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Studio Art

The Breakdown

Art can be soft and simple. Art can be graphic and grim. Art can be used to address or spark a debate. Art can be a reflection of today’s society or give insight into civilizations long gone. If you choose to study studio art, you’ll delve deep into the exploration of visual culture. You will learn how to channel your creativity into graphic expressions, generating a dialogue with your own ideas and images.

Don’t be fooled; studio art is a rigorous academic pursuit. You will take classes in art history and art theory, engaging in critical discussion and analysis. Of course, you will also sharpen and expand your own technical abilities. Indeed, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of mediums from painting and printmaking to ceramics and photography. As you strengthen your skills and learn to apply different concepts, you will discover how to write your own artistic statement. Finally, your undergraduate education will likely culminate with a senior project and exhibition of your work.

As a studio art major, focus and discipline will be of primary importance. Indeed, assignments will be time consuming and you’ll log a lot of hours in the studio. Maintaining an open mind will also be imperative, especially with regards to having your work critiqued. Further, keen observation skills and the ability to appreciate both the details and the bigger picture will be needed. And maybe most significant, you should understand that talent and creativity are not enough. You’ll have to develop and hone your own point of view.

Nuts and Bolts

Studio art majors are able to explore a variety of artistic mediums while chipping away at their course requirements. Classes might include: Computer Programming for Art, Light Explorations, Figurative Painting, Drawing from Nature, Documentary Photography, Installation: Art and Context, Digital Printmaking, Drawing: From Still Life to Model, Mixed Media Painting, Introduction to 3D Animation and Modeling, Art for Teachers, Advanced Ceramics, Introductory Video and Sound and Writing on Art.

Decisions, Decisions

Studio art majors appreciate disciplines that let their creativity shine through and they often consider studying art history, advertising, graphic design, interior design, fashion design, photography, television/radio/film, digital media, art education, architecture, landscape architecture, textile design and animation.

What's Next

Despite the fears and protests from your parents that you’ll wind up living in their basement if you major in studio art, we can assure you that there are employment opportunities out there for artists. Obviously, a handful of graduates move on to work in art education, teaching classes in schools and community centers. Others might decide to pursue graduate studies an art therapy. Certainly, plenty of recent grads also find entry-level and administrative positions with museums, auction houses and galleries. Moreover, a number of industries (advertising, publishing and retail to name a few) rely on in-house artists for a variety of design and graphic needs. Indeed, studio art majors can be anything from an animator, book jacket designer or art critic to a newspaper layout artist, artists’ agent and even a courtroom sketch artist. If you apply the same amount of creativity to your job hunt that you do your art, you’ll discover numerous employment options await you.


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Don Munce