The foundation year comprises the first year of each of NSCAD’s undergraduate degrees. Many students specifically choose NSCAD because of the visual arts foundation component. These exploratory, interdisciplinary courses equip you with the critical skills required to thrive in an art school environment.

• The vocabulary of visual arts
• How to give and receive critical feedback
• Observational drawing
• Colour theory
• Composition
• 2D and 3D design
• Academic writing and analytical skills
• Visual culture studies

And that’s only the beginning. You also select three studio disciplines—such as moving image, paint, print, constructed forms, or
design—as well as courses in subjects like photography, textiles, socially engaged art, desktop fabrication, wood and metal, computer, or movement art.

The foundation year is intense, challenging, fun and extremely interactive. It provides the rare opportunity to explore a wide range of ideas, processes and materials. Students experiment with the unconventional, further traditional fine art skills, and meet friends they will know for the rest of their lives. Students emerge confident and fully equipped to start making choices about where to focus their creative and academic energy in their following years at NSCAD.

Many student specifically choose NSCAD because of the foundation year. This exploratory, interdisciplinary year equips you with the critical skills required to thrive in an art school environment.

Division Chair

Dr. Marylin McKay

Marylin J. McKay is a professor of art history at NSCAD University and the author of A National Soul: Canadian Mural Painting, 1860s-1930s.

Email Dr. McKay.

Foundation Faculty

Rebecca Hannon

Rebecca Hannon is a jeweller and educator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In her work she investigates adornment in relation to the human form. A choice to attach an object to the body drives her to question and create stories. Cultural histories gleaned through travel, and the people she meets shape her work. Rebecca maintains an active studio practice in addition to serving as faculty at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and her work could be seen at Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, Museum of Art & Design, NYC, and Racine Museum of Art over the past year.

Email Rebecca.

Craig Leonard

Craig Leonard’s work explores transience, ownership, repetition, substrates, platforms, counter-catharsis, inconvenience, storage, paradoxes, participation, administration, repetition and education. Leonard received his Master of Visual Studies from University of Toronto in 2005. Since 2006, he has taught classes on performance, printed matter, sound art, and installation at NSCAD University. Leonard has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including Acme Project Space (London), AXE NÉO7 (Hull), Raid Projects (Los Angeles), Esker Foundation (Calgary), LMAK Projects (New York) and Mercer Union (Toronto).

Email Craig.