As the name suggests, foundation year is about laying the groundwork for your life as an artist.
Foundation year is a time to question what you know and find out what you don’t. It is a time to unpack your preconceptions and explore new possibilities. It is a time to open wide your eyes, your mind, your self. In high school, it was simple. You were the artist. Now you’re among a community of artists—people who get it and get you—and it’s not as simple. Now, you need to figure out who you are as an artist.Learn more about the Photography Foundation Year.
During foundation year, you’ll have a chance to develop your voice. We’ll introduce you to multiple ways of thinking and creating so you can figure out who you are as an artist—and what you want to do with your art. You’ll learn how to communicate through your art in ways that are both personal and powerful. You’ll take a long, hard look at your art, other people’s art, art from around the world, art from past civilizations. Through this process, you’ll begin to see your place in the world of art. You will emerge with the tools, techniques, and knowledge behind you to come on strong and dedicate yourself to art.Right from the start, you’ll be totally immersed in art. You will explore drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional arts, color theory, the creative process, art history, and writing. Along the way, you’ll develop a working knowledge of materials and techniques, a fluency of visual language, and keen powers of observation—all vital to your success as an artist. Foundation year also lets you dive right into what you love. You’ll take one course each semester in your intended major, so you can experience how your specific area of interest fits into—and is informed by—other creative areas, approaches, and historical and cultural perspectives. You’ll learn to think and create across disciplines so that when you encounter opportunities outside of your artistic focus, you’ll have the skill set and flexibility to pounce on them.The foundation year isn’t just about learning to produce art. It’s about learning how to be creative and how to find solutions. We’ll help you find your voice, discover inspirations, expand your possibilities, and transform your values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of art.Foundation classes are traditionally taken during your first year, but they can also enrich your AIB experience at different points along the way—an elective in figure drawing could bring personality to your design skills or perhaps a course in conceptual drawing would bring discovery to your new interest in animation. Foundation Year includes your first class in your major area of study, so you can get a jump-start on your specific interests.If you are an advanced student with prior study (say you're transferring in from another art school) and have already decided on your major, you may be able to get an exemption from some or all of the foundation courses. If this is the case you may be able to begin studies in your chosen field during your first year.
Professor, Foundation Program
Associate Professor of Foundation
Liberal Arts and General Education
Graduate Alumni Artwork
Graduate Faculty Artwork
Pre-College Student Artwork
Undergraduate Faculty Artwork
Undergraduate Student Artwork
Art Institute of Boston
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“The best thing about AIB is having so many resources—from studio space to materials to supportive teachers—to help you reach your goals.” — Tara Sellios, Class of 2010
“When students leave AIB, they’re fully prepared to enter the industry. Artists must both achieve mastery in one area and develop a range of marketable skills.” — Brandon Strathmann, Assistant Professor
“AIB gave me the time and space to learn, grow, and develop, and to pay attention to the language of my medium and make it my own.” — Stephanie Pierce, BFA, Painting and Printmaking '96