Art Department’s COVID-19 News

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the Art Department’s COVID-19 news page for 2020-2021.

This page provides Art Department news, and information specific to recent additions to the Art Department’s curriculum, as well as changes to how we will be using our classrooms and buildings during the coronavirus pandemic. For College-wide updates, please visit the College’s coronavirus page. Below you’ll find relevant news concerning our course offerings and special events that will be updated from time to time. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Art Department co-chairs: Liz McGowan for Art History ([email protected]), and Amy Podmore for Studio Art ([email protected]). The Art Department’s administrative assistant, Beverly Sylvester ([email protected]), can also answer questions. Art majors may also reach out to their major advisors with any specific questions or concerns they might have. If you are a junior or senior who would like an advisor please get in touch with the faculty member of your choice. Follow this link to the list of Art Department advisors for 2020-21.

Sending good wishes to you all and wishing you a healthy, safe and productive year, 

Amy Podmore and Liz McGowan 

Co-Chairs, Art Department


Art Department’s Fall 2020 course catalog and class schedule

  • The official course catalog is scheduled to be released on August 3, the day pre-registration advising begins. 
  • To see information on Art Department course offerings for Fall 2020, follow this link
  • For a quick overview of the Fall courses, follow this link to the Fall 2020 Course Flyers’ Page.

Declaring an Art major- three routes- Art Studio, Art History and History and Studio:

  • Terrific! You’d like to be an Art Major! Welcome to the Art Department! You can declare an Art major beginning August 3. Art Department faculty will be available to help rising juniors declare an Art major from August 3-13. Pre-registration itself won’t begin until August 10 (to see the full registration timeline, click here). Please choose an advisor and schedule an appointment with that Art Department faculty member who will help you with course selection and the online paperwork required to declare a major.  To see the form(s) required to declare an Art major, follow this link


  • Welcome Back! Senior majors should reach out to their advisors to discuss course selection before pre-registration opens on August 10. It’s important to check in about course selections, to ensure that all major requirements are fulfilled by the time of graduation!

Department News:

  • The Art Department welcomes three new faculty members this year! Cecilia Aldarondo will teach courses on documentary film and video in both the Studio Art and Art History wings of the department, and Sara Rara will teach courses in film and video in Studio Art. Carolyn Wargula joins Art History to teach courses about the art and visual cultures of East Asia. 
  • Art History has FIVE courses at the 100-level to choose from this year! Any can be used to fulfill the 100-level requirements for the major in Art History. These are ARTH 101: Introduction to European Art before 1700, ARTH 102: Art and Architecture from the Age of Enlightenment to the Present, ARTH 103: East Asian Art, ARTH 105: Arts of South Asia, and ARTH 106: An Invitation to World Architecture. (ARTH 104: Materials Meanings and Messages in the Arts of Africa will be offered in the future but not in 2020-21.)


Modified Department Policies (2020-2021):

  • Major requirements: A nine course minimum is required to complete the Art major in any of our three routes: Art History, Art Studio or History and Studio.  During the coronavirus pandemic, the Art Department anticipates circumstances where substitutions within our internal major requirements might be necessary. Please contact the department chairs if you anticipate having any difficulty due to disruptions created by the pandemic, to discuss your situation. We will be happy to provide some flexibility in order to help you successfully complete your studies in Art History or Studio Art at Williams!
  • Usually, the Registrar’s policy is that courses taken Pass/Fail cannot be used towards a departmental major unless it’s the first course taken towards that major. Due, however, to the challenges our students may face during this pandemic, the Pass/Fail courses from Spring 2020 and those taken during academic year 2020-2021 will be counted towards the Art major. The majority of Art History and Studio Art classes may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Majors should keep in mind, however, that there will be certain courses that cannot be taken Pass/Fail, and it’s best to check the catalog listing or with the professor teaching the course about the Pass/Fail option. For example, Pass/Fail is not an option for tutorials, a college-wide policy. We’d like to reiterate, however, that courses taken during Spring 2020 including tutorials, of course, can indeed be among the nine courses needed for the major in Art!
  • To help ensure safe and effective learning environments the Art department’s enrollment caps have been reduced for the fall. Most Art History classes will have lower enrollment caps and all courses in Studio Art are limited to 12 or fewer students. As a result, you may not be able to take a desired course. But don’t despair! Please think about alternate courses you could take when you make up your schedule for the fall. 
  • The Lawrence Hall and Spencer classrooms will be modified this year to adhere to the requirements for proper distancing. We ask that you not move furniture from its location in each room. Unfortunately, the faculty offices in Lawrence have been deemed too small for meetings, so the faculty office area will not be available to students. Tutorials will take place in Lawrence 2 or via Zoom. Of course, masks are required in all interior spaces, per college and state policies.

We understand that this will be an unusual year and have additional challenges. Nonetheless, we are working hard to create rich and valuable experiences for you. The world needs Art, Artists and Scholars! Art is a direct reflection of both the past and the present, and is capable of creating profound transformations in both the maker and the viewer. The Art Department looks forward to working with you this year!