Visual artists at Hampshire College explore film, video, and photography in a way that distinguishes Hampshire’s program from those at many other undergraduate institutions. Here, students learn primarily through independent experimentation with many forms of analog, digital, and electronic media, as well as installation and performance. This individualized process of creation, along with our internationally recognized faculty, excellent technical facilities, and staff support, ensures that Hampshire students can develop their fullest artistic visions along with the tools to produce them.

The emphasis at Hampshire is on project-based learning with an increased focus on content. Students are given the necessary foundations in form, technique, and production skills, while being encouraged to examine the theoretical and critical contexts and the current practices and debates that will inform their artistic expression. In addition to course offerings, the film, photography, and video program offers a series of lectures and internships meant to expose students to a wide variety of visual artists and their work. Through their interactions with successful artists from around the world, students are inspired to pursue their own passions with the confidence that a life in the arts is a valuable and fulfilling one.

All students interested in concentrating in the field begin by learning the histories and key critical issues of their particular area of interest. As they make sounds and images, they also study in other disciplines—from theater, politics, and philosophy to literature, media studies, and art history—so their work proceeds from an understanding of the broader arenas for the work they will create. Through their courses and independent production, students develop an artistic voice and style all their own. Most importantly, they learn the importance of critique in shaping their work. Students’ abilities as image-makers grow dramatically as they learn to articulate what makes a work effective, incorporating the feedback of professors and peers while remaining true to their own ideas.

Division I

Division I students are encouraged to take Introduction to Media Production and courses in art history and media studies as prerequisites to 200 level film, photography, and video production courses.

Division II

Although there is a clear emphasis on independent work in all media in Division II, students are required to try a range of approaches to their media including those involving collaboration. Each student must experiment with a variety of forms, building a portfolio of varied work by the end of Division II. Students will also do substantial reading and writing of critical texts as well as viewing and listening to a broad palette of historical and contemporary works.

Division III

A student with adequate preparation in Division II may undertake a year-long Division III project in film, photography, video, installation, or performance centered on his/her own mode of working in consultation with a faculty committee.