Senior Project

Every Alleghenian completes a Senior Project in his or her major field—a significant piece of original research or creative work that demonstrates to employers and graduate schools the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and speak persuasively. Studio art majors create a body of work around a central idea or theme; they then present their work professionally in the galleries. Independently conceived, motivated, and sustained, a senior project in Studio Art, Art, Science, and Innovation or Industrial Design offers majors an opportunity to create significant works of art, to write and speak meaningfully about ideas and processes that inform the creation of their art, and to exhibit and document their projects in a professional manner. Senior projects encourage students to perform on a high level of artistic achievement and demonstrate conceptual sophistication, knowledgeable use of formal principles, good craftsmanship, and appropriate technique. Majors in the Art Department often combine their interests to do a joint senior project with another major, such as Psychology, Environmental Science, or Computer Science.

ART 620 is completed in one semester and majors may take it either in the fall or spring semester of their senior year. It has a prerequisite of ART 580 Junior Seminar, which is normally offered both in the fall and spring semesters.

Summary of work required

As the culmination of the semester in which students register for ART 620, they are expected to install a project in an exhibit, in collaboration with other advanced students, working with the Gallery Director. Each must also produce an Artist’s Statement and a Senior Project Paper, including bibliography and illustrations. The oral defense of the project is based on both the installation and the written paper. Work is considered complete when electronic documentation of the project on a USB drive is turned in to the First Reader (for the Art Department) and in to DSpace (for Allegheny College). During the semester, students are expected to meet regularly with the Readers on a schedule to be agreed upon, submit updated versions of a proposal, bibliography, and paper outline as required, and participate in a Midterm Review by the Art Department faculty. Details of these steps are provided in the Senior Project Guidelines (Revised Feb. 2023):

Recent Senior Projects, Studio Art

  • “Redundant Consumption: The Use of New Genre Public Art to Bring Awareness on Paper Use at
    Allegheny College”
  • “The Yin and Yang of Fungal Ecology: An Aesthetic and Scientific Study of Antibiotic Production and Resistance of Monascus purpureus and Cercospora kikuchii,” an investigation of the beauty and danger evident in the natural world (art/biology double major)
  • A series of pastel drawings of dogs awaiting adoption from the Crawford County Humane Society that addressed issues of humanity
  • “Amazing Creeks,” an educational activity and coloring book designed to educate elementary school children about the importance of creeks in community history (art/environmental science double major)
  • “The Hug-It, Punch-It Project,” interactive wall-mounted sculptures installed in public spaces, including an elementary school and a factory
  • “Variation on the Smile,” an investigation into the ambiguous and complicated role that the smile plays in identity and social exchanges; included photography and video installations.

Accessing Senior Projects

All Art students are required to document their senior projects by uploading them into the Allegheny College archive or DSpace.

To access senior projects, please login to DSpace with your Allegheny username and password. Access is restricted to current students, faculty and staff at Allegheny College.

To search by student name, project title or topic, enter a keyword or phrase in the search box above.