Program Type
Have Questions?

Program Overview

In our painting program, you will gain the foundation of skills and knowledge for becoming a successful and relevant artist. Specifically, you will develop:

  • Your observational and aesthetic problem-solving skills
  • Your painting skills with oil, acrylic, encaustic and watercolor media
  • Your ability to articulate your artistic intent and vision orally and in writing 
  • An understanding of the techniques used by your predecessors and the ways in which their work was a response to that of their predecessors and a product of their culture
  • A fuller understanding of how you might link your work to your culture
Student in painting studio

Learning Experiences

You will increasingly be expected to pose your own creative problems and answer them in your work. Then you will be asked to use that new work to pose and explore yet another problem. In this way, each painting will become the solution to a problem and, in turn, the basis for your next. 

In regular, open critique sessions, you will talk about these problems, your artistic process, your intent and your solutions. You will also receive important, constructive feedback and provide it to your peers.  

You will augment your in-depth studio art experience by researching on how other artists solved artistic problems, were influenced by their predecessors’ work and expressed and reacted to their culture’s ideas and events. The discoveries you make will help you to become more technically adept as a painter and add to the array of solutions you can draw on to solve your own aesthetic problems. In addition, the insights you glean will help to anchor your work in a broader historical context and show you ways to build connections between your culture and your work.

By the end of the program, you will be able to express your own sophisticated ideas fully and adeptly via painting, as well as the spoken and written word. You will also have produced a body of work that successfully demonstrates your abilities and vision.


Student painting in class

Painting Facilities

Our painting facilities include all of the following:

  • Dedicated studio work spaces for each individual student 
  • Encaustic materials and work space
  • A framing and canvas-stretching station
Painting studio
Painting - "Best for Last" by Casey Snyder

"Best for Last"
Casey Snyder

Career Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be approximately 5,900 openings for craft and fine artists each year, on average, from 2021 to 2031, with many of those openings resulting from the need to replace artists who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force. The median salary of a craft or fine artist in 2021 was $49,960.

Contact Information

Daniel McDonald, MFA
Chair of the Art + Design Department, Associate Professor of Art
227 Center for the Arts