Willamette University’s Studio Art Department is a dynamic, vibrant community of students and faculty, passionate about many different forms of art, ranging from traditional mediums (like photography and painting) to more experimental and socially conscious practices (like performance and publicly engaged art).
The Art Department teaches the practice of fine art-making, mastering technique and harnessing intellect, developing the skills required to create intriguing pieces that communicate a desired concept - anything from personal self-reflection to social commentary.
By creating, showing, and critically analyzing work, students viscerally experience art culture, while learning to use the language of contemporary art and preparing to participate as makers in a complex visual world.
The study of art
Art majors express their aesthetic, as well as personal and social ideas, through a wide variety of media. Studio courses are lab-based and encourage active engagement with faculty and peers. Areas of study include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, performance, and video. All are fine-art focused.
Students initially explore broadly, later focusing on an area of interest. Opportunities for learning beyond the classroom include professional and student art exhibitions, internships, work-study jobs and collaborative summer projects with faculty. The senior thesis is a self-defined creative project, guided by a faculty mentor, culminating in the Senior Art Exhibition at the university’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
Beyond the major
The department offers a minor in art, as well as many courses that satisfy Willamette’s general education requirements. Faculty participate in interdisciplinary programs including Film Studies and Arts, Technology & Multimedia. The department fosters art awareness on campus through student exhibitions, art clubs, and collaborations with Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
Art students develop skills in creative problem-solving, mastery of techniques, complex visual analysis and clarity and sophistication of visual communication.
Art majors are prepared for many varied careers, including:
- Practicing studio artist
- Exhibition design for fine art museums and galleries
- Curatorial work and gallery management
- New media & Communication
- Art criticism