Foundations at JMU

Foundations is the core of the school, covering Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, Drawing I, and Drawing II. The strength and consistency of the Foundations curriculum provides the basic structure and preparation for all upper-level courses.

The Foundations program introduces students to visual problem-solving techniques, develops their individual strengths, and prepares students for their major area of study. Additionally, historical and contemporary art and design practitioners and related theory are essential to the Foundations curriculum. 

Foundations provides a structure of strategic skill and concept development, including:  

  • Compositional, structural, and materials knowledge 
  • Cultivating a strong studio work ethic  
  • Sustainable practices 
  • Traditional and digital media
  • Vocabulary that is conceptually, aesthetically, and culturally aware. 

Students in Foundations concentrate on the process as well as the product. The Foundations area fosters an environment of experimentation and discovery, where everyone can succeed. 

"It's always within your grasp to make something new."

- Firelei Baez

"My best voice is as an artist."

-Joyce Scott

"I trust my work. It's a collaboration with the material, and when it's viewed, it's a collaboration with the world."

-Kiki Smith

Foundations Faculty

Hsini Des

Instructor of Art


Dymphna de Wild

Foundations Area Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Art, Foundations


Mia Greenwald

Instructor of Art

Dan Hall

Dan Hall

Instructor of Art


Erin E. Murray

Instructor of Art


Allyson Mellberg Taylor

Associate Professor of Art, Foundations


Lisa Tubach

Professor of Art


Katelyn Wood

Instructor of Art

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