Foundations Courses

About the Courses

The Foundations program comprises the following courses that introduce students to visual problem-solving and critical-thinking strategies incorporating and studying culture, history, and practice of various art and design forms across disciplines to prepare students for rigorous college courses in visual art, design, art education and art history.

The Foundations program in the College of Visual Arts and Design at UNT has a lecture/lab format, i.e., classroom learning once per week for an hour lecture as one cohort. Additionally, students spend five hours per week in separate making-based labs where the conceptual framework discussed in the lecture is applied. 

Graduate Teaching Assistants and Adjunct Assistants

Graduate teaching assistants and adjunct assistants instruct the lab component of the Foundations courses and support lead faculty by mentoring, teaching, and delivering the content to students in making-based labs. The primary content and conceptual framework of the course is delivered, discussed, and analyzed in the lecture component of the course by the lead faculty.

Graduate teaching assistants and adjunct assistants who assist lead faculty are appointed through a rigorous selection process. Those graduate teaching assistants attend a teaching seminar and are held to standard measured through ongoing performance reviews. Foundations lab instructors meet weekly with lead faculty. Lead faculty provide mentorship throughout the semester to ensure equitable and cohesive instruction among all lab sections. 

The Four Foundations Courses


Prerequisite: a course or requirement that must be completed successfully before enrolling in a course 
Corequisite: a course or requirement which must be registered for and taken concurrently with another course


1. Perception and Translation  |  ART1600  |  Prerequisites: None
This course focuses on the translation of visual phenomena using a variety of digital and analog drawing (mark-making) materials.

2. Space – physical, temporal, and virtual  |  ART1700  |  Prerequisites: None
This course explores multiple conceptions of space ranging from physical objects to metaphorical space.

3. Narrative and Representation  |  ART 1800 | Prerequisites: None
This course emphasizes multiple levels of representation ranging from the physical to the intangible.

4. Systems and Transformations  | ART 1900 | Prerequisites: Two of ART 1600, ART 1700, ART 1800; and corequisite: one of ART 1600, ART 1700, ART 1800
This course critically analyzes multiple — research- and choice-based — perspectives of object and image-making and challenges students to develop a personal framework in the processes of visual art and design. 

Materials and Supplies 

Materials List for Foundations Students

Materials and Supplies • Download as a PDF

The following list is the basic Kit (a list of supplies) for the students enrolled in the Foundations Program in the College of Visual Arts and Design. Students will receive a notification when the Kits are ready to be picked up at a local vendor. Students are not required to purchase the Kit from the kit vendor. They may piece the Kit together with items they previously own and supplement items they are missing taking into consideration that specified brands/types are required.

Note: The material list provided here is not an exhaustive list, students will be responsible for additional materials as needed in the course and by the direction of their work or as required in the course. 

The basic Foundations Kit (applicable to all four courses):
1. Faber Castell Pitt Pen (8) Wallet set
2. Drawing Pencil Assortment (at least: H, HB, 2B, 4B, and 6B)
3. Sharpie- chisel & regular tip
4. Excel or X-Acto Knife + blades 
5. Stainless steel ruler 18 in. 
6. 1” Masking tape x 2
7. White vinyl eraser
8. Sketchbook, 9x12 in. - 100 pages
9. Toolbox
10. UHU brand Glue Stick
11. Sharp Scissors
12. Alvin brand Blade Cutter-Snap Off, or equivalent utility knife

In addition to the basic kit listed above, each course in the Foundations Program (ART 1600; ART 1700; ART 1800; ART1900) has a set of materials required for the class. Students are responsible for these materials specific to the course, as indicated below. Students also may be required to procure additional material throughout the semester depending on the direction of their work. Consult with the faculty as needed.

Materials Required

Key: ** Items marked with two asterisks are required as needed during the semester.

Course: ART1900

In addition to the listed materials, students in ART1900 will need to purchase additional materials throughout the semester depending on the direction of their work. Consult with the instructor.

1. Portfolio or container to carry samples (not your toolbox), e.g., Tupperware, Tote bag, Shoebox, etc.
2. White/gray/black poster board
3. 5.5 x 8.5 in. sketchbook

Course: ART 1800

In addition to the listed materials, students in ART 1800 will need to purchase additional materials throughout the semester depending on the direction of their work. Consult with the instructor.

1. **Safety Pins
2. **Scrap Fabric
3. A basic sewing kit
4. **Misc. papers, cardstock, or cardboard 
5. **Fast-drying adhesives

Course: ART1700

In addition to the listed materials students in ART 1700 will need to purchase additional materials throughout the semester depending on the direction of their work. Consult with the instructor.

1. Flat-head straight pins or T-pins
2. Drawing pad, 18x24 in.
3. Glue
4. Charcoal pencils
5. **Choice of paper

Course: ART1600

In addition to the listed materials students in ART 1600 will need to purchase additional materials throughout the semester depending on the direction of their work. Consult with the instructor.

1. Thin, colored drawing markers
2. **4H graphite pencil
3. **Watercolor, markers, colored pencils 

Initial Issue of Materials

The following materials will be provided by the program initially, and the student will be responsible for purchases more if needed. In addition, there will be basic tools and consumables available in the classrooms.

1. For ART 1600: Bristol Board
2. For ART 1800: Cardboard; 1-2 rolls of Duct Tape per group; 10 sticks of Hot Glue per group; Bookbinding needles; Waxed thread
3. For ART 1700: Conte/Charcoal/Crayon; White foam board; Bristol board
4. Digital access: Students in the Foundations Program expected to have access to the following digital resources:

1. Ability to navigate the Canvas portal
2. Access to a word processing program, e.g., Microsoft Word; Pages (on Mac); Google Doc, etc.
3. Access to cell phone camera or a digital single-lens reflex camera, DSLR
4. Access to Zoom video communications software or the Microsoft Teams app; especially for Remote lab sections
5. Access to presentation Software; e.g., PowerPoint, Prezi (online), Google Slides, Keynote (on Mac)
6. Access to Adobe Creative Suite — InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop:

a. Or, vector-based (Illustrator) program, e.g. (vector-based);
b. Or, raster-based (Photoshop) program, e.g. (raster-based); 
c. Or, layout design, such as Adobe CC InDesign, or desktop publishing program, e.g.,; or
d. When using alternative software to Adobe Creative Cloud, students are expected to be resourceful and not rely on instructors.

7. Faculty will address the specific need for software and software skills for the course
8. Access to a scanner; either cellphone-based or physical
9. CVAD Photo Documentation lab hours and process can be accessed on the CVAD IT Services Photo Documentation web page.

Note: The University of North Texas provides digital access — both hardware and software — to students. Please visit the following links to be familiarized with assistance UNT or CVAD IT can provide for digital access.

Recommended Resources

Visit the CVAD Resources web pages for information about where to see art, find art supplies, information technology support and more. These resources and other connections to student services support your college experience.

Contact Information

Binod Shrestha
Director, Foundations Program
Art Building, Room 230E

Position Vacant
Senior Administrative Specialist

Art Building, Room 230

Future undergraduate students: Apply to UNT; you will meet with an academic advisor during orientation. You also may contact CVAD Recruiter Kevin Contreras,, for more information.