis Heberling
Media Arts

Early excerpt from Halo: Omega / Halo: Omega is an ongoing work in progress; a series of short animated films based in the universe of the
popular video game Halo, which played a large role in inspiring me to become a storyteller, filmmaker, and animator. The series takes place in the waning years of a decades-long, losing conflict between humanity and an alien alliance, following a small group of soldiers as they embark on classified high-risk missions in the hopes of turning the tide. With this team consisting of soldiers, government spies, and abducted children-turned super-soldiers, the series will explore humanity; from finding it in the most alien sources, to finding it lacking in figures of authority, to striving to understand what it is amidst the realities of war.

Toni Jonas-Silver
Art Practice as Prefigurative Politics

Art and Interstitial Theory | Living and Making in the Cracks of Capitalism / This project comes from a need to know why I want to do
art. I sometimes derive a special kind of joy and indescribable satisfaction from doing art. The realization that this joy and satisfaction is actually a result of social interactions that are inseparable from the art and its making led me to understand in a new way how art can be political — how it can act as a tool for opening space for special ways of relating. Interstitial theory understands the space that art opens up as being in opposition to capitalism, a space where the cultural logic of capitalism is replaced by a new logic that is created by the art. I now understand the “indescribable satisfaction” as being the experience of temporarily overcoming our oppressive system, of existing, not after, or outside of, but between capitalism, in the cracks.

Students who graduate with degrees in the arts continue their education in graduate programs in all disciplines, work as artists and activists, become teachers, work as entrepreneurs, and pursue a variety of professional opportunities. Here are a few: 

  • Ellie Burck ‘18 is a VW Media Fellow at MoMA PS1, an exhibition space that features artists’ retrospectives, site-specific installations, and curates a full schedule of musical and performance programming in Long Island City (Queens). She also has a part-time position as a video editor with Mercury Road Media, a young, start-up production company focused on amplifying women’s voices in media.
  • Odette Chavez-Mayo ‘18 is an interpreter at The Sex Workers Project and an apprentice at DDG Frameshop.
  • Iris Ryn Olson ‘17 is a candidate for the Master’s in Public Health (May 2019) and is an Activist Fellow at the Boston University School of Public Health.
  • Zeb Reichart ‘15 worked on the set or costume production of the Oscar-winning film Black Panther.
  • Forrest Humphrey ’15 is teaching at Youth Initiative High School in Wisconsin.
  • Sean Allen ’17 is an LGBTQIA Grassroots Organizer in Nantucket, MA.
  • Hannah Priscilla Craig ’17 is in the Language and Culture Ambassadors Program of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in Malaga, Spain. She is also a freelance designer.
  • Cleo Van de Veen ’16 is Residency Program Manager at Worm Farm Institute in Reedsburg, WI.