Senior Seminar

The Senior Thesis Exhibition is the culminating experience of the studio art major.  It is a group exhibition required of all senior majors that takes place in the Tang Museum at the end of the spring semester during senior week.  The purpose of the exhibition is to celebrate and assess the accomplishments of art majors in studio practice.


Preparation: Work in the studio with full energy, sense of purpose, and commitment. Actively make work, building on your best ideas. Bring pieces to full resolution. When you have strong pieces of work, begin making selections for the exhibition. Consult with individual faculty members concerning questions of selection and presentation. Weigh the guidance you receive and make your own final decisions.

Presentation: The presentation of your work for the Senior Thesis Exhibition is a major element in the way it is evaluated. High quality presentation is essential. Work that is framed, hung, cased or placed well will show the work to its best advantage.

Timing: As you make the work, develop your total concept for the piece, which will include its presentation. Plan ahead to consider your needs, and prepare for unexpected situations by working in advance of your deadlines. Don’t delay important preparation until the week before your installation date! Do your homework – explore local resources and internet sites to find the best presentation materials at the most economical price. Talk to your faculty members about options for the presentation of specific work.

A note about framers: Framers will do as little or as much of the work of framing the pieces as you request. They can take the pieces and totally prepare them for hanging or they could prepare parts for you to assemble yourself. Most frame shops require two to three weeks to complete a job. Rush jobs may be granted at additional cost.

A note about ordering: If you plan to order from a catalogue or on line, please allow adequate time for back orders and shipping. Make sure your order is complete and accurate.



Assess your registration for spring studio classes in relation to your goals for the senior thesis exhibition.

Finalize your area/areas of concentration within the major. Remember that you can work in studios only in areas where you are enrolled.

Establish the areas in which you will focus your efforts for the exhibition. You may present work from a single area or combine work from areas of depth and maturity. Combined work is most effective when you have strong bodies of work in each discipline.

Stay focused; diffusing your efforts among too many areas will diminish the quality of all the work and the integrity of the exhibition.

Talk with your advisor and faculty in your advanced studio courses about your goals for the exhibition and the means to work toward those goals.

  • Establish contact with faculty to assist in your evaluation and preparation of your work.
  • Complete the Student Information Exhibition Form.
  • Select the work for exhibition. Hold additional work in reserve to give you flexibility during the installation process.
  • Order presentation supplies.



You will receive a Student Exhibition Information Form at the first seminar meeting in the spring. Fill out the form, listing work to be exhibited and an estimate of space and equipment needs. The Exhibition Coordinator and an installer at the Tang will develop a floor plan map indicating the exhibition space for each student. You will receive your copy of the map at our last meeting in the spring, approximately 1-2 weeks before the exhibition.

Allotment of Space: The exhibition committee will assign space according to need and availability. Since approximately 50 senior art majors will participate in the exhibition, wall space is at a premium. Space will be allotted as equitably as possible. You can anticipate approximately 8 – 10 ft. of wall space per student. After space requirement forms are returned, and basic needs are established, more space may be available. Not all students need wall space – some will use free-standing floor space, others will exhibit outdoors. Any remaining wall space will be distributed equitably.

Once the floor plan has been established, positively no space changes may be made without first consulting with the Exhibition Coordinator.

Installation: Two-dimensional work should be properly framed, matted, or mounted. Most three-dimensional work should be mounted on bases or presented in cases. Large sculptures or installation pieces should be presented to their best advantage. Digital work should be presented in a way that is easily accessible. Each senior is responsible for installing his/her own exhibition. The Exhibition Coordinator, Director of the Schick Gallery, and the Head of Installations and Building Manager at the Tang Museum, are available to discuss installation requirements and answer your questions. Please make an appointment with the Exhibition Coordinator if you think your installation needs are particularly challenging.

Consider the entire exhibition space – your work and the area, including the spacing, grouping, and height of the works. Your presentation should ensure that individual works may be seen clearly and effectively while remaining part of a cohesive whole.

Respect the exhibition area of the students adjoining your space. Be sensitive to their needs. Leave space between your work and the exhibition space of students in your area. You may not infringe upon another student’s space under any circumstances!

Labels: Prepare and submit label information for your selections. Label information must include your name, the title of each piece and the medium. Forms for this will be provided in the spring. Check the timeline for more details.

Bases and equipment: For students showing ceramics, small sculpture, or digital work, bases will be provided by the Tang. Bases and enclosed cases will be assigned according to the size and number of your exhibited works, from a base/platform inventory list that will be made available to you. Students requiring a computer and monitor should contact Media Services (x5940) to reserve equipment. Since space and electronic equipment are both limited, several students may need to share the same equipment. Plan ahead to effectively coordinate your presentations. You may not add your own panels or bases to the floor plan without prior approval from the installer at the Tang.

Lighting: Museum personnel will set all lighting in the gallery spaces. Please note: Museum personnel may need to rearrange sculpture bases to insure better security and traffic flow during the busy opening reception (400 – 500 people attend).

Insurance: Skidmore College does not insure works in the Senior Thesis Exhibition. Consider securing your work, especially if it is small and portable. Self-insurance is another option.

De-installing the exhibition: You are responsible for removing your work, cleaning and returning installation tools and materials, and leaving your exhibition area clean and in good order. Work remaining beyond the deadline for removal will be disposed of.

Works kept for the Permanent Collection: If any work is to be kept for the Permanent Collection, the Director of the Tang Museum will contact you.