Sean Mueller studied sculpture, drawing, printmaking and even spray painting at the College of Charleston. But he didn’t just study. He created artwork in those varied media, some of which is on display today. His experiences provide the perfect example of the diverse range of opportunities available in studio art.
“In my Sculpture 1 course,” Sean says, “we got to work in stone carving and that really convinced me that sculpture would be my area of focus. After that, my interest was reconfirmed by a course in public art.”
For a project in that class, Sean designed lampshades that he researched, fabricated and then installed on the traditional lantern poles around campus. “It was satisfying because it taught me so much. I had to figure out the engineering and learn how to weld. My professor was right there guiding me. And that’s what I really like about this department. On the first day, they tell you, ‘you can make anything you want; we’ll show you how, but it will be you doing the work.’ They give you the tools. They show you how to make something, but they will never tell you what to make. The ideas are all yours.”
Sean spent a semester abroad studying drawing and sculpture in Florence, Italy. “That was a fantastic experience. The instructors were first rate and I was surrounded by such amazing Renaissance art. The highlight for me was getting the opportunity to sculpt in Italian marble.”
For another project, he and a professsor collaborated to develop three public sculptures. They received grant funding and worked together to enter the pieces in various shows. They ended up exhibiting in Newport Beach, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and North Charleston, S.C.
“What’s incredible,” Sean says, “is to have a professor with so many years of experience view you as an equal. That was tremendously valuable for me and it encouraged me to launch my own career as a professional artist.”
Our students are trained in the processes of making art and challenged to excel in the study of art. Studio art majors can work in any of five major modes: drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography or painting. And they’re supported by one of the strongest and most professionally involved art departments in South Carolina, made up of dedicated teachers and practicing artists. All of our professors maintain studio space on campus, meaning that students work in a vital, creative environment.