Throughout history, art has been a fundamental language of the human spirit. Visual arts express human experience through an ever-widening range of media and materials, some of which include: oils, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, clay, plaster, steel, bronze, wood, copper, litho stones, and digital media. Visual artists create abstract works and images of objects, people, nature, topography, and events. The Department of Art and Art History offers several options of study: The B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree with studio concentrations in Drawing, Electronic Arts, Fibers, Graphic Design, Metalsmithing, Painting,  Photo Image Making, Pottery, Printmaking, and Sculpture. The B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree with concentrations in Integrated Visual Studies, Art History, or Art Education are all professional degrees, leading to related art careers. 

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • Fundamental knowledge and mastery of media and processes necessary to communicate meaning in a work of art.
  • Ability to communicate clearly about their own art and the art of others.
  • Knowledge about contemporary art and motivation to view and discuss current local, regional, and national exhibitions. Students well versed on contemporary art would:
    1. regularly read reviews of exhibitions in local and national newspapers;
    2. regularly read art periodicals;
    3. attend multiple exhibitions; and
    4. be knowledgeable about contemporary artists in their discipline (i.e., nationally known painters, sculptors, etc.).

Potential Occupations

Art graduates possess a number of transferable communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills appropriate for work in traditional business as well as positions in academia and roles as freelance artists, graphic designers, art educators, art historians, studio fine artists and as “creatives” in government and industry. Many employers appreciate art majors for their multiple skills and their ability to adapt to a variety of tasks and work environments. Participation in internships, cooperative education, and service learning opportunities is highly recommended to enhance practical training and development. Graduates who go on for advanced studies can attain more responsible positions with the possibility of rising to top professional levels.

Depending on student interests, the electives taken, or the concentration selected, available career choices include, but are not limited to: art appraiser, art director, art therapist, exhibit designer, art critic, jeweler, gallery director, graphic design artist, free lance artist, sculptor, woodworker, welder, foundry worker, studio photographer, technical illustrator, painter, textile designer, weaver, art educator, art historian, art curator, art librarian, art museum educator, web page designer, photo lab technician, art restorer, and master printer.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

The B.F.A. degree is a professional program for careers in studio art. Students have an opportunity to concentrate in one of ten studio fields: drawing, electronic art, fibers, graphic design, metalsmithing, painting, photo image making, pottery, printmaking, and sculpture. The curriculum progression in the department is similar within the concentrations and some concentrations may have restrictions. Freshmen study foundation courses in the fine arts, which include two-dimensional and three-dimensional foundations, drawing, and art history. Sophomores explore various concentration courses and become familiar with the studio practices for the concentration studios housed in separate wings that feature large, well-equipped studio spaces designed for exploration of work in a specific media. Juniors and seniors focus on advanced topics in their chosen concentration by taking one upper-division course in their chosen field each semester.