Sculpture | Art & Design | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

iron pour


Undergraduate classes focus on the basic sculptural issues relevant to object making. Core processes include mold making, welding, wood fabrication, casting, and mixed media. More complicated and advanced forms of sculptural investigation such as installation, cross-disciplinary, and new genre investigations are encouraged throughout the curriculum when appropriate. Project assignments are keyed to critical issues of contemporary sculpture in order that the student may gain a working understanding through experience.

RZ sculpture setupThrough all stages of study, the critique process is central. Individual meetings with instructors and class critiques are the primary means by which critical assessment is made and serve not only to gauge progress, but also to encourage information exchange. As the student progresses through the program and begins advanced study, shared studio space is provided. At this point, the successful student will have developed a personal working approach with regard to direction and material. Individual research into current approaches and concerns relevant to the discipline of sculpture provide a means by which students may contextualize their efforts and understand that they are part of a larger cultural endeavor. Finally, the thesis component will culminate in the production of a statement and final exhibition, which will provide the basis for further study at the graduate level.

sculpt2Fundamentally, SIUC sculpture is defined by an assumption that object making, while not the sole limiting condition of sculptural practice, is still at the core of our discipline. Material, process, and meaning are equally important to those of us who share the desire to make our ideas concrete and our vision real.

Learn more about our undergraduate program through this downloadable brochure (PDF).

Rachel KirkendollFaculty:


Graduate Gallery:


The work pictured here is only a small sampling of the outstanding work of our graduate students in Sculpture.


Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture
The graduate sculpture experience provides students with generous studio spaces and access to a wide range of facilities in order that they may define their approach to art making. The Glove Factory Studio Arts Facility houses 8 sculpture studio spaces, 2 sculpture faculty studios, a large mixed-use space, a wood working area, and a large metal fabrication space. Facilities for wood include a table saw, a 12-inch radial arm saw, a compound miter saw, 14” and 20" band saws, an 8-inch jointer, stationary sanders, a 24" planer and a lathe. The metal fabrication area includes an oxyacetylene rig, 2 MIG welders, a lubricated horizontal band saw, a chop saw, a Hossfeld pipe bender, a 6 ft 12 ga box and pan brake and a six ft. 12 ga. slip roll. 

sculpture CNCAll spaces have compressed air regulators. A rendering lab includes two 24 in. Pro Macs with Rhino, Maya, Google Sketchup Pro, Final Cut Pro, CS3 and other assorted software as well as two Wacom drawing tables. At a distance from the main campus, two 3,600-square-foot metal buildings house six studios and the Foundry complex, which includes 3 furnaces for bronze and aluminum, as well as cupolas for iron casting. Also housed at the Foundry is a wax room, ceramic shell facility, two burn-out kilns, two 500-pound capacity mullers for making bonded sand molds, a cabinet sand blaster and large pot blaster for oversized work. Welding and fabrication equipment includes standard arc, TIG, MIG and oxy-acetylene rigs, and a plasma cutter. In addition, a separate forge with trip hammers, a number of hoists, lifts and the support equipment associated with welding and casting fill out the metalworking equipment inventory. The foundry also includes a separate wood shop with a 12 in. table saw, sliding miter saw, 20 in. band saw and a disc/belt sander. The video below features visiting artist Terry Adkins working with some of our graduate students during a bronze pour at the Foundry.

A minimum of 60 semester credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree with a major in art.

Primary studio emphasis:  26 credit hours
Graduate Art History:  12 credit hours
Studio Electives (may be within specialization): 9 credit hours
Thesis or terminal project work:  6 credit hours
Other Electives:  The remaining 7 credit hours may be elected from any area within the School of Art & Design or from the University at large.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sculpture Specialization
The undergraduate major in Sculpture can be accomplished by fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

Total Degree Requirements: 120 credits
University Core Curriculum: 32 credits
(3 covered by AD 100A or B, 6 by AD 207A, B, or C Introduction to Art History),
Art and Design Requirements: 88 credits